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  1. #1
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    RAF flare cartridge

    Greetings from Canada everyone; my first post here:

    I am a photographer starting to specialise in aviation museum artifact preservation. I am currently making detailed photos of an empty standard red flare cartridge that was carried in an RAF bomber for emergency landing requests. I understand they carried 10 of these, fired through an opening in the canopy via something like a Very pistol. It is a brown cardboard tube with brass base and is approximately 3.75" tall and 1.5" diameter.

    Other than a red band around the top and the word "red" on the top circular piece of cardboard the only other information is the inscription "VT LOT 183 1-43 SPRA" in black lettering.

    It was recovered in 1945 and I am making the assumption it was made in January 1943.

    Any information at all and particularly the likely manufacturer and chemical make up of the original propellant, flare and primer would be very much appreciated.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    The manufacturer is Schermuly Pistol Rocket Apparatus, Newdigate, Surrey.

    Someone else can likely post a diagram of the inside of one of these flares showing the internal components.

  3. #3
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    VT

    "VT" is the Mark number, "V" being a Roman 5 and "T" indicating a black powder propellant. other markings, Lot number and date are as you presume.

    The flare pistol used was a variant of the standard design that had a short barrel with a bayonet type lug on the muzzle that locked into a socket in the fuselage or canopy.

    Regards
    TonyE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
    The manufacturer is Schermuly Pistol Rocket Apparatus, Newdigate, Surrey.

    Someone else can likely post a diagram of the inside of one of these flares showing the internal components.
    Many thanks for the info. -can you direct me to a jpeg reference of the flare pistol used with these cartridges, please?

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the Schermuly flare manufacturer reference -quite interesting history there that continues today with Pains-Wessex. Although I was born in Surrey I am not familiar with Newdigate but I see it is not that far from Gatwick airport. Thanks again.

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    Here is a picture of the Webley No. 4 Mk1* Flare Pistol that this cartridge was made for.


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    Smile

    Thanks for the Webley picture. Is there anyone you would suggest I contact on BOCN or elsewhere who might have a diagram of the flare cartridge and its components?

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    "Smoke me a kipper, i'll be back for breakfast!"

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    Smile

    Thanks Roller63,
    The diagram looks like a fit but the 10 descriptive arrows are missing their text as the picture is truncated. An email to Stephen Johnson failed, probably because most of Compuserve was shut down in 2009.

    Sorry to be a nuisance but have you any idea what those 10 descriptions might say?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roller63 View Post
    Referencing the scart.jpg kindly supplied above by Roller63:

    If nobody has the descriptions for the 10 arrows, does anyone know what the purpose of "sulphurless mealed powder" at the top of a flare cartridge is all about and why the lack of Sulphur is important?

    Similarly what's the function and content of the two "square" looking pellets that protrude top and bottom into it from the presumably main part of the ejected flare?

    Speculation is most welcome. Thanks all.

 

 
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