My '44 Flying Control Dodge

From VC-1 to WC64-KD.
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armyairforce
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B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Hi,

I'm Steve, and I'm an alcoho...no, wrong forum; I'm a Dodge owner! Some of you will know me, as I recognise a few forum names from other forums, but for those who don't, I may as well give a proper introduction.

For almost 30 years, I've been heavily involved in flying radio controlled model aircraft, ending up display flying very large warbirds as can be seen from my B-17 shown below. In 2004 I got Asthma and a wood dust allergy which forced a break from the model building for a few years. Since I've always had an interest in all things military, I bought a Hotchkiss Jeep in 2005, a hobby that my health wouldn't restrict.

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The Jeep is a complete mix up of '44 Willys and '58 Hotchkiss, and probably dozens of other Jeeps having been rebuilt by the French in 1966. After three years of a green Jeep like most of the others, I spotted a Dodge on a forum that had just been painted in checkers as a Flying Control vehicle, and my Jeep was converted to a 'Follow Me' Jeep soon after. This has opened up a number of great photo opportunities, and a number of 'Working Weekends' at airshows.

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After meeting up with the Dodge owner ( Rupert Fox ), who only lived about 90 miles from me, we decided to try and get together as often as possible to display our vehicles together. At this point, the Dodge while checkered, still had the standard canvas rear body.

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At our first event, it didn't take me long to convince Rupert that we needed to convert the Dodge into a proper Flying Control truck with a proper 'Field Mod' rear body along the lines of many of the converted airfield vehicles. So after a couple of weekends work, the basic work was done. Old sheets of ply had stencilling added to make it look like the truck had been converted from packing cases and engine crates.

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The finished truck. The sides fold down for visibility when driving, but it looks better displayed with them closed.

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Recently, family needs dictated that Rupert needed a more comfortable military vehicle to carry his family around in, and the Dodge went up for sale. I didn't really consider buying it at first, but after all the work put into the conversion, I couldn't let someone else turn it back green, so after a couple of days, a deal was done.

I've just sorted out local storage today, so I'm driving over to Cumbria at the weekend to collect the truck and bring it home to Washington. There's still stuff to build in the back of the truck, radios to fit, and a meterological station to build, but for now, let's just get it home!
Last edited by armyairforce on Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by 2ad82recon »

Good luck Steve....she will do you proud i am sure...welcome to the forum by the way.

This is the only place to talk Dodge

Regards

Lloyd
1942 Willys MB (Script).Chassis #MB 132051."CONNIE"
1942 Dodge WC-51.Chassis #81563573
1943 Bantam T-3 Trailer..ACM # B50604.(Tandem)
1944 Willys MB.Chassis #MB 302306."CAROLE"
Are you in that garage again.? its about time you came in!
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Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by Vista52 »

Hi Steve & Welcome,

I like the WC-51 & Jeep, but that B-17 is just incredible. I've never seen anything like it. It's the size of some light planes! At some point, you'll have to tell us what it's like to fly and control a plane that size.

Look forward to hearing more from you.
Coming together is a Beginning...Keeping together is Progress...Working together is Success.
Be Yourself, Everyone else is Taken...Oscar Wilde
A POW is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him...WSC
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armyairforce
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My garage: 'Follow Me' Jeep
'Flying Control' Dodge WC51
'Station Photo' Jeep
Roset Trailer
B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by armyairforce »

Thanks for the welcome. There's a few more details about my B-17 here ->
1/6 Scale B-17G 'Hang The Expense'

To see my various other toys and hobbies, check out http://www.sacarr.co.uk/
Last edited by armyairforce on Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by Jim M »

I played a t rick on my son and showed him the first picture of the -17 in fly by. He really liked it,and then I showed him the real size of the bomber. He was wild! "That is so cool!"
Really like the runway WC! That has to be one of the more unique WC around! Good for him!

Welcome to the Forum and this is one of the few places where you can speak Dodge :lol:

Jim M
proud owner of a 1942 WC 51 and now a 1942 WC 56!
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Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by Florence »

Hi Steve,

Great Dodge and interesting pictures! I really like the checkered style :thumbup:
Nice Homepage btw, too.
Do you have historic pictures showing a Dodge wich such a wooden box?

