PDA

View Full Version : RAF strength 1953


Discorde
20th Apr 2022, 16:54
This pic showed up on Facebook recently - an impressive display of hardware at Odiham celebrating the recent Coronation, including a 600-ship flypast. Apologies if it's already been posted.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/2000x1538/raf_coro_display_6d92c0cb101ff0440009237a92a91fd907e2c6f4.jp g
© Crown copyright

MPN11
20th Apr 2022, 17:10
Indeed a magnificent display of the technology of the day. :ok:

As to capabilities in 2022, one would have to regard this [sadly] as a Museum Collection.

Timelord
20th Apr 2022, 17:19
They are very impressively straight lines of aircraft and people.

radar101
20th Apr 2022, 17:23
Manpower-wise my father who was in then says about 250,000 personnel - helped by national service of course.

Warmtoast
20th Apr 2022, 21:24
FWIW Composition of the Odiham Coronation Review flypast.
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/799x574/image_3842430f135e9b9aa4c74c135968b92477ad1160.png

The Flying Stool
20th Apr 2022, 21:29
Coincidentally, in 1953 the RAF lost over 400 Gloster Meteors in crashes/accidents!

oldpax
21st Apr 2022, 00:04
Some famous pilots on there!What would this list look like now!

ancientaviator62
21st Apr 2022, 06:43
Looks like the last five a/c on the list were flown by company test pilots.

DaveReidUK
21st Apr 2022, 06:48
They could at least have taken the covers off that Hastings. :O

DaveReidUK
21st Apr 2022, 06:57
Coincidentally, in 1953 the RAF lost over 400 Gloster Meteors in crashes/accidents!

I think the actual number for that year was around 150 (still a lot, though!).

GeeRam
21st Apr 2022, 07:30
Some famous pilots on there!What would this list look like now!

And at least 3 of them with Battle of Britain victories to their name, Dennis Cowley-Milling, Bobby Oxspring and Paddy Barthropp.


Its also sad to see out of that long list of bases, only Shawbury, Waddington & Marham are left as active RAF bases.

teeteringhead
21st Apr 2022, 07:45
And another impressive fact about the Coronation Flypast and Static Display: I understand that ALL the aircraft involved were UK based, not a single one from Germany or farther afield.......

washoutt
21st Apr 2022, 08:40
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?

alfaman
21st Apr 2022, 08:45
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?
Apparently so- on loan, known as the Washington B1, phased out shortly after the photo was taken.

chevvron
21st Apr 2022, 08:53
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?
Washingtons not....oh bugger.
(I had a Dinky Toy one)

GeeRam
21st Apr 2022, 09:51
The last four large aircraft in the second row, are those Boeing B-29's? Were they part of the UK Air Force?

Yes, as mentioned, in early 1950, the RAF acquired 87 early B-29A's (Washington B.1) on loan from the USAF, that had just been taken out of service and were due to go into desert storage.
These were a stop-gap in the nuclear role until the Canberra was able to take on that role, and all the B-29's were returned to the USA in early 1954.

BEagle
21st Apr 2022, 16:05
[...]all the B-29's were returned to the USA in early 1954[...]

Not quite all! One was lost over Morecambe Bay, another crashed near Marham and another near Coningsby.

Perhaps there were further losses?

Planemike
21st Apr 2022, 17:33
Looks like the last five a/c on the list were flown by company test pilots.
By my reckonings the last six aircraft on the list were flown by company test pilots. That would figure as the aircraft were Ministry of Supply aircraft, not RAF squadron aircraft... Could be regarded as " the industry's " contribution to the great show....!!

Planemike
21st Apr 2022, 17:37
Its also sad to see out of that long list of bases, only Shawbury, Waddington & Marham are left as active RAF bases.

Wattisham sneaks onto the list via the Army Air Corps.....!!

Pypard
21st Apr 2022, 18:44
Wattisham sneaks onto the list via the Army Air Corps.....!!

...and Boscombe Down.

brakedwell
21st Apr 2022, 19:35
I remember the big display well as I was at a boarding school on the southern side of RAF Odiham at the time. I then joined the RAF in 1955 and began flying training at Ternhill in January 1956. It was a much bigger air force in those days.

Brewster Buffalo
21st Apr 2022, 19:56
Regarding National Service I read about a RAF National Service pilot who, having finished his training on Provosts and Vampires in 1954. recalled, "...National Service lads were not allowed to continue flying after graduation...the rest went on to fly Hunters.....I..flew Chipmunks on a Wednesday aftenoons"

Anyone know any more about this? Seems to be a waste of money training pilots and then not using them

GeeRam
21st Apr 2022, 20:05
This was the time of National Service. I read about a RAF National Service pilot who, having finished his training on Provosts and Vampires in 1954. recalled, "...National Service lads were not allowed to continue flying after graduation...the rest went on to fly Hunters.....I..flew Chipmunks on a Wednesday aftenoons"

Anyone know any more about this? Seems to be a waste of money training pilots and then not using them

Former MP and Cabinet Minister, Norman Tebbit flew Meteor's and Vampire during his National Service period, but that was 1950-52, as he joined BOAC in '53.

