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Bae ATP nose landing gear

Old 15th Aug 2020, 13:04
  #1 (permalink)  
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Bae ATP nose landing gear

Somebody has posted om a facebool group that the ATP was originally flown with too short a nose landing gesr.
I can't believe such a fundamental error was made

Same poster also said that the Britannia was accidentally drsigned with wing dihedtal omitted.
can anu engineers comfirm or' Please denu this?!!!
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 15:23
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Bean ,
Our first batch of 8 , part of a cancelled California order ; came with long nose gear . Looked like they were 'waddling' around the taxiways . Flew ok , but we were told the long gear was so that 'Parrots could use airbridges . Which we did , mostly in Germany on the short IGS [Internal German Services , out of Berlin ] routes . Proper Highlands and Islands we used the airstairs , which worked well . By the time the second batch came , to finally retire the 'Budgie [748] ; someone at Woodford had actually looked at an airbridge ! Of course the short gear was perfectly suitable , and saved weight . At last we did not 'waddle around anymore .
Think they were also interchangable . Seem to remember one or two of the first batch came out of overhaul with a short nose gear .
Good machine , but built West of the Pennines with 50p gadgets instead of £1 gadgets , thus the sobriquet Advanced Technical Problem .
'Fraid I'm not an engineer and also cannot answer your second ques.

rgds condor .
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 15:46
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Originally Posted by bean View Post
Same poster also said that the Britannia was accidentally designed with wing dihedral omitted.
can any engineers confirm or' Please deny this?!!!
No dihedral ?

Hmmm.


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Old 15th Aug 2020, 16:50
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Originally Posted by condor17 View Post
Bean ,
Our first batch of 8 , part of a cancelled California order ; came with long nose gear . Looked like they were 'waddling' around the taxiways . Flew ok , but we were told the long gear was so that 'Parrots could use airbridges . Which we did , mostly in Germany on the short IGS [Internal German Services , out of Berlin ] routes . Proper Highlands and Islands we used the airstairs , which worked well . By the time the second batch came , to finally retire the 'Budgie [748] ; someone at Woodford had actually looked at an airbridge ! Of course the short gear was perfectly suitable , and saved weight . At last we did not 'waddle around anymore .
Think they were also interchangable . Seem to remember one or two of the first batch came out of overhaul with a short nose gear .
Good machine , but built West of the Pennines with 50p gadgets instead of £1 gadgets , thus the sobriquet Advanced Technical Problem .
'Fraid I'm not an engineer and also cannot answer your second ques.

rgds condor .
Ahem ....alas , your project costing is wide of the mark. Had you said 2p gadgets however.....

.As for the nose u/c, true, the shortened leg did appear. Sadly, nobody actually thought about lubrication of said leg because there were at least two, possibly three, grease nipples that were inaccessible once installed. As for the airstairs, yep, they did work quite well...when operated internally, but, as has been mentioned many times whenever queries are posted on here about the biggest heap of unadulterated junk ever to achieve certification .....you may detect just a hint of conscious bias here.....the location of the external operating button at the fwd side and base of the main door was " not the most astute choice of location ". As for interchangeability, possibly, with the legs. Elsewhere, with bits of structure and certainly the horizontal stab de-icer boots, every one "hand crafted " by the diligent lads at Chadd to a tolerance of + / - 6inches......well ok, 5.5 ins, interchangeability was more in hope rather than expectation ...
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 17:49
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Yep, long noseleg was to “reach” airbridges. Was also told on ground school that it was to help certify it for rough strip operation (greater prop clearance) but no one required an off road version, so the rest of the mods were scrapped - probably for the best.

