How are the Avons in the airworthy Hunters and taxiable Lightnings started?
In my day in the RAF they were started by cartridge(Hunter) and AVPIN(Lightning). In the Middle East the Hunters were started by AVPIN. But surely both AVPIN & cartridges must be in very short supply if available at all.
Has an alternative(safer) electric starting system been designed for them?
It's a mixed bag on the Hunter front. Some of the UK-based aircraft still use cartridge start (Hunter T.7 XL573 G-BVGH and PR.11 WT723 G-PRII to name two), whereas others like Delta Jets' two Hunter T.7s use electric start. Hunter F.6A XF516, which sadly crashed in 2003, may have used Avpin cartridges to start it. I'd guess that most will switch to electric over the coming years though.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
I'd be very surprised if many civilian Hunters use Avpin (Iso-propyl-nitrate) - it's evil stuff. A monofuel which burns with a near-invisible flame and requires a member of the starter crew to beat out any suspected fire with an asbestos glove...
Heaven knows what the nanny-state Health and Safety police or Eurocratic enviro-fundamentalists would make of that!
The joys of the "Wheee-phutt" and "Whee-whee" start failures - that taks me back to Brawdy days!
You are a bit out of touch Beags - RAF issue beret was the weapon of choice in my day You could always tell if the Hunter had an AVPIN starter because the members of the starter crew usually had a hole burnt in their berets
What do the Lightnings in civvy hands use then? AVPIN or Electric?
"Ah, I love the smell of Avpin in the morning!" (Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now)
Nothing quite like the streaming eyes and burning throat to cure the hangover (ok so maybe it was the 100% O2 that did the trick)
The Lightnings in Cape Town all retained the Avpin starting system. IIRC the owner managed to secure a fresh producer of the stuff. It is not that different in make-up to the hydrazine used in F-16 emergency power units.
FRADU: I know(!) when XF516 crashed it was indeed avpin started, but it was poured in from a container rather than being a cartridge.
The electric start option for the Hunter involves a tray of batteries and the engine spins up quite slowly.
Typhoon DA2 has a hydrazine power unit which is for the high risk trials, but such is the HSE environment that the unions negotiated extra payments for the folks handling it.
The SWO at Valley used to loiter around the Junior Ranks Mess and charge anyone with the characteristic Avpin Singe on their berets. So the old Liney glove was used, and todays H&S wallahs would have a blue fit if they saw the OX 38 soaked gloves beating out invisible flames. Great in winter though if you put a still burning glove in your pocket by mistake, NOT!
Wonder what they would think of the practice of moving the polypins of the stuff down the line, by rolling them propelled by boot DMS!
Location: A civilised little County..with a bit of eccentricity to boot
Country Calls----the H and S brigade would have an even bigger fit if they had witnessed Gnats being LOX'ed up at night--in the corner (ish) of Gaydon Hangar complete with swirling clouds of vented vapour rolling over the floor and drip trays. Not that this ever happened of course ---or, for that matter, degreasing wheel bearings in non leaded gasoline--masks, gloves ventilation ??---next !.
Hears a question for you Hunter men. I've only ever started a jet engine with compressed air. You know Start valve open, Max motoring, fuel in, WHUMPH that sort of thing. What's the sequence of events in the cockpit when cartridge starting?.
Hi all Hydrazine! Jesus wept! What about the airstart cart used for F4s and the like,built around an APU core and going from nothing to 10000 plus revs in about two seconds?! Guaranteed to wake the dead and get the engines rolling. I saw a Chippie started using the cartridge starter,JimGriff, and it makes a very satisfying BANG! followed by the usual Gipsy spluttering. When it doesn't go Bang! but goes HHssssss...,that's when the pilot and engineers go white and find excuses to be elsewhere. regards TDD
The Canberras were always good for scaring the forrinners when they started up. Sharp bang and lots of smoke. Our T.4 from Wyton had the US Crash Waggons arrive at it when at Alconbury once. Mind you, the US B-57 (Canberra look-alike) was just as bad.
For a short while in the early '90s at Boscombe Down, the H&S brigade made the starter crew wear respirators when starting the Hunter 9 because of the burning AVPIN fumes! Luckily, common sense soon prevailed.