Jump to content

P-51 red L-shaped flap stencil - one or both sides?


Phantome

Recommended Posts

Curious why many P-51 kits include the red L-shaped "no step" flap stencil for only one side, the port side, rather than both. Is this ignorance by the decal designers or did some planes actually omit it?

 

I was thinking that the early P-51B canopy opened sideways so the pilot would only be able to enter or exit the aircraft from the port side... making such a stencil perhaps unnecessary on the starboard side. However, I see this omission in many of the stencils for sliding canopy aircraft (Malcolm hood B/C's and bubble D's), where presumably you could enter or exit from either side.

 

You can see what I am talking about here in the 2nd and 3rd pictures. Note from pic 11 in the gallery this one does not have the starboard one despite being a D.

 

https://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/article.php?aid=947

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of factory the No-Step stripes were only applied on the port flap. There are several examples of stripes on both sides. This may have been practice at some FGs or depots before delivery or after repair.

See my comment in the WIP below -
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is normal aviation practice to enter aircraft from the left, even if a canopy may seem to provide symmetrical access. There are a very few types which are normally entered from the right, the early 'car door' Typhoon being one, but in general people are not getting into their P-51 from what pilots and ground-crews would automatically consider the "wrong" side, on the basis of ingrained habit and training

Edited by Work In Progress
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The red stripes may not only serve as warning for pilots but also for ground crew who step on the wing on both sides.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

It is normal aviation practice to enter aircraft from the left, even if a canopy may seem to provide symmetrical access. There are a very few types which are normally entered from the right, the early 'car door' Typhoon being one, but in general people are not getting into their P-51 from what pilots and ground-crews would automatically consider the "wrong" side, on the basis of ingrained habit and training

I'm not sure it's "normal aviation practice." Corsairs were starboard side, many if not most US Navy bombers and torpedo aircraft were too. Not a cockpit entry but Mosquitos had the crew door on the starboard, as did Lancasters. P-39s had doors on both sides, as did Tiger Moths.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There may be room for argument between "very few" and just "few", but entrance from the right is uncommon.  The Lancaster is not a true example, as it has a closed cockpit with entrance from the rear.  The discussion is on those aircraft which are entered from the top of the fuselage by standing on the wing - there are a very few examples entered by walking along the top of the fuselage.  Some aircraft had doors on both sides but this did not imply common use for entrance - they would also have been most useful for maintenance, or for ground crew assisting the pilot.  On some prewar light aircraft they were mainly to let the pilot get his shoulders inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Phoenix44 said:

US Navy bombers and torpedo aircraft were too

 

... and Wildcats, Hellcats (both sides!). It may have to do with the best way of access on a cramped carrier deck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Toryu said:

 

... and Wildcats, Hellcats (both sides!). It may have to do with the best way of access on a cramped carrier deck.

Maybe. My guess was that it allowed the Navy equivalent of a crew chief to warm a piston engine up and then exit from one side while the pilot had climbed up on the other (note, however, that later Corsairs only had boarding provisions from the right side). But it took a while to standardize on the left-side, possibly influenced by those who rode horses. See https://thanlont.blogspot.com/2015/10/carrier-based-airplane-self-boarding.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can think of two modern(ish) jets that are entered from the starboard (right) side.....

 

The SAAB Jas-39 Gripen and the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

 

Make that THREE - the Blackburn Bucanneer !

 

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that while on most aircraft the pilot entry is from the Port side, it is common for a ground crew person to assist the pilot with his straps while standing on the Starboard wing root. Thus the marking on both sides would not be unusual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/19/2023 at 6:00 AM, Flankerman said:

I can think of two modern(ish) jets that are entered from the starboard (right) side.....

 

The SAAB Jas-39 Gripen and the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

 

Make that THREE - the Blackburn Bucanneer !

 

Ken

Add the U-2, another Kelly Johnson design...

Edited by Rolls-Royce
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IIRC, the port side entry is a hangover from the days of mounted cavalry.

 

Early fighters (WWI) were piloted by young cavalry officers who were used to mounting their horses from the left hand side.

 

Left foot in the stirrup, right leg over the horses rump to sit upright in the saddle.

 

Swap the horse for a Camel or SE 5 - and there you have it.

 

At least that's what I read.....

 

Ken

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/19/2023 at 2:45 PM, Sabrejet said:

Port side!!! You get in on the port side - not 'left'. (unless you live anywhere else but the UK!)

 

So port side it is :)

We could apply POSH here, methinks? If we include the plane captain into the equation.

7 hours ago, Rolls-Royce said:

Add the U-2, another Kelly Johnson design...

Was he left-handed? Not meant tongue-in cheek - my father told me that they literally beat lefthandedness out of anyone at school, way back when. KJ would have been in a position to give a serious technical reasoning for this (or even to say "Because I CAN!"), even though port and starboard ingress are most likely equivalent.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...