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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards

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Lancashire Fusilier

They could be bought quite cheaply then !

George,

One of my first cars was a white Triumph Spitfire, which I bought brand new from a Triumph dealer in Tottenham, London for just over 1000 pounds !

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

A nice front and rear view of a 1915 4-cylinder ' AC Light Car ' introduced in 1913, the ' AC 3871 ' number plate was a nice promotion, and is in fact an early Coventry registration.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

2

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A side-view of the ' AC Light Car ', with the two passengers giving us some idea of the motorcar's scale.



LF





This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.



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Lancashire Fusilier

Some examples of rare, and beautifully restored ' AC Light Cars '.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A nice front-view of a 1914 ' AC Light Car '.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A 1913 ' AC Light Car '.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

An ' AC Light Car '.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The chassis for the Auto-Carriers ' AC Light Car ', which in 1915, with some modifications, was to be used for the War Department's prototype ' AC Light Armoured Car '.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
Following on from the War Department's previous experience using the Weller brothers' Auto-Carrier 3-wheelers, and the excellent reputation of the ' AC Light Car ' based on their durability, dependability and performance, in 1915 the War Department invited the Weller brothers to design and produce a prototype Light Armoured Car using the ' AC Light Car ' chassis.

It was decided to retain the AC Light Car's 1500 cc ' Fivet ' 10 hp engine, however, the ' AC Light Car ' chassis would need to be modified and strengthened, this included replacing the rear quarter-elliptic springs with semi-elliptic springs, and the front transverse suspension springs were also reinforced.


The armoured bodywork for the ' AC Light Armoured Car ' was much narrower at the front where it enclosed the engine, and widened and bulged considerably at the rear of the vehicle where it supported and carried the large circular rotating open turret mounted on roller bearings.

At the front of the armoured car, curved armoured doors protected the engine's radiator.


The large circular rotating open armoured turret was capable of carrying 4 to 5 men, and the turret's armament was a single Maxim machine gun fired through a machine gun port cut into the side of the turret, which could be open or closed.


The turret, is also shown fitted with a small searchlight.



In a newspaper article published at the time, it was reported that the ' AC ' Light Armoured Car's driver sat on the floor of the vehicle and drove the vehicle with the aid of a mirror, which I assume was some form of viewing periscope, which can be seen on top of the armoured bodywork just in front of the base of the rotating turret.



The ' AC Light Armoured Car ' was tested extensively in the Aldershot area during 1915, and as no other ' AC Light Armoured Cars ' were ever produced, it has to be assumed that after these field trials, the War Department decided not to proceed with the ' AC Armoured Car ' project.


Very few photographs of the ' AC Armoured Car ' exist, and of those, most are not particularly clear photographs. However, there does exist one rare and particularly clear photograph of the ' AC Light Armoured Car ' taken during War Department field trials held in the Aldershot area during 1915, and that excellent photograph is attached.


LF




This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Another rare 1915 photograph of the ' AC Light Armoured Car ' published at the time, which shows the turret capable of carrying at least 4 men.

We can also see a much better view of the driver's viewing periscope set on top of the bodywork in front of the base of the rotating turret, and also the Maxim machine gun firing port cut into the turret's side.

This photograph's caption, also refers to a 12 hp engine.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Broznitsky

This looks like me and my brother as young lads in the 60's, with one of the contraptions we used to build!! How did we survive??

Very few photographs of the ' AC Armoured Car ' exist, and of those, most are not particularly clear photographs. However, there does exist one rare and particularly clear photograph of the ' AC Light Armoured Car ' taken during War Department field trials held in the Aldershot area during 1915, and that excellent photograph is attached.

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Lancashire Fusilier

This looks like me and my brother as young lads in the 60's, with one of the contraptions we used to build!! How did we survive??

You are right, there is certainly a passing resemblance to the push carts made from old wood and pram wheels we all built as kids, however, this was 1915, and it was the War Department's experimentation with early armoured vehicles which ultimately and fortunately led to the excellent armoured cars which followed, such as the Austins, the Lanchester, the Rolls-Royce and others.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Although this particular photograph of the ' AC Light Armoured Car ' is grainy and not too clear, it is important in that it shows the armoured doors at the front, which protected the engine's radiator, in the open position, and we can see the same radiator as that on the ' AC Light Car ' complete with the ' AC ' radiator badge.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The ' AC Light Armoured Car ', again photographed in the Aldershot area during the 1915 War Department trials.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

One final post on the Auto-Carriers/AC vehicles, before moving on to a new topic.

Following the end of WW1, John Weller was able to concentrate on his designs for a new AC 6-cylinder overhead-cam engine, which went into production in 1919, and remained in production until 1963, making it one of the all-time longest produced motorcar engines.

In 1921, a well-known figure in the motorcar industry, Selwyn Edge, became a shareholder in AC and joined the Board. However, neither John Weller nor his long-time financial backer, John Portwine got along with Selwyn Edge, and a year later in 1922, Edge gained control of the Company and both John Weller and John Portwine left the Company which John Weller had started back in 1903.

In 1922, Selwyn Edge changed the name of the Company to AC Cars Ltd., and so began a new era in AC's history, with AC still going today.

Following his departure from AC., John Weller appears to have gone into retirement, and died on 31st August, 1966.

The attached photograph, shows John Weller ( left ) and John Portwine in 1923 after they had both left AC.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
Captain Bentfield Charles Hucks & the ' Hucks Mobile Aircraft Engine Starter '


I must admit, that until recently, I had not heard of RFC Pilot Captain Bentfield Charles Hucks or his invention, the ' Hucks Mobile Aircraft Engine Starter ', I was also unaware that Captain Hucks was the first British Pilot to complete a ' Loop the Loop ' aerial manoeuvre, and as such, was certainly an important figure in WW1 flying history.


