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RAF Sharjah

Old 18th Nov 2011, 14:45
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sharjah - UAE
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Yes sir I have heard this story from an old timer arab near in the restored museum near the old city on the banks of port Khalid. This young man (ill-legit son) also bullied many aeroplanes by throwing stones if they refuse to follow what he was trying to make them do! The rumour goes on one night he even sneaked near a Heron parked on the west apron to puncture it! Anyway he was never recognised as the official heir to the Sheikdom of Sharjah. The monarchy would eventually be transferred to Sultan (then a young man) and the ruler of Sharjah now.

The picture is a fantastic example of modern classic avionics on the Britannia! What a fine plane it was, heard it was not noisy compared to other props of the time. Great Britain produced some outstanding aeroplanes indeed!
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 15:11
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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He didn't appear to be interested in RAF aircraft. I seem to remember he had also been known to expose himself to (rare) female passengers arriving on Gulf Aviation flights! He suddenly disappeared and we soon forgot about him.

The IAL Sharjah boss, who I used to enjoy a few beers with in the fort, was made responsible for over-seeing the ATC side of the Dubai's new airport while it was being built in 1960. He invited me to land my Twin Pioneer on the first 500 yards of completed runway as soon as it was hard enough, so my claim to fame is that I am the first person to land at Dubai International.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 15:52
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Sir that is quite a privilege you have enjoyed! First person to land on Dubai International! Wow! I would certainly like to meet you one day, it'll be an honour for me Have you heard of Dubai World Central ? The new Al Maktoum International airport is under-way and after its completion it will be the world's largest airport and busiest airport the reports suggest. Dubai World Central will be a combination of Dubai International and Al Maktoum international simultaneous operations, Sharjah however remains behind in the league.... once it was ahead in the Middle East!
Talkind of Dubai did you visit Dubai creek could you tell me how it was, and how the old Dubai airport was...I have an old photo of Dubai airport having a similar control tower like the RAF Sharjah...
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 16:53
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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I visited Dubai Creek and souk a few times, which was very photogenic. As there were no tarmac roads then everybody took their own favourite track to Dubai. I was called out in Bahrain one night to medevac two seriously injured survivors of a fatal head on collision between two landrovers, which met on the crest of a dune between Sharjah and Dubai.
The proximity of a large rubbish tip near Dubai Airport meant it was plagued by flies. I also remember strong odours from stagnant water nearby. I did take some 9mm film of the creek which I will edit and post on YouTube.
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 19:52
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Capt S - regards your post number 90. In case you are unaware, the letters AMWD on the metal plate stand for Air Ministry Works Department. They were the organisation that looked after the infrastructure on RAF stations, commonly called "bricks and works".
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 20:05
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Well I am very much looking forward to see your film on youtube sir! Do you have a Facebook account? I would like to add you sir if you don't mind...

in the mean time here are some more rare and interesting pictures of RAF Sharjah from 60s - 70s. The airfield on which Kuwait Airways is parked still survives today, the picture is in my post earlier in this page the one after the parking lot where loosely all the cars are parked and the surface is a bit cracky that is the spot!



Road to control tower, many of you will remember this!


A plane landing with airport fort at the back, a very rare picture!




This was prior to the building of new control tower which still exists today,


And finally, some plane repaints going on inside the same hanger which exists today! Its just last week that I had a word with the care taker of this hanger and he told me that the Sharjah govt. has no plans to demolish it, today this hanger contains old airport equipment and interestingly he told me it might be refurbished and included in the museum premises!
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Old 18th Nov 2011, 20:11
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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At Nimman,

Why thank you very much indeed sir for enlightening me on the description on that metal frame... you know this area is screaming history! Air Ministry Works Department.. they must have been an important element such are taxiway light or parking lights for the nights I presume...... sad to know that GEC is operating any more!
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 20:45
  #108 (permalink)  

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Hi Salman, if this works, here are a couple of pictures of the officer's accomodation, 1968. I thought I had one of the mess, but I'm darned if I can find it. If it turns up I'll post.





