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  1. #1
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    WW2 RAF Emergency Dinghy

    Not long after the end of WW2 vast amounts of equipment started being sold off by the UKicon government and it could be of almost any description. Many UK towns started seeing the emergence of the "army/government surplus store" where some of this equipment was being sold. Many people who visited the "army surplus store" in the early days after WW2 did so because money was very tight in the UK and good quality products were often offered at a very affordable price.

    One such visitor to the "army surplus store" in the early days after WW2 was my father and some of the items that he purchased were simply for everyday use and some items were purchased partly because the item it's self was interesting to him. One such item that he purchased, not long after the end of WW2, is this WW2 RAF, one man,emergency rubber dinghy which I believe to be the "K" model. He purchased it partly because he thought that it was interesting and partly because he thought that it would be "fun" to sail it in rivers and lakes etc. He was talked out of actually using it, by other family members, because he can't swim but he kept the dinghy which I still have today. Sadly the condition is not great but I believe it to be a relatively rare item today.

    I should still have a hand bellows pump for inflation, a couple of plywood boards to hold the sail mast in place and possibly an additional hand paddle. The sail which came with the dinghy is believed to no-longer exist. Originally this would have had a small compressed gas bottle for almost immediate inflation but this never came with it when my father acquired the dinghy. You can still see the laced rubber housing that held the gas bottle (pic).

    Seen with the dinghy is the telescopic mast for a sail and a hand paddle.

    Is anyone able to identify the non English print on the dinghy, please? Is it Polish and a small amount of Frenchicon?
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    Last edited by Flying10uk; 12-30-2019 at 03:17 PM.

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  4. #2
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Now there's something you don't see every day...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Salt Flat's Avatar
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    Very cool ! I used to love those stores. I bought a lot of neat things in the surplus stores. In the 60s we bought WWII military clothing, life vests, sleeping bags camping equipment etc. I don't know if any were surplussed but the U.S. Gov't and Goodyear Rubber made 12 inflatable airplanes for rescue /emergency purposes back in the 50s. Popular Mechanics had a great article on this inflatable airplane. It inflated just like a rubber boat and had small gas engine. When you are a kid you can really dream up some great James Bond adventures with a rubber airplane!
    Salt Flat
    Last edited by Salt Flat; 12-31-2019 at 02:59 AM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salt Flat View Post
    the U.S. Gov't and Goodyear Rubber made 12 inflatable airplanes for rescue
    Here you go...

    Goodyear Inflatoplane - Wikipedia
    Regards, Jim

  8. #5
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    An "alternative use" that I was made aware of some years ago for the WW2 RAF emergency dinghy was a "child's paddling pool" because it was equally as good at keeping water in as out. A friend had been showing me some family photographs and then, low and behold, there was a photograph of a WW2 RAF emergency dinghy, like mine, being used as a child's paddling pool.

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Polish and Frenchicon makes sense, the number of Polish and French pilots in the RAF.

  11. #7
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Apparently the instructions on how to sail the thing were printed on the cloth sail.
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  12. #8
    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    The "Frenchicon" instructions mention the use of the water anchor, (stowed in the pocket) to help prevent capsizing.
    A very neat article to have.


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