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Jared

Douglas Tugmaster I.D and history required

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Hi there,

Is there anyone out there who knows anything about this machine? Douglas said it could possibly be based on the P111 but I really can't see it. It's so much bigger!

It has a Rolls Royce C turbocharged engine that was in production from the 50's-70's and it has a massive winch on the back of it that moves so slowly you'd hardly notice it. The tug was yellow at some point in its life before being painted by the RAF presumably when some sort of take over happened? It was 1st registered on the public road after MOD use in 1988, was used up until 1994 and has sat quietly since.

Now it's time to crack on with the restoration. If there is anyone that can help with an I.d and who might know the history of it then please get in touch! You'd be a massive help even if you only pointed me in the right direction.

Many thanks,

Jared

 

Ps- you'll notice one of the drawings is what I've measured and designed ready for making a fabrication cutting list

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Posted (edited)

Can you show a clear photograph of the badge mounted to the front panel (radiator) ??

 

 

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btw The winch apparently manuf. by - Darlington Engineering (Gateshead) Ltd. I suspect was a Assoc. / Sub's. Co. belonging - Hugh Wood & Co. Ltd. (later known as Huwood International) - factory located on T.V.T.E.

Edited by ruxy
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Could be related to the Douglas Sentinel, the front end is different and the sentinel didn't have a cab so possibly a civvie variant?

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Huwood factory demolished some years ago. Possible Navy?

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Posted (edited)

The badge does look a bit Sentinel .

 

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I visited the Huwood factory T.V.T.E. regular from 1970's until probably mid-1990's (I think it closed soon after my last visit - it was dead in the water). It was the run-down in the British coal mining industry - that probably 90% of their work output was for , so they were just left with hard-rock & export business.Shop floor always well stacked until take-over by FKI , then all they seemed to manufacture was roller belting plant , although they were still doing lots of gear-cutting.

 

Not so long ago since it was all dropped - I drove past abt. 5 - 7 years ago and hardly anything left.

 

I always knew T.V.T.E. quite well I would say and can't recall a specific dedicated winch manufacture factory. Thecla Engineering (that did smaller gear-cutting) - in fact took over 'ownership' of the Darlington winch manufacture . I think Thecla still exist but may now be under another name - so that would be where to target for enquiries about the winch.

Edited by ruxy
spelin
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Posted (edited)

I agree it does kinda resemble the sentinel, which was our 1st thoughts, but there are so many differences in so many ways that I don't think it can be. It's massive! Having gone around our machine measuring etc and then looking at the sentinel plans it's quick to see that the similarities really are slim.

The problem is that I can't get any definitive answer from Douglas. One minute it's one thing and the next it's another. Rumour has it it is one of 12 machines that were deployed to Diversion airfields across the uk (at the time 12 diversion airfields were in use) but this went cold. Since that chat with them they haven't suggested anything other than "we think it might be related to the P111, but it might not. That's all we can help with, sorry"

I've managed to get a pic of the stamp plate, hopefully this might unlock another door somewhere. Also a pic of the front drivers side, I'll get a full frontal shot in the next couple days. Curiously it's also been painted green not the usual blue/grey RAF colours

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Edited by Jared

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Posted (edited)

You would expect Douglas could identify from that Ser. No. However the ground anchor hand winch seems very rudimentary - possibly for very irregular use - so not bother with hydraulic raise / lower ?, as does the box section frame for the glam streamlining - seems to me as if another firm has adapted a standard model Douglas Tug to use as a soft ground recovery winch tractor ? So much seems hardly in-keeping with Rolls-Royce propulsion ,,

Edited by ruxy
spelin
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Not a lot i can add about tug. The Darlington winch was a very powerful piece of kit i believe the shear pin on the drive shaft was designed to break at around 25 ton line pull. The anchor was raised and lowered by the winch. The same model winch was used on some models of the mighty antar for loading tanks

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Heavy Aircraft Tractor Mk.3:

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It would never have been painted blue-grey, as vehicles operating within the flying area of an airfield were painted yellow originally. Later all MT was painted in the universal "Green, Boring, for the lack of imagination" with yellow markings for those that need them.

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Bryan you truly are a hero! Amazing!!! Everything you said ties in as the yellow is most definitely under the boring green. That is without a doubt the 1st picture I've seen of it in all its glory, my mate is gonna... well I can't really say but he's gonna love it! i suppose it's too much to ask if you know any extra info on it, or the whereabouts of said info?

To everyone else that has taken the time to reply to this thread I thank you too, to some extent you have all played a part. I'll be sure to add a video below (if you can add videos?) of it running and will also keep you all updated on the project.

