View Full Version : Flying Historic Aircraft

Flying Lawyer
6th Sep 2004, 21:48

I see that Andy Sephton, Chief Pilot of the Shuttleworth Collection and regular PPRuNe contributor, is giving a lecture on Flying Historic Aircraft at the Royal Aeronautical Society.

http://www.f4aviation.co.uk/airshow01/riat/partthree/andysephton.jpg http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38138000/jpg/_38138666_hum_300.jpg http://www.flyvintage.com/img/backdrops/lysander/thumb.jpg

Andy began his distinguished career in the elite University of London Air Squadron and served for twenty years in the Royal Air Force. He then joined Rolls-Royce as Chief Test Pilot and Head of Flying in 1989.

Equally at home flying vintage, transport or front-line fighter aircraft, Andy was a test pilot for experimental establishments at both Farnborough and Boscombe Down.

Date: Tuesday 12th October

Royal Aeronautical Society
4 Hamilton Place, London W1 *

Time: 18:00

Free (No tickets required - just turn up.)

Tudor Owen

* http://www.raes.org.uk/raes/images/aircraft_images/hamilton.jpg
Next to the InterContinental Hotel, a few minutes walk from Hyde Park Corner tube.

7th Sep 2004, 09:07

Shall be out of the country, which is a shame for I would enjoy hearing his talk. However you were previously able to get the transcript from Dave Southwoods talk. Any chance of trying for the same again?

Thanks, H

Genghis the Engineer
7th Sep 2004, 10:19
I'm quite certain that Andy's talk will be fascinating and worth attending, but what pray makes London UAS "elite"?


ex of Southampton UAS

7th Sep 2004, 10:58
Sorry, Genghis - if you have to ask...........................:D

PPRuNe Pop
7th Sep 2004, 10:58
I will certainly be there. Wouldn't - couldn't miss it - he is a great guy and I might let him buy me a beer. ;) :ok:

7th Sep 2004, 11:53
It's the diary!

7th Sep 2004, 11:56

I'm with Genghis on this one! ULAS = elite - bah!

Skua (ex MUAS)

7th Sep 2004, 13:10
Had the lecture from Mr Sephton at the Cosford branch a few years ago...

One of the best...


7th Sep 2004, 16:26
Which Minor UAS was that then, skua?

Elite indeed, Tudor-bach! Will try to make it.

7th Sep 2004, 18:12
I'd love to come, but unfortunately there's no way I can get there from work by the 18:00 start time, it would need to be at least an hour later for me to stand a chance. Its a shame as there have been a few of these I'd have like to have attended


8th Sep 2004, 11:44
Thank you for making us aware of this, Tudor.

Unfortunately, I can't attend; but I'm sure that it will be a worthwhile event. :ok:

If possible, can you obtain his notes and post them here, after a decent time has passed? I recall that you did that last year following Dave Southwood's lecture (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=120575&highlight=books), and it was certainly appreciated by those of us unable to travel to 4 Hamilton Place.

Thanks again. :)

8th Sep 2004, 14:38
well, as your mate Flatiron knows, MASUAS to be precise, but the S bit never did much other than provide a steady stream of aeroeng undergraduates.

But seriously, I will be there to hear Andy S, and am really looking forward to it.


8th Sep 2004, 22:38
I will be attending this, thanks for the heads up Tude.. :)

9th Sep 2004, 07:40
Hmm ULAS - oh yes, we beat the pants of them in my day

9th Sep 2004, 16:11
It's in the diary.


9th Sep 2004, 16:19
Excellent, someone to help me stagger back to East Croydon after the post lecture pi.. er, discussion! :ok:

PPRuNe Pop
9th Sep 2004, 19:14
I have to catch a train to Sutton Treadders..........we can stagger to catch that if you like. Not exactly E Croydon but you do usually walk!!! - well stagger!!!!

9th Sep 2004, 19:55
It looks like I'll be in good company then.


No comment
10th Sep 2004, 16:27
I would be getting back to Wallington but dont think I can make it unfortunately...

Could have been a mini Pprune Sarf London bash afterwards!

PPRuNe Pop
10th Sep 2004, 21:07
Treadders, Rob and anyone our way. Thinking of having a car to pick us up if we have a meal - whadya think? Tudor has suggested the meal and I agree. So, no comment does that sound a goer?

No comment
11th Sep 2004, 18:57
Unfortunately pprunepop, I wont be off work in time for most (if any) of it! Its this bloomin industry keeping me away from my spare time!!!

Have to say a definate no I'm afraid.

13th Sep 2004, 07:33
Hi PPRuNe Pop, yep, I'm up for a meal...!

Darius, King of the Kit Builders will be along as well in eating mode, either heading back to Norbury afterwards or, if he's moved by then, Worthing!