And one of the suq

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Old 12th Jan 2012, 12:04
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Smile 152 Aircraft

Yes I believe "M" was from 152 Sqn B flight. I think the picture in the desert is of the same aircraft during a visit to the liwa hollows around May-June 1966 with the British Resident from Dubia. I have the original which shows the Union Jack flying (attached to the top hatch) and the splendid looking arab was guarding the aircraft. I was a navigator with 152 in Sharjah for all of 1966. Happy days!
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 12:12
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Accommodation RAF Sharjah

I believe we called them the "Cloisters" My room is shown top left in the brick building. I was there all of 1966 prior to the new Officers mess being built. Happy days with 152 "B" flight
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 13:23
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152 Aircraft
Yes I believe "M" was from 152 Sqn B flight. I think the picture in the desert is of the same aircraft during a visit to the liwa hollows around May-June 1966 with the British Resident from Dubia. I have the original which shows the Union Jack flying (attached to the top hatch) and the splendid looking arab was guarding the aircraft. I was a navigator with 152 in Sharjah for all of 1966. Happy days!
Are you referring to Humar, SW of the Liwa oasis?
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 16:24
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Liwa Hollows

Yes indeed. According to my log book 25th May 66 Abu Dhabi (sand strip in those days!!) mirfa-Humar-Sharjah
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 21:28
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Ran the left hand side of the MEC at Sharjah in '66. Magic place. These might bring back some memories









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Old 12th Jan 2012, 22:21
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We used to land on the smoothest looking stretch of grey sand in 59/61. I never went to the TOS camp at Humar, preferring to remain with the Twin Pin on my own and enjoy the silence (once the engines stopped clicking as they cooled down) and beauty of the dunes. Thanks to a much delayed departure on one trip looking up at the amazing night sky was almost a religious experience
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 08:00
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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RAF Sharjah

They sure do!!
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 08:02
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Humar

If I remember correctly we navigated on a back bearing and dune maps!!
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:58
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Most of our Humar flights routed via Tarif, so it was a case of steering 235 plus or minus drift for 45 minutes and then hoping the right grey hollow appeared. Humar took some finding in blowing sand.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 12:29
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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In alisoncc's post no 107 you can see the tail of Prentice G-AOPL. It belonged to old,not bold, who referred to it in this thread in March 2010 (post 19):

Brief history; bought for 700 from Shackletons at Sywell Sept '66, exported from Gatwick (Bureimi Airways Flight 001 to Sharjah was called on the PA) 27/9/66, number of unforeseen occurrences on route including a forced landing after both mags failed in cloud over the Italian mountains, complete 2-month repair and refurb in Baghdad after an engine fire on takeoff (Shackleton's workmanship being the root cause), got to Sharjah Jan '67, flew round the desert for a bit, then 2 RAF officers on leave from Twin Pin flying took it to South Africa, where it was sold for 700 in mid '67.

The idea was to keep it in Sharjah and return to UK eventually, but an engine overhaul was imminent and Gulf Aviation, whom I later joined, stopped doing their own Gipsy Queen (Dove, Heron) overhauls in between my purchase of a Gipsy Queen for that reason and its arrival 9 months later.

It was bought by a farmer's boy who planned to use it to fly to Durban for riotous weekends from his Dad's farm, inland at 6000ft. He had just got his licence and rejected all offers of advice from the RAF officers about calculating Prentice take-off performance at 6000ft. The demo flight and deal were done at sea level, and the RAF officers got the next plane out.

The Prentice was an interesting aircraft to fly, suffering as it did from being grossly underpowered with the aerodynamic beauty of a s**thouse. Oiling up the rearmost plugs while taxying was its best trick; mag checks were pointless on the ground and I did them on the climb out, always a nervous moment especially over the sea. But rumbling along at 1900 RPM and 90Kts at 6,000 ft or so, sunny day over the Med, window open, it had its nice moments as well.

PS G-AOPL landing at Abu Dhabi International Airport Jan 1967...and Sharjah next day




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Old 13th Jan 2012, 12:58
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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I did a couple of detachments to Shajah during the mid '60's with 32 Sqdn.
One w/e 3 aircrew and 3 groundcrew (of which I was one) got together and in two landrovers took off into the hills, under the guidance of a Trucial Oman Scout. It was a hairy old drive but we eventually made it to a TOS outpost commanded by a Major from the Inniskillins. We had a great evening sitting on the OM veranda, drinking and being regaled with stories of life in the TOS. I cannot remember the name of the outpost but it did have a swimming pool which belonged to an arab gentleman who lived nearby.
Did anyone else ever visit there and possibly have the name of the outpost?



looking up at the amazing night sky was almost a religious experience
On our trip we slept outside in the desert and yes brakedwell, I know what you mean about looking up at the night sky. Awesome!
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 14:31
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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Manama and Al Khatt were two TOS camps about 50 miles east of Sharjah, just before the mountains on the Musandam Penninsular rise to form the Oman (Muscat) border.

I'm not sure whether this photo is Manama or Al Khatt. They were quite close to each other aligned N - S.

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