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Handley Page Hastings

Old 25th Jan 2011, 15:02
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I remember dropping an Austin Champ from a 99 sqn Hastings towards the end of 1957. We took off from Abingdon and destroyed it at Watchfield when none of the parachutes opened, I understand it was only two feet tall when the army recovered it.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 16:02
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VX275

I distinctly recall being on a Jeep Drop at Watchfield, there were two Jeeps in tandem underslung Hastings TG531 on 6th April 1955, the flight time from Lyneham to Watchfield and return was 1 hour and 15 minutes. My ATC 3822 mentions nothing more than this but I seem to recall 4 chutes deployed on each Jeep and what I recall that the aircraft appeared to 'lift' as the load was dropped. I was but 15 at the time

The set up was similar to this mock up at IWM Duxford Airspace hangar that I took a few months back

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Old 25th Jan 2011, 16:33
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A photograph of a Hastings with a paratechnicon can be found at Air-drop jeeps in 1945? - Key Publishing Ltd Aviation Forums . Looks awful.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 17:48
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Thumbs down

Four knots above the stalling speed in a Twin Pioneer with a load of frozen chickens and not much on the clock? .
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 18:39
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I presume you are meaning in flight here rather than on the ground. Did the Hastings suffer from the same issue as its stablemate the Hermes, of flying excessively tail-down ? How did Handley-Page manage to get the C of G so wrong on this group of types ?
I have read that late changes to galley location & engine power settings led to the Hermes tail down attitude. There was no time or money to engineer a fix (change the wing angle of incidence I believe).
The tail dragging versions flew level as far as I Know.
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 18:52
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Hastings Drops

As an armourer I used to load the jeeps and lindholme canisters onto Hastings. !954 to late 1956 sounds about right. Lyneham and Abingdon. Can't remember the flat one though
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Old 25th Jan 2011, 20:13
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Lancman, thanks for the lead. Maybe I should have said "has anybody got any OTHER photographs of the Paratechnicon" as those pictures were posted by me. Yes the Paratechnicon was awful and it was the cause of the demise of TG499 with all crew in September 49.
As for the Jeep airdrop I have a copy of the AP containing the rigging scheme. OK it is really for the Halifax but the only real difference was the supporting beam which attached the load to the aircraft. I also have a copy of a drawing of the Hastings beam somewhere in my collection which I did consider offering to Duxford so that they could sling that Jeep under their Hastings.
With regards to whistling Jeeps I knew a REME tiffy who was quite proud of the three he destroyed in one day, the last of which went in right in front of the queen, thus proving one of the laws of air-drop. 'The higher the rank of the visiting observer the greater the chance that things will go wrong.'
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 11:02
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From a few trips 'meat bombing' from the Hastings, it certainly did fly tail down on those sorties. Quite noticeable 'cos we were dispatching paras and had to recover the static line bags after the drop. After dropping sim 15s, it was a mighty heave to get the lines and bags back on board AND uphill too!! Once back in it was exceedlingly pleasant to lean out of the open doors to get a slipstream head massage!!
Somewhat oddly, we were doing the Dispatcher's course for crewing duties on theValetta but all our dispatching was done on the Hastings.
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 11:09
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Hastings Jeep Drop

Flight Magazine 22nd February 1952 has a photo of a jeep being dropped from a Hastings.

It can be seen here:

1952 | 0460 | Flight Archive
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 12:20
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Nicely trimmed on this shot of TG517 formating with TG568, both from the Vulcan OCU at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire (Photo courtesy of S/Ldr Bill White)


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Old 26th Jan 2011, 15:24
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Originally Posted by VX275 View Post
With regards to whistling Jeeps I knew a REME tiffy who was quite proud of the three he destroyed in one day, the last of which went in right in front of the queen
A television programme I saw some years ago visited a large used commercial vehicle auction. Among these were a substantial number of army LRs which were being sold off, and at the end of a long line of these were a couple which had been air dropped without the benefit of accurate parachute packing, in the manner described above. They were literally flattened like a pancake, same ground area but about a 2 feet high pile of scrap.

Journalist thought it was extraordinary that they had been sent to the auction, and was scarcely able to conceal his amusement. I wonder who buys them and how much they give for them.
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 15:31
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Journalist thought it was extraordinary that they had been sent to the auction, and was scarcely able to conceal his amusement. I wonder who buys them and how much they give for them.
A vertically challenged wargamer who is short of cash?
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 15:34
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One that Proplinerman might appreciate as it's taken at his home airport,Ringway,in 1968.

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Old 26th Jan 2011, 16:21
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How much additional fuel in those wing tanks?
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 17:44
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What was the Hastings that soldiered on at Scampton until 1977 actually used for?
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 18:36
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Each underslung wing tip tank held 350 gallons
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Old 26th Jan 2011, 20:18
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Among these were a substantial number of army LRs which were being sold off, and at the end of a long line of these were a couple which had been air dropped without the benefit of accurate parachute packing, in the manner described above. They were literally flattened like a pancake, same ground area but about a 2 feet high pile of scrap.
I went to a military vehicle rally where there was a enthusiast who was into all things SAS 'Pink Panther' Land Rover. I mentioned to him that I had a photo of one that had been used for a load on a HALO MSP which had gone in from 12 000 ft. The enthusiast showed me a file with all known Pinkies which had a few that had 'unknown' against their present location. I sent him a copy of the photograph so that one of the 'unknowns' could be written up as 'Scrapped following air-drop at A&AEE. How did we know which Pinkie it was? As you say these things end up about two foot high and on this one the only thing that was recognisable was the slightly bent number plate.
Incidentally the reason this load went in was the Boscombe Trials Officer was being a 'bit of a pain' with the Industrial Staff who rigged the loads and acted as Air Despatchers. During the loading of the MSP the Industrials noticed that the Trials Officer had forgotton to remove the safety pins from the Hite-Finders that would release the main parachutes as the load passed through 2000 ft. Unsurprisingly the reason for the failure was obvious, as was the culprit.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 00:20
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What was the Hastings that soldiered on at Scampton until 1977 actually used for?
Training on the NBS for the V force. This was originally done at Lindholme, BCBS (Bomber Command Bombing School), firstly on Lincolns and then on Hastings. When Lindholme closed the remaining Hastings became part of 230 OCU.

Ah TG 536 - 2 hours 40 on 9 Oct 1973 - Scampton - Finningley, Brize and back to Scampton
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 00:56
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Originally Posted by VX275 View Post
....the only thing that was recognisable was the slightly bent number plate.
Says something for the strength of the fixing screws !
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 08:10
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They also used the Scampton Hastings for Air Defence training. #1 AD course of 228 OCU was scheduled for two trips of "radar prediction" with acetate sheets of the forthcoming topographical features, overlaid on the slewed NBS piccie. Hours of shading along the supposed track, 3 navs per trip each meant to do one hour at a time.

On both trips I was #3 and never got to the scope - the kit went u/s on the first, the aircraft u/s on the second. Total 5 hours on the Hastings, not one minute in anger . . . .
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