Have fun here
Cheers
Sylvia
WC58 - 4229/933 July 1942 - Commander George
http://www.command-car.com
Dedicated to Dodge Command Car and Dodge Ambulance of WW2


Dodge Build Card collection:
http://www.command-car.com/technik/tech ... cards.html
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armyairforce
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My garage: 'Follow Me' Jeep
'Flying Control' Dodge WC51
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B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by armyairforce »

I don't have any pictures of a WC51 converted, but have pictures of just about everything else. These range from a horse cart and Jeep trailer with a checkered flag draped over them, to Jeeps, Dodge Carryalls, Command Cars, and up to 20ft single and twin axle 'field made' caravans. It seems just about anything available was used for Flying Control Duties, so didn't see why a 51 should be any different!
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by JeepGeek »

Nice Dodge!! I like the hardtop conversion you did. Will be fab once kitted out.
WIll Jesse be returning to OD or will she be staying as a Follow Me jeep?

Jon
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armyairforce
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My garage: 'Follow Me' Jeep
'Flying Control' Dodge WC51
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Roset Trailer
B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by armyairforce »

Well Jessie can be a Follow Me Jeep or a green Jeep. When I was searching for checkered Jeep schemes, I found one with a checkered canvas and sides as I have, but the rest of the Jeep was still olive drab. I still have my original OD canvas, and the checkered wooden sides are only held in with three machine screws, as is the light box on the back, so I can quite easily turn it back to green in around 5 to 10 minutes if I want to.

I did swap it back last December for a Battle of the Bulge event where the checker scheme was not appropriate. See below.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by Phil P »

Hi Steve.

Fantastic. How good is that B17. I never progressed past flying bricks on a string. (Combat C/L) The WC looks brilliant. It makes a change to see something differant from OD. One small comment, we don't use the 'J' word on this Forum. There's a Forum for that kind of filthy language already! :lol:

This is the best forum you will ever need. Great guys, and all the help you will ever need. It's a TM at the click of a mouse. As for admitting to being alchoholic.....I'll drink to that!

Phil
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armyairforce
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Roset Trailer
B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by armyairforce »

Today was the big day and now the Dodge is home. 100 miles door to door and a 3hr 30min trip across the country. Here's a few pictures of the trip.

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It's pulling right when I brake hard, so I guess I've got some checking and adjusting to do, but overall, very happy with the drive.
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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armyairforce
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Location: Washington, UK

Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by armyairforce »

I did post earlier in the 'What have you done for your Dodge' thread, but figured it made more sense to post updates in my original thread.

The last couple of days has seen a number of small jobs done to the Dodge, despite heavy rain today. Yesterday I had a trip out in the Dodge to the local aircraft museum for an open day. While at the museum, I polished the astrodome with T-Cut paint restorer, as the plastic had gone quite cloudy. It has come up much more clear, although the scratches are still there. They will need sanding out with fine wet and dry before re-polishing.

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Once home from the museum, I built a new table for the radio operators position. Also made were some small catches to hold the rear body sides closed when not driving.

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Another small job was filling/re-gluing some of the joints on the roof panels to better weather proof the rear body of the truck.
Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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armyairforce
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Roset Trailer
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Location: Washington, UK

Re: Collecting my '44 Flying Control Dodge at the Weekend

Post by armyairforce »

Part of today was spent shopping for bearings and assorted steel sections for the next stage of the conversion. Once back at my workshop, the 'Flightline Vehicle' red warning flag was made, although I have yet to make the mounting bracket for the truck.

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Next job was for the meteorological position. I figured that a Flying Control vehicle should be able to tell pilots the local barometric pressure so they can set the altimeter to airfield pressure. Wind speed and direction instruments will also be provided along with temperature and humidity. So the first job was the cutting and welding of the weather vane parts.

A windsock will be mounted on the trailing edge of the vane and it will drive a wind direction indicator inside the truck. The 1/4 inch spindle rides in bearings which fit into a larger steel suport tube, however I couldn't get bearings exactly the right size so had to machine a small collar to fit around the outside of the bearing and take up the space.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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armyairforce
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'Flying Control' Dodge WC51
'Station Photo' Jeep
Roset Trailer
B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

After work today, I spent a few more hours working on the Dodge parts. Below is the mount for the flagstaff. This will be welded to the front bumper with the bolt passing through the wooden flag pole to retain the flag.

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The main support tube for the weather vane sits in a larger diameter tube which will be bolted to the truck roof. The drive rod from the instrument is supported by a slightly larger bearing to fit this tube, but I couldn't get one with a 6mm hole, so had to machine another two bushes.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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armyairforce
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My garage: 'Follow Me' Jeep
'Flying Control' Dodge WC51
'Station Photo' Jeep
Roset Trailer
B-17G Fortress #42-31035
Location: Washington, UK

Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The vane mast will be removeable from this larger tube socket, so the shaft from the vane to the instrument needs to be split. A half lap joint will key the two rods together while a brass tube over the rod assists with the alignment.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 'Flying Control' truck - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035