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Firecracker

Old 7th Aug 2019, 13:17
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Firecracker

I think I remember seeing a Britten Norman Firecracker in a hangar at Goodwood in the late 70s.Wiki tells me that eventually a total of 4 were built.Does anyone know what happened to them ? Are there any survivors ?
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Old 7th Aug 2019, 14:02
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That would have been the prototype, G-NDNI, which ended up in the USA as N182FR. The three Turbo Firecrackers built for Specialist Flying Training as G-SFTR, S and T also ended up in the States. They all seemed to be airworthy in 2015.
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Old 7th Aug 2019, 14:06
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In '86 or '87, I met Des Norman at Fairoaks where he had brought the Firecracker for the RAAF to evaluate it, the RAF having already ordered a modified Tucano so as to provide jobs in N Ireland.
Very nice guy to talk to.
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Old 7th Aug 2019, 14:10
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
I think I remember seeing a Britten Norman Firecracker in a hangar at Goodwood in the late 70s.Wiki tells me that eventually a total of 4 were built.Does anyone know what happened to them ? Are there any survivors ?
No 'Britten' in the Firecracker; it and the Fieldmaster were both designed by Des on his own and built and test flown from Goodwood.
Don't forget the Firecracker originally had a 6 cyl Lycoming 0-540 piston engine before re-engining with the PT6..
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 16:27
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I recall the story that on A&AEE evaluation of the Tucano, PC-9 and Firecracker at Boscombe Down, one pilot wrote that "entry to the Firecracker's cockpit was difficult and should be made impossible"!

For the record, there were two rounds of evaluations and that was where Desmond Norman went wrong: the other two aircraft manufacturers had modified their offerings after the first round so that they could actually be tested at the second, whereas Norman had simply produced the paper details of the modifications that could be made.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 16:30
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"entry to the Firecracker's cockpit was difficult and should be made impossible"!
Allegedly first spoken about the Blackburn Botha and reportedly repeated many times since!
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 16:44
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I’ve seen the words “ergonomic slum” used a few times, to describe the cockpits of British aircraft!
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 17:15
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Originally Posted by possel View Post
I recall the story that on A&AEE evaluation of the Tucano, PC-9 and Firecracker at Boscombe Down, one pilot wrote that "entry to the Firecracker's cockpit was difficult and should be made impossible"!

For the record, there were two rounds of evaluations and that was where Desmond Norman went wrong: the other two aircraft manufacturers had modified their offerings after the first round so that they could actually be tested at the second, whereas Norman had simply produced the paper details of the modifications that could be made.
Des told me the RAF wanted to be able to see 250kt indicated in level flight, so Embraer carried out many 'mods' to the standard production airframe to fit the Garrett TPE 331 to achieve this giving it that ugly bulge under the nose.
Dunno what Pilatus did.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 17:57
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Des told me the RAF wanted to be able to see 250kt indicated in level flight
Yes, I recall that the Tucanos built by Shorts for the RAF had to be capable of 240 kts.

Apparently RAF single-seat pilots can only navigate when flying at a whole number of nautical miles per minute.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 19:05
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Yes, I recall that the Tucanos built by Shorts for the RAF had to be capable of 240 kts.

Apparently RAF single-seat pilots can only navigate when flying at a whole number of nautical miles per minute.
As in a number divisible by 60, you mean (nm per minute)

It was actually the specification's time to height climb (15,000ft in six minutes IIRC) which was the driving force (no pun intended) behind the TPE331 replacing the PT6 in the Tucano - even then it took 6 mins 40 or something like that. NB The JP took over 15 minutes!
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 19:08
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Of NDN-1 Firecrackers
Some distant background here.
Hope it helps
Be lucky
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Old 12th Aug 2019, 13:21
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Possel,slight correction; JP3+TIPS 11-12.5 min.-15K
JP4 7-8,18.5 m-35k
JP5/5A 7-8m..18m-30k
Strikey clean;3.5-15k, 8.5m-30k
All civvy ones,even with lighter nav/radios ,a/c are ballasted due to Cof G limits..
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Old 22nd Aug 2021, 20:20
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An extremely nice guy - gave me my first job working on the prototype as a trainee. Someone who had eternal optimism and never seemed to let life get him down.
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 15:16
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There is (was?, no longer listed on their website so possibly retired or sold on) a Firecracker, I thought the last remaining airworthy one but could be mistaken, in use at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave as a test pilot training aeroplane.

G
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 21:40
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ISTR Air Atlantique optimistically had a number of Firecracker fuselages in a Coventry hangar in the 1990s in quite good condition. I don't suppose any of them will fly.
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Old 1st Sep 2021, 08:08
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They definitely Firecrackers, Dan? I have a vague memory of somebody holding several incomplete Fieldmasters or NAC1s in a Midlands hangar
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Old 1st Sep 2021, 16:58
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Des wasn't one for 'rushing' things and when he first flew the Fieldmaster from Sandown in December 1981, he had already arranged a 'rollout' ceremony; for Farnborough that same afternoon!
The weather was pretty grotty, cloud about 1,200 ft amd I didn't think he'd make it in to us.
First I heard was a faint burst of carrier wave accompanied by a d/f trace. I didn't think it was him because the d/f trace showed somewhere in the vicinity of Andover rather than from the expected direction of Sandown but I transmitted 'blind' to try to get 2-way with him and ended up getting him to fly along the railway line from Andover towards Farnborough.
I never asked him how he'd got where he was and didn't intend to, but eventually he got the airfield in sight and after landing they put the aircraft in 'A' Shed (which was next to the control tower) so that the groundcrew could 'ceremonialy' open the doors and wheel the aircraft out.
In 1982, or it could have been later, he flew it at the Farnborough Airshow, the one snag being he wasn't allowed to demonstrate it during the display as SBAC didn't want him dumping a load of water on the airfield.
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Old 1st Sep 2021, 22:28
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I was at a mate's wedding on 25th Aug 1984 and was enjoying the reception at the Langdale Chase Hotel on Ambleside. At one point a pair of Firecrappers flew up the lake at low level - I gather they were being used for training Iraqi air force pilots by 'Specialist Flight Training' at Carlisle? "Fly past is on time", I quipped...

Boscombe TPs weren't very impressed by the wretched thing. But the Tucano, PC-9, Turbo Firecracker and the paper Australian proposal were all SO slow compared with good old JP5!!
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 18:00
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I had several photos of those airframes in Coventry's AAT/Air Atlantique Hangar 7 in 1999 but they got lost by a second-rate shipping company in one of my moves.
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 19:16
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Definitely incomplete NAC-1 Freenlances at Coventry as in pics on this site:

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/thr...h-query.24773/
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