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CG-4A Manufacturer Differences

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2006/12/25 13:29:09 (permalink)
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CG-4A Manufacturer Differences

In poking around the web, I have noticed several differences in the manufacturing methods of the gliders.  Two specific items are the seats- various different types used- and the variety of Pitot masts on the cockpit.  I am wondering if anybody has done any documentation of how the different manufacturers of the gliders varied in their construction methods.  My pitot tube mast is welded to the cockpit tubular, and I have no clue about the manufacturer but I suspect it was an earlier manufacturer due to the scarcity of skilled welders during WWII and the detachable pitot tube masts I have seen on CG-4's with 44 or 45 AF numbers.  I also am missing any of the seats, as you can see in my other post looking for parts.  I know the gliders are rare in general but I am wondering if anybody has payed attention to this facet of the aircraft. 
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/25 13:32:58 (permalink)
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Hopefully you can get some information at http://www.pointvista.com/WW2GliderPilots/
 
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/26 14:53:26 (permalink)
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Cadet,
Looking at your image it appears the tripod to which the nose lift cable attached is missing. The pitot, from the XCG-4 to final production on the CG-4A, was clamp/bolted to the front leg of this tripod at a point approximately 1/3 the distance down between the top (back) edge of the cockpit and the top of the tripod. The mounting spot was different on the Pigs, the experimental one of a kind Griswold nose and the CG-15. 

The pilot seat support tubing was basically the same in all CG-4A's and was welded.  The difference in the wood seat was more defined by the sub-contractor that made the seat. Most were plywood, bent to shape.

If your glider is early production (at least prior to July 1943) it should have the SCR-585-A radio system control box and talk knob installed.  If you find those items please let me know as I would like to come and see them.
 
Charles Day

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/28 09:15:39 (permalink)
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This info is probably redundant, but will pass along to those interested. NASM holds many of the original WACO records including manufacturing drawings at:
http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/findaids/waco/waco_frames.html
 
An example is drawing no. 28041 in box 133, folder 4.
http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/findaids/waco/waco_sec_47.html
This location contains the radio installation drawing. Judging by the date (42), it is likely referring to the mentioned SCR-585, which would include the "pull-to-talk" snake and control box pictorial & location. I think the AN/ASC-1 command set came along later. -Adrian
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/28 10:05:20 (permalink)
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This may help in understanding why the pitot location is varied.

This information comes from my employment at Boeing (Renton), Seattle.

The pitot tube installation has to be in UNDISTURBED AIR, that is not affected by the aircraft design. This is why the installation can be found in various locations.

Also, when a modification is made to a production aircraft, it sometimes became necessary to relocate the pitot head installation, due to interference with the modification

Jim :-)


James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/28 12:47:39 (permalink)
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Adrian,  have you an image of the AN/ASC-1?  I have never seen one or seen it mentioned in CG-4A stuff.   Per information googled, it had a 500 foot range which was almost the limit for the CG-4A, especiallly on double tow.  That is, the 350 foot nylon stretched 25% or more.  350' X 1.25 = 438'  Glider on long tow 425' X 1.25=531'.   For the CG-4A, I have seen only the SCR-585-A or the inter-phone, wire tied to the tow line, for communication.  A lot of the CG-4A gliders had neither, but I have not been able to determine which by manufacturer.  Apparently, most of the Cessna rush production, late 1942, gliders had no communication. All Ford production at least to July 1943 had the SCR-585-A.  The AN-ASC-1 may have been post war?

Jim, I agree on the pitot mounting spot. All the CG-4A photos I have except one show it in the same basic spot on the forward leg of the nose opening tripod. The variant is at the top of the leg as were the XPG-1, XPG-2, XPG-2A and production PG-2A's .  The air movement caused by the props could have mandated this slightly higher position on the Pigs. Manufacturer or field mounting at top of the leg on a CG-4A could have ocurred.  Apparently because of the added weight or longer nose, the one and only Griswold nose lift tripod had a steel plate extension on the top of the tripod for greater leverage? and the pitot was mounted at the top immediately below this plate. The CG-15A and XPG-3 had a bi-pod nose lift which was taller or longer than the CG-4A tri-pod. The lift cable attached to the longer rear leg just above the half-way point and the pitot attached to the very top of that leg. The air flow caused by the more streamlined nose may have dictated this higher spot for the pitot. 



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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/28 23:35:02 (permalink)
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To all:
         Thank you very much for the replies.  I appreciate it very much and am really enjoying learning about this project I have here.  Here are some answers:
 
1.  I do have the two aft legs of the tripod, in good shape, cable attach point in good shape.  There are pieces of the front leg, but it is pretty much toast- enough to figure out what size tubing to get.  Any detailed photos of the bracket which attached the Pitot tube to the mast leg?  If I didn't mention it, all three legs were welded to the cockpit tubular. 
 
