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Can you tell me what flightdeck these are from, taken September 1961 at RAF Changi

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Can you tell me what flightdeck these are from, taken September 1961 at RAF Changi

Old 14th Jan 2020, 20:51
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Can you tell me what flightdeck these are from, taken September 1961 at RAF Changi

I had this first pictured catalogued as being taken on the flightdeck of a C-124 Globemaster...but having seen a shot inside a C-124 online, I can tell that I got it wrong.


C-124 Globemaster...alas I think not.

Here's the other shot...I never scanned this before as it's very 'soft'.



The adjacent images on the film were of C-124 Globemaster 21051 from the 1501st Air Transport Wing from Travis AFB. The Yank crews were great at letting little kids like me, I was 14 at the time, inside their visiting aircraft.
Great times.
There are lots more Singapore aircraft pictures from the early '60's at david taylor images under 'Aviation'...and I usually get the details correct.

David Taylor

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Old 14th Jan 2020, 21:06
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RAF Britannia?

Lovely pics on your link!
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 22:35
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I agree, almost certainly a Britannia.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 23:07
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The navigator panel of Britannia XM496 Regulus

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Old 15th Jan 2020, 08:25
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Definitely a Britannia
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 09:43
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You can tell by the captain's yoke.
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 10:43
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And again great pics
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 17:59
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Has to be a "Britbox". Slightly worrying that our 'betters' on the 'shiny fleet' needed labels to show them where they should sit! Unfortunately the yokes were obscured but presumably they were labelled also? Something like Left-hand Pilot and Right-hand pilot? TCEU would probably have a Cat question about it! We grubby old ground-hugging Bev people had to work it out for ourselves!
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 18:18
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CJ, You can just see the captain's ram's horn yoke. And he probably had to wear red and green sock too so he could remember port and starboard - sorry left and right!
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 19:10
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A story that was told to me at Changi.

The Britannia had, I believe servo tabs to operate the ailerons elevators and rudder. These did come into effect until there was a decent airflow over them so up to then they just hung limply.

A certain pilot was departing Changi tourex and was observing everything going on around him. Half way through the take off roll he stood up at shouted at the loadies that there was something seriously wrong with the aircraft and the take off should be aborted. This was conveyed to the cockpit and emergency braking resulted which just stopped the aircraft before it entered the bundue.

He had observed that both ailerons were hanging down and assumed that the controls were disconnected.

Whether that story is true or not but it could be possible.
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 23:01
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All the elevators and ailerons drooped until 45/50 knots during the take off run as they were controlled by servo tabs.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 07:56
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Originally Posted by brakedwell View Post
All the elevators and ailerons drooped until 45/50 knots during the take off run as they were controlled by servo tabs.
I believe the Fairchild C-119 was one of the few other large aircraft to use servo-tabs in a similar way.

Photos of Brits with droopy control surfaces are rare, because SOP was to engage the control locks during taxy and turnrounds.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 09:31
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So it is true. The pilot involved went on to fly Harriers so he only had puffers during take off.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 09:39
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The drooped ailerons and elevators were only visible after unlocking the control surfaces. ie during the take off roll. I seem to remember we used to check the control runs and servo tabs for freedom and full range of movement with the main control surfaces locked.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 12:49
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Thanks everyone for identifying it was a Britannia navigators desk. I should have realised that as my film shows, a few frames earlier that it was XM497 and I had discovered, thanks to the squadron ORB's at Kew that there was a little story attached:


Britannia XM497 'Schedar' during the first 'round the world' flight by an RAF Britannia.

Britannia XM497 at Changi in September 1961 on it's round the world proving flight. Sqdn Ldr Wickes of 511 Sqdn, piloting 'Special Flight 6389', returned to Lyneham on 9th October 1961 having covered 33,000 miles in 15 days. Landing at Gibraltar, Ascension Island, Waterkloof (Pretoria), Mauritius, Cocos Island, Changi, Guam and Midway, Fairbanks (Alaska), Thule (Greenland) then back to Lyneham.

David

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Old 16th Jan 2020, 13:06
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Pre Take-off checks in the Britannia:

Flying controls -
Unlocked, bolt gone, runs free, indicators checked.

The copilot moved the locking lever that was on the right hand side of the centre console. You could hear the locking bolt unlocking. The controls were then free and we did a full and free check. The flight engineer then checked the indicators on the side of the cockpit behind the copilot. If there was no significant wind outside, they would all show the controls fully drooped, although they could be in any position - as long as they had moved from the central position, we knew they were free. The engineer checked that they all floated up to a central position during the take-off roll.

Amazing what you remember from 40+ years ago - just don't ask me what I did yesterday!
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 13:10
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There is a Britannia painted up as XM497 "Schedar" at the RAF Museum, Cosford. It is purely representative though, being in reality G-AOVF, originally a BOAC aircraft. Sadly it seems the real "Schedar" was broken up at Stansted in 1977.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 13:47
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Here's a closer look at 'Schedar', at Changi a few months later.


