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UCB is no more! The UK - Cyprus Beverley is Replaced

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UCB is no more! The UK - Cyprus Beverley is Replaced

Old 17th Mar 2015, 09:07
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UCB is no more! The UK - Cyprus Beverley is Replaced

Atlas Delivers First Operational Payload

This item made me wonder, does anyone else but me still remember the weekly UCB?

Friday: Abingdon-Istres/Orange-Luqa
Saturday: Luqa-Cyprus
Sunday: Cyprus-Luqa
Monday: Luqa-Istres/Orange-Abingdon

This timetable was of course dependent upon the cooperation of 4 Bristol Centaurus behaving themselves.
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 09:26
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There are millions of us out here who have absolutely no idea what UCB stands for. Could you please enlighten us?
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 09:30
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Barry, is that not clear in the title? UK Cyprus Beverly.
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 09:42
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Well not me at this time of the morning. Not having served in the military, I had forgotten about their propensity for abbreviating everything
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 10:57
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Fond Memories

I never did get to go on the UCB but I do have many happy memories of flying in the Bev out of Abingdon as a scrawny space cadet (Air Training Corp).

Adventures included a low level navex around the south of England and moving from the passenger area to the flight deck with the clamshells removed! The world really did look close.

I'm sure the Atlas is a lovely aircraft but I do miss the Bev!!
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 11:55
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...aah! Beverleys at Abingdon

As photographed by me when stationed at Abingdon in 1959:






Last edited by Warmtoast; 17th Mar 2015 at 16:17.
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 12:06
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Warmtoast

As photographed by me when stationed at Abingdon in 1956.
Were you there when the Bev crashed with the Police Dogs on board?

There was more fuss in the press about the dogs being killed than about the poor humans.

In Sept 57, I was on a UCB to Istres! It had on board the 1st consignment of dogs for Cyprus, since the crash.

I was on the manifest as 'Supernumerary Crew', I asked a guy in Movements what this meant, to be given the warming reply, 'Oh it will be because the pilot isn't qualified to carry passengers'!

I dunno if this was true or if I was being wound up.

On arrival at Istres I soon learnt the the UCB was just about he only constant in our lives. The rest of the time was any sort of a/c at any time.

The best posting in the RAF
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Old 17th Mar 2015, 16:19
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ian16th

I had a "Senior Moment". I was at Abingdon in 1959 not 1956 and was in the Far East when the Beverley crashed in 1957 and have corrected my post accordingly. There is however, a quite interesting site that covered the crash and its aftermath in some detail here:
http://rafforum.activeboard.com/t675...t-sutton-wick/

Last edited by Warmtoast; 17th Mar 2015 at 17:08.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 18:26
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does anyone else but me still remember the weekly UCB?
Yes ... rather oddly, I never remembered it as a 'schedule'. Done that route a few times - with some 'painful head' moments after an Orange night stop!!
Re. Sup Crew - yes it was a dodge - For proper pax carriage the crew had to be C cat or better but Sup Crew covered a multitude of uses. Perhaps, interestingly, we all passed out of 242 OCU at Dishforth with D cats. I duly arrived on 30 just as yet another ME crisis blew up and it was 'all hands to the pumps' (again). My first trip was with 'live freight' - as Dad Owen said, "Never mind the Cat just get on with it!"
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Old 22nd Mar 2015, 19:53
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In the latter years of the Bev's life the UK - Cyprus trip became 5 days as we obviously needed a day off to recuperate once we got to Cyprus. Also we frequently routed Luqa - Benina/El Adem - Akrotiri/Nicosia.

We did once get a Bev out to Akrotiri in about 18 hours. Mid afternoon at Abingdon, sudden panic, Crew A and B given 1 hour to go home and get their kit. Crew C did the flight planning for Abingdon to Luqa. Crew A came back, got airborne for Luqa. Crew B got into an Andover and were flown to Lyneham where a Comet was waiting to fly them to Luqa, overtaking the Bev (OBVIOUSLY). Crew B did their flight planning in the back of the Comet and got some sleep. Crew A arrives Luqa, aircraft refueled, Crew A get in the back and go to sleep while crew B fly the aircraft to Akrotiri. 18 hours from the shout and one aircraft and one crew rested and ready to go in Akrotiri. Shows what could happen when the chips were down.