Again many many thanks and please don't consider this a closed door yet as any and all further information would be much appreciated!

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The "whereabouts of said info" is the spare desk next to mine at work :D more seriously, the illustrations came from Air Publication 4995A "Douglas Heavy Aircraft Tractor, Mk.3". We can get it copied but it might cost a bit, alternatively your friend can arrange to come to the RAF Museum and photograph the lot himself for £7.20 (plus travel costs!).

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Douglas don't seem to hold much info on older vehicles, I think what they have is limited, I own a Douglas turbo taskmaster tractor and I contacted them for info on it, They couldn't help by serial number but i sent pictures and they sent me the correct manuals which were very useful but I think it was luck more than judgement.

 

They couldn't help with drawings etc as apparently older records had been destroyed years ago. certainly looks 50's-60's. The sentinel/douglas tug were 50's they had rolls royce engines and darlington winches but were much bigger than the one you have.

 

Mine is 1971 and based on the Davidbrown 990 tractor weighs in at 4 3/4 ton but is smaller than the one you have.

 

They seemed to use different chassis at diffent times.

 

Regards

 

Matt

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I can't tell you anything about the vehicle, but I can tell you a little bit about the Winch. It was made by Darlington Engineering co. (Gateshead)Ltd., who I worked for as a mechanical fitter from 1972 to 1981.  This was a private company that was based in Queensway North, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead on Tyne, from the early 1940s to 1981. There was no connection with Huwood at any time.

The company went into liquidation in early 1981, and the remnants were acquired by Thecla Engineering in Darlington. (Who had supplied Darlington Engineering with wormshafts, wormwheels and gearing for many years) Thecla continued to build Darlington Winches for a few more years, before also going to the wall.  I believe this was the end of the line for Darlington Winches. 

The winch in the photos is what we called a POG Model 80 ( POG refering to the Pay-On Gear for the rope) If my memory is correct, this winch had a line pull rated at 80000 LB, (about 35 tons )which I believe could be doubled using snatch blocks. This was the highest capacity standard winch in the range. There should be a cast brass plate on the winch base angles with the model and serial number.

We supplied and fitted winches to all major truck manufacturers, Thornycroft, Leyland, Scammell, Volvo  etc. We also supplied and fitted tractor mounted and trailer mounted versions and special purpose static winches.  In the fifties the company had a major contract for the MOD which kept them in work for years.

 

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I'd completely forgotten about this tractor.

I did  little digging, and chassis number N244 was assigned RAF registration 63AN61, supplied to contract KM/2E/536/CB 21(c)2.

It was taken on charge on 19th February 1969 and assigned the same day to Brize Norton. This is the only movement on the record card until it was struck of charge on 29th September 1987.

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On 22/05/2017 at 2:06 PM, RAFMT said:

The "whereabouts of said info" is the spare desk next to mine at work :D more seriously, the illustrations came from Air Publication 4995A "Douglas Heavy Aircraft Tractor, Mk.3". We can get it copied but it might cost a bit, alternatively your friend can arrange to come to the RAF Museum and photograph the lot himself for £7.20 (plus travel costs!).

Thank you, how can we go about receiving a copy of said info?

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On 17/05/2017 at 7:11 PM, ruxy said:

You would expect Douglas could identify from that Ser. No. However the ground anchor hand winch seems very rudimentary - possibly for very irregular use - so not bother with hydraulic raise / lower ?, as does the box section frame for the glam streamlining - seems to me as if another firm has adapted a standard model Douglas Tug to use as a soft ground recovery winch tractor ? So much seems hardly in-keeping with Rolls-Royce propulsion ,,

I believe the small hand Winch was a later add on as you rightly say. Unknown why though

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On 23/11/2017 at 9:37 AM, RAFMT said:

I'd completely forgotten about this tractor.

I did  little digging, and chassis number N244 was assigned RAF registration 63AN61, supplied to contract KM/2E/536/CB 21(c)2.

It was taken on charge on 19th February 1969 and assigned the same day to Brize Norton. This is the only movement on the record card until it was struck of charge on 29th September 1987.

AMAZING! Thank you so much! 

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Thank you so much for the amazing response guys, we’ve learnt so much since first posting this and we’re incredibly thankful for your help.

Unfortunately that being said with every answer comes more questions. Do any of you know if there’s a way of finding out what it’s job would of been doing in service? How many were built, when this particular one was built and what it was used for? Possible pre service history as well if any?

Again any info would be much appreciated even if it’s just a point in the right direction for us to follow. 

Many thanks again

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YOU might like to know RAF registration numbers  63 AN 56 to 63 AN 98 are all listed as  DOUGLAS HEAVY AIRCRAFT

TRACTORS

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