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Old 13th Mar 2009, 14:46   #81 (permalink)

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Albert Driver: The flight crew did not get better hotels than the cabin crew.
Quoi?
In New York they did. On my BA duty trips there I used both. From memory the high-class one was the Wiltshiire.

edit - no it was the Berkshire
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 09:15   #82 (permalink)
 
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... and the cabin crew were in the Lexington ...

JD
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 12:48   #83 (permalink)
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What a shame the thread was hijacked by nonsense. 'Items stolen by crew'! The practise of many crew on checkout to leave their door unlocked with 'Make up room' sign displayed no doubt contributed to removal of items by other guests, and indeed, possibly by staff themselves. Customs were very hot about receipts for all imported items. I would say crew were possibly actually involved with less than half the incidents attributed to them. As for very large 5' 'looking glasses'? I think not!

BALPA always watched hotel standards for pilots only. If we ended up in a poorer quality hotel, there was a reason, and most pilots were happy to abide by the decision. I pay 1% of my pay to BALPA and am happy to leave it to them and abide by their guidance- you don't buy a guard dog and run around barking yourself!

Hopefully we have put all that garbage to rest now.
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So we put the Flight Deck into a very, very expensive but dreadful hotel, and the Cabin into a slightly less expensive but infinitely better one. There's a revolutionary in all of us.
The VC10 had enough of 'hijacking'. We lost 2, in AMS and Dawson's Field. Any stories there? Dawson's field was Cyril Goulbourn, a real old-school gentleman flier. His description of that hijacking and subsequent events was hair raising. I'll never forget the image of the VC10 fin destroyed in the desert.

Last edited by Rainboe; 14th Mar 2009 at 19:36.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 17:56   #84 (permalink)
 
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I don't recollect ever being in a high class crew hotel in NYC.
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 18:48   #85 (permalink)

 
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Rainboe

On thread and on a more positive note:

My introduction to a "glass cockpit" was on being shown around BAC Weybridge in the early - to mid 70s.

They had a VC-10 cockpit mockup fitted with what looked like little black-and-white tv screens.

The gentleman who was showing us around subsequently moved to Toulouse.

Does anyone else have recollections of those days, or other contributions the VC-10 made to the Airbus line?
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Old 14th Mar 2009, 20:58   #86 (permalink)
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I dimly recall talk of the early 'glass cockpit' plans. I'm surprised we didn't end up with dreadful poor quality displays that tended to revert to a little girl with teddy in front of a blackboard! With the relatively poor technology of the time and near total lack of computing power, I assume the displays would have been fed from a 3' camera shooting a brightly lit pilot's panel display in the electronics bay! Like the simulator visual system.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 01:57   #87 (permalink)
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Rainboe,

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I'll never forget the image of the VC10 fin destroyed in the desert.
Some months later I recall seeing it within the VC10 hanger at LHR. Wonder what happened to it?
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 02:59   #88 (permalink)
 
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The Advanced Flight Deck (AFD) simulator at Weybridge used parts of the ill-fated BAC 3-11 simulator and the aerodynamics came from A300 like software – it might have used parts of a VC 10 throttle box, airbrakes, etc.
AFAIR the displays were not destined for any particular project – more a technology demonstrator, but of course much of what was learnt went to Toulouse. The use of 7xCRT displays (7in B/W) was a world first and the system was exhibited in the Smithsonian museum in DC. Much of the work involved developing flight and systems formats which aided operation and reduced workload.
Also, IIRC a later AFD ‘flew’ with A310 displays and those destined for the BAE ATP.
The nearest that the AFD came to flying was the use of colour CRT displays with AFD developed formats in the RAE Bedford BAC 1-11 (XX105). Of course Bedford did have a VC-10, but could not afford to fly it – last seen taxing across the 09 threshold to measure the beam distortion on the 27 MLS.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 12:44   #89 (permalink)
 
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ZFT, what you saw could only have been the horizontal stabiliser see:
Surviving Bits & Pieces.

Contemporaneous aviation magazines state the same information.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 13:13   #90 (permalink)
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Time dims the memory, but I'm pretty sure the fin and stab were resplendant on the hanger floor. Hopefully someone with more intact grey cells will confirm.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 14:55   #91 (permalink)
 
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Come on chaps, "horizontal stabilizer" is surely not a term that would have been used at Weybridge. I take it that you must mean "tailplane"? After all, TPI stands for Tail Plane Incidence.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 15:22   #92 (permalink)
 
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Nice one Brian!

ZFT, could it be that the "TAILPLANE" had been fitted to another fin at the time you saw it?
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 17:09   #93 (permalink)
 
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I believe the tail plane from the desert was used as a spare for mods. to allow the whole thing to be changed and then the removed one to be modified without grounding any aircraft.

