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Thorney Island Emsworth

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Thorney Island Emsworth

Old 7th Jan 2009, 18:50
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Thorney Island Emsworth

hi all has anyone got any pics of aircraft at thorney island?my sister has just moved there with her other half.i walked down there old runway last week just had weeds growing out of it.thank,s......
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Old 7th Jan 2009, 19:07
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Here is a brief airfield history,,....

THORNEY ISLAND
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Old 7th Jan 2009, 20:52
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http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/2660...ml#post2100246 Very little of the airfield in view so you will have to take my word for it that post #64 was taken there.
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Old 7th Jan 2009, 21:11
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Thorney

As someone who sails from very nearby, I can assert that a fair bit of parachuting took place there in the 1980's, and there is a persistent rumour of a transport - Herc ' ? - running into the Emsworth Channel and ditching in earlier times ( I've sailed there since 1974 ).

If that's true, then it must have been very fully recovered, as I've crawled all along the channel in dinghies and lift keel cruisers at low tide on countless occasions, and the only thing I haven't hit is a lump of alloy or an engine - have also photographed / observed it from the air and no sign of anything.

Has anyone heard anything about this supposed crash or is it a sailing club urban myth ?

There is a little museum just to the north of the main roundabout ( the one with the anchor & flowers ) by the fire station - also try the BlueBell, which is the local fishermens' haunt.

You could ask the Army who are there now.

Judging by the prices of the lower pub, fishermen don't do so badly after all - and further down is a fairly expensive place favovered by Navy Officers taking out crumpet, though we didn't think much of it.

As a top tip to your sister & other half, try the Museum & the Lord Raglan, not necessarily in that order.

Last edited by Double Zero; 7th Jan 2009 at 23:39.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 01:09
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RAF Thorney Islland photos

Although I now live in the US, I lived in Fareham, Hants for most of the 70's and have a few pictures of the goings on at Thorney. I have selected a variety, I think that I have more but cannot quite lay my hands on them at the moment.

Anyway here are a few:



The mortal remains of Beverley XL132 lying in the mud off the end of the r/w, this may be the "Hercules" referred to in a previous post.


The first Bulldog T1 for the RAF XX513, 1975


XS644 taxying out for take off, June 1976


FAF Noratlas on finals


Everybody's favourite, Snoopy


Jet Provost XM346 on the dump 1975


Hercules XV181 after its mishap
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 04:58
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Brilliant photos - that's only the second photo of 644 that I've ever seen, in that paint scheme which was unique to that aircraft. The JP is fascinating too - no idea why or when it was camouflaged... any ideas? Looks like it was done long before the TWU machines at Brawdy.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 10:56
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The Jet Provost XM346 was on the dump, camouflaged as shown when I saw it on 5th October 1969.

It was SOC on 9th June 1969, ex. RAFC.

Ciarain.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 13:18
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Must have been camouflaged after retirement then, presumably at Thorney Island. Strange thing to do - you wouldn't imagine that Thorney Island would be in the airfield decoy business!
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 13:45
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It was used for rescue practice and later burnt for the benefit of the airfield fire service.

As an aside, it was the first production JP3, I am sure it deserved a better fate.

Ciarain.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 15:16
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If anyone has any further info on this aircraft, I'd be interested to know if anyone knows why it was camouflaged. Seems strange that the paint scheme is carefully applied and even the serial has been re-applied (rather than am "M" number) - not the sort of effort you would expect for an aircraft doing to crash/rescue work. On the other hand I can't imagine it left Cranwell in camouflage, so one must assume it was repainted at Thorney island - but why?
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 15:51
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Probably spare paint from the Andover days and to hide it on the dump . In the Flying Training colours the wrecks stood out like sore thumbs !
I can remember the prototype Valetta T.3 VX564 on the dump near the North Airfield married quarters at RAF Cranwell circa 1967. There were complaints so it was resprayed a dull green to blend in with the countryside until taken away.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 17:31
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The photo Q-P published of the engine in the mud is definitely not from a Bev,or Hastings,Varsity/Valetta as it appears to have the `tappets` in situ,and everyone knows that Brissell Hercules/Centarus were sleeve-valved.Possibly a P&W or Wright, of a Dak,Catalina,Sunderland.Somebody will know !

Later; Tim, as the Andover 644 was painted in an experimental grey/green/grey scheme,it may be they tried it on the J-P first,as it was going to the dump eventually,if it didn`t work.....looks a lot better than that pukey sand /black and a white roof...

