View Full Version : More Kemble piccies

29th Sep 2003, 17:46
Some good flying - Vampire being my favourite - and great weather. But let's hope future events are back on the other side of the airfield because shooting into the sun all day really knackers your chance of any really good flying photos. :(




30th Sep 2003, 14:04
Looking at the canberra picture I ask myself, how is the engine started, causing the black smoke to escape the intake cowling in threee distinct directions ? Does it have a small two cycle engine in the spinner to do the job like on the Me 262 Jumo jet engines ? Or is it using some pyrotechnical cartridges ? Can anyone tell me more details ?

30th Sep 2003, 16:54
If understand that it is loaded with three starter cartridges per engine which fire simultaneously.

30th Sep 2003, 17:30
I thought it was just one at a time - 3 per engine to enable repeated attempts at starting; looked like Phil reloaded just the one after the display anyway. Given the amount of smoke one cartridge can produce from a Venom or Vampire, it about matches the amount of smoke seen coming from 3 seperate holes on the Canberra.

I once watched that very Can go through all three cartridges on one side, and two on the other, trying to get started at Bruntingthorpe. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the ground crew! Those cartridges cost a fair bit of cash, not to mention requiring careful storage etc. Many cartridge-started aircraft have been converted to electrical start, which was why the Hunters and Vampire at Kemble didn't start up with similar clouds of smoke. Safer and cheaper but far less fun to watch!

30th Sep 2003, 18:09
Yes Damien... you're spot on - they load 3 for re-start attempts. But only one at a time. The gun/breach needs to be carefully cleaned each time too, can lead to all sorts of problems if it's not done properly.

Also, just about all the Vamps are electric starts, but the Venoms cartridge. A few Vamps (particularly single seaters) in the US were converted to cartridge though... as loads of the airfields are unattended, they can't get external power, so easier for them to use cartridges.

They are really expensive as you say... when the forces find old surplus stock the price is a bit cheaper - I believe I.R.O. 70 a cartridge, but can be upwards of 150 when in short supply.

The Hunters have a modified Vampire starter - different relays I think, but otherwise the same clockwork starter!

30th Sep 2003, 20:13
Here's a Venom starting up...it's just a pity it looks like the guy in front of the aircraft has blown his top!


30th Sep 2003, 20:37
Now that's what I call an afro.

30th Sep 2003, 22:45

All Canberras from the B.6 onwards had Avon Mk109 engines with triple-breech cartridge start systems. (Except the PR.9 of course, that had a three-shot AVPIN starter). DB is right, this allowed "away" starts with spare cartridges being carried strapped just inside the rear hatch - under the fuselage just aft the bomb-bay. Pic shows WK163's triple-breech starter (taken a couple of years ago).


The Avon Mk1s of the B.2, PR.3 and T.4 Canberras had only single-breech cartridge starters though. Spare cartridges were carried, as above, just inside the rear hatch. Pic shows the single-breech starter WK680 "CT", (a PR.3) when at Marham.



1st Oct 2003, 01:02
You can get about 10 starts from a full tank of AVPIN on a PR9. ;)

Compass Call
1st Oct 2003, 01:49
They must have modified the tank to about 6 gallons! In my day the norm for a PR9 was 3 full starts from a 2 gallon tank less if you had any fails.


1st Oct 2003, 02:32
Got to agree with Compass, in my day (60s- 70s) the 9s had 2 gall AVPIN tanks giving 3 "shots".

The American Canberras (B-57) used cartridge starters as well, but theirs was a lot "dirtier" than ours. . . .:ooh:


No wonder they painted theirs all black! :rolleyes:

henry crun
1st Oct 2003, 06:16
wub, re that link, DH's must have been surprised to learn that RR made the Ghost. :)

As an aside, the smell of cordite in the cockpit after a cartridge start was revolting. :yuk:

No comment
1st Oct 2003, 06:20
Can see why they painted it black !!!

I have a picture somewhere of a bright orange Canberra (Indian AF? or one of the S.American lot) starting up.... good thing it was painted orange or else you wouldn't be able to see it at all!!!

1st Oct 2003, 06:30
Bright orange Canberra? German Target Tug perchance? Tim Mills, what sayest thou!

1st Oct 2003, 06:44
Treadigraph . .
"Bright orange Canberra? German Target Tug perchance?"

No. The German orange cans were not TTs, they flew geographic and spec ops stuff. Their 99+34 flew with yellow/black stripes under the wings only but this was, I believe, because it had been fitted with the wings of a former 100Sqd RAF TT.18 - WK123 "CY" and the stripes hadn't been painted over. :hmm:

The Indian Air Force has a bright orange B(I)58, FI021, with don't-shoot-me yellow/black underside stripes. Quite a pretty aircraft really. :E


"Tim Mills, what sayest thou!"
Would enjoy chatting with this guy if he's a CanMan. ;)


1st Oct 2003, 16:47
PR9 AVPIN tanks:

2 x 5 gallon (22 litre) tanks giving "at least" 8 starts.

1st Oct 2003, 17:37
re: Rolls Royce vs De Havilland...

I don't think they were surprised as pretty sure RR took over the De Havilland designs as de Hav moved away from engines. All based on the Halford engine - significantly better than Whittle's design.

3rd Oct 2003, 15:49
One lives and learns Beeayeate! I knew the Indian AF had Canberras, didn't know they were painted like that. Nice pic! Must admit I always assumed the German aircraft were TT's... I sit corrected there as well!



Stan Evil
4th Oct 2003, 02:03
Although there were 6 (?) cartridges stowed in the rear hatch, they were a pain to get at as they were wire-locked in. If you were going on a landaway in a B2/TT18/T19 then the easiest thing to do was shove 3 or 4 carts under the pilot's bang-seat - there was a handy space that they just fitted in. Probably broke all sorts of rules covering carriage of pyrotechnics though. The used cartridge cases were useful on landaways to non-military bases as well - you could guarentee quick service if you waved them above your head and gave them to the first groundcrew that arrived!

On departure you needed to warn unfamiliar groundcrew about the start otherwise you got a fire extinguisher down the engine (if they were brave) or they just did a runner (if they weren't).

Others who flew the PR9, Hunter F6/9 and Frightning can tell AVPIN stories - scary stuff. AVPIN is isopropyl nitrate which is a mono-fuel; it will ignite without the presence of oxygen. I've seen the results of the purge system on a Hunter not working - it belw the intakes inside out; also a Landrover was totalled when carrying the stuff across Huntingdon to Alconbury. I once arrived overseas in my PR7 and was asked to go to the eningineering officer's office; he pointed to a can of AVPIN in the corner and said he thought it was for us - what steps should he take? I said bl**dy great big ones in the general direction of 'away'!

Happy dayz.

4th Oct 2003, 02:17
Stan E

"The used cartridge cases were useful . . ."

Too true, 10 minutes work with a hacksaw and some Duraglit and you had a rather presentable ashtray. Still got a couple here.

And yes, AVPIN was awful stuff, distinctive smell too - but its use on on the paths and borders around the hangar meant you were weed-free for AOC's. :E