16th Sep 2004, 16:23
PPRuNe Pop, I'll have to play it by ear I'm affraid. I'm currently working all over the place and I won't be able to tell whether I'll be able to make it until a couple of days beforehand.


16th Sep 2004, 21:30
Having braced the polite Mr Sephton at the last OW show, with some cheeky questions, I'd like to turn up to clap at the right moments; a kind of Greek chorus idea...

I'll have to see if I can make it from Oxfordia!


James K

17th Sep 2004, 08:32
Oxfordia? Where the devil is that?

PPRuNe Pop
17th Sep 2004, 10:31
Down the road from Cambridgcardia. Uni talk I suppose :=

17th Sep 2004, 10:38
As Duxford Eagles claims Croydonia as a base he should speeka da langidge! :D
Nothing to do with that Uni thingy. It's roughly between aviation centres of RAF Bicester, RAF Weston on the Green, RAF Finmere and RAF Upper Heyford, all notable for great history and not a lot happening now!

17th Sep 2004, 14:20
Just checking leg length, James.

Anyway, it's Croydon on here - Croydonia on Key.


17th Sep 2004, 17:32
Hey POP, I'd be up for this, and some grub after!!

It's in the diary......


Flying Lawyer
21st Sep 2004, 09:21
http://www.raes.org.uk/raes/medalsandawards/IMAGES/invlogobluesmall2.jpg The Society has now published a summary of the lecture Andy will give.
Flying historic aircraft is not a difficult skill to acquire. Indeed, it was well within the capability of the average teenager of the day, particularly when taking the machines to war. But it is a skill that is significantly different from that of a pilot today. In his talk, Andy Sephton will look at the different skills required to fly and operate such aeronautical delights as wing warping, the rotary engine and early automatic flaps and slats. The talk will be illustrated with the speakerís personal experiences on aircraft of the Shuttleworth Collection, which includes aircraft from the Bleriot XI to the Spitfire.

NB: You don't have to belong to the RAeS to attend.


22nd Sep 2004, 21:56
If all goes to plan, I should be there.

Biggles Flies Undone
1st Oct 2004, 11:40
Thought this might be a good time to get this back to the top.

Work permitting, I'll see you there :ok:

1st Oct 2004, 11:46
Anybody dining after? I'll be starving!!


1st Oct 2004, 12:38
Me! I'll be thirsty too...

1st Oct 2004, 12:47
Oh yeh -that too!!:ok:


6th Oct 2004, 10:26
I've managed to organise a meeting in London on Tuesday afternoon, so I will be able to attend.

A beer and some food afterwards sounds like a good idea.


7th Oct 2004, 19:04
I intend to be there, and would be up for a sherbert etc...


vintage ATCO
7th Oct 2004, 19:49
Bu@@er, I'm working :(

12th Oct 2004, 07:45
Darn it - I have just been given some work to do failry urgently so won't now be able to make this presentation.

FL - do give my regards to Andy!

Flying Lawyer
12th Oct 2004, 12:47
I'm in the same position - some very urgent and complicated work to do.
I still hope to get there, but it's very marginal.


12th Oct 2004, 13:41
I'll be there, and will be in need of a purely medicinal snifter afterwards... Sorry you won't be BEags, hope to see Tudor and the rest of you - you still coming PPPop?

PPRuNe Pop
12th Oct 2004, 14:33
Well until about 10 minutes ago I was! Now I have a problem which could make a difference. I was planning to get the 1630 from Sutton, if I miss that there is the 1653, if I miss that..............it means my problem has not been solved and I won't make it. :sad:

But I am sure gonna try.


12th Oct 2004, 14:34
AAAArrrrgghhhh! My code is getting worse - I think it's going to be a rain check and an early night, lest I pass it all to you lot. Enjoy it; I hope I shall join you all for a drink in the near future... AH&N drinkies anybody?


Biggles Flies Undone
12th Oct 2004, 14:36
Crikey, am I going to be the only one there? :sad:

12th Oct 2004, 22:36
What a thoroughly good way to spend a Tuesday evening. Well done Andy.


13th Oct 2004, 08:58
Hear hear.
Nice to learn something new. I for one was impressed, and the next big step forward in flight sims will clearly be 'how to run a rotary engine' :D

Biggles Flies Undone
13th Oct 2004, 10:54
A fascinating and highly entertaining talk. Well done, Andy - and many thanks to Tudor for giving us the heads-up on this :ok:

I reckon that anybody who can keep a rotary running would give my highly skilled son a good run for his money on a Playstation control pad!

13th Oct 2004, 21:34
Yep, tks Tudor!!

I felt that Andy had only scratched the surface -there's more where that came from.

