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Old 8th Jan 2017, 09:49   #21 (permalink)
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All,

Some great contacts being made and some useful gen/tales being forwarded to me via PM and e-mail. Please do keep them coming. Any ex-28 Sqn guys out there with details of policing Hong Kong?

Lee
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 10:28   #22 (permalink)
 
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So much for pussycat 'twin-engine' Wessex drivers. REAL Wessex pilots cut their teeth IMC at 150 feet terrifying the life out of Russian submarines in the amazing Wessex Mk3. No electronic engine computers and only one donkey but our analogue AFCS was state of the art. Junglies.... Crabs ..... get a life. :-)

G
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 11:01   #23 (permalink)
 
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Like Geoff, my introto the Wessex was the HAS1 for initial AFT and then the HAS3 for the rest of AFT & OFT, at Culdrose and then Portland. The stream driven AFCS was 'controlled' by a wiper arm being driven down or up a rheostat (spiral binding of wiring) that would then vary the inputs to the AFCS. Sitting around in a salt laden atmosphere for a few weeks would sometimes allow a tad of corrosion to build up with often spectacular results as the resistance spiked and demanded massive control responses.

The AFT from Portland included DLP training from RFA Engadine, with the delights of an RFA wardroom and accommodation. One quirk was a miniature globe in the wardroom with a pronounced zig zag on the latitude line that allows the bar to become duty free! DLPs were quite challenging with minimal spacing between the two landing spots, especially at night landing on the fwd spot with another HAS3 on the aft spot, turning and burning. Probably 12ft of clearance fore and aft, but as steely eyed pingers we knew no better.

Later I had a (sort of) fun time with the Wessex 60, initially an abbreviated endorsement in Norfolk which was cut short by a blizzard, then operating from Derby and Broome in the far north west of Western Australia. I was at the airport hotel the night before flying out of Heathrow and received a call from a Bristow training captain berating me for not signing a return of service agreement, who was insistent that I had received an (incomplete) endorsement on a 'modern, sophisticated twin turbine' and wasn't happy with my rejoinder after 2,000 on Sea Kings and 1,000 hours on 212s telling him what I thought of his idea!

Out of Derby we operated single pilot to crew change a rig off Timorest, requiring two refuels outbound, one on the rig and one refuel on the way back. Flying northbound with the sun rising from the east and home the other way, sliding window open all the time, the drivers all had right arms a few shades darker than the left. The stock question from strangers in the Potshot bar was 'are you a truckie', with a different type of truck in mind!

Navigation was very sophisticated with a Litton VLF Omega unit good for two miles accuracy, but the volatile memory would wipe with every start so it had to be reprogrammed after the second start which was usually in temps well into the mid 30s centigrade. For refuelling from drums on a coral atoll (Browse Island) we would never shut down No 1, preferring to tolerate the noise and imbuggerance whilst pumping to the option getting stuck 200 miles offshore. The pax were inclined to go wandering so the best way to hold them in check was to brief on the poisonous items to be found, most of which were total figments designed to control them!

More anon.
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 14:48   #24 (permalink)
 
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I remember a RBAF Wessex passing through Changi in the late sixties with a Westland crew. At that time it was one of the longest flights ever attempted in a helicopter. I believe Bristows beat that when they flew a Wessex out to Oz.
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 15:13   #25 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
I flew the Wessex on a Madge trial at Wyton in 1978. It flew all right and we got the information required. Everybody thought I was qualified on the Wessex including the Navigator in the LHS whom I thought was the pilot.
Nice one! Who signed the F700?
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 16:20   #26 (permalink)
 
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Well said Geoffers. Great AFCS and auto transition programme, I flew WxIIIs at PO until we decommissioned them up to Wroughton. well, those that didn't spit fire after their fir tree roots let rip...
However whether favouring the single or twin engined variety; what a fantastic airframe and a joy to fly an aircraft you 'mount', rather than 'board' ?