Not a bad ship overall, but definitely a committee led design with lots of “nice to have” widgets that were implemented poorly, things either created bespoke at great expense (CRT PFD/ND for example) or robbed straight from the parts bin at chadderton or somewhere (Comms box surplus from a Victor Mk.1 tanker)

Built like a brick outhouse, and can’t think of anything I’d rather take into a (certainly not greater than...) max crosswind onto a short runway. Always had the confidence that I could plant it on speed exactly where I wanted in the worst conditions without breaking it. someone at Avro did something right.

you should never go back for another go though. It wouldn’t be the same.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 17:26
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Thanks a lot for your inputs guys.
The guy who posted stuff on the Facebook group is now confimed as an ummitigated pratt!
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 19:12
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OK, I am going to bite on this. I get tired of every few months someone giving the ATP a good kicking. Yes, it wasn't perfect, but nor was the 747 (and many other types) when it was first rolled out. As ever when people start to complain about something, they forget or misinterpret the reasons why the problems occurred. The airframe was of course based on the 748 and intended to compete with the ATR 72. It was a similar weight to the ATR 72, and although it should have had more powerful engines, none were available at the time. Rolls-Royce were no longer interested in producing turboprops and only P&W could provide an engine which would get it airborne, albeit that it could not provide the total power the airframe needed. Coupled with this was the innovative (at the time) propeller design. The Hamilton Standard propeller supplied for the ATP had a 13'9" diameter. That supplied to the ATR 72 by the same company was 12'!!" in diameter. The ATR is of course a high-wing machine, so the ground clearance for the propellers is an entirely different story.

What was not foreseen at the design stage was that the design of the propellers brought them too close to the ground. There was a concern with the prototype, that the propeller tips were just a couple of inches from the ground and therein lay the problem, but a solution was found and applied. The aircraft was always designed to connect with air bridges and the prototype was perfectly capable of this, because the prototype was taken to Manchester and checked.

So let's have a look at the in-service performance. Airlines of Britain (BMA, Loganair and Manx) kept them flying without too many problems. SATA likewise. British Airways were able to keep them flying, too. Name me an aircraft which never fails to work when it is supposed to. I won't got into the politics of the manufacturing move to Prestwick and the re-branding into J61 - that is largely irrelevant.

KnC and condor 17 - you do the engineers at Chadderton and Woodford who designed and built the Lancaster and the Vulcan, not to mention the 748 of which 381 were built and served all over the world, a great disservice, but then having read dozens of KnC's posts, I would expect nothing less from him. He of course, to suit his purpose, completely ignores the fact of the 65 built, 30 ATPs are still flying more than 30 years later, albeit as freighters, but isn't that the fate of most older aircraft?

Now, anyone fancy giving the VFW 614 a good kicking?
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 22:26
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We had one as a company shuttle for many years, flying a twice-daily ~500mile round trip every weekday - I probably flew around 50 legs on it and found it perfectly adequate. I don't remember it being any less reliable than other aircraft we had on the run, and even though it had very high-density seating it was far from the least comfortable (that honour goes to the E-145 which is nicknames the Death Pencil by its victims). KnC loves his grandstanding flights of fancy - they provide amusement, but should never be confused with reality.

PDR
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 08:20
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
We had one as a company shuttle for many years, flying a twice-daily ~500mile round trip every weekday - I probably flew around 50 legs on it and found it perfectly adequate.
PDR
Apart from the abysmal rate of climb such that I had to write a 'special' noise abatement procedure for Farnborough r/w 24 departures to avoid annoying the NIMBYs of Church Crookham.
(They've since got their way after I retired but that's not my problem now.)
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 08:31
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Originally Posted by barry lloyd View Post
OK, I am going to bite on this. I get tired of every few months someone giving the ATP a good kicking. Yes, it wasn't perfect, but nor was the 747 (and many other types) when it was first rolled out. As ever when people start to complain about something, they forget or misinterpret the reasons why the problems occurred. The airframe was of course based on the 748 and intended to compete with the ATR 72. It was a similar weight to the ATR 72, and although it should have had more powerful engines, none were available at the time. Rolls-Royce were no longer interested in producing turboprops and only P&W could provide an engine which would get it airborne, albeit that it could not provide the total power the airframe needed. Coupled with this was the innovative (at the time) propeller design. The Hamilton Standard propeller supplied for the ATP had a 13'9" diameter. That supplied to the ATR 72 by the same company was 12'!!" in diameter. The ATR is of course a high-wing machine, so the ground clearance for the propellers is an entirely different story.

