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Any Borneo Whirlwind veterans here?

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Any Borneo Whirlwind veterans here?

Old 21st May 2012, 07:06
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Any Borneo Whirlwind veterans here?

I am doing an oil painting of Whirlwind HAR 10 in Borneo and I am always very particular about research to get it right. However amongst the many reference photographs that I have accumulated, a question exists:


1) Between the front undercarriage oleos is a rectangular box. Some have it and others do not. Does anybody know what it is?

2) I am not using the 'tropical nose' but there also appears to be at least 2 versions of the standard nose door, one with a larger grill then that used by SAR UK based helicopters. Is this right or a fiqment of my imagination?

3) If anybody has photographs of camouflaged Whirlwinds in operation, I would love to see them.

The painting in progress (without the said box)

All comments/contributions most welcome.

Last edited by Tiger_mate; 21st May 2012 at 07:10.
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Old 21st May 2012, 10:40
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The `box` is the Decca aerial cover,and not usually fitted to non-SAR aircraft /trainers at Ternhill/Valley. The original nose-door had the larger grill panels; then came the `sand-filter cement-mixer` nose door.Then came in `69 the more solid door without the grills.This was a better all weather door,and remained in Service to the end in `82..
Just a point,the WW has a noticeable `bent-back`on all Mks from about 5,and so it is noticeable more or less from all angles except directly above/below. Depending on which Squadron (103/110/28/84/225/230) colours/letters you decide on as always the paint/size of individual colours/reg/Sqdn/zaps were all different,as different Sqdns were in different theatres/Commands/Groups,etc.Try the Rotary threads,or Flypast `Nostalgia` and search Confrontation`...
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Old 21st May 2012, 11:07
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Absolutely right. The Whirwind in the painting should have a cranked boom. The starboard oleo has the twin schermully flare mounting. On 230 Sqn aircraft the was also a Zwikky pump. Two Gurkas could pump a drum of fuel in in four minutes.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 21st May 2012 at 11:08.
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Old 21st May 2012, 15:25
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Her are a couple taken at Sepulot. The first one is in the beginning of 1966 and the second one shortly before 230 Sqn returned tp the UK.





I'm afraid the (Agfa) slides fade with time, You have got to remember to hang the underslung hook wires underneath the fuselage.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 21st May 2012 at 15:30.
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Old 21st May 2012, 18:31
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Awesome response; thanks guys. the tail on the painting does have a 'crank' in it but the tone of a portion of the shaft cover has not picked up well on the photograph and therefore the dend is non-too evident at the moment. The photographs are especially usefull. The donor photograph was mirrored, so the exhaust removed and door inserted and potential gotchas for me are anything that was not the same left and right, such as an inclined pylon that is significantly offset such as the Pumas. Another potential is it / did they concerns the upper occulting beacon as some but not all photos show a beacon just aft of the MGB, Optical illusions or a mod state? I am trying to demonstrate a generic aircraft of the time at a jungle air-head rather then an airframe of a particular sqn. the shed towards the right is a maintenance hangar and I may well put an airframe with a tropical nose on dispersal this side of that. It is but early days yet but my aspiration is to match the quality of my last project within four months, and this was the last result:

But this time it is the Far East Whirlwinds turn for the spotlight.
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Old 21st May 2012, 19:19
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The anti-col was a mod. My first picture does not have them but the second had it behind the main rotor on the gearbox housing.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 12:56
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Copyright material removed by Blacksheep

