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LUTON History and Nostalgia

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LUTON History and Nostalgia

Old 4th Jun 2016, 05:54
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Talking of Comets landing on grass, there was the famous case of the first Comet 2, XK655 (ex G-AMXA) landing on the grass at Strathallan in 1974, and breaking its undercarriage.
Another high performance jet designed for unprepared runways is the new Pilatus PC-24, the prototype of which I saw at Geneva last week (although i don't think they have tried a grass landing yet).

Laurence
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 13:36
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Does anyone know when Jet Provost production/testing ceased at Luton? Remember a JP at LTN during a rare visit with my Uncle in 1965 rolling off 26 with a right turn in front of the tower I think- remember it being orange.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 18:29
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1965 with the last of a batch of 20 JP T.52 for the Iraq Air Force. The Air Britain book states that the first five T.5s flew at Luton in 1969; they did not. There was no Hunting Percival activity when I started in 1967.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 23:22
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I think the Comet that damaged its undercart at Strathallan actually hit an earth bank with the wheels before touch down, I saw a video of its arrival, and from recollection its port u/c collapsed on landing after hitting the bank..
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 07:37
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Originally Posted by welkyboy
I think the Comet that damaged its undercart at Strathallan actually hit an earth bank with the wheels before touch down, I saw a video of its arrival, and from recollection its port u/c collapsed on landing after hitting the bank..
Looks like that video might have been back-to-front.

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Old 7th Jun 2016, 09:15
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Short runway I guess. Reminds me of the Blooklands Vanguard that landed short. The video shows the tyre marks across the grass and the holes the tyres missed when some trees had to be removed for the approach.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmakSwlYLs0
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Old 8th Jun 2016, 14:47
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Scorpion Canberra

This is a picture of the Scorpion rocket motor Canberra and the crew from the record breaking altitude flight - pilot Mike Randrup and observer Walter Shirley. The record was set on 28th August 1957 and reached 70,300 feet. (Photo via Mrs Shirley)





The Airport also hosted a 40th anniversary event in 1997 when the Canberra returned and there was a small display in the spectators building.





Peter Gibb the aircraft owner and the Mayor of Luton. The Scorpion motor is on display. (These two photos by Peter Ryan)


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Old 8th Jun 2016, 19:05
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I was there for that 40th anniversary event in 1997. I had never seen a Canberra engine start and even though it was 19 years ago I seem to remember that some sort of cartridges had to be fitted somewhere to start the engines. Did I imagine it but if it was true what did the cartridges actually do?
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Old 8th Jun 2016, 20:19
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This is a Canberra starter cartridge from Luton in 1993 (open day). It just discharges a load of gas into the turbine to spin the thing up. Must clean this up!

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Old 8th Jun 2016, 20:29
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A 'one off' twin tailed Percival Prentice Luton Airport 1947/48.

VN684 c/n PAC/007 was a 1st pre-production aircraft which was awaiting collection at Luton 27.8.47. It returned to Luton on 21.5.48 for fitting of the twin tails for handling tests. Declared Non-Effective Airframe 1.12.49 it went to Halton as 6703M 3.12.49.

In the background is Avro 19 G-AHKX still extant at Old Warden.

BAE Systems Hertitage, Warton - Hunting Percival Archive

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Old 8th Jun 2016, 21:36
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Originally Posted by LTNman
I was there for that 40th anniversary event in 1997. I had never seen a Canberra engine start and even though it was 19 years ago I seem to remember that some sort of cartridges had to be fitted somewhere to start the engines. Did I imagine it but if it was true what did the cartridges actually do?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffman_engine_starter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9fkmqPHTDE
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Old 8th Jun 2016, 22:03
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Originally Posted by vintage ATCO
This is a Canberra starter cartridge from Luton in 1993 (open day). It just discharges a load of gas into the turbine to spin the thing up. Must clean this up!

I got one when he left the next day - they told me Coke was the best thing to clean it with!
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 04:44
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Out of interest, does anyone know the length of the Brooklands runway at the time the Vanguard landed?
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 07:47
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The Chipmunk was one of the notable aircraft that also used the Coffman cartridge starter, at least while in use by the RAF. They were converted to an electric starter when civilianised. I recall that if the engine did not start when the first cartridge fired we had to wait a specific time before trying again. There were 6 cartridges in a rotary magazine. The Chipmunk made far less smoke and noise than the Canberra though!

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Old 9th Jun 2016, 13:51
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We had a few cartridge starting chipmunks at hamble in the mid sixties as well - frightening bloody things!!
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 15:02
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Brooklands / Weybridge runway was about 2600ft, including the taxiway at the railway end, at the time of the Vanguard landing.
From where it touched down on the grass was about 2900ft.
I measured this from google earth.
I was operating through East Midlands Airport a few days before and saw the Vanguard practicing short landings.
The last tech log entry in the defects column read "Nil, as usual"
Happy days.
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 16:37
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Originally Posted by arem
We had a few cartridge starting chipmunks at hamble in the mid sixties as well - frightening bloody things!!
Yes, having been up close and personal to a number of Chipmunks and (on one occasion) a Canberra doing cartridge starts I'd say that, while the Canberra produced more smoke, the Chippy was at least as noisy. No ear defenders in those days.
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 18:51
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I started this thread in November 2013 so I am proud to submit the 1500th reply and the 1501st post

The views will pass 300,000 in the next few days so I just want to thank everyone that has contributed to this fascinating thread or just viewed its diverse contents.
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Old 9th Jun 2016, 19:29
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Luton Airport 1948 although the two Tiger Moths, lower right outside the first Luton Flying Club, are featured on Britain From Above and the date given is 1946. Spittlesea Isolation Hospital also lower right.

The longest runway here appears to be 15/33.

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Old 9th Jun 2016, 20:37
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Originally Posted by LTNman
I started this thread in November 2013 so I am proud to submit the 1500th reply and the 1501st post

The views will pass 300,000 in the next few days so I just want to thank everyone that has contributed to this fascinating thread or just viewed its diverse contents.

And well done to you LTNman for starting the thread - just goes to show what an interesting history this airport has had.
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