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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 23rd Sep 2018, 11:57
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Cape Leather gloves were another procurement balls-up! In the late '80s, some political correcto queried why they were known as 'Cape' leather. "They must come from the Cape of Seth Efrika", he mused. This was before they let Mandela out, so there was concern that MoD might be buying equipment from the nasty apartheid people....

So the supplier was changed; instead of the pristine white (or rufty-tufty SH green), we began to get inferior light grey things, probably made from recycled Etruscan goat scrotums, which lasted barely a week before they ripped...

Common sense later prevailed and we went back to the previous type!
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 13:04
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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I thought they came from Pittards, Beags, in Yeo-vile.
I'm surprised the kipper fleet had any space in their flight suits for chinagraphs. I thought the priority for them was: spoon, fork, knife, toothbrush, johnny tube.......
Standard torch at EGUW circa '72 was:


......clipped in the cleavage of your mae west.

Last edited by Minnie Burner; 23rd Sep 2018 at 16:38.
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 15:18
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Minnie Burner View Post
I thought they came from Piitards, Beags, in Yeo-vile.
I'm surprised the kipper fleet had any space in their flight suits for chinagraphs. I thought the priority for them was: spoon, fork, knife, toothbrush, johnny tube.......
Standard torch at EGUW circa '72 was:


......clipped in the cleavage of your mae west.
Or, what about this Yellow
Bobby Dazzler with SCREWS to stop it Fodding itself (unless the screws fall out and become even more elusive FOD!
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 17:10
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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The yellow 'bobby dazzler' is an intrinsically safe/ explosion-proofed torch for use in hazardous atmospheres- I used to use them when I was Fire Officer. Good to know that you wouldn't go bang when you turn the torch on, but a bugger to change the old Queen's Green batteries, which never seemed to last long...
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 17:36
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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On another (but still AEA related) tack, in the 90s Harrier mates engaged in the Kosovo nastiness were complaining that the issue flying boots were not man enough to cope with the rigours of a cold weather Survival situation.

Fair enough! My job, as I saw it, in the EA was to try and get the boys going over the top, what they needed. Often this meant we used some innovative ways to get stuff authorised without entering the MoD procurement maze and firing the 9lb chicken at it!

Several alternative options were trialled for a nominal 6 months under an authorised Special Trial Fit (STF) for "extreme cold weather boots" The options had varying degrees of success, but one of the variants had a Gortex sock insert permanently stitched inside. I don't know which one (if any) won but.....

The following summer, several months after the trial had finished (and the equipment and authorisation supposedly withdrawn) My AD burst into our office clutching the obligatory Friday afternoon Air Incident Signal. Uttering his usual mantra of "they have a problem, what are you going to do about it" He demanded immediate answers of course as the incident was describing how a Harrier Jock had suffered from continual overheating of the feet and it eventually transpired that his complaint was that his boots were clearly unsuitable for the summer and had subjected him to unnecessary stress during flight. So bad were they that he had cut the insert out.

Oh, how we laughed 😂

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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 18:01
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Cape Leather gloves were another procurement balls-up! In the late '80s, some political correcto queried why they were known as 'Cape' leather. "They must come from the Cape of Seth Efrika", he mused. This was before they let Mandela out, so there was concern that MoD might be buying equipment from the nasty apartheid people....

So the supplier was changed; instead of the pristine white (or rufty-tufty SH green), we began to get inferior light grey things, probably made from recycled Etruscan goat scrotums, which lasted barely a week before they ripped...

Common sense later prevailed and we went back to the previous type!
BEagle, at one point during my time at HQSTC the CL gloves were to be withdrawn from use because rendered down Whale products were used in the manufacture. The master plan was to bulk buy those grey/green American things. The thought (by all of us) of a withdrawal of the RAFs most valuable barter commodity was too much however, and a new method of finishing was developed PDQ.

Sadly, I am on my last pair of whites but I have a green set remaining that will probably see me out...
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 18:32
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Cigarette Ash,
I’ve read most of this thread and may have missed it..but
When smoking was prevalent everywhere - top of climb on the Valiant for instance - cigarette ash was often just the right level of abrasive for removing chinagraph, in Sqn Ops, Station Ops and in the aircraft itself.
Dip a rag in the ashtray and wipe - remember it well !
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 18:46
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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ATCO standard procedure, as noted upthread, Sir!

Oh, it was a different world back then!
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 19:20
  #89 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NRU74 View Post
- cigarette ash was often just the right level of abrasive for removing chinagraph, . . .
Dip a rag in the ashtray and wipe - remember it well !
And for cleaning a stove fire door - damp newspaper dipped in ash.
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Old 23rd Sep 2018, 20:20
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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"Sadly, I am on my last pair of whites but I have a green set remaining that will probably see me out..."

Careful oldmansquipper, there was someone on a facey page warning about disclosing old crimes! ;-)
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 06:01
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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In the Hueys in Oz during the 70s, we still operated under full reporting when in civil airspace. Even VFR. Flight plans, accuracy to within 2 mins of a reporting point, or else amend it, clearances, blah blah. (Luckily Dick Smith changed all this when he took over CA$A).

