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RAF / RN Chinagraph Pencils (Cold War era) for Kneeboards

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RAF / RN Chinagraph Pencils (Cold War era) for Kneeboards

Old 21st Sep 2018, 16:06
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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And Met

Met used Chinagraph for a variety of jobs ...... Obvious one was briefing using OHPs.
Type morphed several times as they technology (snigger) advanced. Didn't use edge lit displays but certainly
Black red blue purple yellow (fog) and green (rain)
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 16:24
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Still use them today when flying but no longer available from stores.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 16:40
  #43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Top Bunk Tester View Post
Were commercially available as Scripto W610. Still around on Ebay.
Fantastic! thanks! Have found several images online now having the manufacturer and type!

Cheers, Scott.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 17:17
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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At Coningsby we had to provide met briefs for each trip. Over to the weather-guessers, get a brief, make up OHP slide.

One day there was a classic warm / cold frontal system across the UK, so I lovingly produced the blue and red frontal positions and black isobars on my synoptic chart all in chinagraph - a work of art by the time I'd finished...

Give brief. Place slide on OHP and switch on. Everything appears in black on the screen. Puzzled for a moment I realised that chinagraph is opaque, so my artistry was all silhouetted.

"Terribly sorry, it must be one of the old black-and-white OHPs", I announced and carried on with the brief. No-one queried my comment! Even the trip went well....for once!
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 17:32
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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What an interesting thread.
I will also have some in my drawer in the garage.
Plastic Sheeting for covering desks etc became very scarce in early 1990s. I may have recovered the last piece of proper ICI Perspex from a skip at the time. I remember trimming to size and cutting off all the notches. It may have been attached by hinges to some notice board in a past life. RAF stocked aircraft grade Perspex. It was very expensive and came in various thicknesses.
Some clever dick had identified that most of it was being used for gash jobs (desk tops and notice boards) it became like rocking horse droppings. The alternate High impact Polystyrene became available through local purchase at a fraction of the price. It was very brittle and scratched easier. Some will remember the Graygate Polish used to buff up proper Perspex. My bottle dried up a good few years ago.
Certainly had a chinagraph in my flying coverall pocket to write on my knee boards till 2010
I now write alarm codes in biro directly on the leg of my orange trousers. Can’t get out of the habit. They come off in the wash
I also have a similar propelling fibre glass eraser with a box of 100 spare brushes. We used these for erasing Indian ink from tracing film. A No 15 scalpel was better in skilled hands.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 17:33
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Have I misrembered?
Given Beagle is correct re. Opacity on OHP what on earth did Met use Chinagraph for?
The other question is what was used for colour on OHP?
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 18:08
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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... This may qualify as Thread of the Year ...

Delighted that the OP is getting all his answers amidst the nostalgia. On such little things did the RAF function ... without a chingraph, we were doooomed.
NOW, who wants my boxes of leads?
And where have I stowed my multi-pack?
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 18:39
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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On the Kipper Fleet in the '90s they were mainly used to write "Spike's a Nob" on the reverse side of the radar scratchpad.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 18:45
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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LB re your #46.
i remember preparing OHP slides using Lumicolour “F” fibre tip pens. Make a spellin mistake and start again.
we had red, blue and black celluloid tapes of various thicknesses used for laying up printed circuit boards. Twice scale against a grid on a light box. These could be used for straight lines or tables. Also had various sheets of coloured film which could be cut to size and stuck on with a bit of spit. This would have been in 90s before computers were common place.
i remember being asked to go go to Cranwell to deliver a presentation to EOT. Take your Power Point on 3.5 Floppy discs and a set of back up slides printed on A4 film just in case the projector fails.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 19:00
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I was a very young controller at Eastern Radar 1966-1969. I have taken the photo attached of one of my chinagraph pencils with the serial number 48-358. On my second tour at RNAS Foulmer (Lossiemouth) the navy kindly issued me with a leather chinagraph pouch.
I suspect that more airmisses were caused by chinagraph wax obscuration than controller incompetence!!!
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 19:03
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Met normally used non-permanent fibre tip pens on OHP slides back then. Which had its disadvantages...

One day at RAF Brawdy, the Stn Cdr arrived in a jovial mood and hurled a snowball at the Met briefer "Here, Met - have some actual" he remarked. It hit the MetO on the chest and bounced onto his slides, which caused all the detail to dissolve into a purple splodge.

Not to be outdone, the MetO started his brief with the immortal words "Gentlemen, it seems that today there will be snow...".

Black flag and stack at lunchtime - not even a hint of a ten o'clock clearance!
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 19:32
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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My naval issue chinagraph pouch.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 20:07
  #53 (permalink)  

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We used chinagraph propelling pencils to draw our track lines etc on fablon covered 250,000 aviation charts - so they could be used many times over.

Problem was, many of the colours would bleed into the fablon. I found that the only colour that didn't do so was the brown "leads".

I still have box of them - twenty five years after I left the service.
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 20:37
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They were issued to us as student pilots in 1963 at Syerston. Not the wooden sort just the plastic ones with refill "leads". There were a lot of different colours and generally there were boxes of the "leads" knocking around the flight planning area.

ACW
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 21:22
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ScottBouch you have a PM
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Old 21st Sep 2018, 21:40
  #56 (permalink)  
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Hi all,

I really can't believe the interest that this quick question has caused! I'm also enjoying all the stories that are coming out of this!

It's one small detail of the AEA, but I suppose to you guys, the aircrew, they were quite a significant item. And to see how many people still have them too!

Keep the dates coming! This is great to try and figure out when the entered service, and left.

Gayford, the leather pouch is very nice! I assume it's live in the nav bag when not in use?

Seeing the dates going back to the mid 60's, these pencils would be perfect for my blue / grey flying suits which are dated 1964 (Mk2/2A) and 1963 (Mk4/4A). I'm still missing the aircrew knives for them too.

Mk4 / Mk4A flying suit - Oxygen hose D-Rind re-located



Mk2 / Mk2A flying Suit - Velcro pocket modification

I have really enjoyed learning about this period in British aviation - I used to volunteer looking after the Cranfield Lightnings XS452 and XS458, did that from the age of 11 till I had kids at the age of 30, so this era has always been of interest to me..

Cheers, Scott.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 07:12
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The issue torches were crap, especially the ones designed for fighters. They were practically unusable. From about 1985, most aircrew had their own 'Maglite' torch, usually bought on visits to US Base exchanges where they were approximately a third of the price of that in the UK. The small double AAA torch was popular as it would fit in the arm pen pocket.

I still have an issue kneeboard with attached chinagraph which I use for light aircraft flying. However, I'm down to my last lead.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 09:23
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
.... I still have an issue kneeboard with attached chinagraph which I use for light aircraft flying. However, I'm down to my last lead.
My offer up-thread at Post #32 was genuine!
Originally Posted by gayford
My naval issue chinagraph pouch.
Did anyone really need that many?
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 14:38
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Ooh, I have my first request for leads, by PM!!
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 15:23
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
Actually, these things were everywhere, aircrew used them for knee pads, controllers on radar screens, ops on tote boards and every ops desk was covered in Perspex so China graph notes, scribbles and doodles were all over them. And if you happened to need to note a phone number in the bar one evening........
Oddly enough, they even appeared in Army aviation too, although the JAFOs of my era - for the same reasons as BEagle - preferred Lumocolours.
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