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How to fly the Chipmunk (1968)

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How to fly the Chipmunk (1968)

Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:18
  #41 (permalink)  
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If you really want to know, best ask the RAF, perhaps?
Can you imagine, having pranged one of their aeroplanes, if you then trotted out the "I was only doing what's in the manual, Sir" excuse?

Now THAT would caused a change!

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Old 21st Mar 2017, 23:19
  #42 (permalink)  
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The title of this thread reminds me of a BBC TV series screened in the early to mid-sixties. About all I remember of it was getting home from senior school in just enough time to catch the last 5 minutes or so. It was most interesting to me and always waited for the inevitable repeat that didn't happen! Eventually, I had air experience in Chippys with the ATC and much later, worked on them while in the RAF. Is there anyone reading who remembers other details of that (black and white, it was!) BBC TV programme?
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Old 24th Feb 2019, 11:39
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Chipmunk T Mk 10 Pilot's Notes and Flight Reference Cards

Note: this post transferred from another thread.
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Old 1st Jan 2021, 05:32
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Discorde View Post
The LUAS CO was S/L Robbie Chambers (ex-Meteors IIRC), CFI F/L Dick Kidney (ex-Canberras, IIRC he won the Sword of Honour at Cranwell, sent me solo), Deputy CFI F/L Steve Holding (ex-Shacks, taught me how to land the Chippie). Other instructors were Bill Morris (flew Spitfires during the war), Don Merriman and Carl Mason.

Other memories: per diem Training Emolument: 32/6; Summer Camp Bounty £30; lunch in the Officers' Mess at Church Fenton: 4/6.
Dick Kidney was a fabulous instructor and taught me from 1966 to 1968. Steve Holding was also a really nice guy and a very good instructor. The instruction from these two was of the highest quality. I remember that an instructor from the 'full-time' students at Church Fenton took me on a a night flying/ landing exercise. I was crap. Next week, Dick took me up and sorted it in no time.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 20:02
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I knew Carl on his first tour as a helicopter pilot in Borneo, I met him again when he worked for British Caledonian Helicopters in Aberdeen. BeCal Helicopters was taken over by Bristow so Carl left the rotary world again and eventually ended up flying Shorts 330s. He had a double engine failure at night climbing out of Edinburgh but died when he ditched it in the Firth.


My experience in the Chipmunk is limited. I was on a Valiant tanker squadron in 1965 when they were withdrawn from service. To keep the co-pilots in flying practice Chipmunks were made available. At first we shared Marham's aircraft but then we on 90 Sqn. at Honington got our own.-WP850.

It was instantly referred to as a Spitmunk because it had a grey/green camouflage finish. The was because it's last operation had been as a recce machine during the EOKA campaign in Cyprus. I had never flown an aeroplane that small so it got some getting used to. I flew 16.35 hrs on that aeroplane (>1% of my final total) between January and March 1966 during which time I was nearly killed twice.

The first was when I took over on an engine running pilot change. The previous pilot was solo and so was I. Doing some aerobatics I completed a slow roll. As it came back to the upright position I found that I could not move the control column back to the central position so I did another roll. The only way to stop it rolling was to apply full opposite rudder. The cross control was more than the engine could cater for so now I was descending. Not wishing to bail out, low, of a spiralling aeroplane one thing came to my rescue.

I was an avid reader of crash comics.

Some months previously a Vulcan crew had had a restriction in the ailerons and they had overcome it by pushing the stick away from the obstruction. I tried it and Bingo; the stick came back to the centre. A long gentle straight in approach and I was safely on the ground.

The reason was the rear parachute. The previous pilot hadn't bothered to remove it because 'I was only doing a Navex' I could have checked it but the canopy was only half open when i took over.

I was now running an air experience flight for the squadron groundcrew. About twenty minutes a throw. Take off, show them the plume from Bury St, Edmunds beet factory. Let them have a feel of what the controls did and if they were keen show them some aerobatics.

This one was as keen as mustard, a real box of birds. Loops, rolls stall turns, you name it. I asked him he would like to see a spin. He couldn't wait so throttle closed, wait for the stall. full left rudder and in we went. I gave two or three turns and went into spin recovery.

Nothing happened; it just kept on turning.

There were no restrictions on the rudder and the stick was dead centre. I reverted to full pro-spin on the controls and then full anti-spin as we passed through 3,000 ft.. Four turns it took and then it shuddered out.

Another gentle straight in approach and we were back on the ground. When I had shut down the engine there was all this panting, groaning and heaving as my crew chief and others were levering this corporal out of the back seat. He was ENORMOUS, eighteen stone at least. I hadn't noticed the size of him when he had got in because gravity must have assisted him. The aircraft was probably beyond it's aft C of G which was why.

I did 16,000 hrs on helicopters after that. Apart from a engine fire whilst I was under training I did not have a moment of concern.

WP850 eventually ended up in the USA as N735DH with a full length canopy.

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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 21:21
  #46 (permalink)  
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Thanks for that interesting post.

I had never flown an aeroplane that small so it got some getting used to.
I’m intrigued. What did you fly when training?

Concerning your spin story, when I flew UBAS Chipmunks in the late 60s, I don’t remember any discussion or information about weights or CG limits. I think the assumption was that even the weight of ex-Truckie QFIs allowed the CG to remain well within limits.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 14:03
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’m intrigued. What did you fly when training?
I trained on the Provost T1 with the big radial engine and cartridge start; the last course to finish at Tern Hill. I then went on to Vampires at Oakington and was on the last Vampire course to pass out. I then went on to Valiants; the Valiants then stopped flying and 90 Sqn folded. Off to Borneo on Helicopters; that war finished and I came back to the UK.
Off to 110 Sqn at Seletar, that closed so off to Changi and then the squadron folded in 1971 followed by Changi.

