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RAF Sharjah

Old 20th Feb 2013, 21:52
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Hi brakedwell, pity about your date hooch going down the loo. Hope the scars have worn off by now.
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Old 21st Feb 2013, 00:22
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friendlypelican2 Yup. That's how I remember it. For a while that bird was in the hangar more often than not until they solved the problem.

I became reacquainted with her on my last tour at Benson where she was one of the flight checking aircraft on 115
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Old 21st Feb 2013, 09:22
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I had to leave when the crowd became agitated.
Always a good idea in any country when they are hanging out their dirty washing. I remember tactfully divng into a Starbucks in China immediately after seeing a Chinese policeman drop a bagsnatcher with his automatic pistol.
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Old 21st Feb 2013, 09:46
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It might have been worth staying if I'd had a colour film.
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Old 21st Feb 2013, 20:26
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Floggings on the Sharjah cannons were rare but we were warned to stay clear because emotions ran high. Buraimi seemed equally Mediaeval in 1965. We (the Twin Pin crew) got told that 'someone' had been caught burying a land mine in the middle of the Buraimi strip the week before. Supposedly TOS heard about this a week to ten days after the event. He was apparently parked in a bottle dungeon by the Sheik's men and when TOS wanted to interrogate him, the response was said to have been 'Of course, we'll show you where he is'. A week without food and, more importantly, water meant that that was the end of the affair. I was never sure if the story was apocryphal or not, it was clearly sensitive as the guys at Jahili Fort were speaking about it in hushed tones but that may have been because I was being asked to fetch a can of tartan paint. I was never sure.

Last edited by leesaranda; 21st Feb 2013 at 20:29.
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Old 22nd Feb 2013, 12:26
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Wild Arabia

Tonight - BBC 2 at 9pm. It might stir a few memories.

Sand, Wind and Stars New series. Documentary revealing the connections between the wildlife, landscape and people of the Arabian peninsula. The first edition features animals including oryxes, jerboas, horned vipers and scorpions, and a journey with the Bedouin - camel-riding nomads who are the only humans to have mastered the art of survival in the desert
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Old 22nd Feb 2013, 13:08
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Sand, Wind and Stars New series.
Yes looking forward to that, make a change from the jungles and the savannas.
Until I flew from Cairo to Bahrain I didn't realise how vast the Arabian desert is
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Old 22nd Feb 2013, 19:06
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Wild Arabia.

Thanks for that brakedwell, I would have missed it otherwise.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 10:09
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Captain Salman and Quebec, I note that you may have been arranging to meet last year to look over the ex-RAF airfield. I'm a bit late, but if you are still going to do this, I would like to come along if possible, as I have a strong interest in that area, having first (and last) visited it back in 1986/7 and 1989 and took a few photos at the time! Please do email me at [email protected] if you'd like. I'm based in Abu Dhabi.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 08:06
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A PM (private message) might be the best way to contact the two individuals mail2nix. It's more certain than the two happening to chance a visit to this thread again (haven't heard from Salman for quite a while.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 10:23
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Bump!
Still working throught the old photos. This 35mm slide has 'Manama' written on it. As best I remember, the surface and vegetation looks right. About 30 nms east of Sharjah?


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Old 4th Mar 2013, 12:30
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friendlypelican 2

Was the Andover vulnerable to flap damage? Those loose stones at Bureimi, Al Khatt and Manama were always looking for an easy target.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 13:31
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Brakedwell,
Surprisingly not. I don't recall any instance of significant flap damage although the engineers were forever 'blending out' nicks in the prop leading edges. The 'magic' of the CMk1 was a combination of the big engine/14ft6in reversing prop/Fowler flaps and a beefy undercarriage. The Fowler flap extension at the 30deg setting (landing only) gave both increased lift and drag and with a touchdown max of 14 ft/sec plus reverse selected whilst still airborne (just!) the beast stopped on a sixpence. I suppose this all combined to reduce exposure to stone damage. On take-off (shortest with 27deg flap) the Fowler extension gave loads of lift and the plan was generally to get A/B at about 76kts then level off at approx 20ft, clear of stones etc., accelerate to V2 (generally about 96kts) and you are in Perf A business. The photo above shows a take-off with the Fowler flap quite well. Once 84 Sqn left the Middle East, there was little need to use the more extreme aspects of the performance and it reverted to being no more than a small, short-range airlifter. I only did 3 years and I believe that later the full STOL handling was not used or perhaps even banned by the 'powers that be'.

Last edited by friendlypelican 2; 4th Mar 2013 at 13:33.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 16:00
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Thanks, the Andover was obviously a giant leap from the Tin Pin. The reason I asked was the one time I landed a Britannia on an unpaved service, in Resolute Bay, we collected quite a few dents in the flaps during the landing run and that was without using reverse. I think the permafrost saved us from worse damage as most of the stones were frozen into the (long) strip. It was a bit different from Sharjah!

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Old 4th Mar 2013, 16:04
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Brakedwell,
Don't want to wander too far from the the thread, but I do like the pic of 'The Whispering Giant' in the Arctic!
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 16:18
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I was getting bored with the sand! Back to the subject. Talking of prop damage, I picked up a bullet hole in the port prop during a slow stagger from Firq to Saig. The was no bang, just a sudden whistling sound and we didn't discover the source until we shut down at Firq to refuel two round trips later. I couldn't believe a lead bullet would go right through a metal prop.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 16:40
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Some from Beit:

Approach.


Finals.


Line-up.


And when I was back there 10 years ago, took this on app to Seeb. I hv superimposed where I reckon the Beit R/W was in our time.


Times change and nowhere as fast as the Middle East!
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 19:52
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Gulf Aviation was still under the UK CAA when the BAC 1-11 was introduced. Those pics reminded me of a glorious day, just after the purchase, when some of us rode along when BAC demonstrated to the CAA's satisfaction that scheduled passenger services could be operated safely at Bait, in daylight and reasonable visibility anyway.

The CAA imposed more and more difficulties; overload - lots of sandbags in the hold; overshoot, engine failure at V1, ditto with overload, and so on. The aircraft passed everything with flying colours.

At the end of an exciting day we all got in, 20 or so, I guess, to go back to BAH with just the sector fuel and no cargo except the used spare wheels and a jack, ie light. The BAC pilot said that if no-one minded, he would show us what you could really do with a BAC1-11 when unconstrained by the rules. He set absolute full power and released the brakes, going to the West; what happened then reminded me of a glider winch launch (or my only 2 rides in a 2-seat Hunter). I'm sure we cleared the ridge by at least 2,000 ft, perhaps a lot more.

Last edited by old,not bold; 5th Mar 2013 at 19:54.
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Old 5th Mar 2013, 20:05
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Was Chuck Thrower one of the BAC pilots?
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Old 6th Mar 2013, 16:57
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And here is the Argosy view of starting finals to runway 33 at Bait al Falaj.
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