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Aircraft Tug Help


alphacharlie
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Hi All.

 

I am currently restoring this Aircraft Tug, can anyone give me any information on it.

 

It has no makers markings at all but i believe it may have been made by a company called Clark.

 

It has a Fowler 2 Cylinder Diesel engine which i believe is a Fowler 2DM, does anyone have a service guide?

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

Adam

 

tug2.jpg

tug1.jpg

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Hi Adam, what a dinky little critter!

 

I'm not sure it it would be a Clark as they were a U.S. Company and I cannot think they would have used a British Fowler engine - also they had various small machine designs around this era which whilst looking look vaguely similar are not identical in detail to your tug.

 

The set-back front axle is a classic British design feature of the era, but for the life of me I cannot think at the moment of the names of the few companies making these little tugs at that time.

 

The engine is quite a rarity!

Edited by N.O.S.
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Many Thanks for the swift reply.

 

I have searched high and low for information on this but haven't managed to come up with anything yet.

 

I did manage to find a pictures of one in action at a local costal battery.

 

The engine does run but needs a little work to get it up to scratch.

 

Wanstone1A.jpg

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Not sure it’s an aircraft tug/tractor, to small, baggage trolleys maybe or an industrial type taken into military service. The ones shown are used around what appears to be ammunition storage areas, which would be in line with a diesel motor. Those in the B/W photos have rounded edges to the radiator cowling as opposed to the one in the colour is sharp edged. Possibly one type is a later addition to the other but look related. A fun vehicle, nice to see make a good exhibit especially with a small trailer of the type in the photos hung on behind.

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A bit off topic but in the late 60's early 70's Richmond Ice Rink had a Planet tractor that was used to pull a scraper to flatten the ice on their smaller rink. I was much more interested in watching the bloke who drove it drifting it round the corners than practising my ice skating....

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It is amazing what still turns up, and in quite good condition too. F C Hibberd & Co also made small narrow gauge locomotives and I see that the headlights on the ones in the 'in service' photos are the same as the headlights used on narrow gauge locos that worked in coal mines and amunition depots from the late 30s onwards. This would suggest that those tugs had been specially ordered with explosion proofed electrics and if so would have had an exhaust 'conditioner' to trap any sparks coming out of the exhaust. On mines locos this was developed further to absorb carbon monoxide from the exhaust. I suspect that the longer rear chassis was to accomodate such an exhaust trap, note the cutaway in the footplate where the exhaust pipe could have come up to feed into the conditioner. The pipeing was usually done with ordinary iron water pipe, screwed into maleable iron elbows, the conditioner was usually a fairly simple box welded up from quite heavy (3/16" or 1/4" plate) with baffles in it and half full of water with a suitable chemical added to remove the carbon monoxide if needed. The exhaust gas was bubbled through this so the inside got very manky over a period of time. The battery box would also have been explosion proofed (gas tight) as would every switch and conduit. If you feel the urge to put it back to its original explosion proof state I can help with information on most of the electrical bits as I have a loco with this kit on it.

 

David

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Hi David.

 

Any information you can provide would be great, I'm still hunting for any pictures of one in service.

 

It is amazing what still turns up, and in quite good condition too. F C Hibberd & Co also made small narrow gauge locomotives and I see that the headlights on the ones in the 'in service' photos are the same as the headlights used on narrow gauge locos that worked in coal mines and amunition depots from the late 30s onwards. This would suggest that those tugs had been specially ordered with explosion proofed electrics and if so would have had an exhaust 'conditioner' to trap any sparks coming out of the exhaust. On mines locos this was developed further to absorb carbon monoxide from the exhaust. I suspect that the longer rear chassis was to accomodate such an exhaust trap, note the cutaway in the footplate where the exhaust pipe could have come up to feed into the conditioner. The pipeing was usually done with ordinary iron water pipe, screwed into maleable iron elbows, the conditioner was usually a fairly simple box welded up from quite heavy (3/16" or 1/4" plate) with baffles in it and half full of water with a suitable chemical added to remove the carbon monoxide if needed. The exhaust gas was bubbled through this so the inside got very manky over a period of time. The battery box would also have been explosion proofed (gas tight) as would every switch and conduit. If you feel the urge to put it back to its original explosion proof state I can help with information on most of the electrical bits as I have a loco with this kit on it.

 

David

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I drove a Planet for 5 months through the Summer of '78 at Butlins in Skegness, Lincolnshire. A Blue one, just like yours. We used it to transport frozen foods from the freezer warehouse at the far end of camp up to the York & Lincoln dining Halls. Best job I ever had, so just came online looking for a photograph. Did you ever sort out the engine?

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On 6/17/2021 at 5:17 PM, Hampsey said:

I drove a Planet for 5 months through the Summer of '78 at Butlins in Skegness, Lincolnshire. A Blue one, just like yours. We used it to transport frozen foods from the freezer warehouse at the far end of camp up to the York & Lincoln dining Halls. Best job I ever had, so just came online looking for a photograph. Did you ever sort out the engine?

I believe that could well be the one we have! We weer always told it had come from Butlins and it came to us in the early 1990's.  Unfortunately the clutch has just about had it on ours so it will likely be going up for sale.

 

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