Re: Camel metal panels
Tue, 1 Aug 1995 17:04:50 -0400

First of all, its easy to tell the difference between steel and other metals
if you're close enough to touch, Any kind of little magnet will do. We used
to find a lot of cheating that way when scrutineering race cars and several
times, I was able to detect substandard valves in the same way while at my
real-life job. Its non-destructive, which cannot be said for the knife test.

Its really a good question as to the materials on these early birds.
Aluminum was still pretty exotic in those days, and the high strength alloys
were still in the future. Junkers' first airplanes were all steel, although
he switched to aluminum early on. Unalloyed Aluminum is very soft, very
ductile, easy to form but also easy to deform. Still, non-structural panels
would be one of the easiest applications.

Hand forming was common in the aircraft industry even near the pre-WWII era.
Production numbers rarely justified the purchase of hard tooling. Panel
beating had long life in the aircraft industry and the experts were the
aristocrats of the manufacturing industry between the wars. Its still
important when restoring old aircraft.

Eli Geher