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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 19:03   #21 (permalink)
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Restarting a shut-down but serviceable Merlin or Griffon is simple
Ummmm?? well, maybe, but the Captain of the York at Luqa who tried a three engine take-off run to restart the fourth was to be (VERY) sadly disillusioned! Remains ended up in the quarry, IIRC
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 19:23   #22 (permalink)
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Having carried out a "Bump Start" on the fourth Griffon on a Mk II Shack several times, including at Gibraltar, it is quite straightforward, but you do not continue the takeoff!

At 80 kts PNF operates the Feather Button, to unfeather the prop. As soon as the engine is turning, fuel and ignition are introduced, the engine starts then PF closes the throttles and brings the aircraft to a halt. You allow for brake cooling, check for a mag drop, then perform a normal takeoff with all four running.
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 21:38   #23 (permalink)
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Re Oil Stains

I think the what looks like unusually black oil stains over the wings are no more than an optical illusion, possibly related to the film used.

Below are photos of a RNZAF Bristol Freighter that I took at RAF Gan back in 1958.

The originals are in colour with the same photos saved as "greyscale" images. The greyscale black and white versions make the brown oil stains look darker than on the colour originals, particularly on the in-flight photo. The black stains appear very similar to the stains on the Lancaster in the original post.

As regards the feathering, there's an interesting thread here on PPRuNe:

Last edited by Warmtoast; 3rd Jul 2012 at 21:50.
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 21:50   #24 (permalink)
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Depending how far you want to go with this, if your friend gets his father's service career details you should then find out which squadrons he was in.

You should then find a squadron equipped with Lancs - perhaps Coastal Command.

With that info and the dates he was with that squadron, you can arrange for a check of the Squadron's Operations Records Books (ORB) which are held at The National Archives, Kew on microfilm (one day they might appear on-line perhaps). The ORB will list all flights by that squadron with aircraft number, crew names and times of flight, start and finish locations. It may also have information about any unusual actions, such as filming.

Also with a squadron number there maybe Squadron Association.....

I appreciate you are in Australia, but that's the theory anyway!
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 21:59   #25 (permalink)
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The text with the Photograph linked to below is

"a fantastic photo taken by F/Sgt David Walter, 467 Sqn, of the day when a Lanc crew and a B-17 crew decided to see who could fly on the least amount of engines! In this view all four engines visible are feathered. ... UK ... 467 Sqn"

Plenty of exhaust staining visible also.

In the photograph that started this thread, is it possible that the white finish to the Lancaster was some sort of temporary "white-wash" used perhaps for an Arctic exercise and that this has just washed off where it was applied to areas previously contaminated by exhaust?

Avro Lancaster (Image Ref: A12243H) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 22:23   #26 (permalink)
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I found this pic of the Canadian Mk X with something sticking out in the same place.

and this one shows black staining on the wings very similar to the original photo.

One in white, presumably from 279 Sqn by the squadron code. The blown up picture in post #8 looks to me like R as the first letter, but the second doesn't look like L

Last edited by topgas; 4th Jul 2012 at 09:20. Reason: edited to adjust picture size to Pprune rules
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 05:16   #27 (permalink)
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Topgas seems to have found the antenna projection. This is the first picture in which I have seen it apart from a 'maybe' on one of the Tiger Force Lancs in the pictures on the Operation Goodwill link.
Maybe this is for a trailing wire antenna as suggested by Shackman.

The white staining on the cowls and wing of the Canadian a/c are in line with Feathers McGraw's comments about lead from the fuel. I have never seen this before- does this mean that the Merlins etc today have to run on specially supplied leaded avgas (not LL)? Or has it been painted on for authenticity!
The mid-upper turret on the Canadian looks very similar to the original pic, too. It is lower and has a sloped front (gun side) than the high domed type that I have seen in most other pics. I have seen references to a Martin 250 type?

The squadron code for 101 Sqn was SR, and the pic could show that, but there doesn't seem to be much of a mark after the roundel (or much of a roundel either...)
Blacksheep's pic of the Coastal Command Lanc has a number and a letter before the roundel and nothing after it.

That is a grubby Bristol Freighter, Warmtoast, and I see what you mean.
(I used to know a chap who flew Frighteners for Freddie Laker. Freddie got the contract for transporting certain missiles from the UK out to Woomera for test. He had some fine tales to tell of the boredom of roaring along at 150mph to Oz!)

Regards, Weeds
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 07:59   #28 (permalink)
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In the photo I posted 9X was No.2 Ferry Pool, which might explain why the aircraft is so clean. There also seems to be some fresh dope strips on the port wing where panels have been recently sealed by maintenance crews doing last minute work. The absence of a letter after the roundel would imply an aircraft that was not on a regular squadron and the 9 series includes a lot of MUs, station flights etc. where the aircraft would not be part of a squadron line up and so no individual aircraft letter would be needed.

