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Constellation over East Sussex

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Constellation over East Sussex

Old 23rd Jul 2014, 14:55
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Constellation over East Sussex

I stepped out of my house in East Sussex close to Brighton this morning around 11.15 and heard a very loud piston driven aircraft noise.

I looked up to see a Constellation flying very low and heading South East. It was a spectacular sight and sound I can tell you.

Anyone have any info on what aircraft this was and what it was doing at that level in this area. I am assuming it could have left Shoreham but not sure.

Last edited by vctenderness; 23rd Jul 2014 at 17:56.
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 15:30
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The Breitling one was at Farnborough last week:


...may have been on its way home
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 16:03
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The most likely culprit, especially as it is the only flying one outside Australia!
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Old 23rd Jul 2014, 23:17
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Not the best landing ever seen, nor the worst!. Don't often see a nosewheel touch first!!!
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Old 24th Jul 2014, 01:39
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Thumbs down

If they keep doing that, they won't have an aeroplane!!

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Old 24th Jul 2014, 06:02
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The Boeing 377 Stratocruisers used to regularly touch down nosegear first.
Something to do with their trimming limitations, I believe.


As previously noted, not a good idea with a Connie.
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Old 24th Jul 2014, 08:44
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Probably very lightly loaded though judging by the float, and better able to deal with it than the average PA-28 which has endured countless clumsy L-drivers forcing it down onto the concrete...

Reminds me of the first time I saw a DC-6 landing, slotted amidst the endless stream of Laker, Dan-Air and Caledonain 1-11s at Gatwick - from memory the 1-11 approach attitude was fairly flat, the Six was very nose down in comparison!
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Old 24th Jul 2014, 13:29
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Thumbs up

Perhaps a better demonstration?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aKe8DekHzs

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Old 24th Jul 2014, 20:31
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Bang on #3, a fine demonstration!
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Old 24th Jul 2014, 20:38
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Ah, yes. Beautiful.
I hear EAG is getting new paint soon.


To hear that lady at take-off almost makes me swoon.
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 23:15
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I saw it too that day but over the North Downs near Guildford. It made a lovely sound
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Old 29th Jul 2014, 22:40
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I was lucky enough to see it display at Farnborough and also to see it fly over Camberley going downwind for its arrival there.

from my recollections of my spotting days at cold and windy Cains lane Bedfont and between the rivers at Stanwell on the fringes of LHR , then it seemed to me most 'big pistons' approached and landed with a nose down attitude flaring to something like a flat attitude for the actual touchdown .

It was the jets that looked odd , nose up attitude but descending .

Still they were great days for variety compared to todays diet of endless A319-321s and Triples on a typical day at a much changed LHR and the sight and sound of the lovely Super Connie brought them back to life for a few moments.
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Old 31st Jul 2014, 05:01
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A couple of observations.

The nose-down approach of the old piston airliners was a product of the Kermode classic "transport" wing profile with only trailing edge flaps. The nose-up jet attitude is achieved with leading-edge slat/flap. The transition is personified, IMHO, in the Comet. In the L-1049, with full flap, approach attitude is typically -5deg, transitioning [should it be achieved] to about +5deg as the wheels touch approaching the stall [85kt at MLW/Flap 100%.] For what it's worth, it feels as though you're about to have a tail-strike then the wheels touch smoothly; quite unnerving to today's jet pilots!!

Likewise the Connie engine sound is a by-product of the power recovery turbines [PRT's] sucking the exhaust energy out of every 6 cylinders. This dampens the sound as evidenced by the contrasting sound of a re-engined (Sea) Fury with the R-3350 from the Skyraider.

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Old 31st Jul 2014, 08:04
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Thanks Feather. presumably the guys who fly the Connie have a day job so although they are fairly regular on it they have to swap between the two styles pretty often.

I had the good fortune to be invited up front on a LH F50 going to Berlin Templehof. The nose low effect ( ie nose below the actual flight path) was very pronounced although I suspect that is exaggerated by the high wing too. So pronounced that the Captain said that until we got very close in it would look to me that we would undershoot and not to be alarmed. Also got to experience the effects of them having to make a lot of crosswind corrections which they did in bursts , swinging the nose back on track every few seconds rather than maintaining a constant crab effect.

A day to remember for me if not a good one for LH who had a total of 2 pax for the flight from Arlanda
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Old 31st Jul 2014, 10:02
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hen I was a kid, Dad worked for a firm on the Poyle Trading Estate in Colnbrook, under the approach to one of the Heathrow runways. Favourite on a Saturday morning if he had to go to a sales meeting, was to go with him in the Fordson van we had at the time, and sit outside watching all those wonderful piston engine aircraft landing or taking off, depending on the wind direction. Happy memories.
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