My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Vista52
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by Vista52 »

Hi Steve, congratulations on your thread count. You can count me as one of the former who has followed this thread from the beginning. I was surprised to see it's been over 11 years since you posted that great B-17 photo. I've always found your posts interesting and since doing some research have found my father's mother was born in Washington, so I like seeing the countryside around you. Her family name was Robson.
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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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

March 19th/20th - Childseat Rework

Since 2015, the B-17 pilot's seat in the back of the Dodge supported my daughter's car seat. It fastened into the pilot's seat using the Isofix fittings and had a four point seat harness attache to the seat frame. By 2021, my daughter was getting a bit big for the seat, but we weren't out in the truck much, so it didn't matter too much. This year, I needed to do something about it. The picture to the left shows the B-17 pilot's seat and the childseat that fastened into it.

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The pilot's seat was still big enough, but it needed a new seat cushion and backrest. I bought some foam locally and ordered some olive drab linen online to cover the foam. I'm not great at sewing, so wifey was recruited to work with me on this project.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The base was made from two pieces of foam, a 4 inch sheet glued to a 1 inch layer. I needed a fairly thick layer so my daughter's legs would be high enough to avoid resting on the metal front edge of the pilot's seat. This was cut into a cushion approximately 20 inches square, with the rear corners rounded to fit into the seat.

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Here's the base fitted into the seat. The backrest was going to be a 2 inch sheet. The base was the first piece started and the more complicated shape, due to the curves at the back and a chamfer at the front. The top, front and bottom material was one piece with two side strips that would fill the openings at the side and connect it all together.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

It took lots of test fits, pinning the material onto the foam, marking up stitch lines. Then taking it off, turning it inside out, sewing and trial fitting again until the whole material cover was a good fit.

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Most of it was machine sewed, with only the rear face hand sewn. Here, the second side is being fitted. It is already sewn onto the angled front face and is now being pinned to the foam to mark the seams.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The seat base was completed on the evening of Saturday 19th. The rest was left for the following day.

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On Sunday morning, the foam backrest was cut on my bandsaw and then handed over to Lynne for the sewing. Since the back was thinner and a less complicated shape, she made a tube of fabric which was then machine sewn across the curved top and hand sewed on the bottom. A strip of Velcro was used to keep the back rest in place on the cushion.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Since my daughter has grown quite a bit since the pilot's seat was first made, the openings in the backrest for the seat belts were now too low. To fix this, I welded two loops onto the back of the seat at the top for the belts to pass through. They pass over the top of the seat cushion and down over the shoulders.

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I also cut off the Isofix loop fittings on the inside of the seat bucket, as they would interfere with the new seat cushion.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Both cushions were fitted into the seat for a photograph and then removed again.

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The paint on the seat was touched up around the welds and other scratches and it was left out in the sun to bake for a while. Later in the afternoon, it was bolted back in the Dodge, ready for the first show of the year in the middle of next month.

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I've also got a new battery on order. Despite being kept on a maintenance charger, the old one is showing signs of not being as healthy as it should be. I can't complain too much, as the current battery is at least 15 years old that I know of! The new battery should be here in the next few days.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

March 23rd - New 6 volt Battery Fitted

On Tuesday 22nd, the new battery arrived. I think the pallet was just to make sure it couldn't be tipped over. Once removed, it was taken to my workshop and put on a slow charge, for the rest of the day, ready for fitting the next day.

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It was fitted on the morning of the 23rd, after a little modification to the battery clamp and then test run. I may take a mould from the lead bars on top of the old battery and cast some resin ones for this battery. I couldn't justify the cost of a rubber cased, period looking battery, particularly as it's buried low down in the engine bay.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Dodge Pre-Season Drive - March 27th

With an unusual mild spell in the weather and a nice weather forecast, we decided to have a topless, pre-season run out in the Dodge. This would be our first run out of 2022 and a shakedown trip prior to events starting next month. We got around 10 gallons fuel on the way out, enough for the next couple of events in April and May. It's worrying when you think £1.66.9 per litre isn't a bad price!! I think that works out at about $8.30 per US gallon.

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The Dodge looked quite different with the canvas off, but I think I prefer it on. Next time, I'll fit the canvas, but might try folding the rear half forwards to leave the crane more visible.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

I planned a 16 mile route around Durham, via the petrol station in the early part of the trip. It was such a warm day, even while on the move, I was warm enough in a shirt, though I'd taken a fleece just in case - this is England after all!

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With the warm day and blue sky, we got some nice pictures of the Dodge and lovely views of County Durham. At one point, following a single lane track, we climbed to quite a height over the surrounding countryside.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Neither of the Jeeps have been out yet this year, as I've been waiting for the weather to warm up before doing any maintenance. However, there's hail and sleet forecast this week, so that may have to wait a little longer.

We finished the trip at a road we call sunset lane, after a Jeep photoshoot there last year. It's a nice spot without too many modern distractions in the background. I did have a starting problem after one stop, possibly a vapour lock as it was quite hot. So I think I'll treat the Dodge to some new plugs and possibly a condensor before the next run out.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

April 1st ~ 3rd - Battery Pallet to .50 Cal Ammo Crate

When the new Dodge battery arrived, it came on a nice big wooden pallet. I didn't need a pallet, but there was a decent amount of wood in it that I saw as potentially useful. It took some dismantling as the nails were all barbed, but eventually I got all the planks separated.

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The plan was to make another .50 Cal ammo crate. I'd made two a couple of years ago to carry some of the camping accessories and with the new look Dodge, another as an accessory would be a useful display item as well as being able to store and carry stuff. The curved inset handle on each end was cut from a strip of wood on my bandsaw. This strip was then glued back into the end panel.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Once the handles were glued back into the ends, the box sides and ends were assembled onto the base.

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The holes in the lid were marked up and the inner diameter of the tapered hole cut with a hole saw. The centre piece was broken out with a chisel and the outer taper carved out with a scalpel and finished with a mini sanding drum.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The box was painted with an olive drab I mixed myself from left over emulsion tester pots. I mixed the paint with waterproof PVA glue to strengthen the wood, as some of the planks were quite a low density. The glue helped to toughen up the outer fibres and waterproof the box for those less than ideal show days! I still had the stencils I cut for the original boxes. They'd been printed on paper, onto which I applied 2 inch Sellotape.

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This toughened up the paper for the small cuts in the lettering and makes them last longer when painted over. The paint was applied with both a stippling brush and sponge, used quite dry to minimise paint creep under the stencil. A couple of coats of yellow Humbrol modelling enamel was enough to give a reasonable coverage, without tooking too perfect up close.

The new .50 Cal crate, seen in a slightly lighter green with some of my other boxes, will be a useful addition to my Dodge.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Heugh Battery - April 16th

It was a misty and damp start to the drive to Heugh Battery in Hartlepool for our first event of 2022. The last time we were there was in 2019, before covid stopped everything. It was a 38 mile round trip, cutting cross country on the slower roads andwe almost got to the point where we could see the battery and then discovered a road close sign due to roadworks. The diversion signs weren't great, but Google maps came to the rescue and we made it there with two parking spots left, just inside the gate.

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