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My Flying Control Jeep - The Ongoing Story


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Earlier this year, I started to change my Jeep more along the lines of a Flying Control vehicle. Lynne didn't want the whole vehicle checkered, so I started out with a warning checkered flag and Flying Control across the screen. This was seen on the 'Route To Victory' tour.

In early August, after a bit of searching around, I picked up a second summer top for the Jeep for the bargain price of £20! That was painted checkered to help the overall impression, but Lynne still didn't want the Jeep to go checks.

After joining a USAAF themed forum, someone posted some pictures of original Flying Control Jeeps, one of which shows a jeep with a checkered canvas, but the rest appears to have remained green. Now having seen an original like this, I felt happy to keep the bodywork of my Jeep green.

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Test Drive - March 18th By mid March 2020, the coronavirus had caused the cancellation of the York Crank Up, "Against the Odds" at Elvington, Blyth Battery Goes to War, Heugh Battery and Barnard

The display brought the neighbours out to get some pictures, then they stayed out. The daughter of the guy over the road brought her music decks out and started playing music, a nice variety including

It's the big day! Peace at last. USAAF on the left and RAF on the right.

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Having looked at the other Jeep pictures, I decided my Jeep still needed further work. On the original F/C Jeeps, several of them had a lighted direction box on the back to give instructions to a pilot following the Jeep. I liked the look of this and set to making one.

Power will come from the Jeep trailer socket with the arrows connected to the Jeep indicators, 'STOP' connected to the Brake lights, and 'GO' to the Headlights. The mounting position will be high up on the rear of the Jeep, leaving as much of the checkered canvas showing but not too high as to stop it from fitting through the garage door!

The first step was the basic light box, which will have dividers within it to separate the various light compartments. It will attach to the Hood bows with a steel framework.

fc6.jpg

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The box was dry on Saturday morning which allowed a good sanding, then the dividers were fitted to form the various light compartments. Bulbs and wiring were also fitted. The bulb fittings were also home made to save money.

fc6.jpg

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To hold the light box to the Jeep, I welded up a framework that bolts to the hood bows. Two half round sections bolt to the bow and then the frame is made from 1 1/4 x 1/8 steel strip. The second picture shows a close up of the mount. In this view, the front of the Jeep would be to the left. The box sits on top of the long horizontal strip.

fc8.jpg

 

 

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The steel frame was primered on Monday evening, and had its green added Tuesday. The box was also painted two coats of black, so that just needed the glazing screwing on. With all the paint dry and hardened off tonight, the box was bolted to the frame and the frame fitted to the Jeep. Here's a close view of the frame mounted to the hood bows.

fc16.jpg

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Next step for the jeep is a radio to talk to the aircraft. I wanted an aircraft BC-348 radio, but at £150 complete on Ebay, I wasn't prepared to spend that. I want the case empty for a 12v battery and other supplies inside, so my other option was to make one. Here's two original BC-348's.

bc348a.jpg

Steve

 

 

 

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The front face of the dummy radio.

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Latest progress. The radio box is now in primer, and just needs a few areas filling and sanding, and most of the knobs and dials are made and painted. Handles and a few other small components still need making. A divider inside the box keeps the two batteries separated from the inverter compartment. I also still need to make some form of mounting tray.

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You could always stick a cheap supermarket battery amplifier and a MP3 player inside. Thats what I've done total cost £6.50 from Tesco. Use Audacity free from the web to record voice messages and add static then just loop it. Very effective with the side effect of playing music while you go. :-D

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I don't need to add an MP3 player, I'm ahead of you already! The new 'radio' box is just to hold two 12volt batteries and inverter to run the CD player in the other crate in the back of the Jeep, which has two large speakers that can carry the sound a long way. It was originally powered by a caravan battery and inverter in another wooden crate on the right wheel arch.

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In addition to 1940's music, I've got several aircraft engine sounds intermixed. The number of people who hear the aircraft and look up is comical! Bodge and I are also hoping to put together some Flying control to Aircraft Radio Chatter to mix in with the aircraft sounds.

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Well it's almost finished now. Last night after work I spent 8 hours in the workshop getting it to the almost complete stage ( just waiting for some toggle switches through the post ).

First job after I got the 'chemiwood' was to make the handles on the sides of the radio. I started with a block the correct length and height, but wide enough for two handles. The profile was then cut on the bandsaw, and the shape sanded smooth. The piece was then run through the saw lengthways to create the two basic handles.

 

 

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Then final sanding to shape was done using 'Permagrit' needle files before finishing with wet and dry paper. Here's the handles after final finishing, just awaiting the mounting holes to be drilled; and the painted handle mounted to the radio. Real slot head machine screws are used for the details on the front face of the radio.

 

 

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Last pics now with the radio in its virtually complete state ( until the toggle switches arrive ). I'm very pleased with the way it has turned out, for very little cost and around 24 hours work. I could do with making a data plate for the front too, but haven't decided on the best way to achieve that yet.

 

Once the switches arrive, they will be wired up to isolate the batteries from the mains inverter which will fit in the space in the right hand end of the radio. Next step will be to make a mount to fit it to the Jeep right hand wheel arch.

 

Steve

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The toggle switch arrived to day, so that was fitted tonight, along with the batteries and inverter. A mount was also made to raise the radio up a little in the Jeep and allow access to the rear locker. Tomorrow night it should be fitted in the Jeep.

fc13.jpg

fc12.jpg

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