50jetback

Buick built Pratt & Whitney Engines

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The article in the January edition of the Buick Bugle on Buicks wartime efforts was interesting.

I had recently purchased a Buick produced Instruction manual for Pratt and Whitney Engines as used in Consolidated-Vultee Liberators.

Liberators were used by the Royal Australian Air Force during WW2 and many more were in this country used by the United States Military operating out of northern Australia during the Pacific campaign.

It is a 1st edition manual printed in November 1943 and has a supplement dated April 1944.

The style is typical Buick workshop manual with many exploded diagrams throughout its 429 pages.

There are also a number of cartoon type illustrations with ditty's or poems attached as seen in the attached scan of the " strong arm guy "

Interesting to see the very high standard being maintained in simple things like instruction manuals during very difficult times.

Now that I have the manual that tells me how to fix it I am on the hunt for a Pratt and Whitney motor to fix - or maybe I could just settle for one of those beautiful cloisonné emblems " MADE BY BUICK " which the Bugle tells us were affixed to each engine they produced.

Anyone got one?

This is a link to many photos of Australian Liberator crews and their aircraft during WW2

http://b24australia.org.au/library/photographs-and-memorabilia/photographs.html

Just click on SHOW PHOTO

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Edited by 50jetback (see edit history)
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I really dig the "Strong Arm Guy" - I'd love to have a poster of that on display in the hangar...

 

I've had the pleasure of playing with a couple radials, and I work with P&WC every day, but the two have never overlapped.  

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I really dig the "Strong Arm Guy" - I'd love to have a poster of that on display in the hangar...

 

I've had the pleasure of playing with a couple radials, and I work with P&WC every day, but the two have never overlapped.  

 

Here are a few more "ditty's " and cartoons from the Instruction Manual you may enjoy, particularly if you are in the industry.

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My son who trained as an aircraft engineer loves this one

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Edited by 50jetback (see edit history)
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Oh my, those are awesome.  Today's manuals are pretty boring.  

 

The plug wrench graphic reminds me of the first time dad tried to pull the spark plugs in the '56.  I guess they were using stamped socket wrenches with much thinner walls back then, because he couldn't find a forged socket that would clear the head.  He had to turn the O.D. of a forged socket down quite a bit to clear the recess of the casting...

 

Thanks for sharing!

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On 2/14/2016 at 7:19 PM, 50jetback said:

- or maybe I could just settle for one of those beautiful cloisonné emblems " MADE BY BUICK " which the Bugle tells us were affixed to each engine they produced.

Anyone got one?

 

 

 

Here ya go Stuart. My best shot didn't meet reserve so I am out.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pratt-Whitney-USA-Dependable-Engines-Made-by-Buick-Enamel-Emblem-1940s-Rare-/191833926967?hash=item2caa316d37:g:HVwAAOSwzgRW1Jet&autorefresh=true

 

 

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3 hours ago, MrEarl said:

 

Here ya go Stuart. My best shot didn't meet reserve so I am out.

 

Would you believe $35.55 postage via the Global Shipping Program from the USA to Australia!!

 

Think I'll have to pass as well - busy spending my money at the moment trying to repair the Delco Moraine Power Brake cylinder on the 55 Super!

 

Nice emblem though and would go nicely with the workshop manual.  

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image.jpegI have eyeballed these manuals and related articles for a while, and this thread inspired me to pick up a copy when one came along at the right price.  My wife is a book collector, so she can't say much...;)

 
It has been at my desk at work for a couple weeks now, and has started some interesting conversations.  I was hosting an entourage from Pratt & Whitney last week, and the subject of radials came up, so out came this book. 
 
I didn't score any piston engine parts, but I did get this little tie tack... 

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My Dad, still going strong at 91, was a navigator on a B-24 in the Pacific, so the Buick connection hits home.  He wrote down his war memories 20 years ago.  I love reading them.  One excerpt:

 

The B-24 was an ugly plane, but we loved it. Some described it as the crate the B-17s were shipped in. It looked like a boxcar with wings. But, it was faster, could carry a larger load, had longer range and more reliable engines than the B-17. It was perfect for the South Pacific missions. Even though we were flying planes that were pieced together from war wearies, we never lost an engine during any of our 44 missions. The Pratt & Whitney engines were much
more reliable than the Wright Cyclone engines of the B-17. The B-24 also had more flexible wings, which allowed us to fly through storms that would have ripped a B-17 apart. In fact, after the war, the B-24s or the Navy version PB4Y2s were used as hurricane hunters for several years.