It looks like the mystery aircraft is a station flight hack, or being used for fighter affiliation or some such dreary duty.
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 11:43   #29 (permalink)
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A friend who served in Malaya thinks it may have been a B Mk I (FE) of 7 Sqn which carried the code MG or possibly a B Mk VII (FE) that served with 1689 Flt which was coded 9X (as was 20 MU).
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 14:09   #30 (permalink)
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Just a few points of confirmation, the Lanc is a standard MkVII, notable by the mid-upper being in the further forward position over the aft escape hatch. It wears the Tiger Force scheme, so probably isn't a maritime aircraft, (you can see the black undersides just extending up towards the bomb-aimer's blister.) The aerials on the nose are the Rebecca blind approach aerials, standard on all late war /post war Lancs. The thing sticking out from under the fuselage is indeed the trailing aerial mount. On very early Lancasters it was on the other side of the fuselage and further back.

The code letters are difficult to pin down, but the exhaust staining is pretty normal!
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 15:00   #31 (permalink)
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On each side of the nose are antennae/aerials that look very much like a radar installation
Possibly "LUCERO" aerials used for instrument let-downs. Distance to go displayed next to the radar set next to the navigator. We had Lucero on the Australian Mk 31 `Long Nose` Lincoln and often practiced instrument let downs while on SAR detachment in Darwin.
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 15:43   #32 (permalink)
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I remember reading something on PPRuNe years ago, possibly John Farley,
about a feathering problem on Lancasters. Maybe this was an investigation
into the glitch
Mentioned in "Flight of the Halifax " the Biography of Captain G.N. Wilner and compiled by Normn Mitchell. Wikner was a ferry pilot during the war and when delivering Lancs to operational squadrons in England from the factory was required to feather each prop to ensure the feathering and unfeathering worked OK. On one occasion he had feathered two on one side in cruise and when the F/E went to unfeather the first, the props on the other engines feathered without being touched. At one stage he had all engines stopped and managed to get two going before landing.

Armed guards surrounded the Lanc while investigation carried out and Wikner refused to fly the aircraft again. He recounts it was then he found out that several Lancs had been lost due un-commanded feathering of all engines during the commanded feathering of one prop.

I talked personally to a Australian bomb-aimer called Jarret who 25 years ago was still living in NSW, Australia. He was the subject of a Sydney magazine `human interest` story and he told me they were on Ops when one engine failed. He heard the pilot tell the F/E to feather its prop. Immediately all engines stopped with their props feathered. It was night and the pilot ordered abandon aircraft. Jarret jumped out through the nose hatch but the rest were unable to bale out in time and were killed. He became a POW.

When I talked to him he said the aircraft had previously done a belly landing and it was suspected wiring was damaged and the fault was never located. That was his vague recollection. But certainly Lancs were lost due all props un-commanded feathering.

Circa 1958, I was the squadron QFI on Lincoln Mk 31 at RAAF Townsville. Following a prop change an airmen tested the feathering on that engine. When he pressed the feather button on the newly changed prop, the adjacent engine prop feathered as well. The defect was quickly traced to the metal cage that protected the feathering buttons from being inadvertently pushed in by ham fisted pilots.

Each feather button was equipped with a fire warning light inside the button and a metal dimmer bar could be moved across each feather switch. It transpired that if the dimmer bar somehow contacted the metal protective cage (which it shouldn't but obviously could), it caused an electrical circuit resulting in automatic feathering of the adjcent prop. Tres embarrassing.. The fix was to add more washers and ensure the dimmer slide could never touch the protective cage. I never found out what caused the Lancaster feathering.

In 1999 I received this letter (dated 27 January 1999) from the airman who discovered the defect. He wrote this:
"I had been tasked by Sgt Mal Winson along with others to change the No 2 propeller on the Lincoln undergoing a "C" check. The propeller is required to be feathered prior to the removal procedure. I pressed the No 2 feathering button, and No 1 and No 2 commenced to feather at the same time. At no time had I touched the No 1 feathering button. I cut the electrical power to stop the feathering actions. Examination of the feathering buttons showed that Day/Night slide was in the Night position and trapped under the feathering buttons protective cage.

My recollection is that investigations by the electricians indicated that electrical power on No 2 was linked to the circuitry related to No 1 when the feathering button was in this trapped position. The subsequent fix to prevent similar un-commanded feathering action was to place spacers under the feathering buttons protective cage, so as to allow the buttons to fully extend when pulled to the out position, regardless of the position of the Day/Night slide.

I do not know if the modification was formally approved, as a short time later the Lincolns were grounded and taken out of service and scrapped.

Signed: John R. Griffin.

John Griffin, who was by now a senior quality surveyor for QANTAS Airways in Sydney, at my request subsequently sent his letter to the CO of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight who operated a Lancaster at Coningsby. - just in case....

Last edited by Centaurus; 4th Jul 2012 at 15:51.
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Old 4th Jul 2012, 17:00   #33 (permalink)
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Rosevidney1: here is a picture of a Lancaster I (FE) of 207 Squadron (The Aeroplane photograph in Aircraft of the Royal Air Force by Owen Thetford, in which the photo of the white Mk VII marked "9X" (20 MU) also appears (Blacksheep's post)). This I (FE) has similar markings to the feathered friend in post 1, but it does have turret guns.

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