Herod
21st Apr 2022, 21:17
Does anyone have access to the full list? That link only gives page 1 as far as I can see. I have actually flown with number 44, Hedley Hazelden. Not in a Victor.

CAEBr
21st Apr 2022, 21:29
Eric Bucklow's excellent book 'Coronation Wings' gives much of the review details, including listing the pilots of the various aircraft in the flypast and serial numbers of both the static and flypast participants.

Coincidentally, in 1953 the RAF lost over 400 Gloster Meteors in crashes/accidents!

Unfortunately two Meteors and their pilots were lost in a mid air collision while practising for the flypast the previous week. Imagine a similar accident today while practising for the Queens Birthday flypast and the handwringing over whether it should go ahead.

They could at least have taken the covers off that Hastings. :O

Most of the aircraft in that shot have their covers on, not just the Hastings (C2 WJ327 :8 ) With none of the crowd visible, I suspect that this was taken during a rehearsal. Interestingly, on the day after the flypast and ground inspection, all the barriers were removed and the crowds allowed access to view all the aircraft close up.

And another impressive fact about the Coronation Flypast and Static Display: I understand that ALL the aircraft involved were UK based, not a single one from Germany or farther afield.......

Not quite true Teeteringhead. Warmtoast's list shows Venoms and Sabres from the 2nd TAF, albeit operating for the flypast from the UK, as well as RAAF Vampires and Canadian Sabres. Doesn't detract from the fact that it was a significant number of aircraft both on the ground and in the air.

By my reckonings the last six aircraft on the list were flown by company test pilots. That would figure as the aircraft were Ministry of Supply aircraft, not RAF squadron aircraft... Could be regarded as " the industry's " contribution to the great show....!!

Industry participation yes, but essentially an opportunity to showcase six types that were in development for the RAF. The first five were all flown by distinguished ex RAF pilots (although Brian Trubshaw's rank is not quoted like the others) The last aircraft, the Swift, was piloted by the sole RN participant !!

Its also sad to see out of that long list of bases, only Shawbury, Waddington & Marham are left as active RAF bases.

Scampton is also just about hanging on by its fingertips !

BEagle
21st Apr 2022, 21:43
The Swift F4 prototype WK198 was indeed flown by Lt Cdr Mike Lithgow. It roared across at 580KIAS, then suffered an engine seizure necessitating a dead-stick landing back at Chilbolton!

brakedwell
21st Apr 2022, 22:48
Regarding National Service I read about a RAF National Service pilot who, having finished his training on Provosts and Vampires in 1954. recalled, "...National Service lads were not allowed to continue flying after graduation...the rest went on to fly Hunters.....I..flew Chipmunks on a Wednesday aftenoons"

Anyone know any more about this? Seems to be a waste of money training pilots and then not using them

The seven or eight national service pilots on my course were released from the RAF a couple of months before the end of their two years. I seem to remember one went back to being a solicitor, three returned to being chartered accountants and four or five joined BOAC and BEA.

Senior Pilot
22nd Apr 2022, 01:39
A look in the Tin Trunk unearthed these gems: plenty more, but these may be of interest to this thread. Cartoons inside alone are precious memories 👍

https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1304x1780/1948_sept_rafa_air_mail_bob_edition_small_1d5496edea5040b522 ff70ac2c1c3aa324837b17.jpeg


https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1306x1786/1947_may_rafa_air_mail_small_1_d37e669d8799faf714d3940d7e094 89999f91d76.jpeg


https://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1226x1810/1952_rafa_annual_cover_small_19aa41e344a270a79cf54bd5bc4d884 5f10b521e.jpeg

DaveReidUK
22nd Apr 2022, 06:28
Somewhere I have a few issues of Tee Emm (the RAF's "Training Memorandum"), which is where I believe P/O Prune and his Irremovable Finger made their debut.

There's an older thread about him here (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/235389-p-o-prune.html).

kenparry
22nd Apr 2022, 09:32
Regarding National Service pilots, the expressed intention was that after their 2 years NS they would join a Royal Auxiliary Air Force fighter squadron for some years (maybe 6-8?) to fly the Vampire or Meteor. Some did, I believe, but the scheme fell apart after the Sandys white paper of 1957, which (among many things) disbanded all of those units.

Shackman
22nd Apr 2022, 09:37
I like the addition of what looks like a tea wagon between the two Hastings!

BEagle
22nd Apr 2022, 09:48
On the day itself, there were 318 aircraft on static display; the flypast consisted of 641 aircraft, of which 197 were piston powered and 444 were jets....

Cornish Jack
22nd Apr 2022, 10:04
That was the year that I joined the Royal Air Force. It is arguable that it all went downhill from there - coincidence ?

