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Old 4th May 2011, 13:32
  #648 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 37
RR NDB ref your Tail Fin separation (before or at sea surface crash?) post ... #593


There has been much interesting discussion on these pages about whether a large airliner can be kept flying in a controlled manner minus a VS.

Shown below is a 1961 picture of an RAF 74(F) Sqn English Electric Lightning Mk1. It has a 60 degree swept wing and a low set slab tailplane.

It landed uneventfully with a considerable amount of VS (vertical stab / fin) missing.
The structural failure was caused by inter-acting shockwaves from adjacent aircraft.

The pilot, Flt Lt Jim Burns, was the outside man in a 'finger four' low level air display high speed formation pass. As the formation of 4 aircraft crossed RAF Coltishall airfield at Mach 0.95/620 knots IAS and 200' altitude the outside aircraft pulled up abruptly and then made a leisurely circuit. It landed minus about 75% of it's vertical tail in an otherwise normal configuration of full flap and a Vref of 165 knots. The pilot was unaware of the VS loss until he got out of his cockpit: his VHF radio antenna was at the top of the fin and had also departed

so no radio, and yes it was VHF when this happened 5o years ago.

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