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Hi all,

 

I dug out my old 1978 vintage Monogram C-47D that will be converted to an AC-47D using the Cutting Edge set.  This config will use the SUU-11 mini guns with the last one mounted in the open door, before being modded to cut out the last cabin window position.

 

I’ve  been digging around and can’t find a good reference for the position of the  66001 pneumatic flare launcher.  From the little I did find, it’s on the LH side, forward of the mini guns but I failed to find a consistent opening on the outside.  One photo from the interior showed it in a window while another (still from the interior) showed it below the window belt.

 

Any help will be appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Mike B

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I have no clue, but I wonder if they did have a launcher at all? My impression was that those flares were "hand launched".... Do you have any pictures?

 

 

HAJO

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They were LUU-2 parachute flares. Hand launched out the cargo door opening. They were stored standing up in an aluminum bin

on the right rear of the cabin. Extra 7.62 ammo was stored in front of the guns to help maintain weight and balance on the aircraft.

The flares had a timer on the top and a lanyard that clipped to a ring on the floor. When tossed out the lanyard started the timer

and pulled the cap to deploy the parachute before the flare ignited.  Hope this helps!

 

Cheers....Ron

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Here are a few photos I dug up from the internet.  I have no clue who the originators were but provide full credit if anyone recognizes them.

 

As can be seen, there were at least two installations around LH window #3 (when counting from the nav station bulkhead).

 

The launcher is also referenced in the T.O. 1C-47(A)D-1 and seems to have been manufactured by Gary Aircraft Corp.  I did find some bankruptcy info on them but nothing more on the launcher..

 

I planned to use the large bin next to the cargo door as well for the SUU-2.  If no info is available, I’ll save myself the headache of scratchbuilding yet another part of this kit.

 

Thanks for the inputs so far fellas!

 

Mike B

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Aviation Archives recently posted an AC-47 T.O.:

 

http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/2021/10/douglas-ac-47d-flight-manual.html

 

The T.O. says:

 

"A launcher is located to fire Mark 24 flares through an opening in floor of the cargo compartment".

 

There is also a "general arrangement" drawing that shows the flare launcher at the very rear of the cargo compartment near the floor.

 

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9 hours ago, KursadA said:

Aviation Archives recently posted an AC-47 T.O.:

 

http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/2021/10/douglas-ac-47d-flight-manual.html

 

The T.O. says:

 

"A launcher is located to fire Mark 24 flares through an opening in floor of the cargo compartment".

 

There is also a "general arrangement" drawing that shows the flare launcher at the very rear of the cargo compartment near the floor.

 

Exactly.  Too bad the T.O. isn’t consistent between the description and illustration in Fig. 1-1 and the photos of the flare launcher in Figs. 4-1 thru 4-4.

 

I also found an exterior photo on page 9 in Larry Davis’ GUNSHIPS (1982) showing the window mounted launcher with the early SUU-11 config but no exterior photos with the later MXU-470 config.

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On 1/24/2022 at 12:20 PM, aircommando130 said:

They were LUU-2 parachute flares. Hand launched out the cargo door opening. They were stored standing up in an aluminum bin

on the right rear of the cabin. Extra 7.62 ammo was stored in front of the guns to help maintain weight and balance on the aircraft.

The flares had a timer on the top and a lanyard that clipped to a ring on the floor. When tossed out the lanyard started the timer

and pulled the cap to deploy the parachute before the flare ignited.  Hope this helps!

 

Cheers....Ron

that's the only kind I ever saw in use, and we had the ship out of DaNang for a visit at least once a week. 

gary

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Keeping this thread alive. Another photo from around 1966-1967 showing a flare storage box forward of the miniguns.


I realized that even Cutting Edge provided the window-mounted flare dispenser but it’s not too accurate and looks more like a smoke extraction duct.  I guess I’ll work from available photos and share progress when available.

 

Any other memories out there?

 

Mike B

 

 

image.jpeg

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I'm aware of the physical structure of the fuselage side and that a window opening could be made just forward of the door, but I'm asking if anybody knows WHY there is a difference in these installations?