Warmtoast
22nd Apr 2022, 10:38
I have two "Flight" magazine reports of this occasion, both are very informative.
1. 10th July 1953 with programme (7-pages long).
2. 24th July 1953. Report of the Review (10-pages long).
Sadly Flight International doesn't seem to to be available online anymore.
I attach a cotemporary press report of the occasion.
WT
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/220x2000/image_a42b95ea54c035087cab4b18e1859ca69b909eb1.png

treadigraph
22nd Apr 2022, 11:41
I remember the big display well as I was at a boarding school on the southern side of RAF Odiham at the time.

Lord Wandsworth? I was offered a place there in 1975 but my mother decided I should go elsewhere - think Wandsworth would have been a much better option for me, suspect I might well have spent quite large portions of my weekend free time down at Lasham!

brakedwell
22nd Apr 2022, 14:19
Lord Wandsworth? I was offered a place there in 1975 but my mother decided I should go elsewhere - think Wandsworth would have been a much better option for me, suspect I might well have spent quite large portions of my weekend free time down at Lasham!

Youve got it in one! I used to cycle to Lasham and Blackbushe Airfields at some weekends. Blackbushe was the best as they used to let us go on the flight decks of the inbound Yorks and Hermes when the crews had left, some of which were left in a real mess!

Discorde
22nd Apr 2022, 14:57
Somewhere I have a few issues of Tee Emm (the RAF's "Training Memorandum"), which is where I believe P/O Prune and his Irremovable Finger made their debut.

There's an older thread about him here (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/235389-p-o-prune.html).

Another RAF 1960s safety mag was 'Air Clues', which featured cartoon characters 'Bloggs'* (clumsy JP trainee pilot) and his long-suffering instructor. Typical sequence:

Instructor: OK, Bloggs, stall turn left

Heads swivelling randomly and out of sync left and right . . .

Blogg's face (behind O2 mask) - eyes wide in panic

Instructor's expression (ditto): What a prat!

Instructor: OK, Bloggs, spin recovery . . .

In another article an instructor records his impression of a 'difficult' trainee, who he refers to as BUS (big ugly student). I recall the line: 'BUS bends throttle, breaks switches'.

*I'm not 100% sure this was the character's name.

Tankertrashnav
22nd Apr 2022, 18:07
Coincidentally, in 1953 the RAF lost over 400 Gloster Meteors in crashes/accidents!

Indeed. I notice that on forums like this whenever anyone mentions the F104G Starfighter, someone inevitably comes in with the "widowmaker" comment, but for some reason the Meteor has escaped that reputation. In fact the Meteor statistics were truly dreadful, 890 were lost in service, resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Maybe the fact that many of those killed were young single National Service pilots meant that the "widowmaker" name was never applied to the Meteor

pax britanica
22nd Apr 2022, 18:30
Son went to Lord Wandsworth , I thought it was lovely unpretentious well balanced school when he was there . Very big on sport especially rugby and a certain J Wilkinson was in the year above him, also a local lad of course.
I presume Odiham was chosen for that Royal Display because it is quite a big airfield and not that far from London. Were there any other reasons than sheer size because it wasnt a famous Battle of Britain or Bomber Command station

I had to smile at the very Britishness of the Telegraph article going on about the huge number of aircraft and then saying well actually most of them are old and obsolete. I suppose that was almost inevitable at the time as RAF transitioned to jets which it had some of but not a very impressive number. Now the skies resonate only to the thwack thwack thwack of Chinook rotors, few at that event could conceive of a helicopter of that size.

Wasnt the Meteor called the meat box , a horrible sounding name and perhaps an allusion to its death trap tendencies , The F104 of course could have a sinister appellation being 1, Foreign and 2, Many of those killed were Germans.

I suppose the almost entire RAF could fit into Odiham now although the sheer size of the C17/A400/C130 might be a problem, nothing back then would have come remotely close

brakedwell
22nd Apr 2022, 18:44
Indeed. I notice that on forums like this whenever anyone mentions the F104G Starfighter, someone inevitably comes in with the "widowmaker" comment, but for some reason the Meteor has escaped that reputation. In fact the Meteor statistics were truly dreadful, 890 were lost in service, resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Maybe the fact that many of those killed were young single National Service pilots meant that the "widowmaker" name was never applied to the Meteor

I don’t think many of the pilots were National Service, but they were inexperienced. I am not sure if my experience on the Meteor in early 1958 was common earlier on, but when I was a second pilot on Hastings on detachment at RAF Nicosia, I turned up at the Levant Comm Squadron in March 1958 and said I wanted to fly the Meteor, of which they had about 6 or 7 T7 and F8. I was given two copies of Pilots Notes and told to come back tomorrow. Having spent several hours learning the 8 and 11 pilots notes in the tent I was living in I turned up at the Levant Comm Sqn the next day. After hanging around for several hours the Flt Lt boss of the Comm Flight came into the crew room and said I have authorised you to take a T7, so go and sign the authorisation book and enjoy the flight. I didn’t argue, but went out to the T7 feeling very under confident. All went well until I pressed the first starter button! Nothing happened. One of the ground crew climbed up the side and said. Make sure the throttles are fully closed. Both were slightly open and the engines were started without any more problems. I took off easily and spent a very enjoyable hour over the southern part of the island. After one more trip in the T7 I flew the F8 almost daily for a couple of months. As a self taught Meteor pilot I felt quite proud of myself when we eventually returned to RAF Lyneham. The only thing that annoyed me was the fact that 216 Sqn would not let me fly their 3 Meteor T7 which were provided for their second pilots, so it was back to our 2 Chipmunks and an Anson provided for second pilots on 99 sqn.