Bentfield Charles Hucks was born in Stanstead, Essex on 25th October 1884, the youngest son of a Consulting Engineer, having started out as a avid motorist, B. C. Hucks soon became interested in flying and on 30th May, 1911 he obtained his Royal Aero Club certificate ( No.91 ) flying in a Blackburn monoplane at Filey.


After obtaining his Pilot's certificate, B. C. Hucks became actively involved in flying and travelled around Britain and Europe performing flying exhibitions, and it was during a flying exhibition held at Buc in France on 15th November 1913, that B.C. Hucks became the first British Pilot to complete a ' Loop the Loop ' aerial Manoeuvre.


With the outbreak of WW1, B. C. Hucks immediately volunteered to join the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to the Western Front, where unfortunately he contracted Pleurisy and was invalided out of the RFC., and returned to England. After his recovery, he remained actively involved in flying as a Test Pilot with Geoffrey de Havilland's ' Airco ' aircraft company.


It was during his time with ' Airco ' where he would have witnessed at first hand that with the development of larger and more powerful aircraft piston engines, there was an increasing problem hand starting these more powerful piston aircraft engines, with the old practice of the ground crew hand rotating the propeller becoming increasingly dangerous.


Captain Hucks devised a method of replacing the hand starting of aircraft engines with a mechanical starter fitted to a suitable vehicle, with power transmitted to the aircraft engine via a powered shaft which fitted into a special protruding hub, which incorporated a projecting claw clutch fitted to the centre of the aircraft's propeller assembly.

When engaged, power from the Aircraft Engine Starter Truck's engine is transmitted to the aircraft engine resulting in the engine's start up, at which point the engines increasing speed disengages the claw clutch and the Aircraft Starter Truck reverses away from the now running engine.


The main vehicle selected as the Mobile Aircraft Starter Truck was the readily available ' Ford Model T ' Truck, although it is also known that ' Crossley ' trucks was also used.


At the height of a successful flying career, Captain B.C. Hucks became a victim of the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic, and died from double Pneumonia on 7th November, 1918 just days before the end of WW1, aged 34 years.

He is buried in Highgate Cemetery.


The first in a series of photographs I shall be posting, shows a ' Hucks Mobile Aircraft Engine Starter ' mounted on a Ford Model T Truck starting a DH4's engine.


LF




This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A ' Hucks Mobile Aircraft Engine Starter ', mounted on an RAF ' Crossley ' truck.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A ' Hucks Mobile Aircraft Engine Starter ' mounted on a Ford Model T Truck, on display at Duxford, and I understand that the Hucks' equipment is an excellent working replica rather than original.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
During WW1, as aircraft engines grew in size and power, the then current procedure for starting an aircraft's engine by ' Swinging the Propeller ', was becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous, and it often took as many as 3 to 4 men to jointly swing a propeller blade to start the aircraft's engine.


Airman received specific training in ' Swinging the Propeller ' to ensure the aircraft engine starting procedure was both effective, and safe.



It was this increasing difficulty in starting aircraft engines, which Captain Hucks observed at first hand as a Test Pilot with Airco, which prompted him to design and develop his ' Hucks Mobile Aircraft Starter '.


In this next series of photographs, we see how airmen were trained to ' Swing the Propeller ' with several airmen linking arms to provide enough force to turn the aircraft's propeller and start the engine.


The first photograph, taken at the RAF's Cadet School of Military Aeronautics, shows RAF Cadets undergoing training in starting an aircraft engine by ' Swinging the Propeller '. This massive engine, is probably a 900 lb 360 hp V12 Rolls-Royce ' Eagle ' engine, and it took considerable force to hand start this engine.


LF



IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

An extremely nice drawing by Charles William Jefferys dated July 1918, shows airman at the Leaside Aerodrome undergoing training in ' Swinging the Propeller '.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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MikeyH

Lancs,

The Shuttleworth Collection in Biggleswade also have a fully functioning Ford T based 'Hucks Starter'.

Mike.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Lancs,

The Shuttleworth Collection in Biggleswade also have a fully functioning Ford T based 'Hucks Starter'.

Mike.

Mike,

Many thanks, and I do have a photograph of that particular RAF ' Hucks Aircraft Engine Starter ' which is part of the Shuttleworth Collection , again the Ford Model T Truck is original, however, as with Duxford's example, I understand the ' Hucks ' equipment maybe an excellent replica.

Regards,

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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David Filsell

The picture of the ACs brought back some happy memories. As a young journo I visited the AC factory, which is near my home, and saw the Cobra production line. The best, and most frightening, bit of the visit was driving an AC428 - basically a Frua bodied Cobra - under the instruction of the company's chief test driver in heavy pouring rain on the newly opened A3 Esher bye pass being urged to really put my foot down. It was a scary beast of a car. Not too off thread I hope!

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Lancashire Fusilier

The picture of the ACs brought back some happy memories. As a young journo I visited the AC factory, which is near my home, and saw the Cobra production line. The best, and most frightening, bit of the visit was driving an AC428 - basically a Frua bodied Cobra - under the instruction of the company's chief test driver in heavy pouring rain on the newly opened A3 Esher bye pass being urged to really put my foot down. It was a scary beast of a car. Not too off thread I hope!

David,

Pleased to hear the AC photographs reminded you of what must have been a great visit to the AC factory, with the chance to drive the fabulous AC428 being the cream on the cake.

Regards,

LF

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