What was not foreseen at the design stage was that the design of the propellers brought them too close to the ground. There was a concern with the prototype, that the propeller tips were just a couple of inches from the ground and therein lay the problem, but a solution was found and applied. The aircraft was always designed to connect with air bridges and the prototype was perfectly capable of this, because the prototype was taken to Manchester and checked.

So let's have a look at the in-service performance. Airlines of Britain (BMA, Loganair and Manx) kept them flying without too many problems. SATA likewise. British Airways were able to keep them flying, too. Name me an aircraft which never fails to work when it is supposed to. I won't got into the politics of the manufacturing move to Prestwick and the re-branding into J61 - that is largely irrelevant.

KnC and condor 17 - you do the engineers at Chadderton and Woodford who designed and built the Lancaster and the Vulcan, not to mention the 748 of which 381 were built and served all over the world, a great disservice, but then having read dozens of KnC's posts, I would expect nothing less from him. He of course, to suit his purpose, completely ignores the fact of the 65 built, 30 ATPs are still flying more than 30 years later, albeit as freighters, but isn't that the fate of most older aircraft?

Now, anyone fancy giving the VFW 614 a good kicking?
Allow me to respond to the above and the post by PDR. First, my comments are based on several years hands on maintenance and then a project to reduce costs on the ATP. Secondly nobody, is disparaging other types / designers at Woodford.

The good points then. Fuel efficient, only needed about 20 ish pax to start making a profit ..correct me if I'm wrong please, the fuel drip sticks and the anti-skid in the main u/c. That's it. The aircraft came late into the market and I understand the initial deliveries to BM / BA were heavily discounted simply to get a prominent name on the tail.

In terms of maintainability however, it was labour / time intensive, even on the line, and generally poor. The O2 bottle had to be removed to be replenished, the rear doors shoot bolts froze with regular monotony, engine oil replenishment was far from simple, and the flap track gearbox motor replenishment plug was 5/16 Whit !...the galley had no ovens, only bev makers, the vibrations in flight didn't appeal to many pax and sitting at the rear you could watch the horizontal stab bouncing away. The engine. Shoe horned in to the extent I understand BM had an early engine change when a tool was dropped into the bay and couldn't be accessed to retrieve. An engine change was not a quick job not helped by the oil cooler as anybody who has changed one would testify. There were also more than a few IFSD's you will recall.

There was an extensive mod programme to embody three access panels on the right side of the nose which really should have been there originally

Please feel free to explain why, with such reliability, BAe were compelled to hold a series of "Hearts and Minds " meetings for ALL operators at Woodford ( the sandwiches were very nice I should add ) As for the build quality, a good friend was in a managerial position on the line at Woodford....you may well have known him....and his views about Chadd echoed mine.

Moving on a few years, I was engaged in a project to reduce costs across the turbo prop fleets. The 748 / J31/32 / J41 were initially put to one side when I suggested the ATP, being an orphan fleet, would be the more challenging. Enter the arcane world of Woodford procurement. I became familiar with the politics of PIK during visits to that very nice outpost at TLS as most, if not all, had come from PIK originally. Went to Billund and "Sun Air " and was fascinated to see the flaps were pristine. Notably the area under the exhaust which was more than prone to cracking and usually covered with scab patches.

There was a particular requirement for 24/7 AOG escape slides costs so we went to "British World " at Southend. They were a great bunch of hands on engineers who went out of their way to get the contract. We also went to an organisation at Stansted where the alarm bells rang at the onset. The culture was evident from the moment you entered the building, our host simply ignored me because I was an engineer and he remarked, twice " I could hold you to ransom over this " , I thought, yep, you would. Woodford procurement however were overawed by BS and slick marketing so they got the contract. British World were rejected because the airline was struggling and the facilities were basic, but very efficient. I pointed out they would be cheaper and that, being seperate to the airline, would remain solvent and could easily be sold as a "going concern " should the airline fold......which duly transpired. My forehead became sore from it's encounters with brickwalls at Woodford.