Surprisingly 33 Sqn stayed in existence even after I had left the RAF.

We wont mention the civil types and operations I have been on.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 19:49
  #48 (permalink)  
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I think the assumption was that even the weight of ex-Truckie QFIs allowed the CG to remain well within limits.
I'm well removed from both Chipmunk and paperwork currently, but SOMEWHERE it states a maximum of 250 lbs in the rear seat. Also, at the bottom of each page of the Chipmunk's Form 700 (not sure of the nomenclature here) there's a formula based on the individual aircraft Index Units and weight to determine the maximum weight in the rear seat.
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 21:14
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Happy New Year to you and all. Flew the Chipmunk for some 2,500 hours ( CFS,UBAS and, much later, Middle Wallop) and have no recollection of said formula? ( Not an ex-Truckie and maybe it is old age??)
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 22:16
  #50 (permalink)  

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Only some 350 hours on the aeroplane, flying ATC cadets. I don't recall the formula either, but looking at the DH Pilot's Manual (not RAF Pilot's Notes), there are several diagrams of trim calculations, depending on mark. On all of them, the assumption it that the rear seat occupant, plus parachute, weighs in at 200 lbs (90.7 kg). I'm glad we only had the cadets!!
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Old 3rd Jan 2021, 22:35
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Chipmunk Strakes !!

Very interesting thread, but was there a reason that not all machines have 'strakes' as per RAF fit.
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 01:26
  #52 (permalink)  
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The strakes were a post production add on as was a broad cord rudder and firewall mod.
In the late 80s the Portuguese airforce were selling there aircraft..23 iirc ..which I attempted to buy. They were in excellent condition but to get them on the UK register they needed modification and the kit was around ten grand so gave it a miss. There might have been a spar mod as well.
Sadly my partner in this enterprise was killed in a Christian Eagle a few months after he visited the general in charge of their disposal.
IIRC the university air squadron chippies at Hamble didn’t have the strakes but had chutes..we were « gentlemen » and had strakes but no chutes. One of the cadets landed in Hyde park on a Nav exercise just before I joined having got lost..the red buses were a clue as to where he was but...
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 06:52
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Notable mods for Chippies;
H 104 date,22/01/`51,Wide chord rudder,to improve x-wind control;
H197,04/12/53,Early glider towing attachment..
H231,26/08/58,Spin strakes..
H310,Revised glider-towing mod.for easy attachment or removal....20/9/73
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 07:37
  #54 (permalink)  
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Far East driver. Seems like we followed each other around the Airforce. I was a QFI at Oakington when the
last all through course went through. Seletar and Changi on 103. When on SAR at Leuchars and Manston, the word immediately got around that I was ex QFI and was “ invited” to help out with cadet flying on the Chippie. A bit weird landing a Chippie on that huge long wide runway at Manston. The perspective looked all wrong on the approach. The word I was given was that the brakes were always off for landings. But interestingly when I joined a civil ex RAF Chipmunk group, the brake system was setup so that there was always a touch of brake at full rudder travel. However I made dammed sure that full travel was available.
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 07:51
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"Two Clicks on the Brake " IIRC
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 10:04
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have no recollection of said formula
Here you go, Bill.

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Old 4th Jan 2021, 10:09
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Mod H.104 (the introduction of the broad-chord rudder) was to increase rudder authority during aerobatics, improve crosswind landings & take offs and to reduce rudder input during prolonged climbs. The date (22.1.1951) is misleading, as this is when the modification was approved after trials. Virtually the entire RAF Chip0munk order was delivered with the original narrow-chord rudder; the broad-chord rudder was retrofitted, commencing in 1953.
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 10:30
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but was there a reason that not all machines have 'strakes' as per RAF fit.

Strakes were fitted to the entire RAF fleet (in amazingly quick time) in 1958. The last Chipmunks so fitted were the aircraft of 114 Squadron when they returned from Cyprus.Several Chipmunk historians have long suggested that this was a "political fix".

Not everyone was convinced of the effectiveness of the strakes (they are actually spin-recovery strakes, but DH chose to call them "anti-spinning strakes"). In 1960 the Australian Dept of Civil Aviation (in conjunction with DH) conducted exhaustive spinning trials of EVERY Chipmunk on the Australian Register in response to rumours of "rogue Chipmunks that would not recover from spins". The subsequent report was published both by DCA and de Havilland (as TNS 142). Not only were these myths firmly debunked, but there was this comment about the effectiveness of the strakes: "It was found that the strakes...did tend to slightly shorten the recovery time on aircraft normally slow to recover, but it was only a reduction in the order of three-quarters of a turn in the worst case". Damning by faint praise I wonder?

Notably DCA have never mandated strakes for Australian registered Chipmunks whilst the Canadians never chose to fit them either.
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 10:48
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I only once had a "moment" with spin recovery in a Chipmunk. My UAS instructor decided to show me a maximum permitted turn ( 8 IIRC ) spin.
He was well into the patter mode with me following through on the controls ".....................so Bloggs, full opposite rudder, stick coming centrally forward,frorward,forward,forward........." until we had full forward stick whereupon she violently came out of the spin, well past the vertical and a severe bunt drove both of our helmets into the top of the canopy. That was the last time I ever had the maximum permitted turns spin demonstrated!
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 14:05
  #60 (permalink)  
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MEAF were always the last to get mods. I, and the young JTS Lewis, did the post mod air test on the Akrotiri station flight Chipmunk WZ884 on 25/5/60. We definitely preferred it pre mod.
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