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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 22nd Sep 2018, 15:31
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ScottBouch View Post
I'm still missing the aircrew knives for them too.
CW-era knives come in three flavours, the last one not much use for stabbing to death an errant self-inflating SS dinghy but could slice Cheese Possessed if pushed.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 15:57
  #62 (permalink)  

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I have two from my RAF-issue pencil box. Same same as Gayford's picture in post #50. Want one?
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 16:01
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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The curved aircrew knife always seemed too blunt to be of much use although I believe one 43 Sqn bod did use his to cut away his chute rigging lines after a night time mid air found him and his oppo in the North sea. Unfortunately he reportedly also severed his PSP lanyard and lost all his survival aids.
Equipment storage was always an issue on a fj Sqn. I was often called on to make up patches for circuit breaker tools, pens and torches.
Nav bags made from two lower immersion suit pockets seen back to back, with or without a pen patch stitched on one side were another favourite.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 16:21
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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OK I'll Raise Yer: have a look at these beauties; brown chinagraph holder WITH matching lovely brown "leads"--super quality, not too soft, not too hard, "just right" or write if you prefer!

And a set of plotting thingys WITH Dayglow anti-FOD tape!
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 16:25
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
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.
I may have just the thing for you-see my post of today!
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 17:01
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OKOC View Post
OK I'll Raise Yer: have a look at these beauties; brown chinagraph holder WITH matching lovely brown "leads"--super quality, not too soft, not too hard, "just right" or write if you prefer!
BROWN? Yeuch!

At least mine are HIS Majesty’s Stationery Office, which adds value!!
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 17:40
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Chinagraph is to ATCO as Trowel is to Bricklayer.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 18:13
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
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.
Exactamundo.. I ditched my issue torch, never having used it. Complete crap. The Mini Maglite, however, was/is an excellent bit of kit. Available from BXs everywhere. Mine must be 25+years old and still looks like new - and it still works perfectly. It sits on the bedside table - and it's ideal for nocturnal reading without waking SWMBO!
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 18:13
  #69 (permalink)  
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I have just remembered the sequence.
In 1962 we were issued coloured wooden chronograph lead pencils. These were just coloured pencils but the lead was chinagraph. They were sharpened the same was as a lead pencil with wood shavings into the pencil box and of course a sharp point that soon flattened. The aircraft was not particularly hot so the lead would become brittle and break.

The leap forward was the self sharpening pencil. This was a tightly bound material with a cotton thread IIRC which you pulled, the binding would unwind and a new lead would be available.

Then came ubiquitous plastic models.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 19:36
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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I wish I still had my ‘string-bound, self-sharpener’. Only had the one, and no idea where it went.

Of course, it was a Bic against a Parker .., no chance!!

Last edited by MPN11; 22nd Sep 2018 at 19:47.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 19:40
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Danny42C View Post
Chinagraph is to ATCO as Trowel is to Bricklayer.
No truer word, fellow ATCO!!

In Terminal, in the darker days, one often needed to draw things on a radar screen. Of course, in the grown-up world of AREA () we drew essential and dynamic flight data on the screen, while the Assistant kept track with quill pen on a flight strip (for evidential purposes). Or at LATCC (Mil) (SEJAO) we did it all on a flight strip, solo, in the correct coloured ink! Sorry you missed that fun!!






Last edited by MPN11; 22nd Sep 2018 at 19:51.
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 20:13
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Hard to imagine a flight-line or rectification flight or indeed any other 1st or 2nd Line organisation that was not dependant on chinagraphs and perspex!
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 21:40
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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The, now civilian, ex-military flying unit at which I work still has a box of brand new ones in the stationery cupboard. I don't think anybody's used one in years.

I remember as a Cadet Pilot on the mighty Bulldog that you used to lean to a 6.5psi fuel pressure as we climbed through 1500ft, and dutifully put a chinagraph mark next to the lever in exactly the same place as the last several hundred students, so that you knew where to return the mixture control to after any manoeuvering at altitude.

G
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Old 22nd Sep 2018, 22:58
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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I will have a look, it might be a bit tatty but you can have it, doubt it has any lead in it though
Alas, a problem which affects most of us sooner or later Nutloose
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 07:26
  #75 (permalink)  
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And of course post-chinagraph came the Stradeler(sic?) felt tips to which BE able referred. Two flavours, water soluble, easy to wipe off with spit and glove and a hazard in rain, and the permanent which one could, with care Sniff ☺ and could be cleaned off using the highly volatile solvent in a red SO tin until the HSE police banned it.

