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RAF Sharjah

Old 19th Jun 2015, 00:44
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Nice pictures of the old tower & fort. I was there as a lowly erk in 1963-64 when Bill Dench was the IAL airport manager & Stan Bunyan was the Senior Radio Engineer.
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Old 30th Jun 2015, 18:33
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Control Tower

Moved from Sharjah last year after over 10 years living there.

Have a mate (a Brit) who'd been there since '69, and still is. He said he bought the Control Tower after the RAF departed in early '72 and converted it into a house. He said the Control Tower Log Book was in the tower open at the last entry of the last shift (he kept it). Presumably they just completed it and walked away? Told him I'd love to see it if he could find it.

Lived there for about 4 years but then sold it as he said it was impractical with small children.

Always wondered about the veracity of this as I assumed the Emiratis as they had then become would want a Control Tower, it might be quite useful at an airfield.

Anyway I was speaking to him on the phone a few days back & he's found the log book; trouble is I'm in Saudi now. Anyway when next in UAE, will
scan some of it & post if its legible
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Old 1st Jul 2015, 05:28
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Interesting, Pandy. Do you mean the control tower that is just next to the fort, alongside which the Al Mahatta museum hangar was built a few years ago?(seen in the photos by Airey Belvoir a few threads ago - 6 February 2014) I hadn't realised that it was inhabited recently. Must have been warm in there.

Laurence
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Old 1st Jul 2015, 17:07
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Control Tower

Yes the actual tower, plus rooms under it - not the hangar or the fort

Purely co incidentally he just called me on another matter. And yes he lived
there, having converted it, using (in his words) dozens of A/C window units

Forgot to ask him who he bought it off - the Brits or the Sheikh, will next time
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Old 31st Aug 2015, 11:37
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78Sqn

Hi "Herod",
Just came across your post re Sharjah. I arrived Nov 67 to the SAR element of 78Sqn as a winchman. One month later off the Bahrain as the SAR flight. Left Bahrain Nov 68. Alf Shafe was the flight commander. If I recall, in Sharjah is was "fatty" Faid? later killed on West Africa when gearbox failed.
Regards
Ian Jones
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 11:45
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I have just got myself a new slide converter and here is another photograph of the Prentice G-AOPL previously mentioned.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 11:49
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Here is a photograph of a visiting Indian Air Force IL-12. We were invited on board and it was interesting to note that only the flight deck was pressurised. In the background can be seen the JW Mecom Oil Company C-46 and C-82 parked outside the fort.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 15:56
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I have found a photo taken inside the fort at a Christmas 1960 do organised by the only woman based at RAF SHJ. She was WVS and ISTR the party was held in her room in the fort.


Last edited by brakedwell; 14th Oct 2015 at 11:26.
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Old 14th Oct 2015, 11:24
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Here is another view of the Indian IL-12.
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Old 26th Oct 2015, 12:08
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JW, I think i've posted this before. Only the tail of Prentice G-AOPL.

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Old 31st Oct 2015, 13:47
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Here are some shots of armed SOAF Piston Provosts taken at Salalah in 1966. This one is WV476.
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Old 31st Oct 2015, 13:48
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This one is XF688.
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Old 31st Oct 2015, 13:52
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I flew XF907 as a student at 6 FTS Ternhill in 1961 before it became a fighting machine.
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Old 31st Oct 2015, 13:53
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And here is Beaver XR215.
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Old 11th Nov 2015, 16:36
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Another photo of XR215 and XR213 taken at Salalah a couple of years earlier. I think they were brand new on their way from Khormaksar to Bait al Falaj escorted by the Provost.

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Old 16th Nov 2015, 17:44
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I have finally tracked down my photograph of the terminal building at Tarif.
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Old 16th Nov 2015, 17:52
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Did they have Watneys Red Barrel in Tarif during your time Jock?
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Old 16th Nov 2015, 17:55
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Probably; but what I do remember about Watney's Red Barrel was the truism:

"Don't take the piss out of Watney's - It's the only flavour it's got"!
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Old 16th Nov 2015, 18:45
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It tasted wonderful after a long hard day in a hot Twin Pin!
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Old 16th Nov 2015, 19:19
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JW411

Prentice G-AOPL was mine and that pic brought back some memories; I have recounted the story of flying it to Sharjah from Sywell, where I bought it for 700 in a rather dilapidated state. The trip added 50% to the hours in my logbook.

To close the story, it went on to South Africa. The reason was that when I bought it I did so for its Gipsy Queen engine (with about 100 hours left on it), which Gulf Aviation knew all about and said they could overhaul, but by the time I got there they had changed their mind. Harry Bromley (Twin Pin Flight Commander, possibly Squadron Commander, forgive me, Harry if so, offered to fly it to Durban on his leave, and a South African Navigator in the Flight - whose name is lost in the mists of time - went along to navigate. Remarkably, they got it there, not without some challenging moments on route, and found a buyer.

The only navaid was a VOR display attached to a continuous-tune radio, both of which I bought for 25 and installed for the purpose, after an engineer at Sywell mounted the antenna in the fin for a fiver. It had limited range and functionality, so map-reading was the order of the day, made easier by the very slow cruising speed of 90 Kts. (Going over Iraq, from Damascus to Baghdad, was only permitted in Airways. So I had to file an IFR flight plan for the lowest level (80, also the highest level a Prentice could hope for) and then map-read from NDB to NDB, trying to spot the installation on the ground and report passing it as though I was using ADF.)

The radio was a 4-channel ex-RAF set, WWII vintage, I believe; it took large crystals. The set itself was mounted behind the LH seat, and the pilot (when solo, as I was) had to change the crystals by feel; it was a laborious process. Unplug aerial, feel for and remove the unwanted crystal(s), select and insert replacements from box of 70 or so, plug piece of wire with a bulb soldered to the other end into aerial socket, press PTT switch and twiddle aerial tuner to get brightest glow, repeat for each channel with new crystal, remove wire, replace aerial feeder. Usually you could prepare for the next frequency changes well in advance, but sometimes an instruction to change to a different one, say at 800 ft on a straight-in approach, meant trying to do quite a lot at once. Saying "I'll orbit here for a bit while I change frequency" did not go down well, at least at the larger commercial airports.

Last edited by old,not bold; 17th Nov 2015 at 10:08.
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