Britannia XM497 ‘Schedar’ after unloading on a ‘Changi Slip’ run from Lyneham in January ‘62. On this trip XM497 had flown to Khormaksar by Flt. Lt. A.R.King, of 511 Sqdn on the 27th as Flight 6307 and been taken over on the 28th Jan by Sqn. Ldr. J.Richardson, also of 511 Sqdn who brought her to Changi via Butterworth the same day.
On the 1st Feb Sqdn. Ldr. Richardson left with her, still as Flight 6307, ‘slipping’ again and after their rest break at Khormaksar, were able to take XL636, also returning from Changi, home to Lyneham on the 3rd Feb. That’s because XL636’s ‘inward journey’, as Flight 6308 had got to Khormaksar on the 30th Jan with a 99 Sqdn crew and was taken on by a 511 Sqdn crew to Changi arriving on the 1st Feb, also through Butterworth. Thus XM498 and XL636 crossed over at Changi and XM497’s crew picked up XL636 after their break in Khormaksar. Two squadron’s slipping crews made it all rather complicated!

From my RAF Changi early '60's archive at david taylor images under 'aviation'.
David
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 17:08
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XM 496 NAV'S POSITION

Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Has to be a "Britbox". Slightly worrying that our 'betters' on the 'shiny fleet' needed labels to show them where they should sit! Unfortunately the yokes were obscured but presumably they were labelled also? Something like Left-hand Pilot and Right-hand pilot? TCEU would probably have a Cat question about it! We grubby old ground-hugging Bev people had to work it out for ourselves!
Now now, just to reassure the travelling public, that is of course a photo of a museum piece, currently preserved at Cotswold Airport Kemble and open for viewing every other Sunday (see XM496.com). Of course we have to label things, cuts down time spent explaining to the visitors who sits where and what they do and what that does. As a matter of interest, I have that diagram of the nav's panel (centre of the table) in front of me at home right now while I prepare a talk for a local Age UK group about me and the Britannia 50+ years ago. This thread has added much useful background - thank you Postfade..
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 20:59
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Here's a little series of photos of Britannia XL639 arriving at Changi in July '62.


With a howl of reverse pitch coming across to the little hill under the control tower, where I am standing, Flight 6377 Britannia XL639 ‘Atria’ touches down on runway 20 at Changi at 1120 on 15th July 1962. The 205 Sqdn Shackletons, still changing over to Mk2's, are visible in the distance along with a 41 Sqdn RNZAF Bristol Freighter.


Captained by 511 Sqdn's Flt.Lt. C.Brown, an RAAF exchange pilot, Britannia XL639 taxies in using ‘inners’ only as the ground crew start to move towards the aircraft.
I can still remember the smell of 'parafin' (Avtur) as the Britannia's exhausts turn towards me! We lived in one of the married quarters on this 'embankment' behind the dispersal, as shown in an earlier photo, so the noise and smell were just taken for granted.
This was the best place for a plane mad teenager to be in the early '60s I'm sure.


The ground crew move towards the aircraft with the steps, auxiliary power unit and air-conditioning.
The logistics of getting the 'Changi Slip' Britannias out to the Far East and back on a daily basis was pretty complicated. A 511 Sqdn crew, under Flt.Lt.C.C. Brown, the Australian exchange pilot, had left Lyneham on the 12th July as Flight 6376 in Britannia XM491 routing to El Adem and Khormaksar where they overnighted. They next left for Gan, swopped now into this Britannia XL639 as Flight 6377. Obviously their aircraft was now carrying a different set of both passengers and freight, which stayed with the ongoing plane.


With the passengers gone it's time for the 'special Royal Navy' freight to be unloaded. The large 'Britannia Lift' platform has been pushed up to the front freight door, and a crane is also being used to unload. The presence of an RAF fire engine now in attendance and the fact that there's an armed guard visible just behind it, does point to something that 'goes bang' being brought in for one of the Navy's ships I guess.
A Valetta VW193 of 52 Squadron from Butterworth is just taxying in, with the usual line-up of 48 Squadron Hastings in the background.

Flt.Lt. Brown's crew were to leave Changi heading home as Flight 6378 on the 20th in Britannia XM497 to Gan and then on to Khormaksar for their overnight. Now they swopped onto their 4th Britannia XM490 as Flight 6379, arriving back at Lyneham, on the 22nd.That's 10 days after leaving the UK. In fact, this aircraft XL639 was back at Lyneham before them, having arrived there on the 17th with another 511 Sqdn crew under Flt.Lt.Slater. Of course that could easily have been under a 99 Sqdn crew.

David
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