Weybridge...now there was an Aladdin's cave if ever there was one. Apart from a huge stockholding of spares, they also dealt with overhauled components and hence strip reports. Now, nobody in the offices knew I was an engineer, they thought I was procurement, so were unconcerned about me reading them. The scam, or "nice little earner" as George would say, was simple. Anything below a certain amount, pretty sure it was £5k was simply signed off by an accounts clerk. The key, as in many posts elsewhere for example, was to make the narrative plausible....so nobody would question the veracity. Unfortunately, I don't conform to this expectation. The strip reports were classics you might say, and, funnily enough, many came from the Glasgow area. Many were memorable, but one really stood out. If anybody has ever encountered a static inverter with an elapsed time counter inside which, strangely, showed a complete overhaul was required, please feel free to evidence this. . I also have moral principles, hence made Woodford aware.........strangely, shortly after doing so, the project was rapidly cancelled.

I am well aware that ridiculing KnC is a popular pastime for many, but, I only present facts. When it comes to the ATP therefore, I am sure by now many will have ascertained my post consists of facts and with no embellishments. Oh, and last tine I looked, there were only 18, not 30, of the heaps of junk desecrating the sky.

For the OP, here's an report on a certain nosewheel collapse you may find interesting.....

https://assets.publishing.service.go...pdf_500162.pdf

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 17th Aug 2020 at 09:23.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 09:48
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I can’t speak for the rest of KnC’s post, but this:

The good points then. Fuel efficient, only needed about 20 ish pax to start making a profit ..correct me if I'm wrong please, the fuel drip sticks and the anti-skid in the main u/c. That's it. The aircraft came late into the market and I understand the initial deliveries to BM / BA were heavily discounted simply to get a prominent name on the tail.

In terms of maintainability however, it was labour / time intensive, even on the line, and generally poor. The O2 bottle had to be removed to be replenished, the rear doors shoot bolts froze with regular monotony, engine oil replenishment was far from simple, and the flap track gearbox motor replenishment plug was 5/16 Whit !...the galley had no ovens, only bev makers, the vibrations in flight didn't appeal to many pax and sitting at the rear you could watch the horizontal stab bouncing away. The engine. Shoe horned in to the extent I understand BM had an early engine change when a tool was dropped into the bay and couldn't be accessed to retrieve. An engine change was not a quick job not helped by the oil cooler as anybody who has changed one would testify. There were also more than a few IFSD's you will recall.
is all very true.

I only drove the things, and as I said I didn’t find them too bad, but my goodness the engineers despaired. 4 different types of tool needed to work on them (imperial, metric, whitworth and one other who’s name escaped me).

A plastic hose to see what the hydraulic fluid level was, that was stained red as soon as you put fluid in it, rendering it nigh on impossible to tell.

A length of clutch cable to control the throttle position on the engine that couldn’t tolerate any moisture at all else it would freeze, jamming the throttle - conveniently routed around the most exposed (wettest) parts of the nacelle. Oh and a standby electric motor system for the throttle that just moved the same, frozen cable electrically rather than through the throttle levers.

De-Ice systems that would only work when there was no ice (frozen ejector valves maybe?)

The world’s most complicated large cargo door locking mechanism that would freeze if you faced north.

Oh, and an Rnav system that was incapable of flying any track between 330-030 degrees.