Last edited by sycamore; 8th Jan 2009 at 18:26.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 19:27
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Sycamore,
You know it is strange. I have had these photos for over 30 years and never really looked closely. I know that XL132 went down in the water just off the sea wall, and when I first visited at low tide there were all these remains. I put two and two together and got a number other than four. Then you come along and state the obvious and throw all pre-conceived ideas out of the window. When I get home tonight I will post the other photos of the wreckage, maybe there will be a clue as to the type.

QuePee
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 19:39
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As to applying paint to an aircraft destined for rescue crew training, may it simply have been to make it more realistic ?

Is that first shot of a pipeline / cable across the Emsworth Channel ? If so, there are marker posts in what I should think about the same position to this day ( as in international code, yellow with a diagonal cross each side of the channel, ' Yachties, for F--- sake don't anchor here ' !

Would be interesting to find out if the markers refer to what looks like a very deleted piece of history - as many things on seagoing charts do - or if there's really a pipe / cable there.

My bet would be that this line was replaced with something, and I certainly won't be trawling my anchor along there to find out...

It seems the rumour of a big aircraft going off the end is true, only question is what ?

I've been there at low tide many times, and there is not a sign of anything at all, though I have casually looked around the mud etc when in that area.

Then again, about 1975 I saw an 18-20' powerboat with an inboard engine catch fire in a very big way due to a gas leak ( 1st trip, uninsured, we sailed over in my dinghy to help but the survivors had already very sensibly gone over the side and were walking on the beach ).

That was a substantial boat, with an inboard petrol engine.

Nowadays I can just about make out the remains as I know where to look; about the size of a football, not least due to the soft mud, which BTW has a lot of even softer circular patches, courtesy of the Luftwaffe.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 20:10
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Hmm... I'm not sure about the JP. I agree that repainting aircraft for duty as fire/rescure training was common practise and aircraft like the Vulcan at Waddington and the Canberra at Predannack come to mind, but in every case I can think of, the aircraft was simply covered in a convenient paint with no concession to camouflage schemes or the application of markings. The odd thing about the JP is that it appears to have been properly resprayed complete with serials (not the maintenance number) which all seems very unusual, and looks like the kind of finish which would be applicable to flying rather than a fire dump.

I doubt if it had any connection to the Andover though. As far as I know, the Andover was repainted in grey/green simply because the Hercules fleet was being repainted at the same time, and one Andover was repainted in the same scheme shortly before the whole lot was disposed of. It wasn't an "expertimental scheme" as such, so there would have been no reason to try it on a JP, and of course it would have had no relationship to the Andover even if they had done!

I suspect the JP's colours must have been applied for some other purpose - but I really can't imagine what! The only possible thing that I can think of, is if the aircraft was somehow connected with the training of overseas crews whilst at Cranwell - I seem to recall that a few aircraft did occasionally appear in rather odd paint schemes when assigned to such duties. Just a thought...
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 20:29
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Hercules XV181 after its mishap
- what happened? Nothing apart from this so far

"While on a training exercise at Thorney Island in 1976, XV181 was extensively damaged almost to the extent of being a write-off. This aircraft was recovered and rebuilt by Marshall at Cambridge."

Went to the Austrian AF later. Never raced or rallyed.....
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 20:32
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So if the JP had proper markings, wouldn't that infer an accident of some sort, presumably landing, which left the thing fit only for the dump?

One can think of a few scenarios where it might have had a paint scheme before the rest of the fleet, but I haven't a clue - not my time or type.

BOAC - just saw your post re. the Herc', that does tend to fit with the rumours I heard - may not be relevant, but do the engine parts in the earlier photo's look anything like Allinson ( sp ? ) bits ?
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 20:32
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List of accidents here

Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Airports > Thorney Island RAF Station profile

I`m sure as a young lad that I was shown the wreckage of an aircraft on the foreshore as we passed by in a boat.....perhaps it was the Marathon which overran in `56.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 21:10
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00 - not sure what you are asking? The pic in #5 of the engine looks like a large radial type (piston). I reckons that would make it the Beverley in '62 from Loki's link? Bristol Centaurus - 18 radial cylinders in 2 rows of 9 (originally called the 'Hercules' engine - how's that for spooky?) ALLISON made the jet turbine for the Herc.

Aah! Thorney - I remember as a kid in Southbourne watching the endless circuits of the Varsities. Mixed emotions taking part in the closing down display in '75.
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Old 8th Jan 2009, 21:29
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A lot of Bristol Beaufort squadrons were based at Thorney Island. The early Mk.1 had Taurus engines and latter marks the Twin Wasp S3C4.
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