2.  No evidence of the push to talk switch anywhere.  Where should I look for it?  There is an intercom junction box, as well as the attached connector near the tow line jaws- it is taped over with red electrical tape in some of my photos- more are shown below.  So the SCR 585 wasn't in the aircraft made after 1943?  Is that fact and the presence of the intercom box an indicator it was built after 1943? 
 
3.  As for seats, I have seen at least three different types of seats- one looked like wooden version of typical WWII aircraft bucket seats, the other had a straight back with curve at the bottom toward the cheese box, and the last type I saw was curved at the top.  I can gain access to get measurements of a Commonwealth manufactured one, which were actually built by Warren MacArthur, but really am asking to determine what type of cockpit I have. 
 
4.  Any guesses based on the following photos which manufacturer I have?  Also, can you recommend any good books on the gliders during WWII?  I have heard of a title with "Neptune" in it, but haven't heard of any others.  Lastly, I have Babcock, Cessna, Ford Motor Co, G and A aircraft, Gibson Refrigerator, General Aircraft, Laister Kaufman, National Aircraft Division, Northwestern Aeronautical Company, Pratt Read and Co, Ridgefield, Robertson, Timm, and Ward Furniture company as manufacturers.  Am I correct to assume General Aircraft was the parent company of Commonwealth? 
Were there any other manufacturers? 
 
 

My control column, which I never knew was a control column before I got this glider. 

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 05:11:58 (permalink)
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John,
1. I don't have any photos that are closeup of the pitot mtg. brackets. They do show the tube curving from the leg around to the back of the pitot. Some of that kind of stuff was govenment furnished to the manufacturer and part numbers, and detail does not show in my parts manual.

2. Your pictures show that you do not have the push/pull talk knob. The junction box for the Mic and headphones and the push/pull knob were mounted below the instrument panel on the horizontal tube.

Is the connector under the red tape a three prong male connector?

I do yet not know the full details of factory installation of the SCR-585-A or exactly when the dual steering was begun. I do know, by dated photos, that Ford installed the radio through June 1943.  It is about 80% certain that Gibson never installed a radio  and, based on GP statements, most of the Cessna gliders which were built and delivered for training in 1942 did not have a radio or inter-phone.

3. I have not studied seat shapes but have been under the impression that the bucket type seats were in the 13A and 15A but not the 4A.  Again, I think the variations in the wood part of the seat had more to do with the seat mfg. than with the prime contractor who assembled the glider. This type of "change" would have been one of the 7,000+ changes in the CG-4A.  Remember though that the majority of these changes approved by Wright Field were to accomodate manufacturing capabilities or idiosyncracies of particular prime contractors and the subs who were making the components.

4. Guessing who made your nose would be based more on where you found it than what it looks like.  In some cases the mfg. put a metal ID plate on the cargo frame or nose.

Mfg: L-Kauffmann. Others, the designer, WACO and G & A.
 
I have not studied the subcontractors fully but have recently discovered that sub-contractor, Steinway, except for the steel frame, virtually built the entire CG-4A for General Aircraft. 

To my knowledge General Aircraft was not parent of Commonwealth which was originally a contract to Rearwin Engine.  However,  if you have proof that General owned Commonwealth, you are correct!

Because you have dual steering, yours is later than middle of 1943.  Around a third or so of the 1943 contract CG-4A's were delivered in 1944.  There were no 1944 contracts for the CG-4A. If your nose was not found near a training base or base that had CG-4A's after 1945 it would have been discarded probably by the person who bought the crated nose after 1945 and likely would be 1945 contract delivered in 1945.. 

The only good book I can recommend might be a big help to you as it contains over 300 photos and most of them are 8x10 and 4x5.  The book is Silent Ones.  Email me and I will give you details.

Charles Day

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 09:42:24 (permalink)
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The AN-ASC-1 may have been post war?

 
Both AN/ACS-1 and ACS-2 (increased range) glider/tow plane communication systems are listed in an Air Technical Service Command publication dated 15 November 1944 where they were described as "Airborne induction field communication equipment between glider and towplane". I suspect the development of these systems grew out of a view that the lack of radio security betrayed the type of mission.
 
Since these systems appear not to be radio in the traditional sense, I have no TM images of them. Whether either system was made operational and actually used during wartime missions is not clear. -Adrian
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 10:14:50 (permalink)
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Adrian,
The date 15 Nov 1944 and words "induction field" lead me to believe the AN/ACS-1 was what is referred to as the voice powered inter-phone system.  I have sent questionaire to my "man who was there" to see if he remembers.