Mind you, a couple of weeks later on the return to UK we lost 2 engines with a load of indulgence pax onboard and spent 5 days in Paris.
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Old 23rd Mar 2015, 12:22
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CJ
'painful head' moments after an Orange night stop!!
You weren't supposed to night stop at Orange! We had no accommodation.
It was a problem at Istres, where we had limited space for pax, aircrew we bussed to a hotel in Salon-en-Provence. At Orange we had no on base accommodation for visitors, we used the Hotel de la Gare. Which was probably where you stayed.

Our biggest problem was a Beverley full of pongo's, going u/s and having to find beds for them all.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:32
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Our biggest problem was a Beverley full of pongo's, going u/s and having to find beds for them all.
I remember going u/s at Istres with a Bev load of KOSBIs Kings Own Scottish Borderers. The tail de-icers were u/s and there was severe icing forecast that night over the Massif Centrale. We went downtown to a hotel (guest house) and the troops were put up on base where they proceeded to wreck both the equivalent of the NAAFI and their accomodation. Next morning we weren't going anywhere as the aircraft captain and the sole KOSBI officer had a hats on interview with the base commander. We were only released to fly home after the Embassy in Paris agreed that all damages would be paid for by HMG.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 21:52
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As photographed by me when stationed at Abingdon in 1959:
Warmtoast,

Please tell me what the van with the aerials is. I assume it's not a television detector van or something from the set of Dr. Who
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 20:47
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India Four Two

Please tell me what the van with the aerials is
Mobile RV-105 (Radio Van 105) VHF/DF vehicle. As I mentioned ealier in another thread:
"In the early summer of 1959 I was a VHF/DF Operator based at RAF Abingdon in charge of a mobile [RV-105] VHF/DF station that provided cross bearings to Air Traffic Control at RAF Benson about 15-miles to the east. Aircraft on final approach to Benson called for a bearing and the bearing my operators took in degrees true from Abingdon was passed to Benson ATC by an always open landline (squawk box). Benson then plotted the bearing we gave allowing them to calculate with a fair degree of accuracy the distance the aircraft was from touchdown.
When things were quiet we VHF/DF operators at Abingdon chatted to the ATC bods at Benson and as a result were quite friendly, so much so that we occasionally went out for drinks together."

I operated in similar RV-105s at Bovingdon 1956 (providing cross bearings the North Weald) and later at Gan in 1958.
Photos of the Gan one below being improved by me with a three-inch paint brush - very time consuming ISTR!










...and as we're talking Beverleys herewith February 1958 photos of a 47 Sqn Beverley arriving at Gan with the advance party of Pakistani workers who were to start constructing the new runway. Note the Abingdon coat of arms and painted GSM annotated "Malaya" on the nose.








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Old 30th Mar 2015, 21:17
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Warmtoast,
Thanks. Was your DF receiver crystal controlled or did you have to tune it?

What is the gantry over the cab and bonnet?

Nice paint job there. Preparing for your civvy street profession?
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 23:01
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India Four Two

Was your DF receiver crystal controlled or did you have to tune it?
Crystal controlled R1392 receivers

What is the gantry over the cab and bonnet?
The antenna could be swung down into the cage thus offering protection to the aerial elements when the vehicle was on the road.

The Gan RV-105 was also fitted with a TR 1143 4-channel VHF transmitter/receiver allowing the DF operator to communicate directly with the aircraft.

As to painting, not a profession but done under sufferance when my other half decrees something needs touching up, but the skills learnt in the RAF have never been forgotten.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 11:37
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Oh the injustice of it, you on a beautiful tropical island while I had to slum it in the South of France

Mind you I got to spend 3 weeks on Gan in 1960.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 03:51
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Since this is an active Beverley thread, excuse me if I drift a little bit further.

One of my QFIs was an ex-Beverley Captain, recently returned from Changi. Apart from regaling us with stories of operations during the "confrontation", he mentioned that they had special "Beverley-sized" chocks which they carried with them, because regular chocks just wouldn't do.

Does anyone have a picture of these?

Having written all that, I think I see some in one of Warmtoast's Gan pictures!

Last edited by India Four Two; 1st Apr 2015 at 04:09.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 06:56
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The story behind the GSM ribbon painted on the nose of XB263/K in Warmtoast's photo at Gan. It was for the first operational para drop by a Beverley and involved the boys from Hereford.

Article starts on Page 8 of the attached link.

http://www.raf-butterworth-penang-as...Issue%2037.pdf
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 19:02
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Warmtoast
lovely photos.

Many thanks.
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