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View Full Version : Just watched a Sea Vixen dump a load of stuff in the sea


Coltishall. loved it
1st Sep 2021, 20:27
Admittedly, years ago. Just wonder how often this went on in the past and what a waist and when did it end? I'm no echo warrior but there must be so much sit down there?
vid around 1:16 and the "cradle" goes to the depths
"The Sea Vixen - YouTube

cliver029
1st Sep 2021, 21:55
Quite simple the strop was stressed to such an extent during launch that
it was cheaper to manufacture a new one than to recover test and ship back
onto the carrier.

cliver029

chevvron
2nd Sep 2021, 04:21
Saturday evenings in the late '50s or early '60s there was a live TV show ('Saturday Night Live' or something) fronted by Raymond Baxter which tried to do something spectacular each time; one time it was a locomotive crash at Longmoor military railway and another was live shots of an aircraft carrier.
I remember Baxter saying that when catapulted away, the strop was left to simply fall off imto the water and that each strop cost 7-0s-0d (pre 1971 money if you don't know)

VictorGolf
2nd Sep 2021, 08:39
Not quite the same type of "stuff" but I remember the Sea Vixen, when it was in Red Bull's hands, mistakenly dropping a mechanics toolkit from the weapons bay on a slow flypast at a Coventry airshow. I bet words were exchanged later..

Compass Call
2nd Sep 2021, 09:00
No weapons bay in a Sea Vixen!!!!!
All weapons were carried on the pylons.

Fareastdriver
2nd Sep 2021, 09:11
The strop was certainly strong enough to carry a piano across Kowloon Harbour.

John Eacott
2nd Sep 2021, 09:13
Admittedly, years ago. Just wonder how often this went on in the past and what a waist and when did it end? I'm no echo warrior but there must be so much sit down there?
vid around 1:16 and the "cradle" goes to the depths
"The Sea Vixen - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij5DVGzvXZ4)

At first I thought this must be a windup when posted in the Mil Forum, then it shifted here and the discussion went downhill :confused:

Seriously, all steam catapults in the RN (until Ark Royal) launched fixed wing with Bridles, which went into the 'oggin: not just the Vixen. Ark was fitted with bridle catchers allowing their re-use up to (IIRC) 20 or 30 times, when they were then untethered and allowed to go off the launch.

The USN developed a replacement whereby the shuttle latches on to the NLG and pulls the aircraft down the cat without a bridle.

As mentioned, the Vixen didn't have a 'weapons bay' :hmm: :=

This photo shows the bridle catcher ropes :
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/731x520/phantom_waist_cat_launch_ark_royal_1974_05_edit_6611a65f887c 3a1da358285f3bdf1ec23e7add39.jpg

And here's the bridle being arrested by the catcher as the F4K launches from Ark waist cat
https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/733x516/phantom_waist_cat_launch_ark_royal_1974_06_b01d7f3481e3e99a6 f738eb4370a4db408bfb713.jpg

VictorGolf
2nd Sep 2021, 11:26
OK so no weapons bay so where could the toolkit have been stored that could be opened in flight? Just asking because it did happen.

DaveReidUK
2nd Sep 2021, 11:38
OK so no weapons bay so where could the toolkit have been stored that could be opened in flight? Just asking because it did happen.

A panel in one of the booms opened or failed (not sure which) in flight, raining spanners on the airfield.

Compass Call
2nd Sep 2021, 11:39
On that particular aircraft the tool kit would have been behind the radome along with the folding ladder. That is where I always kept it No radar was fitted, just 1800Lbs of ballast.

XV490
2nd Sep 2021, 12:44
The strop was certainly strong enough to carry a piano across Kowloon Harbour.

Talking of pianos...

https://youtu.be/l5cD_oTV2wI

Widger
2nd Sep 2021, 13:00
One day when all the seas are dry or we can travel across the oceans on the seabed, people will come across an old white Jaguar XJS in the middle of the Bay of Biscay and think, "How the hell did that get there?"