 

Unlike the crews in the European Theater, those in the Pacific never had dedicated aircraft and always flew whatever was available.  It speaks highly of the P&W engines, and those who maintained them, that these war wearies stayed in the hunt.

 

I also found this site the other day about an organization dedicated to saving a portion of the Willow Run plant that built the B-24s. The war effort of American manufacturing, doing so much in so little time is still awe-inspiring. 

http://www.savethebomberplant.org/save-a-piece-of-history/

 

Thanks for letting me share,

Huntz

 

 

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THANK YOU FOR SHARING Huntz. Love the read!!!

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Great story, Huntz - thanks for sharing.  How wonderful it is that your dad penned his memoirs for future generations to cherish.

 

When I decided to build a 90's wagon for my wife, I was trying to decide if I wanted a Buick or an Olds.  Being born in Lansing, I thought I'd throw back to my roots.  On top of that I always considered myself a BOP guy, but I had never actually owned an Oldsmobile myself, so I fixed that.  Of course, this Olds wasn't built in Lansing, so WILORUN was my 2nd choice when it came time to get a tag for it.  For some reason, I've just always liked that name.

 

I have yet to find anything confirming that Strawberry B---- was built in Willow Run, but since the vast majority of Liberators were born there, chances are pretty good.  I wish I had more pictures of her, but anyone who has been to the Air Force Museum in Dayton knows that it would take a good 4-5 days to see everything there, and I had less than one.  That place is something else.  They also have a Buick built Liberty L-8 and one of the twin-nailhead powered SR-71 start carts, although neither are on display.  I did get some pix of the Liberty L-12, though. 

 

I plan on copying the skull/crossbones/propeller insignia from the left side for hangar art one of these days.

 

The story goes that the 'Varga Girl' on the right side was originally painted nude, but at some point the old gal was given some modesty.

 

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Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)

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Matt,

We've never been to Dayton - you've just made it a 'must see'.  At a Service Member's request, Sal painted bomber nose art on a cigar box guitar (we build them gratis for those in the military).  She's your gal's sister:

sam7e.jpg

 

One more story from Dad's memoirs that speaks to that great Buick power.  It was from his training days at Walla Walla, before shipping out to Pacific:

 

There was a Navy fighter base at Moses Lake, WA just about 100 miles northwest of Walla Walla. We had a good-natured running battle with them. They would come over our base and drop rolls of toilet paper on the field. We had a hard time retaliating because B-24s were much slower, and they would spot us coming in and would scramble their Grumman F4Fs and chase us off. One day, Paul had the idea to sneak up on them by flying below the rim of the Columbia River Gorge to within a few miles of Moses Lake. It was scary, because we had to twist and turn to follow the river inside the canyon, but it worked like a charm. They never saw us coming until we were already over the field, and they got their year’s supply of toilet paper all at once.

 

 

Another time, quite by accident, we pulled the best trick on them. Fighter pilots, by nature, are cocky and aggressive and look condescendingly on bombers as trucks and the pilots as truck drivers. We were returning from a high altitude mission (flying about 22,000 feet), when we spotted a flight of F4Fs at about 5000 feet. Paul said, “Hang on”, and put our plane in a high-speed dive. By the time we were just above and behind them, but flying straight and level at our “red line” speed of 300 mph, Paul feathered the two outboard engines (that means he cut the power to those engines, and turned the props to put their edges forward, reducing drag). We screamed past them on two engines and doing 300 mph, which was well above their normal level flight speed of about 240 mph. That trick was the talk of the whole base for weeks to come, and the Navy pilots were significantly less cocky after that.

 

 

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I have been to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton a number of times as we lived in Dayton for a few years on one of our corporate moves.   I was fortunate enough to go through graduate school with a graduate of The Air Force Academy and became good friends through school.

 

When he was stationed at WP, my sons Cub Scout Troop got a tour of the Air Force Museum from him.  It was a great experience to get a lot of neat information on the different planes that only an Air Force Academy graduate could know.

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That's good stuff, Huntz!

 

My grandmother's family is from the west side of Ohio and we have a family reunion out there every 2 years.  Since 2004 we've been saying that we needed to visit the museum when in the area and in 2014 I finally made it in.  I'm excited that the new hangar will be opening this year because the Presidential/Experimental section was by far my favorite.  My wife was drooling over airplanes, I was drooling over engines (I am a propulsion systems engineer, after all)...

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