Brewster Buffalo
22nd Apr 2022, 19:40
Indeed. I notice that on forums like this whenever anyone mentions the F104G Starfighter, someone inevitably comes in with the "widowmaker" comment, but for some reason the Meteor has escaped that reputation. In fact the Meteor statistics were truly dreadful, 890 were lost in service, resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Maybe the fact that many of those killed were young single National Service pilots meant that the "widowmaker" name was never applied to the Meteor

Anybody know the comparable statistics for the Vampire? In theory could be worse having only one engine and no ejection seat in the early models...

brakedwell
22nd Apr 2022, 19:59
Anybody know the comparable statistics for the Vampire? In theory could be worse having only one engine and no ejection seat in the early models...

There were far less Vampire accidents. Maybe it was the fact it did not have any asymmetric problems, but age caused problems with the Five and Nine Vampires when I was trained on them.

DaveReidUK
22nd Apr 2022, 21:01
I donít think many of the pilots were National Service, but they were inexperienced. I am not sure if my experience on the Meteor in early 1958 was common earlier on, but when I was a second pilot on Hastings on detachment at RAF Nicosia, I turned up at the Levant Comm Squadron in March 1958 and said I wanted to fly the Meteor, of which they had about 6 or 7 Mk 8 and T11. I was given two copies of Pilots Notes and told to come back tomorrow. Having spent several hours learning the 8 and 11 pilots notes in the tent I was living in I turned up at the Levant Comm Sqn the next day. After hanging around for several hours the Flt Lt boss of the Comm Flight came into the crew room and said I have authorised you to take a T11, so go and sign the authorisation book and enjoy the flight. I didnít argue, but went out to the T11 feeling very under confident. All went well until I pressed the first starter button! Nothing happened. One of the ground crew climbed up the side and said. Make sure the throttles are fully closed. Both were slightly open and the engines were started without any more problems. I took off easily and spent a very enjoyable hour over the southern part of the island. After one more trip in the T11 I flew the F8 almost daily for a couple of months. As a self taught Meteor pilot I felt quite proud of myself when we eventually returned to RAF Lyneham. The only thing that annoyed me was the fact that 216 Sqn would not let me fly their 3 Meteor T11 which were provided for their second pilots, so it was back to our 2 Chipmunks and an Anson provided for second pilots on 99 sqn.

I think your memory may be playing tricks on you. Do you mean the T.7 ?

brakedwell
22nd Apr 2022, 21:09
Sorry, I must be getting old. You are right, I mixed it up with the Vampire T11.

Noyade
23rd Apr 2022, 01:28
Way, way in the distance - what is/are those very large tail-dragging machines? Cockpits covered?
Hastings again?
Tudor?


https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/600x297/capture_f286426cd2f2ac19e2c13befe9e263d6c6ebb6af.png

Senior Pilot
23rd Apr 2022, 03:56
Some interesting stuff here in the Movietone News film 👍

https://youtu.be/E_LImCP5ztg

And a better presentation from British Pathe:

https://youtu.be/haEe5KfxvUg

Noyade look at 2:40 for your taildraggers 😇

Noyade
23rd Apr 2022, 04:39
Noyade look at 2:40 for your taildraggers 😇

Thank you sir! :ok:


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/750x236/thank_you_5f7aabc8252ae56f4b01af3ece9104936356bae5.png

sandringham1
23rd Apr 2022, 06:29
In the image above the Hastings nearest is a standard transport C2 WJ337, then C4 VIP WD500 and then two MET1's TG621 and TG622 of 202 Sqn.

pax britanica
23rd Apr 2022, 08:04
You guys on here who actually flew at this time have my greatest respect as it seems to have been pretty dangerous time to be a military pilot even without anyone shooting at you.

And i dont mean to offend anyone who liked it but with the old adage about if it looks right it flies right , to my view the Hastings didnt look at all right and I remember from my spotting days seeing them lumbering back and forth along the airways over LHR in the early 60s . I suppose like so many decisions at the time the idea was to 'buy British' to protect our industry and conserve foreign exchange ?

brakedwell
23rd Apr 2022, 08:17
You guys on here who actually flew at this time have my greatest respect as it seems to have been pretty dangerous time to be a military pilot even without anyone shooting at you.