Last edited by Blacksheep; 3rd Nov 2012 at 21:05.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 16:54
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The top picture XR 456 is post confrontation as it was operated by 230 Sqn until they left Borneo in late 1966. Being ex RAFG you can see the Zwikky pump mounting on the lower starboard oleo.
The next picture was definately confrontation time because XP 329 was a reverse swop and came with 230 to Odiham.
The last is, I believe, XD183. The was the highest hours Whirwind and most of it was in the Far East. It went out as a Whirwind 2, came back to be converted to a Whirlwind 4 then came back again to be converted to a Whirwind 10. It had over 5,000 hrs on it and we were pushing the idea of flying it back to the UK. Unfortunately it had an engine rundown during Basatu Padu, the last major exercise in Malasia, and got bent in a coconut plantation. It was probably repairable but the MU was running down so it was presented to the Singapore or Malayasian Air Force as a metalwork trainer.
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Old 24th May 2012, 02:23
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The serial of the cab in the last photo is not that clear but looks to be XR484. Served only on 103 apparently and went to the RN, for fire practice at Lee on Solent, 14.2.77
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Old 24th May 2012, 15:59
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XR 484 was not on the strength of 110 Sqn at the time the picture was taken. I was the Squadron's maintenance test pilot so I would know from my log book. As far as I can zoom in it is an XD number and that makes it XD183, the only XD we had.
However;-------- The picture is taken from 103 Sqn's hanger and 110 sqn looks as if it is a weekend or stand down so it is possible that it is a picture of a 103 Squadrons aircraft taken outside their hanger. The problem is to ascertain whether the flash on th tail is a; 110 Sqn Rampant Lion or b :103 Sqn Black Swan.
A Black swan means that I do not know which one it is.
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Old 24th May 2012, 16:40
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I will take this opportunity to put forward a claim for a World Record for the number of people that have got airborne in a single engined helicopter.
In June 1969 a squadron QFI was supervising a new pilot on an exercise in Grik, Northern Malaya. Coming over the trees to the landing site the engine did the Gnome rundown trick but our gallant hero took over control and scraped a high speed engine off. There was no further damage but the engine had been cooked; a bright blue turbine disc suggested that.
Things got going and a couple of days later a new engine arrived on site with C/Tech Brooker and the Singapore Rolls Royce rep.. I, as the maintainance test pilot, stayed behind to do the neccessary.
We had had a few problems with engine rundowns so it was suggested that we trial this engine in the same atmospheric conditions as the rundown to see what effect it had on the engine. What we were going to do was the full acceptance engine checks on a Cat 5 cooked engine.
It started OK, the ground idle and acceleration to rotor operating speed was fine.
There then came the problem of accelerating it sufficiently to do the stall margin test. For those that are unfamiliar with the Gnome, sorry, too difficult to explain.
We asked the resident Gurka battalion if the could help with bods to weigh it down. No problem, they sent a platoon over. Sufficient Gurkas were put in for the stall margin tests; more were put in for the red line checks and then we packed it out for the topping check.

Not enough people; it still got into a 6 inch hover.


XN 126, an ex Queens Flight HCC6 lifted into the air on the 22nd June1969 with Twenty Six troops plus Two operating crew, Twenty Eight in Total.

I claim a S55/Whirlwind/single engined helicopter personnel lifting record unless you can find some liar with an Mi 4.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 24th May 2012 at 16:47.
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Old 24th May 2012, 19:18
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Note to self:

The next you are going to paint Royal Air Force aircraft; as for reference photographs! I would have preferred air-to-air shots such as those above.

However there is to base to contend with and ground equipment appropriate to type. Any GCs here?
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Old 25th May 2012, 11:17
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The bottom photo could be 103 Sqn, either way its post-confrontation around 1970, but if its the overall appearance he's after, the livery is still typical.

engine rundown during Basatu Padu
Its Bersatu Padu in Malay, meaning "Complete Unity" in English. Exercise Bersatu Padu was designed to demonstrate the British capability of reinforcing the Malaysian and Singaporean armed forces, initially within 24 hours and building to massive force - as we had guaranteed in the Five Year defence treaty covering our withdrawal from east of Suez in 1971. Since shipping out Whirlwinds wasn't practical, a single Whirlwind was shipped and reassembled outside the C130 hangar to show how we'd bring them in and how long it would take to get them in the air. Then 103 and 110 provided the helicopter support to the exercise and 72 Sqn joined in from Odiham with their Wessex's as a follow-on. As for the rest of us who were based in Singapore, we went about our normal duties without being allowed to participate. (For the purposes of the exercise we had to pretend we weren't really there).

