My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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armyairforce
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Dodge Winter Photoshoot - December 9th

On the evening of December 8th, it began snowing. There was quite a lot falling, but it wasn't laying on the ground as much as the snow fall suggested. By late evening, the garden was white and there was a covering of around 3/8 inch. As I've never had the Dodge out in snow for pictures, I decided if the snow was still on the ground in the morning, I'd go for a local run around and get some pictures. Until we moved house, the Dodge always spent the winter hibernating in its shipping container with the battery out.

On the morning of Friday 9th, the snow had melted a little, but there was still enough on the ground for some nice pictures. I was on the move by about 09:20hrs and got the first pictures are a layby near home by 09:30hrs.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

I wasn't going far, but there were a number of spots to pull in for pictures along the route. Several of them were move suited for shooting into the low sun, which was only around eight degrees above the horizon at that time. Blue sky, some clouds and a golden yellow light from the low sun added to the atmosphere of the pictures.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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The area amongst the trees, next to the village church, gave a good view out over the fields, but once again, I was looking directly into the sun.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

On to the next village where there's a nice country lane that I often visit for pictures. There were a couple of places to stop for photos along this road. With it being a quiet road in normal weather, it was little used when icy, so it was still mostly snow covered.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

A little further along the lane is my main spot for pictures. It was here that I brought the two Jeeps for the sunset pictures in April 2021 and the Jeep and Dodge last Christmas after finishing the crane.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

There was one last stop towards the end of that lane, in a bit of a hollow with steep banks on either side of the road, an ideal vantage point for getting some slightly top side views.

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I headed back home after that, having covered about 7 miles. Of course the garden hose and tap were frozen, so I had to wash the Dodge down with a bucket of water and a brush before putting it back in the garage.

I also had my "Camera-Carrzie" head-cam on for the drive and a heavily cropped version of the trip can be seen below. I would have liked a bit more snow, but I'll take what was provided.

Video - https://youtu.be/DPcSUVNfTJs
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by Don »

How did those military tread tires work on the snow?
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The tyres were fine, but I was slow and careful on the snow covered sections of road, particularly where there was an incline to a junction.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Dodge Fuel Trip - February 4th

My daughter and I took the Dodge out for fuel this morning. It was the first trip for the Dodge since the Winter photoshoot in the snow at the start of December. The Dodge had been stationary for about two months, so rather than take a couple of jerrycans to the petrol station, I gave it a run out. I don't like it sitting on the same spot on the tyres for too long and it gives all the mechanical parts some exercise.

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On the way home, we called in to sunset lane again for a nicer route home and to grab a few pictures. Before putting the Dodge away, I checked all the tyre pressures. It was just the spare that needed about 10 pounds putting in but I can't recall the last time I checked it! After that, it was just a matter of squeezing it back through the tight garage door opening. I think I've given up on getting builders to alter the garage door openings and will probably put it on the list for a next year project after we finish the garden landscaping this year.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

February 15th - Display Fencing and Crate

Since building the crane on the Dodge and the additional crates, I've wanted a better fence to encircle the display; whether I've got one or all three vehicles on show. I recently bought twenty steel fence stakes. I cut an inch and a quarter off the bottom of the stakes and welded it back on half way up to add an extra hanger for a lower layer of barbed wire to hang from. From watching other displays, small kids just walk straight under the single upper wire.

I also got 100 metres of silver/grey nylon string to make some fake barbed wire. Some of the string was cut into two and a quarter inch lengths, the ends melted to stop fraying and they were tied and glued along the remaining 90 metres of string, spaced at about 8 inches apart. I also made a new longer, but narrower bobbin to wrap the 'barbed wire' around.

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The steel stakes arrived in a cardboard box that barely made it through the post. As a result, I decided to make a wooden crate to keep them in. I didn't want it to look out of place with all the other stuff I carry around, but I couldn't find any pictures of original suitably shaped crates to copy.

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In the end, I made a crate big enough for the stakes and barbed wire and stencilled it up as a box of replacement barrels for Browning .50 calibre machine guns. The new narrow bobbin also fits inside the crate.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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March 21st - The Dodge is Put to Work!

We've slowly been working in the garden on the area that was a woodland. Last year, part of that area was levelled and my observatory built next to the shed. The rest will become another lawn and have a fullsize railway feature. To help move to the next step of that project, we had seven bulk bags of slates, topsoil and gravel delivered onto the front drive this morning.

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It needed to move almost 200 feet to the back garden, over a gravel driveway. Pushing a wheelbarrow over the gravel drive was going to be back breaking and take forever, so I decided to put the Dodge to work and give the crane a proper test.

The bulk bags were around 850Kg and I didn't want to try and lift that load in one go. I did have a number of half ton bags I use for taking hedge clippings to the council tip, so I'd move some into those to lighten the load.

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The soil was first to be moved, so I shovelled it from each of the big bags into two of my small bags. When they were full, I used the Dodge to carry them one by one to dump them by the shed. This soil was to fill the raised bed vegetable planters which are beside the shed.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The two big bags of soil were next, dropped down by the workshop hedge. These still looked around three quarters full, so must have been around 600Kg each - the heaviest test of the crane so far.

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The vegi planters were filled soil from the small bags, leaving me those bags free for moving the gravel. The large bag probably had more weight in it than the soil, so I split the load into five, using four of my small bags and the original large bag.

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Once they were all loaded, they were transported around to my workshop hedge. By this time it was late afternoon, I was tired and so I dismantled the crane and put the Dodge back in the garage. We've ordered some more small bags to help manage the remaining four bags of slate still on the front drive.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Blyth Battery Goes to War - May 20/21st

In past years, the weather at Blyth Battery hasn't always been friendly! As a result, rather than camp, I've travelled to Blyth each day. Since moving to Durham from Washington, it's added another 12 miles each way to the trip, so to save fuel, I took the Dodge and decided to camp for the weekend. This year, the event had unusually good weather.

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I arrived on Friday afternoon to sunshine, clear sky and no wind ( I had to check I was at the right place!! ). It was hot work setting up camp, but a nice change for Blyth! The clear sky allowed the temperature to drop quite a bit overnight.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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The sea breeze pulled the temperature down a little on Saturday and it took until late morning to burn the sea mist off. The misty start didn't stop the public turning out in their thousands. An email on Monday from the organiser, estimated around 46,000 visitors across the two days of the show.

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The show itself is located around the gun battery. The displays are on either side of the battery complex, a few on the edge of the car park, in addition to the museum exhibits within the gun battery buildings. Looking at how far the displays were spread along the sea front this year, it looked to have been the biggest show so far; certainly since my first trip there in 2009.

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The show field to the North of the battery was full and to the South, the displays were spread along both sides of the coastal path, much further than usual. In past years, the area to the South was always the German area, but this year, there were so many displays, it also included a US re-enactor and vehicle group.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

In addition to the various dioramas, a number of vehicles were parked up around the battery and towards the edge of the car park. Some only attended for one day of the show.

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These were a mix of military and civilian vehicles.

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