The first fins and tail planes were built at Hurn. I remember seeing them when I used to go into work with my father on a Sunday afternoon in the early 60's.
I was about 8-10 years old.
The last of the Viscounts and the first One-Elevens were also being built.
I don't think this would be allowed now.

And I've just seen a Super VC-10 fly over my house near Yeovilton.
It was going north at about 10,000ft, inbound to Brize I presume.
Still looks wonderful!
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 20:18   #94 (permalink)
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An engineering team went to Dawsons Field specifically to salvage Golf November's tailplane which was known to be intact. This was announced in an edition of 'BOAC News' and it was a small consolation to the staff that at least a part of this once-proud aeroplane would fly on. I think we all felt pretty sick seeing it lying broken like that, but at least on this occasion there was no loss of life.

One other outcome of the 1970 hijackings was the start of pre-boarding security checks, although not as draconian as we have come to know them, and the introduction of photo-ID on uniforms.

Last edited by Georgeablelovehowindia; 15th Mar 2009 at 20:34.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 20:49   #95 (permalink)
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I remember when my kids were young the Engineering base threw open the hangars for family visits on a very pleasant family day. The hysteria amongst the children when a very big noisy fire engine set off to chase us across the massive apron was tremendous fun. I remember it was a very happy day showing the family what the job was all about. The engineers were all smiley faced and it was a very entertaining day. Such things have vanished into history!

When the Dawson's Field planes were blown up, I recall the enormity of the explosion. It's worth remembering the aeroplanes had no APUs. The toilets had no flush! I gather the VC10 came off best as the toilet used a flapping lid mechanism rather than just a flush that wasn't working on the TWA and Swissair! The saga of the crew and passengers over 2 weeks is a story that never really came out adequately.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 21:08   #96 (permalink)
 
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The engines were also salvaged from the Dawsons Field aircraft thanks to some excellent negotiating work by Nikki Bakkar, founder and owner of BOACs agents in Lebanon. Whether they or components were used again I don't know. A full account of what happened politically/diplomatically and on the ground outside and inside the aircraft would be fascinating but I've never seen anything comprehensive.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 22:29   #97 (permalink)
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philbky,

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ZFT, could it be that the "TAILPLANE" had been fitted to another fin at the time you saw it?
No, my memory was of the complete tailplane structure laying on the hanger floor. Hopefully someone else who also saw it there will confirm.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 22:31   #98 (permalink)
 
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A picture, and something of a historic one.




G-ARVF is shown at Kai Tak on 29 September 1964, shortly before it left for London on the first ever VC10 service (on which I was lucky enough to be a passenger). The route was HKG-Rangoon-New Delhi-Karachi-Cairo-Zurich-LHR, flown by Captains Wallace (to Karachi) and Eagleton. Zurich was overflown (visibility 30 metres), inconveniencing one passenger, and two approaches were made at LHR before that too was abandoned due to fog (the airport closed during the second approach).

We diverted to Prestwick where, over a very civilised breakfast (all the male passengers wore suits, many of the ladies wore hats...), Capt. Eagleton assured a nervous passenger that, had the need arisen, he had enough fuel for Copenhagen! We were all very impressed with the VC10. And we were impressed with BOAC too, as Captain Eagleton took off from Prestwick just before his crew duty time expired for "a good place in the stack" as LHR was still to re-open. He timed it perfectly, the sector was 1h:25m.

The single fare from Hong Kong to London was £208, half the return fare of £416 because that's how it worked in those days. My annual salary at the time, as a Pilot Officer, was £600 - so you can guess someone else was paying!

One year before, I had been employed at Vickers-Armstrongs Weybridge on university vacation training and had worked on 'VF; it had returned from Wisley to have its engine mountings modified as part of the drag reduction programme. G-ARVG, 'VH and 'VJ had been in final assembly then in August 1963, and had yet to fly. It was good to see the aircraft again, especially in its new blue and gold paint scheme, and a great privilege to be a passenger on a historic first service from the Far East.

G-ARVF is now preserved in a museum in Germany, and if you visit it at Hermeskeil, don't be surprised if you see this picture.
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 23:21   #99 (permalink)
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I seem to remember the tailplane screwjacks were playing up and required maintenance. As there was not a spare, it would involve taking each plane out of service for the duration to do the job. Dansons Field happened at just the right time, and they could swap over the tailplane assemblies, or screwjack assembly, can't remember which, and keep the aeroplanes in service while the fleet took it in turns to be done. It wasn't called the 'Iron Duck' for nothing!

Can anyone say who was involved in the double engine failure LHR?
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Old 15th Mar 2009, 23:59   #100 (permalink)
 
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Was it Brian Titchener ... ?

No, on second thoughts, I think it was Johnny Smurthwaite ...

... and didn't Roger Whitefield have a double engine failure out of JFK ... ?

'twas all character-building stuff ...

JD
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