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british aircraft rivets from 1940s

british aircraft rivets from 1940s

does anyone have a good reference on rivet types and installation for old British rivets (eg: AS156, AS161, etc.)? I have the rivet standards but they are somewhat lacking. Same goes for the SRM.

In particular anything that describes the process for normalizing rivets (eg: L37 material).


RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

I'm not sure many of use can help you, with the information provided.
Assume that I've never heard of these rivets before (which is true).
What do they look like?
Who manufactured them?
What aircraft were they used on?
What was the purpose of the rivet joints where they were used?
And most importantly....

Why do you want to use them?


RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

Prepare for a not very helpful post..

I recall at my previous employer in the UK a little book - I think maybe a detail catalog from a hardware supplier - that had information on all kinds of rivets etc.

Sorry, not much help but might give an idea where to look i.e. old vendor literature or the like.

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RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

thanks for your replies. This is a work in progress and things evolve as we dig up more (old) information.

This is for wing skin attachments on an old WW2 era British fighter (Tempest). Looks like we have what we needed now however. Will carry on to the next item.

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

Check with the Paul Garber Restoration division of the Smithsonian. On a tour around that place a few years ago, a Docent told me they had contacts and access to rivets and other fasteners for most aircraft in their collection.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

is this a flying restoration ?

what size are these rivets ?

are there any calcs around (so we can see the allowable) ?

have you tried the historical societies ? (like the battle of Britian flight)

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

Would it be a crazy assumption that there is some sort of community of aircraft restorers you could ask - or is it more cut throat competition for the most eye catching restoration.

I assume you've contacted the RAF museum in Hendon (and it's satellites) and similar places?

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RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

Quote (brin)

...In particular anything that describes the process for normalizing rivets (eg: L37 material)....

L37 aluminum seems to be similar to 2014 alloy. But I have never seen the term "normalizing" used with aluminum materials. I've only seen it used with ferrous alloys.

Do you actually mean an annealed condition for the aluminum rivets?

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

brin... related issues...

FAA has dealt with issue of obsolete parts/materials on 'Vintage" [classic/antique] acft and released an 'Advisory Circular' to provide guidance when restoring these acft and the 'old-stuff' simply is no-longer available... or is not reliable enough for modern airworthiness-concious aviators..

AC 23-27 Parts and Materials Substitution for Vintage Aircraft substitution

Also... I suspect that "normalizng aluminum" means solution heat-treat/quench/natural-aging to -T3/-T4 condition.

Regards, Wil Taylor

o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true.
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible.
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion"]
o Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. [Picasso]

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

brin- It would be helpful for others referring back to this topic if you could provide some details of how your issues were resolved. For example, rather than simply stating you managed to "dig up more (old) information", maybe you could provide some details about the information and the source you obtained it from.

wktaylor- AC 23-27 provides guidance for the process of obtaining FAA approval for part and material substitutions when the original item is no longer available. A quick internet search seems to indicate the rivet in question (AS156) is still available. Per the OP, if there is no existing SRM or OEM documentation covering installation of the rivet in question, then AC 43.13-1B would probably be a better reference. Chapter 4, section 4 provides extensive details on how the FAA prefers to address these situations.

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

To amplify Tbuelna's point, many of us collect a library of resources here. Even if we didn't have the info you were looking for, knowing what it is would help us help others with similar problems in the future. Also, it might cause the coin to drop in somebody's head, and they could suddenly say "Oh I have a cleaner copy of that" or "Oh yeah, now I remember that - I also have all this stuff on the same subject..." which could also help you in the end!


RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

My apologies on dropping this thread short.

I'm still trying to understand the British AP and AVP system, but AVP 970 contained materials strength information similar to ANC-5. It was somewhat of a living document with sections that were inserted or removed with revisions.

We managed to find Strength of Materials information (section 401) dated 1948 at the RAF museum in England. For rivet joint strength, we also now have section 405 (1963) which helps considerably. I'm still digging thru this and looking at material supersessions, etc.

The British rivets (eg: AS161, AS163, AS164, etc.) can be seen on Some of them have a 120 deg countersunk head. I haven't purchased the spec for this yet (from, but I understand the AS156 rivet is made from L37 which is listed in section 401 as having a basic shear strength of 16.2 tons/sq. in (32.4ksi).

From what I understand, the rivet "normalizing" heat treatment involves heat treat at 495 deg F and water quench followed by 4 days aging at room temperature. But I still haven't seen a process yet.

Will check out AC23-27.

Thanks all

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

So close:
I downloaded many of the AVP 970 documents when they were published on the web years ago. The site seems to be gone, now. You are not the first to ask about these.
Sadly, I only downloaded Volumes 1 & 2 (airworthiness of aircraft and rotorcraft). I don't have Volume 4 to help you with. Maybe somebody else had the patience.

It's a bit generic, but Mil-R-47196 lays down the basis for common bucked-rivet installation practices. It won't point you at specific tools for a specific rivet head, though.


RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

brin: are you sure those tons are short tons of 2000 lbs and not long tons of 2240 lbs?

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

RPstress- good call, I did look at that but WW2 Britain was still imperial measurement until sometime in the 1970's.

RE: british aircraft rivets from 1940s

that would be important. Will get back on this.

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