Dit On: I was stand-in sea-daddy to the last USN exchange pilot to convert to the Wessy 3. He was a well-experienced SH-2 Seasprite guy, from Norfolk VA or Mayport FL I and highly 'small ship' suited but not a natural fan of low level ASW IFR hovering (35 ft?). On his joining day he did a tour of the squadron and hangar (before his intro appointment with Wings before the 1700Z O Club acquaint across the runway) we took him up to a cockpit for a shuftie and after a while saw him 'double take' the cockpit gauges and a metaphoric thinks bubble appear..... On asking if he had any questions he said he was looking for the second needle on all the double tachos showing each engine's Ng, T4/PTIT, oil prx etc.
I informed him there was only one donk....

Turns out that when offered the exchange he had first looked in Janes before accepting and saw a total of 4 exhausts, and naturally assumed (being an active ASW machine) there must be at least two engines under the bonnet. "You damn crazy Brits (and I know Aussies) was the retort" ! Now he knew why we didn't have dry ships, especially DLGs.

Happy Happy Days !!!!
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Old 8th Jan 2017, 18:44   #27 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffersincornwall View Post
So much for pussycat 'twin-engine' Wessex drivers. REAL Wessex pilots cut their teeth IMC at 150 feet terrifying the life out of Russian submarines in the amazing Wessex Mk3. No electronic engine computers and only one donkey but our analogue AFCS was state of the art. Junglies.... Crabs ..... get a life. :-)

G
Agreed - but I think your analogue AFCS was a duplex system, unlike the supposedly more advanced Sea King!
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Old 9th Jan 2017, 08:09   #28 (permalink)
 
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Wessex HAS1 AFCS comprised MK19 Autopilot and Hover Coupler. (built by Louis Newmark of Watch fame)

Autopilot autostab Gyros in Pitch/Roll with Heading and Bar Alt locks, Bar Alt was set at safe height before transition.

Transition controlled by Hover Coupler with Rad Alt and Doppler inputs until Hover point, when ball lowered, and control switched to cable sensors

No duplex channels.

737 Squadron FCS specialist 62/63 and occasional LH set occupant
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Old 9th Jan 2017, 12:17   #29 (permalink)
 
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Xtiff....Wessex HAS1 ...."Transition controlled by Hover Coupler with Rad Alt and Doppler inputs until Hover point" .... unless one was in the Far East at night (often hot, humid, no wind, flat calm sea, no horizon and pitch black) in which case the automatic transitions were useless and the aircraft had to be hand flown. The bar alt was used in transit but the dipping procedure was to wind down the rad alt height from 125' initially to 70' and then 35' whilst decelerating on instruments to achieve what one hoped was the hover attitude (a couple of degrees nose up and two to three degrees left wing down) meanwhile the co-pilot looked back in the hope of seeing the downwash in the light from the nav lights, once it had caught up the downwash could provide some Doppler return. It was not unusual to discover that at least on the first transition the hover had not been achieved and now just which way was the aircraft moving (left, right, backwards?) and often whist pulling max continuous engine power! On a hot black calm night it was quite a relief to get into the 30' Doppler hover and then get the ball out to establish the cable hover before another manual transition up to another jump at 90kts and 125' and then going through the whole procedure again.
By comparison the Wessex 3 was a dream with its reliable transition modes and superior rad alt and Doppler. The Seaking system was not anything like as good but the aircraft had two engines .... and therefore twice the chance of an engine failure? That happened to me, survived the single engine Wessex only to ditch in a SeaKing. I thought the Wessex 3 was just great!
(Ex 814 Wessex 1 & 3, County class DLG Mk3, and 824 Seaking HAS1)

Last edited by 76fan; 9th Jan 2017 at 12:43.
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Old 9th Jan 2017, 15:43   #30 (permalink)
 
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76fan - what memories of the mid 1960's and the Wessex HAS Mk1 you bring back to life - especially those of pitch black Far East nights with glassy seas and nil wind, hoping the downwash would catch up so you could establish a doppler hover. Remember 19,400....19,500....19,600 crpm?...Still not in the hover so go around, using all the 19,900 as she topped out, 50 ft/min rate of climb if I recall correctly, stick stirrers need not apply.

The Mk 3 was a dream compared to that. Must look in the loft -somewhere I have my 700(H) IFTU Mk3 systems book which we got at Westlands - it might be of use to Lee.