DaveReidUK
2nd Sep 2021, 14:52
On that particular aircraft the tool kit would have been behind the radome along with the folding ladder. That is where I always kept it No radar was fitted, just 1800Lbs of ballast.

I stand corrected. Presumably the hatch visible here:

https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/512x384/sea_vixen_hatch_2_de7b0ab8a61083686e54397ea7baa2f6be43f12c.j pg

Warmtoast
2nd Sep 2021, 15:04
Re. the Pete and Dud's bit above, Ark Royal did a Grand Piano Launch in November 1978 as seen here.

https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/638x799/image_e11d67f477459d955678edd3f6fcef6c14f12b64.png

sandiego89
2nd Sep 2021, 15:20
I believe on some ships the bridles were recovered up to a set number of launches, then jettisoned with a final launch without the recovery strop.

Compass Call
2nd Sep 2021, 15:26
DaveReidUK
That is the hatch where the undercarriage locks and hook lock were stored..
Possibly if this was not correctly secured they could have made a bid for freedom. :ok:
Lucky that none went down the engine!!

DaveReidUK
2nd Sep 2021, 19:35
Lucky that none went down the engine!!

That would indeed have been a spanner (or two) in the works.

Coltishall. loved it
2nd Sep 2021, 19:41
Ok, let me re phrase my question: over how many years have these things been dumped into the oggin and by what air arms?

DaveReidUK
2nd Sep 2021, 20:35
The steam catapult has been around since the early 1950s.

List of aircraft carriers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_carriers)

DuncanDoenitz
2nd Sep 2021, 22:15
It would be nave in the extreme to think that cat-strops (or indeed musical instruments) are the most polluting/expensive/wasteful things to be casually discarded at sea by the world's navies.

John Eacott
3rd Sep 2021, 07:04
Ok, let me re phrase my question: over how many years have these things been dumped into the oggin and by what air arms?

Google is your friend (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_catapult#Bridle_catchers): the original steam catapult was trialled on HMS Perseus from 1950-52. Many navies operated carriers using bridle launches up to the 1980s/1990s, but from the 1960s carriers steadily became equipped with bridle catchers which retained the bridles for 30 launches, after which they were removed from the catcher and dispatched with the launch.

JEM60
3rd Sep 2021, 07:27
I remember the Coventry incident well!. Unusual to see bits falling off/out. Wasn't quite sure what was happening. The aircraft was not allowed to fly in the show the next day if I recall. Sad fatal crash of the Ryan Monoplane the next day, or was that a different show.? Remember seeing both incidents.

DaveReidUK
3rd Sep 2021, 09:03
I remember the Coventry incident well!. Unusual to see bits falling off/out. Wasn't quite sure what was happening. The aircraft was not allowed to fly in the show the next day if I recall. Sad fatal crash of the Ryan Monoplane the next day, or was that a different show.? Remember seeing both incidents.

Yes, same show in May 2003.

The Ryan accident was on Saturday 31st, the first day of the two-day show. Most reports suggest that the Sea Vixen incident was on the same day, with the result that it couldn't display on the Sunday.

scorpion63
3rd Sep 2021, 09:50
The Vixen incident was caused by the loss of a panel in the Stbd upper wing boom used to store tools, in this case the tools fell out after the panel departed the aircraft along with a roll of Kimwipe which fluttered to the ground gently unwinding! A relacement panel was robbed from a Vixen at Bruntingthorpe to enable the aircraft to fly back to Bournemouth . The Ryan incident occured right in front of us as we taxied in at the end of displaying the Canberra, not what you like to see at a display.

DaveReidUK
3rd Sep 2021, 10:06
The Vixen incident was caused by the loss of a panel in the Stbd upper wing boom used to store tools, in this case the tools fell out after the panel departed the aircraft along with a roll of Kimwipe which fluttered to the ground gently unwinding! A relacement panel was robbed from a Vixen at Bruntingthorpe to enable the aircraft to fly back to Bournemouth.

