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Russian panel stencils - the myth ?

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Russian panel stencils - the myth ?

Old 24th Jun 2018, 19:18
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Russian panel stencils - the myth ?

An old retired AF maintenance tech told me a story recently of a tour he took around the museum at Nellis a few years after he retired from the service. As the tour guide showed them around the Russian cold war jets they had on display my buddy commented about how thorough USAF had been to add English stencilling under the Russian stencils on the aircraft access panels. The tour guide stopped and proceeded to tell the assembled group of old vets that USAF had not added the English text, it was put there by the Russians as it was part of their war plan to operate from captured bases in the west and use our aircraft technicians as slave labor.

This always struck me as a myth intended to make a cool story - anyone know if there is any truth to it?
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 19:24
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Personal view? hahahahahahaha
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 19:28
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The examples in the museum were export variants obtain from countries like Egypt, and so had stencils in English as a “lingua Franca”
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 20:03
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
The examples in the museum were export variants obtain from countries like Egypt, and so had stencils in English as a “lingua Franca”
That makes a lot more sense.
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 20:11
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But they were capable of using NATO connections for fuel.
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 21:17
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That was mentioned as well Pontius, apparently with a connection adapter that was widely available ?
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 21:59
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Slave labor line aircraft techs makes about as much sense as slave labor cooking your food in the kitchen.
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 22:53
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Yup, a little knowledge would ensure a one way trip for the said aircraft, oxygen in tyres, nuts and bolts down intakes, pipes loosened, seat oxygen serviced with nitrogen, seats disconnected, fuel contaminated... The list goes on.. I read an article on FW190 deliveries with slave labour built engines, quite a few strangely never made it

Wasn't the old SLR musket incapable of firing Russain ammo, but the AK was capable of using ours?
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 23:10
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post

Wasn't the old SLR musket incapable of firing Russain ammo, but the AK was capable of using ours?
Hi,

Ours was 7.62x51 theirs 7.62x39 (well, I think 39 but it was definitely the shorter one).
That x51 and x39 being the length of the cartridge in mm (so, not including the bullet), their chamber would have been shorter.
Jamming our round in there would not have gone well.
Very likely we could have chambered their rounds.

Best regards, T.
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Old 24th Jun 2018, 23:41
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Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
That was mentioned as well Pontius, apparently with a connection adapter that was widely available ?
Were not some of the weapon shackels etc a common fit?
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 08:08
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Originally Posted by air pig View Post
Were not some of the weapon shackels etc a common fit?
I think they were but that memory is faint.

Not faint however is what my boss said about WE177. He reckoned about 30 minutes to break the electronics. I guess Judy rigging the control box from a Bucc or Jag would have been easy too.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 08:17
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Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
..... it was put there by the Russians as it was part of their war plan to operate from captured bases in the west and use our aircraft technicians as slave labor.

This always struck me as a myth intended to make a cool story - anyone know if there is any truth to it?
Sounds like nonsense generated by those brainwashed by Joseph McCarthy.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 08:40
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IRC their ground power connectors were also NATO compatible. MiG 21 stores attachments were different and not NATO 14 /30 inch compatible .
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 10:05
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
The examples in the museum were export variants obtain from countries like Egypt, and so had stencils in English as a “lingua Franca”
Bill Bryson always said "English is not a purist language, as French aspires to be. English is a language that lurks in dark alleyways and mugs other languages for whatever it can find."

Thus "lingua franca" - a Portuguese term, lifted by the Anglo-Saxons, describing French as a universal language
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 11:55
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Which is why English has le mot juste for every occasion.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 12:10
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In order to make things work even without understanding any stenciled language they had colored positioning dots on every panel opening and on every screw to make sure everything gets set up and locked right. Soviet military conscripts were not necessarily from Russia but maybe from central asia back then.

Last edited by Less Hair; 25th Jun 2018 at 12:21.
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 12:14
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I've come across Russian kit in other fields and they really do think about who is going to be using it and in what conditions. To us it may look like a grossly over sized lever painted an awful colour - but if the guy operating it is in -20C with great big mits on and (as you say) may not be a fluent Russian speaker "always pull the big GREEN one -" has a lot of merit.......
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 16:25
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
In order to make things work even without understanding any stenciled language they had colored positioning dots on every panel opening and on every screw to make sure everything gets set up and locked right.
You mean just like the US?
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Old 25th Jun 2018, 21:25
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I don’t know about English stencilling, but I’ve always wondered why Russian / Soviet cockpits were all some gopping shade of blue? Is it supposed to be relaxing??!!
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Old 26th Jun 2018, 09:51
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You mean just like the US?
The US style I remember in the 80s used to be more stencil heavy. Like texts, advices, warnings and cautioning all over the fuselage. Soviets were more colour guided and with red or black marks. Needing almost no lettering at all.
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