Here are the pre-dip checks from the Mk1 FRCs':
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pre-Dip-Checks.jpg (30.3 KB, 48 views)

Last edited by Democritus; 9th Jan 2017 at 16:03.
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Old 9th Jan 2017, 18:22   #31 (permalink)
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Demo

Yes please!

Lee
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 02:34   #32 (permalink)
 
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The pax were inclined to go wandering so the best way to hold them in check was to brief on the poisonous items to be found, most of which were total figments designed to control them!
Hello John Eacott. For sure I was one of those passengers at one time and another! At the time I worked for the supply boat company, and may have been involved in delivering fuel to Browse Island. I also recall an Anglo Indian pilot flying a Wessex. Is that correct, do you know him?

I went on to both fly and own my own helicopter much later. Grounded and well and truly retired now! I enjoy your posts. Cheers.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 05:57   #33 (permalink)
 
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Old Farang,

Well, if you were on the fuel supply to Browse then maybe you were there when we tried for the world Wessex record of empty drums into a net?! ISTR we squeezed 30 or so into the net but couldn't manage any more due to the net size, if only we'd had digital cameras in those days!

I was with another driver and we spelled each other driving/crewing, I was in the cabin when he dropped the only long strop that we had into the oggin alongside the supply boat. End of exercise, home early to Broome!

I can't recall the Anglo Indian drivers name, it may be in my logbook back in Melbourne so I'll check when I'm home.

Were you there when I refused a drunken pax off the Perth red-eye, he couldn't even walk to the Wessex across the tarmac? I was severely castigated at the end of the day by Mayne-Bristow manager back in Perth for daring to do such a thing, no doubt I'd have been severely castigated if the drunk had decided to open the door and fall out somewhere across the Arethusa Sea!
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 06:21   #34 (permalink)
 
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Were you there when I refused a drunken pax off the Perth red-eye, he couldn't even walk to the Wessex across the tarmac?
Wasn't me! Drunken passengers were a major problem in those days. The hosties on MMA used to keep a close watch on which rig had a crew change day, and suddenly call in sick if it happened to coincide with their roster. The supply boat crews were a little better as they had more frequent access to booze, so tended to behave better.
I was general dogsbody and engineer for the supply boat company, so I never had a regular schedule unless they were short of an engineer. Sometimes fly to a rig to get to the boat, and sometimes meet up in Broome.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 07:51   #35 (permalink)
 
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Wessex 3 XM328 and Series 3 G-AVNE/PK-HBQ/VH-BHC/9M-ASS/5N-AJL just finishing restoration at The Helicopter Museum. As can be seen from the regs,the latter went everywhere and was the first long range Wessex I believe( the museum also has G-ATBZ). Would be great to collect some sample Log book pages from pilots who flew either of these aircraft in service to display with them.
The museum also holds the aircraft logs for the ex Bristow aircraft and probably other material too...Lee, suggest you contact Mark Service,their Collections Manager to see what's in their archive? I also have a Wessex 60 historical file waiting to be passed over.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 08:18   #36 (permalink)
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heli1 - on my list of things to do, thanks.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 09:00   #37 (permalink)
 
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VH-BHC
Ignoring the ginger beers: I'm fairly sure this is BHC

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Old 10th Jan 2017, 13:45   #38 (permalink)
 
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That's no ginger beer; that's a bearded Billy Denman!!
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 07:02   #39 (permalink)
 
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Found my Wx III ground school notes if it helps your manual Lee. One shows the duplex nature of the fantastic Louis Newmark Mk 30 FCS. Null indicators were used as part of the process to identify which channel of which half was suffering a problem during airborne fault diagnosis.
See attached samplers, please excuse the sketchiness, I was a different type of artist in my 20s !!!
I can photocopy and post you the whole book if required, theres about 35 pages of A4 and a selection of pilot's notes quizzes. pp
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wx 3 e.jpg (286.0 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg wx 3 ef.jpg (350.2 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg wx 3 er.jpg (342.5 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg wx 3 et.jpg (294.8 KB, 31 views)
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 09:22   #40 (permalink)
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Peter, many thanks. Probably not going to bamboozle the average ready with that level of detail () but will come back to you on the rest of it in due course. As ever, though, much appreciated!

Keep the PMs coming please; some good stuff being sent through so far, all of which I'm taking note of.

Lee
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