And i dont mean to offend anyone who liked it but with the old adage about if it looks right it flies right , to my view the Hastings didnt look at all right and I remember from my spotting days seeing them lumbering back and forth along the airways over LHR in the early 60s . I suppose like so many decisions at the time the idea was to 'buy British' to protect our industry and conserve foreign exchange ?

The tail wheel cofiguration of the Hastings was a result of an Army requirement to carry droppable jeeps and guns under the belly. The civil version was the Hermes, which had a nosewheel. Surprisingly the Hastings was quite nice to fly..

By George
23rd Apr 2022, 08:49
In the first photo, top back row, there is even a Bristol 170-31 Freighter, you can just make out the round nose. At the very back out of sight is a good choice in my opinion.

DHfan
23rd Apr 2022, 09:03
Indeed. I notice that on forums like this whenever anyone mentions the F104G Starfighter, someone inevitably comes in with the "widowmaker" comment, but for some reason the Meteor has escaped that reputation. In fact the Meteor statistics were truly dreadful, 890 were lost in service, resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Maybe the fact that many of those killed were young single National Service pilots meant that the "widowmaker" name was never applied to the Meteor

I believe Danny42c mentioned this in the "gaining a brevet" thread.
IIRC, the staggering Meteor loss rate was largely down to the insistence on single-engine training. It finally dawned on the powers-that-be that they were losing more aircraft and pilots/instructors in a month by training for engine failures than there were actual incidences of failure in 5 years.

Those figures are out of thin air because I don't know the actual ones, even if Danny stated them, but the basic principle's correct.

Four Turbo
23rd Apr 2022, 11:09
This MAY be wrong; please correct me if it is! I believe the BIG problem with Meteor practice engine failures was that they actually turned the engine OFF to begin with. Great until things went wrong and left you below the curve with NO options (crash straight ahead?) and no bang seat. Yes, the single seaters did have a seat, but it was a Mk1 which needed a lot of airspace BELOW you. As an aside I was an Air Cadet selling programmes at the Review and remember it well. The Air Force I joined in 1957 was already shrinking. Now......corrections?

Brewster Buffalo
23rd Apr 2022, 11:16
I believe Danny42c mentioned this in the "gaining a brevet" thread.
IIRC, the staggering Meteor loss rate was largely down to the insistence on single-engine training. It finally dawned on the powers-that-be that they were losing more aircraft and pilots/instructors in a month by training for engine failures than there were actual incidences of failure in 5 years.

Those figures are out of thin air because I don't know the actual ones, even if Danny stated them, but the basic principle's correct.

Courtesy of the Wolverhampton Aviation Group I have found some figures for RAF aircraft losses. These cover both flying and non-flying accidents but only starting from 1952.
These show - Meteor 190; Vampire 150 ( if you add in Venom that would be 246.)
Of note is the Sabre which, in its short career with the RAF, suffered 77 losses.

Warmtoast
23rd Apr 2022, 11:32
Key Aero records the following for RAF aircraft losses in 1952. From the heading these figures came from somewhere here on PPRuNe;

Lifted from this cracking thread http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=70987&perpage=15&pagenumber=8 on PPRuNe:

The total RAF losses for 1952 were:

18 Ansons
1 Athena
22 Austers
1 Balliol
1 Beaufighter
9 Brigands
1 Buckmaster
9 Canberras
15 Chipmunks
1 Dakota
1 Dragonfly
1 Halifax
37 Harvards
3 Hastings
10 Hornets
6 Lancasters
6 Lincolns
1 Martinet
150 Meteors
32 Mosquitos
21 Oxfords
9 Prentices
5 Proctors
1 Sabre
2 Shackletons
7 Spitfires
1 Sunderland
1 Sycamore
5 Tempests
20 Tiger Moths
11 Valettas
82 Vampires
2 Varsities
1 Venom
1 Washington
15 Wellingtons

Total 505 aircraft.

Casualties were 315 killed plus 6 killed on the ground.

Sobering isn't it.

Asturias56
23rd Apr 2022, 12:53
I think Appalling is the word that comes to mind - 82 Vampires!!! And that's nearly as many dead as we lost in the Falklands

Cornish Jack
23rd Apr 2022, 14:17
Casualties were 315 killed plus 6 killed on the ground.

Sobering isn't it.
Different era, different perspective. Those statistics were typical of the time. Bearing in mind that Perf A only came in with (the Bev, first) transport aircraft in the late 50s, the inevitable results of the need for 'safety speed' breath retention and 'suck, squeeze. bang, blow' propulsion, they weren't surprising. One of my APCSS/84 Sqdn mates survived no less than 6 'crashes' in a 2 year tour. My own version left a Valetta fuselage converted to a Mess bar at Beihan !
Different times, indeed !

esa-aardvark
23rd Apr 2022, 15:16
Brewster

Lived near a person who had been a National service pilot. He
flew Sabres from West Raynham and managed to pull sufficient 'G'
to bend one so it never flew again. My father who was based at
West Raynham spent some time driving around Norfolk recovering
bits & pieces of Sabres.