 

ac-47.jpg.a828fcd13be85dd2f3122312442270d4.jpg

 

gkya03qsvfqz.jpg.b49f117502312b06745cef75386e3656.jpg

 

C2j

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7 hours ago, Cubs2jets said:

I'm aware of the physical structure of the fuselage side and that a window opening could be made just forward of the door, but I'm asking if anybody knows WHY there is a difference in these installations?

 

ac-47.jpg.a828fcd13be85dd2f3122312442270d4.jpg

 

gkya03qsvfqz.jpg.b49f117502312b06745cef75386e3656.jpg

 

C2j

IIRC it was to keep the door clear. 

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I browsed through my picture-collection for the AC-47 (stuff I downloaded in the internet) but didn´t spot any opening that would be needed for an automatic flare-dispenser - or do I make a mental mistake here?

 

 

HAJO

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just to add to this slightly. Those photos are Spooky (see the mountains), and the time frame will be 67 (maybe slightly earlier) thru early 68. Sometime around June they repainted the airframe a dark charcoal (possibly even August). There were five to seven different airframes used, and the others were CBL'd. I never knew there were that many different airframes used till a guy in my VFW post told me (he was a crew member at one time). I may see him next Tuesday evening, and I'll ask him about the flares for you all. 

gary

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On 1/31/2022 at 4:36 AM, Hajo L. said:

I browsed through my picture-collection for the AC-47 (stuff I downloaded in the internet) but didn´t spot any opening that would be needed for an automatic flare-dispenser - or do I make a mental mistake here?

 

 

HAJO

 

According to the manual it looks like the opening was underneath the fuselage near the tailwheel, and I doubt many people crept under an actual AC-47 and photographed the opening. Lots of eyewitness reports (such as those in this thread) and period movie clips from CriticalPast.com clearly show flares being stored close to the door, and manually thrown out of the door, so perhaps it was installed in a few aircraft later in the war. 

 

acflare.jpg

Edited by KursadA
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Item 19 is supposedly the flare launcher next the the aft cargo door, where the flare box is commonly seen in later photos.  Item 10 is in the ‘toilet’ compartment.

 

There were various versions since Spooky first saw service including likely field mods.

 

Mike B

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Back in the days of Spooky, in the lae 60s, there was an incident where one of the flares malfunctioned and ignited in the aircraft.  One of the guys in the back took the burning flare and carried it to the cargo door and managed to drop it out before there was any serious damage.

As a result, he received the medal of honor and I think was medically discharged due to his injuries, which were sever, most likely losing the use of his hands.

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2 hours ago, ikar said:

Back in the days of Spooky, in the lae 60s, there was an incident where one of the flares malfunctioned and ignited in the aircraft.  One of the guys in the back took the burning flare and carried it to the cargo door and managed to drop it out before there was any serious damage.

As a result, he received the medal of honor and I think was medically discharged due to his injuries, which were sever, most likely losing the use of his hands.

 

That would be Sgt John Levitow...loadmaster Medal of Honor wearer. He was rehabed and flew C-141A's at Norton AFB.

Later he was discharged. I met him at Travis AFB when he came through to see another loadmaster that was in the 4th 

SOS with him and was at the time fling with me in the C-5A Galaxy. He had shrapnel wounds in his legs. The parachute flare

was smoking from the shell hit and he tossed it out the door and it ignited going under the tail of the aircraft.

 

Cheers...Ron

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Thanks for the missing parts.  It's been a long time since I went over the story and even then I didn't get all of it.

I remember having a C-5 land at Utapao in 71 and getting a shot of it from a Pedro copter.  That M-715 truck looked pretty small againist it.  I saw a lot more of them in 73 when I was at Dover and even got to fly in one for a airshow in Cleveland.

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23 hours ago, aircommando130 said:

 

That would be Sgt John Levitow...loadmaster Medal of Honor wearer. He was rehabed and flew C-141A's at Norton AFB.

Later he was discharged. I met him at Travis AFB when he came through to see another loadmaster that was in the 4th 

SOS with him and was at the time fling with me in the C-5A Galaxy. He had shrapnel wounds in his legs. The parachute flare

was smoking from the shell hit and he tossed it out the door and it ignited going under the tail of the aircraft.

 

Cheers...Ron

 

FWIW: The personnel folks at Norton screwed up and didn't process the paperwork he needed to stay in.  He received the MOH as a civilian.

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