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Need DeWoitine D.520 questions answered.


Corsairfoxfouruncle
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     Im currently building the Buff/Chamois colored D.520 seen in Lebanon in 1942. Actually there were two aircraft, #’s 302 & 397. While studying the photo’s of the two buff/Chamois colored aircraft seen in Lebanon. One (302) definitely has a broad stripe on top of the port wing. I am assuming its some sort of ID stripe as it wouldn't make much sense to camouflage these like this then add a single wide stripe to one or both wing tops ? Im not sure I can post the open photo’s. So if someone needs/wants to double check/verify my thoughts I will send the photos via D/M. Did the French have/use theater I.D. Bands on top of the wings post Vichy use ? Or were these actually camouflaged and we’ve been wrong all these years ? Please if anyone can help it would be most gratefully acknowledged. 
 

Dennis

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IMHO? I don't think that these airplane were painted in chamois color. This color exist in M2 category(metal interior surfaces) only and used for hidden areas non exposed to atmospheric corrosion agents as cargo compartment, rear fuselage. In D520, the entire piot's compartment was primed with chamois paint then finished with a coat of medium blue grey(early ac) or night blue(late ac) M1 category(for metal external area)
Thz idea of use chamois paint for desert camouflage on exterior surfaces is pleasant but I'am not sure  of this choice for these reasons.

at this period, the ac used as liaison ac was painted overall in aluminium, compare this photo and the D520 DC entire bare metal .

The underwing reflects the shadow on the ground so it seems paint in dark color.

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The chamois is a very light shade, the contrast with the white is low.

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Thank you, yes I agree on the underside color. Im more concerned about the visible stripe on top of the wing. In the port side photo you have included it is visible. Now if this plane is in aluminum that might explain an Anti-dazzle/glare strip on the upper wing surface. There was an article from 2001 I read on this aircraft. It contained quote’s from a Mechanic (Denis Larrivet) that supposed to have serviced said aircraft. He described the color as Buff/sand/Chamois so that is why my reasons behind the color choice. Though I am still open to change. I have also read other accounts that back your aluminum. Even one that says its overall light blue so no one is 100% sure.
 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
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Hi

    have you tried a post here ? 

 

http://www.aerostories.org/~aeroforums/forumhist/

 

  i have used it in the past, they are very helpful

 

   I just post in french first, ( courtesy as it is a french site )

      followed by the post again in english

 it saves any confusion as to what info you are requesting

 

  you can always use an online translator to convert your post to french  if needs be

 

    cheers

       jerry

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the skin of d520 was made of duralumin sheet, it is not so shiny as alclad sheet which have pure aluminium on both side )alclad could be high polished). The render of these two material is different.
the delimitation at the bottom of rear fuselage would be due to the overlapped joint at the botton and the discontynuity of the curvature.
About the dark stripe on the wing, may be it is a amovible pad  walkway;

 

Chamois and Light blue grey do not exist in gloss paint but matt only at this period;

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  • 6 months later...

Hello everyone!

And hello Signore @Massimo Tessitori! Long time!! Hello to @BS_w :)  I've mentioned you yesterday on Hyperscale regarding Dewoitine!
In the same article we have mentioned the aircraft that was posted by Mike just one - two posts above... Hope you don't mind me posting the LINK to the discussion on HS here?

I find the discussion about these single (or two tone) colored airframes very interesting! I have a plan for long time to portray one of them in 1/48 scale but never actually went around to do it. Hopefully very soon!

There was another discussion over on HS that I have started many moons ago discussing the same machines mentioned here.

Unfortunately, I have never seen the "broad stripe" as mentioned by CorsairF4U!? Only thing I see on the port wing is the shadow that is cast by prop's tip falling near the root of the wing. Direction of the light is from 10o'clock high & the shadow directly falls there.

I would maybe be rude, but I will kindly ask @Corsairfoxfouruncle if he can send me the scans he has mentioned about this machine, please. Also if you have article mentioned (from 2001) in scanned form - I would also love to see that too, please. :)

BS_W - may I just be sure - you are suggesting that this aircraft is in overall duralumin finish? This alloy contains coper. Based on the DC photo you have posted it does have slightly warm cast!? Maybe larger copper content? Could it be that this is what made a mechanic Denis Larrivet to recall the color as "buff"?
 