Quietplease
23rd Apr 2022, 15:49
This MAY be wrong; please correct me if it is! I believe the BIG problem with Meteor practice engine failures was that they actually turned the engine OFF to begin with. Great until things went wrong and left you below the curve with NO options (crash straight ahead?) and no bang seat. Yes, the single seaters did have a seat, but it was a Mk1 which needed a lot of airspace BELOW you. As an aside I was an Air Cadet selling programmes at the Review and remember it well. The Air Force I joined in 1957 was already shrinking. Now......corrections?
I was lucky enough to do one of the last Meteor asymmetric courses at Worksop and lucky to have Lou Leviitt as instructor.
First takeoff arm locked as hard as possible to ensure only slow throttle closure. Didn't help as at about 125 knots the HP cock was closed. Hardly flew on two engines from then on. I think the official policy soon became no shutdowns below 5000ft.
Most useful course I ever did.
A Meteor killed Lou soon after I left but nothing to do with astymmetry.

brakedwell
23rd Apr 2022, 19:12
During my detachment at RAF Nicosia in early 1958 one of my good friends also flew the Levant Comm Sqn Meteors. He was a Beverley second pilot who was totally p****d off with his job. Luckily he managed to get off the Beverley and on to Hunters in early 1959. He was eventually posted to a Squadron in Germany and was very happy flying Hunters. Unfortunately he was lost over the North Sea and there was no real evidence about what happened. We just moved on as it was not an unusual occurrence in those days.

Warmtoast
23rd Apr 2022, 21:05
Further to the losses reported in my post # 55 above. It was discussed in detail seventeen years ago on PPRuNe here: https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/70987-meteor-accident-statistics-5.html.

The book "Broken Wings" published by Air Britain, written by James J Halley MBE (ISBN 9780851302904), has an extensive record of RAF post war losses including the following:

1945 592 a/c lost 638 fatalities
1946 1014 677
1947 420 176
1948 424 205
1949 438 224
1950 380 238
1951 490 280
1952 507 318
1953 483 333
1954 452 283
1955 305 182
1956 270 150
1957 233 139
1958 128 87
1959 102 59
1960 80 46
1961 74 55
1962 68 50
1963 60 41
1964 62 33
1965 46 71
1966 62 33
1967 60 60
1968 51 43
1969 31 22
1970 36 25
1971 40 72

Quite remarkable figures, but take into account the fact that in the early to mid 1950's the RAF strength was, I believe, just over 6,000 aircraft.

CAEBr
23rd Apr 2022, 21:29
In the first photo, top back row, there is even a Bristol 170-31 Freighter, you can just make out the round nose. At the very back out of sight is a good choice in my opinion.

A RNZAF example - probably left for the UK when the King's death was announced to make sure it got there in time..........

Asturias56
24th Apr 2022, 07:22
which King?

CAEBr
24th Apr 2022, 12:10
which King?

George VI

Anticipation of an upcoming Coronation Review and a long time to get there.......

India Four Two
24th Apr 2022, 12:40
which King?

Your usual level of sarcasm, I see! :E

pax britanica
24th Apr 2022, 18:00
Brakedwell,
Thanks for putting me straight on the Hastings, it didnt get there on its looks poor old soul. As I said in my post I have nothing but respect for those of you flying in that era , the long list of RAF aircraft lost in that one year in mind blowing . I know we laugh at health and safety today but its clearly better than the alternative. The losses on Meteors are probably more than if they had actually been in a modest combat .

goofer3
24th Apr 2022, 19:23
Accident figures for RAF Write-offs, 1953.

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/750x1148/scan203_1_2_750_6a10d84006e45ea2f12522e80589f8208253c7d4.jpg

DaveReidUK
24th Apr 2022, 21:09
I think the actual number for that year was around 150 (still a lot, though!).

Close enough for a cigar, I think, if only I smoked ... :O

Haraka
25th Apr 2022, 07:00
IIRC the first "fly by" on that day was of a Tiger Moth piloted by a young Quentin Oswell on a qualifying cross country. Later a Wing Commander, "Q" will be remembered fondly by many..

Asturias56
25th Apr 2022, 07:03
"which King?
Your usual level of sarcasm, I see! https://www.pprune.org/images/smilies/evil.gif"

Moi???????? :ooh:

pax britanica
25th Apr 2022, 09:50
That era is abit early fro mass air travel but fast forward to early 60s and some years are really alarming for passenger travel , some years see several 707s/DC8s crash, sometimes two or more from the same airline, Pan Am had a very bad spell around them. Add the aging prop jobs to the not fully understood jets a month without a major plane crash was unusual.