I'm still trying to get my head around the one armed paper hanger act of flying a wing warping, rotary engined machine...:p


13th Oct 2004, 21:52
Cracking talk, and as a nice bonus to all that one armed paper hanging in the cockpit of those rotaries.....a instant cure for constipation thanks to all that castor oil, what more could you want.......:O :O :O :O

14th Oct 2004, 01:43
Is there any chance the notes, by the kind permission of the speaker-of course, be posted so us poor colonials, and any others who could not get to the venue, be able to read the proceedings of the night, Please?:O

Andy Sephton
14th Oct 2004, 08:47
Hey, thanks for the kind words, chaps - FL, BEags, PPP et al who didn't make it, sorry to miss you, too.

1946 - There are no notes for the talk, I don't use them - it comes straight from brain to mouth with the PowerPoint slides reminding about what I need to say next. I can send you a copy of the PowerPoint file if you want to see the bullet points, but it'll be abridged as some of the photos are a little large . Otherwise, you'll have to get in touch with the RAeS, they may have recorded it. If you want the file, PM me.

If you are really interested in what went on at the RAeS last Tuesday, I'm talking again this weekend at the HAA* Symposium at the RAF Museum Hendon on Sunday (17th Oct - Thanks BEags!!). There's four lectures on in all, of which mine is one. I've expanded part of the RAeS talk to do an hour or so on 'Flying a Rotary'.

Again, thanks to all for the kind words,


* Historic Aircraft Association

14th Oct 2004, 09:44
Andy, check your PMs.



14th Oct 2004, 19:13
Well done Andy, enjoyed the lecture, and looking forward to more on Sunday!

14th Oct 2004, 19:57
Andy, mate, this Sunday is actually the 17th!

I know you're always ahead of the game, but there are limits!

15th Oct 2004, 13:32
My colleagues and I ( my co. manager and my bean counter!) thoroughly enjoyed it Andy, thanks a lot.

A pity you didn't tell them the whole story about your first fright in the Hurri.

I believe what you said after landing was 'Either I've discovered the best kept secret of World War 2 or there's something wrong with this f@@@@@g aeroplane.'

Very few of us hobby pilots will ever fly a rotary but there is just a chance that a certain replica WW1 machine could come my way...

Mind you, after Tuesday I think I should leave Rotaries well alone ( my bowels are sensitive enough without the castor oil and the inevitable fright)

Nice one Andy;)


18th Oct 2004, 16:52

Your presentation at the HAA symposium was excellent as the applause proved. After hearing it I have no desire to attempt to keep a rotary running while trying to display the airframe to which it is attached.

Bill Bowker was, for me, the ultimate rotary operator at Old Warden in the past. However even Bill had his work cut out when the Pup cowling decided to rotate as well; shearing off all the ignition leads in the process. I recall the din as around five thousand hearts started beating again when Bill got the aircraft down on what is now the runway extension.

In the USA at such events as the RAeS lecture and the HAA symposium there is often a facility for making an audio and video recording of the procedings for subsequent commercial sale and in any case to have a record for future generations. With the aims of the HAA including this vital aspect of our aviation heritage I wonder if this might be possible at future events especially as the RAF Museum and RAeS lecture theatres must be well equipped to take care of the technicalities. It would be useful to get some opinion on this aspect from forums subscribers.


Trapper 69

Andy Sephton
19th Oct 2004, 06:21
HI T69, thanks for the kind words. Bill and John Lewis were prime movers in my initial rotary training and I have a lot of respect for both of them, but you have to remember that the skill is not difficult. It is merely different from that we are used to. After all, the youth of our country successfully took rotary engines into battle during WW1, on minimal training to boot!

Regarding recording, I fully support it. The reason in giving the talk to the HAA was to educate and advertise a centre of information on the subject at the Shuttleworth Collection. I'm happy to talk to any individual who plans to fly a rotary on their characteristics as I know them. Most of us who fly them have had them fail at sometime or other, mostly due to inappropriate handling. If a good brief can prevent an accident, or stop someone reinventing the wheel, then it'd be time well spent.

All the Best, and thanks again,

Genghis the Engineer
19th Oct 2004, 06:43

Quick off-topic aside, I was putting some lecture notes together the other day from a couple of my own lectures (nothing as interesting as yours) and discovered that if you select (in Powerpoint), "File", "Send to" - you get an option "Send to Microsoft word". This then throws up a selection of options all of which will give me something fairly readable and a lot smaller than the PP file.

Just thought I'd mention it,


(This is in office 2000 by the way, I can't speak for any other version.)

19th Oct 2004, 10:36
Not a great deal of help, but the sadly out of print 'From Bleriot to Spitfire' and a couple of other Old Warden publications give good info on how to fly a rotary powered a/c.

I would like to add that Andy added a lot (for chairborne me) to the info I'd read in the books, and while it seemed challanging, Andy was at pains to point out that it was 'different, not difficult'. He should know!

19th Oct 2004, 19:16
How about an updated "Bleriot to Spitfire"?

I got hold of a copy (brand new) this year and found it a very interesting read.