Braided Hose Colour Again (One last time)

Braided Hose Colour Again (One last time)

Joined: September 8th, 2004, 10:02 pm

August 25th, 2009, 11:36 pm #1

I decided to start a new thread:
Gentlemen:
Regarding the braided hose in green with red fleck:
I didnt bother to ask the seller about this being part of the aeroplane. I found out myself. There wasnt a braided hose in the aeroplane the hose from the oxygen tank to the pilot pickup was stainless steel pipe.
Sorry to bring this up again but as for the green / red braid hose, this definitely was not for connection to the D-mask but for use with motor vehicles.
Talking recently to a well-versed person on the subject there was only one colour code for breathable oxygen to the D-mask and that was Black with a yellow fleck. If there could have been original hoses found that looked like white fleck then it is likely that the yellow had become faded so it looked white.
Like all these things in industry for safety it would be important to colour code hosing to be used with the compatible gas for that code.
That stated, it makes perfect sense that there be one colour pattern braid used with the D-mask - Black with a yellow fleck.
Cheers
Neil
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

August 26th, 2009, 9:01 am #2

Ive not thought of the yellow fleck fading to white before, doh! Quite a natural occurance of course. I spoke with Mick Prodger a while back about it and his reply was, '...I do know that the RAF had originally used rubber tubing covered with a tan/beige braided cloth when the B and D masks first appeared. The braiding was exactly the same colour as the radio wiring and this caused a lot of confusion (and danger) which is why they switched to the industrial standard black/yellow for the oxygen hose...'

Black and yellow is a standard colour code for oxygen, so it would be natural that the hose was in this colour throughout, and the change from an all yellow/tan because of the wiring loom confusion I can well imagine being the case. I wanted black and yellow from Steve S but he didnt have any at the time. If thats what you'll be making neil, and slightly thinner, count me in deffo!!

If there are photos around of what looks like green and red or similar, I'd suggest its the film distorting the colours, as we know it did.

As for the rubber itself, Mick continued, '...Regarding hoses - yes, I do believe that once the D mask was downgraded for use only at low level / rear based units (replaced on front line units by the E and E*) they began using plain rubber hoses, but I always thought they were black. I have several adaptor/connecors (adapting the E, E* and G mask to the Mk III bayonette connector) and they are all plain, black rubber, although I have seen them pictured with the black/yellow braided covering. The salmon coloured rubber was certainly available, but it is my understanding that there was a coding system for different gases - and black or black/yellow indicated oxygen. You wouldn't be wrong to use plain black rubber. It should be 5 ft long...'

I had managed to find an L-Shaped connector and a female bayonet adaptor to make one of the short adaptor pieces. At the time I found the perfect black rubber hose (black, no lettering on the outside, rubber, not PVC etc and unbraided), but got the last length which was about 30 inches long. When I went back to try and get some for my D mask, they had none left, so I went for some black/yellow braided from Steve S.

Cheers Neil, I look forward to seeing the results!
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

August 26th, 2009, 9:43 am #3


Ditto your comments chaps. Neil, I mentioned the motor vehicles use in the earlier thread. Like you Alex, I also spoke to Mick on this subject and he gave me a similar answer to yours. However, I also asked Stephen Silburn and he stated that whilst the black w/ yellow braid was definately used, it is  also possible that other fleck patterns existed. Lookking at BoB era pictures, because mostly all of them are in B&W it is very hard to tell the exact colours used. However, for anyone making these hoses (like you Neil) I would say that doing the black w/ yellow is the safest option

Neil, have you ever considered doing the earlier beige braiding? That would be unique if you did, as I don't know of anyone who has done-so.

Cheers

Ben
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

August 26th, 2009, 8:46 pm #4

I'm going to throw a little more weight on the argument.

I got today some Air Publications on disc, one which deals with masks and oxygen equipment, including the B, D, E and E* masks. In relation to the rubber tubing fitted to the B and D masks it states: '...The oxygen flexible tubing Mark III is made of special rubber which remains flexible at low temperatures, and is covered with a yellow cotton braiding...' It then goes on to say how it is fitted to the mask and bayonet fitting and that it is worn off the left of the mask, over the left shoulder and round the back of the neck, and down over the right chest to the lap.

The volume is AP1275, Volume 1 and is dated as 'Issued February 1942 with A.L. No. 55' (I assume A.L. is Air Leaflet), with the official specification of the tubing being D.T.D. 251 (if that means anything to anyone).

I find it interesting that yellow braiding is mentioned when black and yellow is clearly being worn during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain period, two years before. The AP also states that the B helmet and D mask were fitted to the owner by the tailor (and should not be worn by others as it might result in a serious oxygen leak) and also that the rubber tubing came ready fitted, although repairs in the field may be necessary.

So that is the official word on the tubing, from the manual from 1942. I would think the change from yellow to black and yellow (to avoid confusion with the mic lead) is a reasonable one, but I would question the official use of other colours. To begin with you would have to be 100% certain that any examples seen now on masks would be totally untouched and as issued. Many such masks have repro tubes added (where the original has perished or one was never fitted in the first place) and so these can all be discounted, regardless of colour. The black and white film used at the time also distorts colours as we know, so what might look like a lightish colour braid with dark fleck is unlikely to be. As has been mentioned, the yellow fleck could also fade to what appears to be white.

Although masks could potentially be fitted with new tubing in the field as a repair (especially in the BoF and BoB days) with an odd colour fleck (especially if using anything but the special 'mark III tubing') I would say that from an 'official' point of view, only the all yellow (early) or black and yellow (later) were used.
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Joined: September 8th, 2004, 10:02 pm

August 26th, 2009, 9:21 pm #5

Hi Alex and Ben,
Yes, my repro hose will be Black with yellow at the correct OD in rayon which is as close to cotton as I can get. At least it will be more durable than cotton!
Still hoping to have hoses available in October.
Cheers
Neil
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Joined: September 7th, 2008, 5:53 am

August 28th, 2009, 1:07 am #6

I would seem to think that what could have started out as white fleck eventually yellowed with age.
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

August 28th, 2009, 8:08 am #7

In order to get the correct answer, you would have to have a look at any AM documents (if the exist). It is possible though.
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

August 28th, 2009, 9:49 am #8

Possible Chris, but as yellow is mentioned in the official AP's as the colour of the tubing (which we know was substituted for black and something), and black and yellow being a standard colour combination (still to this day) for oxygen, I doubt black and white would have been used 'officially' (although field repairs/mods could result in different colours).

Neil, although you probably have all you need by now, this is a photo I meant to post at the start. Its one of the few original tubes I know of, and is on a manniquin at the Battle of Britain Museum, Hendon.

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Joined: September 8th, 2004, 10:02 pm

August 28th, 2009, 6:53 pm #9

Hi Alex, Thanks for posting this photo - it is very interesting. I have seen this type of weave in other photos. The hose I am using as a pattern has a slightly different fleck pattern with the fleck being a little larger. It is interesting to see the tan rubber too. My non-braided original is the same. But the original braided hose I am using as a pattern has black rubber.
Thanks
Neil
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

August 28th, 2009, 7:25 pm #10

I have seen different colours used on the rubber; black, tan and also a pinky red. However, black seems to be the most common.
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