Best,
Milos

Edited by Milos Gazdic
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On 9/5/2021 at 8:23 PM, BS_w said:

this airplane was probably the D520 (serial number 526)overhauled for CFP/Doret squadron

In the recent Ailes 2, this aircraft is identified as no.548 at Tarbes  No.526 was number 5 from the SNCASE factory.  No.1 from this factory was No.531.  The existence of parallel numbers from the two factories existed up to No.6, at least.  The aircraft can be identified as the Tarbes example by the badge of the Corps Franc Pommiès on the side.  Explaining that goes further into the internal differences in French political/military life at that time than I can grasp.  548 was later repainted with the usual stripes and the letters FFI on the side.

 

Ailes is a superb new magazine dealing with French aviation history, so far very much concentrated on WW2.  This issue contains a very thorough account of the Doret group, and the continued use of the D.520 in front-line service after that.  A must for D.520 enthusiasts.  The previous issue had dealt with the famous "Zebra" markings on D.520s at Meknes.  Maybe this Lebanese example will follow in a later issue.  Until then, I'll only comment that RAF Light Earth was fairly close to Chamois and would have been readily available, although possibly not in gloss, if that matters..

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Hello Graham,
I have just ordered Issues Nº2 and Nº3 this morning :) I found out about the articles dealing with Dewoitine in these magazines...
Do you have all the issues of Les Ailes? Is there anything about Dewoitine in Nº1 and Nº4 (I believe that's the latest issue - isn't it?)?
Best,
Milos

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No.1 is mainly, almost entirely, about the MB.155.  From a quick look I can't find a mention of the D.520.  I don't have No.4 yet, though I believe it is just out or just about to come out..

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10 minutes ago, GiampieroSilvestri said:

If it is still to be found I can highly recommend french magazine Aero Journal special issue number 8 December 2004,les avions francais au combat le Dewoitine D.520.

Nihao Giampiero,
Unfortuately, I was unable to source that issue for quite some time :( Been looking for it for 7-8 years now. 
Another similar booklet that I would like to own is Les Ailes de Gloire Nº8 - dealing with D.520 too but I've seen it popping out for sale so rarely. Currently there is a copy selling on evilBay for 199.95$ :) Crazy. Isn't it?

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3 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

In the recent Ailes 2, this aircraft is identified as no.548 at Tarbes 

 

this info is in "Ailes 3, march 2022" and it update the old docavia.

 

There is a need for a new book on the D520 to replace the docavia, LP & PhR are working on it

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5 hours ago, Milos Gazdic said:

Hello everyone!

And hello Signore @Massimo Tessitori! Long time!! Hello to @BS_w :)  I've mentioned you yesterday on Hyperscale regarding Dewoitine!
In the same article we have mentioned the aircraft that was posted by Mike just one - two posts above... Hope you don't mind me posting the LINK to the discussion on HS here?

I find the discussion about these single (or two tone) colored airframes very interesting! I have a plan for long time to portray one of them in 1/48 scale but never actually went around to do it. Hopefully very soon!

There was another discussion over on HS that I have started many moons ago discussing the same machines mentioned here.

Unfortunately, I have never seen the "broad stripe" as mentioned by Corsair Fox For Uncle!? Only thing I see on the port wing is the shadow that is cast by prop's tip falling near the root of the wing. Direction of the light is from 10o'clock high & the shadow directly falls there.

I would maybe be rude, but I will kindly ask @Corsairfoxfouruncle if he can send me the scans he has mentioned about this machine, please. Also if you have article mentioned (from 2001) in scanned form - I would also love to see that too, please. :)

BS_W - may I just be sure - you are suggesting that this aircraft is in overall duralumin finish? This alloy contains coper. Based on the DC photo you have posted it does have slightly warm cast!? Maybe larger copper content? Could it be that this is what made a mechanic Denis Larrivet to recall the color as "buff"?
 
Best,
Milos

Milos I’ve D/messaged you with what I have. 

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6 hours ago, BS_w said:

There is a need for a new book on the D520 to replace the docavia, LP & PhR are working on it

Hello,
Yes, as I've spoke with a buddy yesterday, we need a modern day monograph on D.520. One that will gather all the info available in Docavia & modern magazines, with updated research & with some in-depth research on camouflage that often gets ignored in the publications.
And when I say modern I don't mean Valiant publishing type of book! 

I guess LP stands for Lela? If so - I am happy!