To pole around it was fine, and in a crosswind fantastic, as I’ve said. But to work on & live with? “Challenging, at times”.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 10:05
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KnC, you understand incorrectly that the aircraft sold to the Airlines of Britain Group were heavily discounted. I was the person who did that deal - yes I will now confess that I was on the sales team at Woodford. However, I too deal in reality and there was no major discount. What we did (reluctantly) agree to do was to take the Viscounts stored at MME in part exchange, because Mike Bishop had retired them and wanted them off the books. I cannot speak about the BA deal because I was not involved in it, however, as we both know, even the much-loved Boeing offer discounts on their products if they are trying to promote a new type.
I flew on it many times, but was never aware of any vibration above the norm for a turbo-prop. With regard to your litany of complaints about the aircraft and the support it received, I can only put the side of the story I know. I also sold the aircraft to SATA and made regular visits there, but rarely heard a complaint about the aircraft from their engineers. We did of course have a product support engineer who lived on the Azores and worked with them, as we did for all operators.
One other point which should be mentioned is competition. Before you spray your drink of choice over the screen, allow me explain. I knew a few of the salesmen in ATR and initially at least there was great concern about the ATP. Selling aircraft can be a dirty business and ATR wasted no time in looking for every opportunity they could to disparage the ATP. They didn't have to work too hard, but the story about the airbridges was a classic. In the early days of selling the 146, Air UK were told by Fokker that the sill on the 146 was too low for the airbridges at AMS. We knew they weren't - we'd already done the sums. It took us three months and the intervention of the British Embassy to get permission to use the airbridges at AMS for a trial and prove that we were right. The fact that Fokker were based at Amsterdam was purely a coincidence of course...
If you want to know more about how competitive selling aircraft is, feel free to order a copy of my book, 'Wings for Sale'.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 10:16
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In ATC we developed a habit of referring to ATP's as SKODA's! The habit was caught from certain aircrew who announced their aircraft type on initial contact as "Skoda of the Skies" That practice diminished after, it was rumoured, Michael Bishop announced that any Midland pilot doing so faced "instant dismissal!" Any truth in that?

Last edited by Jay Doubleyou; 17th Aug 2020 at 10:20. Reason: Punctuation error
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 10:45
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In Tjech Skoda means
a pitty
or damage
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 10:58
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Unless you're pointing out a misspelling on my part, I can't imagine why the skoda company, highly respected engineers apart from a disastrous series of terrible motors in he late 20th century, would have called themselves damage or pity engineering!
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 11:37
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In their time the 748 and F 27 were fairly comparable aeroplanes. Fokker took the F 27 and produced the F 50, which brought it up to date. To do this, they took the bad bits of the 27 and removed/re-engineered them. It seems to me that BAe took the good bits of the 748 and did the same.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 12:02
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
In their time the 748 and F 27 were fairly comparable aeroplanes. Fokker took the F 27 and produced the F 50, which brought it up to date. To do this, they took the bad bits of the 27 and removed/re-engineered them. It seems to me that BAe took the good bits of the 748 and did the same.
The problem with the F27-050 (F50) was that it was primarily designed in the early 1950's and it looked like it was, a museum piece when compared to the likes of the ATR, DHC8, S2000 and even the ATP.

Thank heavens the Jetstream 61 came along to save the day!
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 12:34
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Originally Posted by Jay Doubleyou View Post
Unless you're pointing out a misspelling on my part, I can't imagine why the skoda company, highly respected engineers apart from a disastrous series of terrible motors in he late 20th century, would have called themselves damage or pity engineering!
Mr. Skoda just had a very unfortunate name to start a automotive factory.
Skoda for Mr. Skoda!
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 13:04
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What were the differences with the “Jetstream 61”? One of the chaps teaching us on the (ATP-F) ground school at Woodford seemed quite enamoured by it, describing it as an “ATR-Killer”, but wouldn’t really be drawn on what differences there were.

I suspect I know why he wouldn’t expand on his assertions, but would like to hear it from someone who was there maybe?
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 13:48
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Originally Posted by thetimesreader84 View Post
What were the differences with the “Jetstream 61”? One of the chaps teaching us on the (ATP-F) ground school at Woodford seemed quite enamoured by it, describing it as an “ATR-Killer”, but wouldn’t really be drawn on what differences there were.

I suspect I know why he wouldn’t expand on his assertions, but would like to hear it from someone who was there maybe?
The 146 was a De Havilland so they called that an Avro, the 125 was a de Havilland also but they called that a Hawker, the Jetstream was a Handley Page whilst the 748 an Avro so they called the ATP a Jetstream ... And people wonder why British aircraft manufacturing went down the pan!
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