My own function from 1969 to 1971 was as a Gnome Engine Fuel Control System Specialist (A.Fitt.E; Q-AHW-PE) based in the workshops. [For the record, we never found a genuine fault in either the Computer or the Throttle Actuator on bench tests. Routine compressor washes seemed to make the Gnome reliable later in the seventies and by the time I was on 32 Sqn at Northolt, run-downs were virtually unknown.] I also covered the Torquemeter modification, for which we built a nice "Heath Robinson" test rig for applying static torque to the transmitter. The amount of twist applied to the rotor shaft at full torque was quite an eye-opener.
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Old 25th May 2012, 14:22
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I notice the pic of XP329 has a sgt pilot. Could it be Dave Cramp?
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Old 25th May 2012, 16:31
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Unlikely. We had Dave Cramp and Jim Lawn on 230 and as I posted before XP329 was not on our squadron's strength at that time. There was no stortage of NCO pilots out there then; my old Provost T1 instructor was there as a Master Pilot flying Single Pins; so 103 and 110 would have had their share down in Kuching.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 25th May 2012 at 16:32.
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Old 25th May 2012, 18:07
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Nice set of pics, thanks. Borneo was supposed to be my first tour. I was going through the course at Tern Hill, and was slated to join 230. When Sukarno heard I was coming, he capitulated, and I joined 230 at Odiham. I was with them a couple of months when the "Man From the Ministry" came down and told us we were over establishment. I managed to get a posting to the Wessex and started my overseas tour on 78 in Aden. A little junglie experience later, though: I was part of the 72 detachment for Bersatu Padu.
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Old 25th May 2012, 20:28
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Smack hands. It was 'Bersatu Padu'. It says so in my log book.
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Old 25th May 2012, 21:22
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I`m pretty certain the 3rd piccy is XR484,by lightening the screen the numbers stay `dark`,and it`s got a `Mucky Duck`/Black Swan on the tail.However,484 spent most of it`s time dressed in yellow,along with 482/3,XP411,XJ411 and possibly XR458,in my time up to `67.,XR483 was `X`, so `Y` would not be out of place,although it looks to have reverted to SH duties,and had a session with the `painters & decorators`,so it`s probably 68 or later.There are also some piccies over on `www.singas.co.uk`,if you trawl the site..
With regard to the pic.of XP329,that is a 225 Sdn a/c,as evidenced by the `zap` on the nose,it does have the decca box,but there was no Decca chain in that part of the FE,so all the kit would have been `binned`,same with the HF( could talk to anywhere,but,nowhere useful,except BBC World service..!).
The pilot may have been F/S, Fred Ayris,F/S Ron King,or Sgt M Williams,depending on the date/place of the photo.

ED.Anybody remember when `one-piece` white `bone-domes` became `de riguer` at home/abroad...?

Last edited by sycamore; 25th May 2012 at 21:29.
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Old 26th May 2012, 06:49
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There then came the problem of accelerating it sufficiently to do the stall margin test. For those that are unfamiliar with the Gnome, sorry, too difficult to explain.
Fareastdriver, Don't tantalize all of us non-Gnome Techies! Try and explain what a run down is and what your tests involved, please. Also, how much over gross were you with the 26 Ghurkas on board? Following on from some of the comments on this thread, what was the reason for the cranked tail-boom on the later Whirlwinds? I cannot find an answer on the web. Sorry for the run-on style. For some reason, I cannot get 'returns' to show up.

Last edited by India Four Two; 26th May 2012 at 06:53.
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Old 26th May 2012, 10:33
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Designers usually design helicopters so that the hub of the tail is in line (in flight) with the torque of the main rotor gearbox to avoid a rolling couple. A rolling couple at its extreme would mean flying one wing low all the time in balanced flight. Example, take a piece of A4 paper and fold it into thirds. Aplly torque in opposition, or pull the short ends apart and see what happens in the middle. Take another piece of A4 and fold it in half. Apply the same 'torque' and of course no twist develops. This is the reason why conventional helicopters land one wheel low at slow speeds because said 'roll' has developed when the gearboxes are out of alignment.
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