Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
I did the last SAR ever with a Sycamore, which was based at CFS(H) Tern Hill in Feb 66. This was a Saturday morning and two aircraft went off for the search in North Wales and I went along as crew.
If ever the RAF could find an aircraft less suitable to be used as a trainer it was the Bristol 171. It's eventual downfall came when several crashed at Tern Hill having run out of cyclic authority, with a strong wind under the quarter.
The other reason it was the best aircraft ever operated by CFS was 'cause it was followed by the Sioux which was just great!
Ladies, Gents, and those others we now so proudly invite into our fold, I give you the Wessex. No arguing now. Hover? But of course. Upside down/90Nose up wingovers/90 Nose down bunts? Naturally. And it smelled like an old car - leather, phenol, hyd fluid and grease. And if you were good, and listened very carefully, each one spoke to you. There will never be another like it....
Now I'm spoilt for choice. Sioux: lovely, wonderful visibility, and the instructors were just getting used to it as well. Whirlwind: a classic, what more can one say? Wessex: just one lovely machine. Did what it said on the tin. Happy days, far too long ago.
Look - you're all missing it. The Hunter came late to CFS, but as a side-by-side, spacious, and relatively friendly, high performance trainer, followed by solo in the GT6, what could've been a better orgasmic combination? All else pales ----. And as for things that are made up from clattering bits of thin aerofoil and hundreds of other silly rotating bits that pretend to be aeroplanes, give us a break, please!