Charles Day


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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 11:02:38 (permalink)
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Adrian,
Can't get this to paste:

www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/electronics.html

Based on this information, the AN/ACS-1 or ACS-2 was NOT the wire on tow line system.

My man does not remember the systems by number and can not comment.

Charles Day

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 17:01:37 (permalink)
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Thanks again for the commentary.  I will get more photos of the cockpit and show you what my intercom box looks like.  I'll also get a better photo of the connector- I looked at it before I taped it up prior to moving it home and haven't seen it since December 11th. 
 
Dumb question time:
 
1.  Dual steering?  Were earlier gliders single control with one set of rudder pedals and control wheel? 
 
2.  It originally came out of New Jersey, but I am chasing more of its history and hope to acquire more.   I'm assuming it's a house/shed construction orphan but how did they get dispersed after the war?  Were they sold by the War Assets Administration at the manufacturer's location, or were they sold from depots? 
 
3.  Where were the ID plates affixed on the nose? 
 
4.  Have you gone through any of the documentation on those 7000+ changes, specifically to unveil subcontractors?
 
5.  Why were there no 1944 Contracts for CG-4A's? 
 
Some commentary and resources I have found:
 
1.  I have always found great information that does not always mean anything until you get to know an aircraft better in the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce Aircraft Yearbook, specifically the war years 1941 to 1945.  Not everybody is listed but for example, they note in 1944 that regarding General Aircraft "...some additional innovations in the use for which the gliders could be put was carried out.  Notable among these was the design of a small trailer which could be carried in the glider." 
 
2.  Rearwin was sold to Empire Ordnance Corporation in 1942, basically for the Le Blonde lathes, and Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation was begun late in 42 or early 1943 (I'm not sure) to cover Ken Royce, Rearwin products, and other aviation concerns.  There is more information on this on www.rearwin.com.  Rearwin and Commonwealth built real nice airplanes.  I have had the opportunity to poke around a Cloudster, and sold a Skyranger for an estate last year.  The only reason I mentioned General Aircraft is that somewhere in remote recesses of what I've found, there was mentioned an affiliation with General Aircraft.  Also, Commonwealth moved to Valley Stream NY in 1946, building the last of the Skyrangers in the old Columbia Aircraft Corporation plant. 
 
3.  I don't know if you are aware of Walter Soplata's collection, but I was told by a well known collector that a good number of his sheds are made from CG-4A crates.  Does he have any gliders? 
 
I really appreciate the dialog and if you are not too far away come visit this project.  I'll email you about the book. 
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 17:34:20 (permalink)
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John...I am a Volunteer at the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum located on what was the Atterbury Army Air Field, constructed in the same time frame as Camp Atterbury, in Indiana.
The base was renamed Bakalar Air Force Base for the Korean and Vietnam wars.
It is now the Columbus, Indiana, Municipal Airport.
 
Glider pilots were trained at Atterbury Army Air Field, and at Seymour Army Air Field at Seymour Indiana.
 
A CG-4A glider was obtained in Kansas and the nose is under restoration.....this  CG-4A was manufactured at the Annhauser-Busch factory in St Louis, MO.,
 
The ID tags on this nose section are in the nose,...the Annhauser Buswch serial number is on the vertical support at the left side top, and the USAAF serial number is on the vertical support on the right side.
 
After the war,  the  surplus gliderw were sold...the CG-4A gliders came in 5 large wooden packing crates...farmers would purchase 4-5 complete glider sets to obain the wood in the crates to build their homes...good lumber not being available at that time.  The glider parts were left in the open to deteriroate and the metal frames to rust.
 
The Atterbury Air Museum glider only has the nose section in restoration, however we have the rest of the glider in storage.
 
The URL for the Atterbury-Bakalar AIr Museum is  http://www.atterburybakalarairmuseum.org/
 
The volume is LOUD so b e prepared...it cannot be adjusted at the URL.
 
There is a photo of the Nose of the glider in the WW II Glider pilots section.
 
Jim :-)

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 21:26:07 (permalink)
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Jim,
I was down there several years ago with Darlyle Watters delivering parts for your CG-4A nose but did not know you had the glider serial number.

Would it be possible for you or someone in the museum to email me the glidier serial/ tail number?

Charles Day

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/29 22:59:03 (permalink)
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John,
The original design and both XCG-4 were single steering.  The  steering wheel could be swiveled over to the other pilot by removing a lock pin.  Same as with the SCR radio, single steering was in a lot of the 1943 deliveries and in Ford deliveries at least until July 1943 . I am pretty sure that all 750 Cessna gliders in 1942 were single steering.  None of the CG-4A gliders had a dual set of pedals. Only the pilot had pedals even with dual steering.

