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Luka

P-40 radio wires

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Hi all,

So it seems that there were several different radio wire arrangements possible on the P-40, and I wondered if it would be possible to maybe pinpoint it to time and place, and also how it could coincides with the type of radio used at that point. For example, I can hardly ever see the long wing wires. Were these dropped after a certain moment that a new type of radio was introduced?

Here are some planes I'm trying to decide on, the picture quality unfortunately isn't always Hi-Res.

P40-E from RAAF 75 Sqn, around April 1942, supposedly flown by Les Jackson. Frankly I cannot see any wire at all, some photo's (of other planes) show only a wire from the fuselage to the tail fin.
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P-40F USAAF 65 Sqn, around April 1943. The enigmatic 'Grim Rip'. The tail section is gone here, but again, on other planes of the same type and timeframe, only a wire from fuselage to tail fin is visible.
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P-40K/Mk.III SAAF 2 Sqn, 1942. Colour profiles often show the whole lot of aerials, wing wires and all, but as you can see this blurry pic hardly shows anything..
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Cheers,
Luka

Edited by Luka

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Hi Luka,

 

The RAAF aircraft you posted is not from No. 75 Sqn RAAF! It is a P40E-1, A29-101, of No. 2 OTU at Mildura, early 1943. That aircraft is often misidentified. The Blue/White roundel on the fuselage was not introduced until late 1942, so the picture could not possibly have been taken in April 1942! A29-101 was received by No. 2 OTU in mid May 1942 and, apart from several mishaps that were repaired in unit, it survived until October 1944 when it suffered an engine failure and P/O Nev Faulks force landed. It was a write off. It was never assigned to an operational squadron, although it is possible that it may have been flown by Les Jackson when at No. 2 OTU. He never flew it operationally.

 

Having said that, the radio fit in RAAF P-40E aircraft at the time required an antenna wire from the fin to each wing tip. These were connected to the radio gear by another wire that ran from the upper fuselage to join the other two at the fin. The full length of the wires running from the fin to wingtips was not all antenna. They were sized to suit the wave length being used and about 1/2 of the way from the fin to the wingtip the antenna section ended in an insulator, the forward section of the wire not being part of the antenna. Later on, when radio fits were updated on P-40E and P-40E-1 aircraft to VHF, an anrenna mast was used and the wires dispensed with.

 

e390c956-1c06-497f-a8b0-0f1a29f3bd81.jpg

 

Antenna wire to port wingtip of A29-109 is just visible above pilot's head. Insulator is visible at lower front of windscreen.

 

cd3fc49e-2da5-4969-9462-aa06abce3b49.jpg

 

Antenna wire to starboard wingtip, and lead in to dorsal fuselage, (insulator above rear of rear view panel), are visible in this shot of A29-143. Once again, note insulator on wingtip wire, visible against rear view panel.

 

6729a466-b277-44ba-a47d-4ce7e0ef0ba2.jpg

 

The wire to port wingtip is just visible behind TE, passing behind Hat, fur-felt, to fitting on top of wing, inboard of, and just aft of wingtip light.

 

I'll leave it to others more knowlagable than me on those air forces, their theatres of operation and thus their radio fits, to comment on the other two, although I suspect that the P-40K had a similar antenna arrangement to A29-101.

 

Peter M

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A very informative response Peter. I can offer nothing comparable but would only observe that, in my opinion, most aerial wires would be difficult, if not impossible  to see at all in period photos owing to their small diameter and that photos are therefore often inconclusive as to their presence. Even your excellent pics show that the wires generally need a dark background to be seen.

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Hi Luka. The subject of your last photo, DB-H, was actually a P-40E-1 from the last batch and had some -K features such as the enlarged fin. In SAAF service it was designated Kittyhawk Mk. Ia. I built an AMT -K as that plane last year and installed antenna wires from the fin to the fuselage and wing tips. I don't recall whether or not I ever found photographic evidence that nailed it down for that particular plane, but that arrangement seemed to be the most typical and therefore most likely.

 

FWIW, here are a couple of detail photos of the wingtip and fin attachments that may be helpful:

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Cheers, Pip

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@Magpie22 Thanks, also for that extra info; I didn't know that the pic I posted was 29-101 (although in my defense it is somewhat tricky to determine the number from this pic.. 😅) but in that case it wouldn't be the code "I" (serial 29-29 I believe) that Jackson reportedly scored a kill with. The pics you posted are a great help, I hadn't seen those before.

@Seawinder Thanks for the detail shots, although the first one had me puzzled for a short moment: "What's this now; TWO wires from a wingtip?"
Reflection can be a funny thing..😜

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3 hours ago, Luka said:

@Magpie22 Thanks, also for that extra info; I didn't know that the pic I posted was 29-101 (although in my defense it is somewhat tricky to determine the number from this pic.. 😅) but in that case it wouldn't be the code "I" (serial 29-29 I believe) that Jackson reportedly scored a kill with. The pics you posted are a great help, I hadn't seen those before.

@Seawinder Thanks for the detail shots, although the first one had me puzzled for a short moment: "What's this now; TWO wires from a wingtip?"
Reflection can be a funny thing..😜

Actually the 'code' on A29-101 is '1" not 'I'. The OTU used the last one or two of the aircraft serial number, in this case not much sense in using '01', so just '1'.

 

A29-29 was 'I'. However it was a P-40E not an E-1, and the camouflage and national markings were quite different to those on A29-101. It had a short service, of only one month, being shot down on 25 April 1942.

Les Jackson flew A29-29 on only one occassion, on 17 April. His regular aircraft at Port Moresby were:

A29-10, X, 9 times in March.

A29-9, N, 8 times in March / April

A29-79, N, 7 times in April / May.

Most of his claims were made when flying A29-9.

 

Like those detail shots, Seawinder.

 

Peter M

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1 hour ago, Magpie22 said:

Actually the 'code' on A29-101 is '1" not 'I'. The OTU used the last one or two of the aircraft serial number, in this case not much sense in using '01', so just '1'.

 

A29-29 was 'I'. However it was a P-40E not an E-1, and the camouflage and national markings were quite different to those on A29-101. It had a short service, of only one month, being shot down on 25 April 1942.

 

Right, it seems like all those profiles based on that pic were assuming it was 29-29. Cr*p, I had mine almost finished save for the wires. The easiest way to fix it would be to find new serials.

I found another list of his planes and associated kill claims. But apparently some 'probables' were also included.

1           42.03.24  75  P-40  Zero  Pt.Moresby  

1.5 2D   42.03/04  75  P-40  Bomber  Unknown  

1           42.04.05  75  P-40  Zero  Pt.Moresby      A29-9   N

      2D   42.04.06  75  P-40  Zero  Pt.Moresby      A29-9   N

1           42.04.17  75  P-40  Zero  Pt.Moresby      A29-29  I

1           42.04.18  75  P-40  Zero  Pt.Moresby      A29-30  W

1           42.08.27  75  P-40  Zero  Milne Bay        A29-71 

1           42.04.24  75  P-40  Fighter  Pt.Moresby  A29-41  M

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