I've seen a source that said that, too, but I thought that had been disputed in a previous post, which identified an existing hatch (rather than a panel) just behind the radome on the port side.

The fact that a replacement was sourced from another aircraft and fitted, albeit temporarily, would strongly suggest that it was something designed to open. Just not in flight. :O

MENELAUS
3rd Sep 2021, 12:59
Ok, let me re phrase my question: over how many years have these things been dumped into the oggin and by what air arms?


Whatever the amount it does rather pale in to insignificance when one thinks of the amount of allied shipping down there.
I wonder if theyll ever find the snowcat dumped in Grytviken Harbour from 2000 ?

tdracer
3rd Sep 2021, 18:09
Whatever the amount it does rather pale in to insignificance when one thinks of the amount of allied shipping down there.

We get a TV show on Discovery over here called "Expedition Shipwreck" (worth the watch if you can access it on your side of the pond - last week they explored the wrecks of the Hood and Prince of Wales). Anyway, last night part was about Truk Lagoon - the wrecks of 40(!) Japaneses ships sunk back in 1944 by a US Navy multi-day carrier raid. The wrecks are rapidly deteriorating, and there is great concern that they are about to breakup and release large amounts of oil and Diesel into the lagoon (at least five of the ships were tankers).

DaveReidUK
3rd Sep 2021, 19:03
Come to that, many aircraft have gone over the side of carriers across the years - some unintentionally but also a fair few with the help of a push:

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/550x687/xn954_ark_royal_d28da96498df9c3362e34830f86df54b79b335a4.jpg

megan
4th Sep 2021, 02:33
Makes a grown man want to cry Dave, all for the making of a safety film.

Post WWII I wonder at the numbers of brand new aircraft with only factory test flight hours on the clock taken out to sea and dumped, not to mention all the others ex combat use.

nonsense
4th Sep 2021, 16:45
Makes a grown man want to cry Dave, all for the making of a safety film.

Quote (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Buccaneer#Fleet_Air_Arm):
Deficiences in the Buccaneer S.1's Gyron Junior engines led to the type's career coming to an abrupt end in December 1970.[12] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Buccaneer#cite_note-Jackson_p487-8-12) On 1 December, an S.1 attempted to overshoot from a misjudged landing approach but one engine surged and produced no thrust, forcing the two crewmen to eject. On 8 December, an S.1 on a training flight suffered a massive uncontained engine failure. The pilot successfully ejected, but due to a mechanical failure in his ejection seat the navigator was killed. Subsequent inspections concluded that the Gyron Junior engine was no longer safe to fly. All remaining S.1s were grounded immediately and permanently.

The photo above was taken on April 14, 1974 (https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/157090).

Compass Call
4th Sep 2021, 17:17
DaveReidUK
There are in fact four hinged hatches on the inboard side of each boom. I only recall spare cracker boxes and the canopy cover being put in two of them.

Union Jack
4th Sep 2021, 18:42
Quote (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Buccaneer#Fleet_Air_Arm):
Deficiences in the Buccaneer S.1's Gyron Junior engines led to the type's career coming to an abrupt end in December 1970.[12] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn_Buccaneer#cite_note-Jackson_p487-8-12) On 1 December, an S.1 attempted to overshoot from a misjudged landing approach but one engine surged and produced no thrust, forcing the two crewmen to eject. On 8 December, an S.1 on a training flight suffered a massive uncontained engine failure. The pilot successfully ejected, but due to a mechanical failure in his ejection seat the navigator was killed. Subsequent inspections concluded that the Gyron Junior engine was no longer safe to fly. All remaining S.1s were grounded immediately and permanently.

The photo above was taken on April 14, 1974 (https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/157090).
More information available at https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/157090

Jack