I have not found much documentation on any of the 7,000 changes.  I am still looking.
The surplus crated gliders were sold out of depots.

Glider demand was on again off again. 1943 contracts were for a bit over 10,000 articles and many of those were delivered in 1944.  Demand rose after Normandy and Market.  The Army was looking more toward the 13A and the 10A for Japan, then contracts for more 4A's were let for 1945.  All told, around 19,091 were contracted. 5,190  were cancelled. After deducting the Pigs, XCG-15 and CG-4B and six "ghosts" credited to Ridgefield for which there are no tail numbers there were 13,903  CG-4A gliders delivered.

Is General Aircraft credited with designing the 1/4 Ton trailer?  Except for the 1945 "paper" floors, the CG-4A floor was designed to carry 13 men, Jeep, howitzer, anti-tank gun, 1/4 Ton trailer.  The dozer and scraper were after thoughts but the wood floor could carry them.

I don't know about Walter Soplata.  This spring a 1943 vintage warehouse in Lubbock , TX was torn down.  When the owner discovered USAAF contract numbers on some boards used in the roof and interior walls, he called the museum.  They have some of the boards in the museum now.

Charles Day
 

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/30 10:48:49 (permalink)
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Sorry for the error.  I woke up in the middle of the night telling myself I left out the word brake when talking about the pedals.  The brake pedals were the only pedals the co-pilot did not have.

Charles Day

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/30 11:50:21 (permalink)
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Charles,
            Bantam designed the jeep trailer.  Whatever this item I quoted was, it was designed by General and aimed specifically at the glider program.  I am guessing they applied for some airborne test board project and the trailer was the result.  It would be interesting to see photos of the trailer if they exist. 
            Walter Soplata has a huge airplane collection which is world famous.  He doesn't invite people to come see his stuff but many people have journeyed there over the years and documented what is there.  Do a web search on his name and you will probably find photos. 
             Are there any other telltales on the vintage of the cockpit? 
 
While writing this, I just thought of something on the yoke I have.  Look at this photo:

See the little knob on the upper casting?  Is that the swing over lock?  Is this a single control that was modified to dual control, or were all the dual yokes manufactured like this? 
 
 
 
 
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/30 14:09:26 (permalink)
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Charlie....The AF number is 45-12749......the mfg number is 45-12749...under is on the tag is SP44.

I understand the glider was mfg by Anhaueser-Busch.

The mfg tag is on the left vertical and the AF tag is on the middle horizontal of the cockpit frame, both at the top.

This glider nose has dual controls, including the  copilot wheel, and brake pedals.

Jim  :-)

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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/31 11:29:41 (permalink)
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     You guys might or might not know about the CG-4A accident that occurred at Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri, on 1 August 1943.  The glider suffered a catastrophic structural failure of the starboard wing because of improperly machined parts connecting the wing strut.   
 
The accident killed ten people, including the Mayor of St. Louis.  The glider was manufactured by Robertson Aircraft Company (as opposed to Laister-Kaufman or Waco).  The components were manufactured by Gardner Metal products and the St. Louis Casket Company (yes that is caskets as in coffins).  All CG-4As manufactured by Laister-Kaufman and Robertson were grounded until all the bad pieces made by St. Louis Casket and Gardner were replaced; also, all spare part bins had to be purged of the bad pieces.  Investigation revealed that starboard wing strut fitting had a "fitting counter bore" that was machined to a thickness of 1/16 inch instead of 3/8 inch, causing the strut to fail and the wing to seperate. 
 
The AAF Form # 14 Aircraft Accident Report for this glider accident contains tons of technical information and tech drawings for Waco CG-4A gliders and components.  Also, the report details some of the manufacturing changes made.  The AAF accident report for the crash of CG-4A # 42-78839 can be found on AAF Accident Report Microfilm, Call # 46233, 1 August 1943, Accident # 1. 
 
A detailed summary for this glider accident can be found on page 458 of Volume II of "FATAL ARMY AIR FORCES AVIATION ACCIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1941-1945."  Good luck with your research and restoration.  Tony Mireles
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RE: CG-4A Manufacturer Differences 2006/12/31 11:59:02 (permalink)
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Thanks Jim,

This is an interesting delimma.

Tail number 45-12749 belongs to the 392nd production article CG-15A built by WACO.  It definately is not a CG-4A number.

I am not sure if WACO built their frames, but based on fact thay had been buildiing airplanes  using the same techniques, I would assume they built their own?  However, A-B as a sub-contractor did build a lot of frames.

Charles Day

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