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In this> THREAD I have stumbled upon this photo:
 

As mentioned by @occa it's a Dewoitine D.520 shot in Algeria. Image coming from amazing Jack Canary's Collection on Flickr

 

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Among other things there was a discussion about the use of these aircraft... It was mentioned few times that these (let me call them this way) "buff" Dewoitines were in fact used for messenger services as liaison aircraft. Other members mention they were training aircraft. Armament (at least the openings in the leading edges) are still present.
BS_w suggests aluminum dope. I just wonder why would a fully aluminum (dur) aircraft receive a dope? DurAl should be non-corrosive already & fairly dull in look. The aircraft in the sky above Algiers doesn't look very reflective to my aging eyes.
I am aware that this is not any of the aircraft we are discussing here but I just wonder if the application could be the same.

I also fail to see any walkaways on this Algerian aircraft's leading edges near the wing-roots.

Interesting thing is that ruder seems to have no markings.

Hope you don't mind me asking the questions already discussed?

Milos

Added: OR - could it be that this photo predates the photos we are discussing above (D.520s in Algeria were operational in 1941 & early 1942 (according to my very limited knowledge - forgive me for this). Why Lebanon shots apparently date from late (October 1942).

Edited by Milos Gazdic
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2 hours ago, Milos Gazdic said:

.... I just wonder why would a fully aluminum (dur) aircraft receive a dope? DurAl should be non-corrosive already & fairly dull in look. ...

 

Hi!

Duralumin is obsolete trade name for copper-alloyed aluminium. Cu-Al alloys are designated 2000-series today ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duralumin )

"The 2000 series most documented vulnerability is corrosion from pitting attack. As expected, the 2000 series alloys possessing high percentages of copper alloying exhibit the most severe corrosion" Quote from US Army Research Laboratory report ARL-TR-4937 https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA516812.pdf . Just one of the myriad possible sources (first in my Google search in this case).

 

That is why Alclad was invented in 1930's (for US NAVY, IIRC). The pure (> 99% Al) aluminum layers mangled on "dural" surfaces act as sacrifying layers, compare zinc in galvanizing. Aluminum dope, especially over zinc chromate primer works almost the same.

 

D.520 had not cladded aluminum as far as I know, so dope/paint was required for long service life.

 

Aluminium corrosion has been small part of my working life for over twenty years. Not an expert, though.

 

I am also interested in these D.520s.

 

Cheers and peace,

Kari

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D520s were flown into Syria in 1942 to resist the British invasion.  I am not sure that the Lebanon existed as a separate state at this time, but the area was still known as that name.  The D520s continued in us in Free French hands as trainers.

 

The aircraft above is white, like others of its kind in Algeria. The famous "Zebra" had black stripes painted over this.

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5 hours ago, Milos Gazdic said:


BS_w suggests aluminum dope.

I wrote it about another D 520 (Littolf's D520) which is often described completely painted in "buff" color. It was possible that this "buff" primer on the duralumin skin was overcoated by another finish paint because the "chamois" was a primer and could'nt be applied as finish coat for exterior surfaces. (according the specification of AA, the airplanes used for lisison were "aluminium color"

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3 hours ago, Kari Lumppio said:

Duralumin is obsolete trade name for copper-alloyed aluminium. Cu-Al

Hello Kari,
Yes, I've mentioned that Dural is in fact Cu + Al alloy already. But I thought it has a certain resistance to corrosion. Obviously I was mistaken. And I guess that explains a need for the dope in case of stripped protection paint.
And yes - D.520 is not made of Al-Clad, as you've mentioned.

 

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

D520s were flown into Syria in 1942 to resist the British invasion.  I am not sure that the Lebanon existed as a separate state at this time, but the area was still known as that name. 

I used to travel to Lebanon for work while I was living in Cyprus and loved it there. I forgot my history but I think it got the independence somewhere in 1942 or 43. Sorry for the ignorance on this subject. But I guess this is the period approximately when these aircraft were there, isn't it?
 

Quote

The D520s continued in us in Free French hands as trainers.

So, no messenger work was given to these machines?

 

Quote

The aircraft above is white, like others of its kind in Algeria. The famous "Zebra" had black stripes painted over this.

I see! That explains it all! Thanks for the clarification! Do you know the date when this flying shot was taken? And do you know how many of the D.520s were painted white in the area?
 

Quote

I wrote it about another D 520 (Littolf's D520) which is often described completely painted in "buff" color.

I see. I probably misunderstood the things in that discussion.

 

Quote

It was possible that this "buff" primer on the duralumin skin was overcoated by another finish paint because the "chamois" was a primer and could'nt be applied as finish coat for exterior surfaces.

Would over-spraying Chamois with transparent varnish would help? Such varnish could have been of glossy finish?
 

Quote

according the specification of AA, the airplanes used for liaison were "aluminium color"

But were these machines used in liaison / messenger roles?

Best,
Milos

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