I imagine its the same with RAF and other airforces that the mix of fledging jets and aging props was pretty deadly.
As scary as our figures are the USAF crew must have been a dangerous occupation back then. Throw in the additional hazards of Carrier Ops and the situation was possibly even worse for naval aviation, I believe some types like Seahawk and Sea Vixen were very deadly.

One can only image what it was like in the Russian air force where political pressures more intense and media coverage close to nil.

Warmtoast
25th Apr 2022, 10:02
A RNZAF example - probably left for the UK when the King's death was announced to make sure it got there in time..........
Wouldn't have been this one, too late I suppose!
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/983x573/nz5906_5987d23d2ba861da36250e48694b5473ef378c48.jpg
NZ 5906 at Gan

Asturias56
25th Apr 2022, 11:07
"That era is a bit early fro mass air travel but fast forward to early 60s and some years are really alarming for passenger travel , some years see several 707s/DC8s crash, sometimes two or more from the same airline, "

Flying Magazine 2017

"over the last 5 years flying is 8 times safer than the 10 years before and 20 times safer than 20 years ago"

CAEBr
25th Apr 2022, 11:32
Wouldn't have been this one, too late I suppose!
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/983x573/nz5906_5987d23d2ba861da36250e48694b5473ef378c48.jpg
NZ 5906 at Gan

No, it was NZ5909 of 41Sqn

Brewster Buffalo
25th Apr 2022, 13:00
........I believe some types like Seahawk and Sea Vixen were very deadly.....
.
For the period 1951 to 1962 Seahawks crashed /written off - 93
For the period 1958 to 1970 Sea Vixens crashed./wriiten off - 52

One type of training during the 1950s that sounds highly dangerous was night aerobatics.

An instructor based at Cranwell, flying Vampires, recalls "that night aerobatics were a feature of the training syllabus of those days.....in their final night test the cadets would strive to outdo one another.....as a flight commander I spent many a final night test being alternatively blacked out and/or terrified by some of their efforts....."

VictorGolf
25th Apr 2022, 16:49
The totals I find surprising are for the lighter types such as the Auster, Chipmunk and Proctor. Even the poor old Tiger Moth had 8 accidents. Was there a common cause for these? Possibly there are reasons in the civil world but in a professional Air Force?

pax britanica
25th Apr 2022, 18:49
I hope that in introducing this theme I made it clear I did not think this was in anyway unique to the RAF because that si certainly not the case. Doing a little research on military accidents of the time the USAF which at the time must have been an immense organisation , had some nightmarish spells, occasions where for several days in a row there were fatal accidents involving USAF /USN aircraft. They had two fatal B47 accidents on the same day in the late 50s

Of course tragic as it was these people seldom died in vain because engineers and aircrew learned lessons and over time things improved radically as has been pointed out earlier. the B47 definitely seems to be the plane to avoid if you wanted along life and I suppose the combination of size, sharply swept wings, low power low reliability engines (with 6 to go wrong per ship) and primitive ejection seats was something of a perfect storm when knowledge and experience of these innovations was in its infancy.

Warmtoast
25th Apr 2022, 21:16
No, it was NZ5909 of 41Sqn

You mean this one:
https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/699x983/nz5909_with_sgt_henry_moon_befc0f70b50ebb1382d5fb99f64d92c6c eda94a6.jpg
NZ5909 with Sgt Henry Moon
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1057x718/nz5909_offloading_416445432ff4a7a35c3112d344af283566b4b143.j pg

Warmtoast
25th Apr 2022, 21:26
The totals I find surprising are for the lighter types such as the Auster, Chipmunk and Proctor. Even the poor old Tiger Moth had 8 accidents. Was there a common cause for these? Possibly there are reasons in the civil world but in a professional Air Force?

Re Tiger Moths: Like here at RAF Thornhill, S. Rhodesia in 1951.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/640x362/thornhill_tiger_moth_3_a37eff45ebe9ef86242093a992c661606b6e2 9ea.jpg

Cornish Jack
26th Apr 2022, 09:00
Brakedwell - re. your #60 - I remember your friend from my time on Bevs. He was, indeed, constantly bemoaning his fate as a Bev 'co-joe'. It was the time before the right-seaters had 'leg-and-leg' privileges and the 'agriculuiral' nose-wheel steering extension. Do you recall his culinary preference ? Processed pea and sugar sandwiches ! Our AQMs raised eyebrows at that !

goofer3
26th Apr 2022, 09:01
The totals I find surprising are for the lighter types such as the Auster, Chipmunk and Proctor. Even the poor old Tiger Moth had 8 accidents. Was there a common cause for these? Possibly there are reasons in the civil world but in a professional Air Force?
Tiger Moths;
1], Drifted on landing and hit pole, nosed over. 2]. Engine failed, crashed in forced landing. 3]. Blown over on take-off. 4]. Engine failed to pick-up, stalled avoiding obstacle and crashed. 5]. Sideslipped into ground during air display. 6]. Sternpost fractured during aerobatics, dived into ground. 7]. Stalled during forced landing in bad visibility. 8]. Undercarriage collapsed on take-off.