As a result, we would write the flight plan on the Huey window in chinagraph, with reporting points, time intervals, estimates, amendments, clearances, squawk codes (though they were only used in some mil airspace.) The whole window on the copilot side would fill with chinagraph, and on a hot day the "lead" would melt in the pen and make a mess in the sleeve pocket and dribble on the window. On a long positioning flight, there would be a lot of writing on the window, removed with the back of the glove to make a nice colourful smear. Great for low sun angles.

I once saw that some wag had written "This window is in its third edition" in very neat writing. And they were all Staedtlers, inch-long coloured plastic rotating top, shiny clip, never had a string.
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 06:06
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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So after looking around at home I cannot find my box of leads, so after a bit off googling came across a supplier still selling pencils and refils. https://www.listo.com/marking-pencils.html
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 06:23
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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A mod came out in the mid 90s for chinagraphs that had us drilling a hole in the winder end, inserting a key ring and then attaching white elastic to the ring. Elastic also stiched on to one end of the flying suit pocket so that Bloggs couldn’t loose their pencil. This only worked if Bloggs could get more than one chinagraph.. supplies dried up in mid 2000s. Oldmansquipper, the Harrier pro boots were great thanks 😜.
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 07:44
  #94 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Stitchbitch View Post
...a key ring and then attaching white elastic to the ring. Elastic also stiched on to one end of the flying suit pocket so that Bloggs couldn’t loose their pencil.
Hi Stitchbitch,

I'm sure I have one of these elastic lanyards somewhere, if I can find it, I'll photograph it to see if it's what you recall. Would suit a later green flying suit being a 90's mod though...

Cheers, Scott
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 08:04
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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I found mine as FOD down the back of an OCU Buccaneer bang seat, not a UK one but a Skilcraft US one. Anyhow, 40 years later I still use it. It is on my kneepad that I use in the mighty PA28-181. I also use it to write routes on the inside of the winscreen when i am on a long journey. So if you get into a hire car with greasy marks on the top corner it may have ben mine. The GPS does a good job but does not see the big picture and hence the Chinagraph notes. I have a box of leads (blue) now 50% depleated so should just last me out.
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 08:33
  #96 (permalink)  
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During my time volunteering working on preserved Lightnings XS452 and XS458 at Cranfield, I found two FOD screwdrivers, one stuck down behind the seats, the other lodged in one of the the engine bays. Can't recall if it was 452 or 458 or both, but interesting to find nevertheless!

Cheers, Scott
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 10:08
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tashengurt View Post
"Sadly, I am on my last pair of whites but I have a green set remaining that will probably see me out..."

Careful oldmansquipper, there was someone on a facey page warning about disclosing old crimes! ;-)
Thanks for the warning Tash, but my 'whites' are cotton and readily available in any good hardware store. The green ones thinsulate and a bit more difficult to get but were on offer at the local Jet station last winter.....


honest injun.

(Glad to see you are monitoring the 'Ancients' &#128077
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Old 24th Sep 2018, 20:28
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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In COMBRITBOR HQ in Brunei in Nov 1962 it was decreed that for security reasons we were no longer to refer to aircraft types or airfields in clear, but to use codewords.
The airfields were to be colour coded - Black One, Brown Two etc.
We were using the ubiquitous Perspex and Chinagraph Maps and Wallboards. The Chinagraph colours we had were Red, White and Blue ( which were allocated to Kuching for the airfields in Sarawak ) as well as Black and Yellow. We needed more colours, by careful use of two colours, one on top of another, I was able to produce Green(Blue and Yellow), Orange(Red and Yellow), Brown(Black and Yellow) as well as Purple(Red and Blue). It looked a bit messy but it worked.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 15:59
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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Sure I was still using them early 2000, still got them in old pencil box but ran out of refills, black, red,blue and yellow were in vogue at the time
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 23:04
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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When old man Parry retired as Satco Valley in 1974, I cleared out his desk the day after his leaving do. John Lawes was driving from Tengah to Valley, in a Volvo with his wife and three kids to take up the post.

There were hundreds of them in his drawer. He had been in the habit of asking Sgt. Mitchell to provide him with one, on almost any occasion.

Most of them were returned to the Admin Office to be distributed as required, on production to Mitch, of a real need for it.

About a year later I was posted to Northern and didn't need one as the T82 tracked with store dots, then I went to Border and had to learn to write sideways, from both sides, on a huge flat top display. Writing backwards was easy, and I never had to do it apart from at Shawbury, but sideways...

I once had a day out from valley with the AAC (if the good lord had intended the army to fly, She would have made the sky brown) and the driver wrote times on the inside of the Souix bubble with his Chinagraph. I got him a few boxes of various coloured refills as payment for the day out in LFA10.


Nowadays I use a Bic ballpoint, which I have dipped in glue and wrapped a string around, then tied the string to my kneeboard.
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