These allowed a finer line but both versions had the disadvantage that they would dry out if you left the cap off. They were much used by the Route Nav in Nimrods, not much use in a FJ in the air.
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 08:06
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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The inside of a flying glove could have many uses...allegedly!

'Mongo', our Vulcan Nav Rad, rolled an old pair into a ball, so that the inside showed. This he would sit upon as it brought much relief to his....'bottom problems'.

Back to chingraphs, during my IRT work up on the JP5 in the Summer of 1974, I persuaded the genial US exchange officer to let me fly a PD to Mildenhall, where a couple of USAFA mates who'd been to visit RAFC were waiting to go home. All went fine until the go-around, when we were given what the Instructor later described as "Clearance from Hell" - squawk this, turn on to that, climb to the other and call approach on whatever - readback! I got most of it, but was forced to ask for the frequency again. "You didn't copy it down?" queried the Instructor in a 'you useless git!' tone of voice. Whereupon I showed him the congealed lump of yellow gloop on the end of my pen, saying "Sir, my chinagraph melted!". He fell about with fits of giggles, then later told me that he dined out on the experience for weeks afterwards!

Although the mini-Maglite was OK, I bought a similar item which was smaller and neater from the PX at El Toro MCAS. Uses 2 x AAA batteries and the top is slightly tighter than the bell end of a mini-Maglite - these days it resides in my car's centre console, along with that other quintessential route steal, the excellent Leatherman multi-tool.

Torches again, at RAFC during night flying training we were entrusted with the care of Qty 1 Provost, Jet, Mk5, student pilots for the use of - but were not allowed to use the official night torches. Instead we were told to buy our own and to make sure that it was firmly attached with the usual Learning Command bit of string. So various arse looticle designs appeared from Boots etc. One chap dropped his, then pulled up on the string until he felt a strange 'click!'. It was the seat pan handle which had started to come out. So he carefully pushed it back down, but kept shtum as he thought he'd been in the poo. However, best of all was the late Don Turbett. In one leg pocket he had something from an agricultural supplier with a crocodile clip to fit the glareshield and in the other a large lantern battery, with a cable running up from the battery to the lantern. Given the duty 'total electrical failure' by his QFI, there was a moment of mumbling and fumbling before the entire cockpit was illuminated by something resembling the flash of a nuclear detonation. They both lost night vision for a good few minutes, but Don had made the point. The next course was permitted to use the official RAF torch!

Last edited by BEagle; 23rd Sep 2018 at 08:18.
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 08:28
  #77 (permalink)  
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I loved reading these stories, but this one had me laughing out loud!

Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
"Sir, my chinagraph melted!"
Thank you guys for all the anecdotes that keep on coming! It gives a real human side to the kit, and more reason for my interest in learning and sharing info on it!

Thanks again, Scott
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 08:40
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Lovely thread!

I personally made up several of the Immersion suit pocket bags (See Tash's post) whilst on the Worlds oldest fixed wing squadron, seem to remember these fitted quite well on the Jag cockpit coaming!

Whilst I was acting as EA for SE at Strike, I recall an SEM proposal coming in, to fit a small pocket on the back of the cape leather gloves ("If Carlsburg did flying gloves..etc...") The idea was for UTPs carrying out post maintenance test flights of Jet Provosts to collect up and store pieces of 'locking wire and debris' that 'inevitably' accumulated in the canopy during the inverted part of the test!!!

II don't think they were big enough to hold a chinagraph......

(As an aside, , I suspect the gloves black market trading value was reduced if the pocket was fitted&#128523
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 09:26
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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And of course post-chinagraph came the Stradeler(sic?) felt tips to which BE able referred. Two flavours, water soluble, easy to wipe off with spit and glove and a hazard in rain, and the permanent which one could, with care Sniff ☺ and could be cleaned off using the highly volatile solvent in a red SO tin until the HSE police banned it.
Cheap aftershave removes it.
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 11:38
  #80 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Cheap aftershave removes it.
Advice from a true expert!
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