VictorGolf
26th Apr 2022, 09:50
Thanks Goofer. So no common cause but probably a reflection of the intensity of the training at the time.

sandringham1
26th Apr 2022, 10:02
The Hastings was similar although control locks seems a common factor.
14-03-1952 TG562 On start up, t/o, lying on belly
16-06-1952 TG603 Veered off runway
16-09-1952 WD492 Flew into snow bank, whiteout
12-01-1953 TG602 Steep climb on t/o elevators detached
22-06-1953 WJ335 Steep t/o then dived into ground
22-07-1953 TG613 Multiple engine failures, ditched
27-07-1953 TG564 Struck undershoot, fire
09-10-1953 TG559 Landed heavily in fog
02-03-1955 WD484 Stalled on t/o, locks still in!
26-07-1955 WJ341 Undershot, ground looped
13-09-1955 TG584 Loss of control during overshoot

brakedwell
26th Apr 2022, 18:38
It was obviously a bad time in the early fifties. My personal experience wasnít too bad. On the day we arrived at RAF Ternhill at the beginning of January 1956 to start flying training on the Percival Provost there was an accident that killed three of the four pilots, caused by a practice forced landing just after take off climbing into the belly of a Provost that had just taken off. The only other accident was about six months later when a solo student got lost, did a forced landing on sports field near Liverpool and hit the only telegraph pole. On the Vampire course, there were only two Vampire V accidents, both fatal. One was an Iraqi who crashed shortly after take-off, caused by a jammed elevator due to a spanner left in a tail boom. The other fatal crash was due to a loss of control in a dive during a mid altitude tail chase. We didnít think flying was dangerous at the time, but then we were very young.

goofer3
26th Apr 2022, 20:09
Re Provosts. 11th Jan, 1956. Provost T.1. WV498,[1k] & WV514,[2k]. 6 FTS. 2m ESE of Ternhill.

Union Jack
26th Apr 2022, 21:40
"which King?
Your usual level of sarcasm, I see! https://www.pprune.org/images/smilies/evil.gif"

Moi???????? :ooh:
Civilian sarcasm, Service banter?

Jack

Asturias56
27th Apr 2022, 07:25
I42 and I go back a verrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long way - not quite to the Coronation flypast but ........... :ok:

brakedwell
27th Apr 2022, 08:29
Brakedwell - re. your #60 - I remember your friend from my time on Bevs. He was, indeed, constantly bemoaning his fate as a Bev 'co-joe'. It was the time before the right-seaters had 'leg-and-leg' privileges and the 'agriculuiral' nose-wheel steering extension. Do you recall his culinary preference ? Processed pea and sugar sandwiches ! Our AQMs raised eyebrows at that !

Despite his strange diet I liked Veg West. Veg and his other West sidekick on Beverleys made a great pair! I had some very hairy tail chases over the Troodos Mountains in the Meatboxes with Veg when we were meant to be waiting for an Egyptian air attack, which never happened..

Cornish Jack
27th Apr 2022, 09:23
brakedwell - Agreed - from memory, a very pleasant character. I had a long-ish chat with him when I was considering cross-over. Your "Unfortunately he was lost over the North Sea and there was no real evidence about what happened." remark 'speaks' to that conversation.

OUAQUKGF Ops
28th Apr 2022, 10:34
Does anyone have access to the full list? That link only gives page 1 as far as I can see. I have actually flown with number 44, Hedley Hazelden. Not in a Victor.

I was lucky enough to watch the full rehearsal ( on reflection it might have been the actual event on Wednesday 19th July)) as it flew over Chalfont st Peter (Bucks) - my Mother took me out of school for the day on the pretext of visiting the Dentist. It was a fantastic sight and sound. I've extracted these images which are not very good from a battered copy of the official programme that I have.


https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/900x675/p1030573_3484d1d736be6174bc1736bcba1864580cedf764.jpg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/900x675/p1030574_0a8636ab1d5985abaa52c7d6fd88f7fd00e7016f.jpg

Charlotte Bailey
1st May 2022, 22:38
I've just spent three weeks working at West Raynham airfield. No Sabre bits left to be seen...

BEagle
2nd May 2022, 16:59
In the mid-1950s Westlands serviced and tested Sabres at RAF Merryfield. Typically, they got behind in their work and started doing full power engine tests at the weekend....https://www.pprune.org/images/smilies/worry.gif

As we lived less than half a mile from Merryfield, this rather annoyed my late father. After the first weekend's disturbance, he managed to obtain the private phone number of Westlands MD.

So the following weekend, when the racket started again very early in the morning, he rang the MD's number: "Hello, did I wake you up? Well, hard luck - because you woke me up!".

Next weekend, the noise started again. So Westlands' MD got another early morning call: "Hello, it's me again!".

The following weekend, all was peace and quiet....

Asturias56
3rd May 2022, 07:42
All that overtime gone! You're lucky he wasn't lynched.............