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Vickers Varsity

Old 5th Apr 2017, 13:31
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Did my navigators course at Hullavington in1964, we flew in the Varsity, Valetta and Valetta flying classroom. When it came to the Advanced stage the Iraqis who had joined our course carried on to Stradishall, whereas we completed the Advanced course at Hullavington. However we did go to
Stradishall for 12 hours on the Meteor NF14. Many of the pilots at Hullavington were Master Pilots and a fountain of knowledge.
They were happy days.
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Old 5th Apr 2017, 18:56
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Originally Posted by Brian 48nav View Post
Did my navigator's course at Gaydon in '66 on the Varsity plus some trips in the Valetta 'flying classroom'. Followed by advanced course at Stradishall in early '67, not the new-fangled Dominie for me - still the sturdy old Varsity.
Gee was still the principal fixing aid - very handy for a third position line for exercises involving Astro, Consol,NDBs etc.
Funny, we went to camp at Stradishall in '67 and I did fly in a Dominie (captained by Sqdn Ldr Cozens)!! They were reserved for CWOs and Flt Sgts while the rest of the cadets had the Varsity flights.

Last edited by chevvron; 27th Apr 2017 at 15:46.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 14:12
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Others Flown on 97 Course

Originally Posted by Up & Away View Post
Many thanks to 'CC' who directed me to this thread.

Flew WJ947 at 5FTS RAF Oakington Oct-Dec 1973 (97course)

Other aircraft we flew in various colour schemes
WF326 WF329 WF331 WF371 WF375 WF389(which were older than we the studes)
WF409, WF418, WF419, WF422, WF429
WJ892, WJ902, WJ912, WJ920, WJ941, WJ942, WJ947
WL628, WL629, WL634, WL670, WL671, WL676

You flew as my Co on
11th Oct 73 WF409
14th Nov 73 WL629 Weather recall PAR U/S Landed off SRA.
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Old 27th Apr 2017, 23:50
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More on gee. It was still being used on the Varsity nav trainers at 2 ANS Gaydon in 1969, and I believe the system finally shut down in 1970. I remember a photo of some nav (maybe a student at Finningley) taking the very last Gee fix. I believe it appeared in the RAF News.
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Old 18th May 2019, 17:50
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Course Song at Oakington

To the tune of Sound of Silence:

Hello Piggy my old friend,
We're going to barrel roll again...
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 20:52
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Question about Vickers Varsity and BAe Jetstream

Hello friends, I am an aviation history enthusiast and I am doing an extended research about military advanced multi engine pilot trainers .
Talking about the venerable Vickers Varsity... Was it the trainer for fiture heavy bombers pilots (Vulcan, Victor, Valiant, Canberra...) or were they selected from the fast jet pipeline?
I know that the Varsity was withdrawn from multi engine pilot training with the RAF in 1976, and replaced by the Jetstream.
In the other hand, the also venerable Avro Vulcan was withdrawn from service in 1982... Did the new Vulcan pilots from 1976 to 1982 received theis advanced multi engine training in the Jetstream?
Sorry for my english and thank you very much in advance!
Sincerely,
Peter.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 04:26
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Peter,

Welcome to PPRuNe. There is no need to apologize for your English - it is very good!

I can't answer your questions other than to tell you the Varsity was sometimes called the Pig and that when taxying, there was so much smoke from the engines, that ATC would sometimes think it was on fire! I had a ride in one once. Good memories.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 08:52
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India 42 - close, but no banana The Pig was specifically applied to the Valetta Nav trainer. While the two aircraft had similar porcine outlines (ignoring u/c), the Nav trainer had a row of astrodomes along the upper surface giving the appearance of a line of teats as per nursing sows. The soubriquet additionally became more associated with the Valetta C Mk 1 rather than the Varsity.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 09:17
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They're gradually restoring a Varsity Nav trainer at Brooklands - well worth a visit- https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/exp...rcraft/varsity

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Old 17th Dec 2019, 09:19
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https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/exp...rcraft/varsity

they're gradually restoring it - well worth a visit


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Old 17th Dec 2019, 09:40
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Was it the trainer for fiture heavy bombers pilots (Vulcan, Victor, Valiant, Canberra...) or were they selected from the fast jet pipeline?
In the early sixties all the V force co-pilots came from the fast jet stream. Varsity trainees predominately went to piston transport or, in the case of the last of the u/t sergeant pilots, to helicopters. Super transports, like the Britannia, Comet and VC10 were manned by 2nd tour co-pilots though when Bing Cross took over Transport Command there was an influx of ex Vulcan captains as instant Sqn. Ldr. captains on VC10s.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 14:57
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A56
Thanks for the pictures.
That Nav's position is very different to the Varsity's that worked on at Lindholme c1954-6.

Of course Green Satin hadn't been invented then!
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 15:48
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There where 2-3 guys working away - obviously a labour of love
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 16:00
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Was it the trainer for fiture heavy bombers pilots (Vulcan, Victor, Valiant, Canberra...) or were they selected from the fast jet pipeline?
By the mid 60s, when I went through the system, streaming from BFTS was done as follows:
Fast jet (Lightning, Hunter and occasional Canberra) to AFTS at Valley primarily on the Gnat or the Hunter if you couldn't fit into a Gnat.
Heavies (V force, Maritime & Transport/AAR) to Oakington on the Varsity
Rotary to Shawbury on the Whirlwind? - not sure after so many years!
At the end of the 60s Fast Jet also included Harrier, Buccaneer and Jaguar.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 16:29
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Originally Posted by Pete71 View Post
In the other hand, the also venerable Avro Vulcan was withdrawn from service in 1982... Did the new Vulcan pilots from 1976 to 1982 received theis advanced multi engine training in the Jetstream?
I was at Scampton 1980-82 (as an engineer) and we still had 230 Operational Conversion Unit until near the end of 81 (IIRC). Any brand new co-pilots would have come through the Jetstream- there were a few young pilots around then - but I don't know if they just (re-) trained experienced pilots at that late stage
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 21:03
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nipva: excuse a similarly-aged aviator, but in the sixties rotary was still at Tern Hill. I was there in '66. Sioux (Bell 47) and Whirlwind. I believe it wasn't transferred to Shawbury until the mid-seventies
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 06:54
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Herod beat me too it. When I was at Shawbury in the late 60s, most traffic was UBAS/8AEF Chipmunks, and Marshall's Vampires and Piston Provosts that were providing targets for ATC students, There were also the occasional Valley Hunters and Gnats doing practice diversions and sometimes we would get Tern Hill Whirlwinds that would come over for a PAR. Reputedly they would occasionally come to a hover and then climb back out along the glideslope, much to the consternation of the radar students!
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 09:42
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nipva

A school friend and I ( both the same age as you ) joined the RAF in '65 - after
Leeming he went on to Valley. 'Whoopee' he thought ' Lightnings here I come ' . Mightily disappointed to be posted to Vulcans as a co-pilot - then to rub salt in the wound after his first tour he didn't get a skipper's slot and had a ground tour instead.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 09:49
  #339 (permalink)  

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nipva: excuse a similarly-aged aviator, but in the sixties rotary was still at Tern Hill. I was there in '66. Sioux (Bell 47) and Whirlwind.
. Indeed so - IIRC it was '75 or '76 that rotary training went to Shawbury. By then - I think - the Siouxs had gone and it was straight through Whirlwind, except CFS(H) who flew the Gazelle.

Sycamores were still used up to the mid-60s I think, but had gone before I got there in '69.

[Edited to add:
a quick Google suggests Sycamores were still at TH in '65/'66, so looks as if Herod just missed it.]
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 09:49
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Herod - Snap!
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