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Light, strong vintage caravan built fighter bomber style

March 07, 2014
Light, strong vintage caravan built fighter  bomber style

The attention which has been given to this vintage caravan by its owners is astonishing inside and out.

It is a unique build.

It was on display at the Mebourne Caravan and Camping Supershow which ended yesterday. The caravan uses a plywood laminating techniques which made the Mosquito fighter bomber one of the fastest,strongest, lightest aircraft of the Second World War.

The vintage caravan is straight from a time when life was simply fun when caravan holidays came around.

The caravans big easy to use dolly wheel has an aircraft heritage too and stepping inside the beautifully finished van is a trip to the 1950's. That includes a traditional breakfast with all the utensils true to the period.

Even the radio, beds, bedding, fittings and caravan detailing are a time warp experience.

The tow vehicle is true to type and is a Chrysler with the muscular rumble which only came with big petrol engines of an era when petrol self-service could be concluded with two shilling pieces inserted at the pump until the tank filled.

Why do vintage enthusiasts take such trouble to go back to the future?

Well according to these proud owners nothing has changed since the 50's, when it comes to family caravans it is about having fun.

Among the contemporary exhibitors at the Melbourne Supershow Jurgens had a stylish presentation across a range of caravans.Pictured is an easy-on-the-eye view inside the J2601.

The attention to detail in the Jurgens finish and presentation at the Supershow was well worth a visit just to see how professional a presentation can be. It included a Jurgens chassis which showed design attention to lightness as well as strength in the caravans build in the research and development phase.

Vintage atttention to detail 039
Vintage atttention to detail 039

Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett launched the 60th CTIAVic Supershow on last Thursday and showed knowledge about and support for the industry which has once again produced more than 20,000 RV's in a fiscal period.

He and a big cast of media representatives visited Jurgens among other exhibitors as the Supershow kicked off.

Your correspondent thinks that maybe in a 'Smart Australia' there are job opportunities in the innovation which makes RV builders great survivors in a tough and constantly changing marketplace?

In wartime or international crisis design excellent equals survival, the de Havilland Mosquito is an example.

Editors Note: The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was one of the few operational front-line aircraft of the World War II era to be constructed almost entirely of wood and, as such, was nicknamed 'The Wooden Wonder'. In its time it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. German night fighters were almost powerless to intercept the Mossie.

The de Havilland Aircraft Company constructed Mosquito mainplanes out of shaped pieces of wood and plywood cemented together with Casein glue. About 30,000 small, brass wood screws also reinforced the glue joints inside a Mosquito mainplane (another 20,000 or so screws reinforced glue joints in the fuselage and empennage). The internal mainplane structure consisted of plywood box spars fore and aft. Plywood ribs and stringers braced the gaps between the spars.
Arthur E. Hagg, de Havilland's Chief Draftsman in 1937 is the design source.

Hagg created a light, strong, streamlined structure by sandwiching 9.5mm Ecuadorian balsa wood between Canadian birch plywood skins that varied in thickness from 4.5mm to 6mm. The plywood/balsa/plywood sandwich was formed inside concrete moulds of each fuselage half, and each mould held seven birch plywood formers reinforced with spruce blocks, plus bulkheads, floors, and other structural members.

As the glue cured, metal clamps held the skin layers tight to the mould. Technicians finished the edge of each half of the fuselage with male and female wedge joints as fitters attached wiring and other equipment to the inner walls.

Final fuselage assembly was reminiscent of a typical plastic model aircraft kit as the two halves were glued and screwed together. Fabricators completed the final step in building the fuselage when they covered it with Madapolam (fabric).

Stylish presentation in the Jurgens 2601 032
Stylish presentation in the Jurgens 2601 032

Those were the days 036
Those were the days 036
Unique dolly wheel 040
Unique dolly wheel 040
Jurgens 2601 034
Jurgens 2601 034
Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett 006
Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett 006
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