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Prince Philip

Old 9th Apr 2021, 14:29
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Prince Philip

Sad news today of a fellow aviator who had been a member of the Tiger Club Redhill.
Others will no doubt relate of his training at White Waltham (Harvards) but I always smile at another visit to WW where there was an exhibition of light aircraft to view.
Sitting in a line of machines of the day was the Turbulent G-APNZ which he took a keen interest in to the point he asked to fly it.
I can imagine the consternation this must have caused to the assembled minders and dignitaries as of course this was a single seater (and small to boot).
However he was not to be put off by (no safety pilot or check out possible) and said machine was fired up and off he went (and apparently really enjoyed the experience).
That ultralight went on to be a much loved Tiger Club machine that featured in many races and Air Shows, but I always smiled when either flying it, or it being in a formation with me to think of that day at WW and how the 'onlookers ' must have felt seeing a very prominent person nipping off in the equivalent of an Aeronautical motor bike with a VW engine. He seemed to have carried on like that for his life, so fond farewell to a kindred spirit.

Last edited by POBJOY; 9th Apr 2021 at 20:58.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 14:45
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For some reason, he wasn't allowed to fly Air Cadet gliders even though his two elder sons were.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 15:45
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
For some reason, he wasn't allowed to fly Air Cadet gliders even though his two elder sons were.
Ah !! Well at WW the RAF were not involved, and no doubt no one felt compelled to refuse his request. There is a sequel to the event in that several weeks later PNZ broke its crankshaft either during or after an air race. PNZ had its motor 'breathed' on at Rollasons and it gave at least an extra 5-10 Hp from the standard VW Ardem mainly due to high Comp pistons,and Porsche Aluminium (chrome lined) barrels. The crankshaft issues were caused by cracking from a casting number, and lack of suitable 'smoothing' effect from not having the normal flywheel. Having got through this 'Turbulent' part of life and survived Philip was no doubt not aware of his luck in having a trouble free flight.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 15:54
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I put this well-known pic of HRH's encounter with 'PNZ on JB:


I seem to recall 'SAM's cockpit was slightly longer and would have accommodated the Duke's 6' whatever rather more easily...
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 18:52
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Fantastic story. I find Prince Phillip's flying career (amongst other things) fascinating. An online source shows that he has a total flight time of 5986 hours across 59 types which for a non professional pilot is phenomenal. He gained his RAF Wings in 1953, Helicopter wings in 1956 and civilian PPL in 1959. His flying adventures include a South American tour with Peter Middleton (Kate's Grandfather) and flying numerous prototypes with test pilots. His last flight was PIC was in August 1997 from Carlisle to Islay. It may be interesting to try and list the aircraft types flown or recall any personal stories of the great man . So far, I have come up with the following types flown:

De Havilland Tiger Moth
De Havilland Chipmunk
North American Harvard
Beagle Bassett
De Havilland Dove
De Havilland Heron
Westland Whirlwind
Westland Wessex
Avro 748
HS 125
BAE 146

I wish you clear skies and a good tailwind Sir. You did us proud!
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 19:11
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HRH also flew the H.P. Herald.


At the controls of the HP Herald 1962

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/V...N/query/Brazil
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 20:09
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Originally Posted by The Flying Stool View Post
.... Prince Phillip's flying career in 59 types:

De Havilland Tiger Moth
De Havilland Chipmunk
North American Harvard
Beagle Bassett
De Havilland Dove
De Havilland Heron
Westland Whirlwind
Westland Wessex
Avro 748
HS 125

!
Added:
HP Herald
Rollason Turbulent
HS-121 Trident
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 20:52
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
I put this well-known pic of HRH's encounter with 'PNZ on JB:


I seem to recall 'SAM's cockpit was slightly longer and would have accommodated the Duke's 6' whatever rather more easily...
Many years later I managed to speak to John Severne who was Philips equerry at the time of the WW jolly, and was present at the time.
He himself had a very distinguished later career, but recalled that the WW incident caused quite some 'what ifs' at the time, and he was mightily relieved to see him back on the ground. Apparently P arrived in a Mini and hopped into PNZ 'as attired' hence that wonderful image of him with sunglasses with head somewhat over the windscreen (PNZ also had a cut down windscreen and was able to reach VNE in level flight in race mode)

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Old 9th Apr 2021, 21:43
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Another to add to the list- Blackburn Beverley!

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/royal-visits

Keep them coming!
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 21:46
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Concorde too on one of the demo flights. RIP
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 22:36
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I wasn't aware of the WW flight by HRH, but that possibly explains why some years later when i was CFI there and we had an event due to be attneded by another flying Royal that the security people primed us to have a tiger moth and instructor available just in case - which was needed. Although they hadn't covered every angle, as apparently the security head walked into the office and asked how much longer we were going to be and was horrified when the answer was that they had no idea since we had no radio!
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 22:37
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I'm told he went to Seattle a couple of times, at the handover of the first BA 737 and later first 757, and flew them. Associate passed them all on the ramp at Boeing Field on the day.
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Old 9th Apr 2021, 23:49
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HRH did not fly this aeroplane but he spent some time in it on the ground at Norfolk Island. The aeroplane is now preserved at the Queensland Air Museum. RIP

Beagle 206 VH-UNL
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Old 10th Apr 2021, 01:04
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Given how many trips they did in the VC-10, he would have visited the flight deck so ... and then the 146!
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Old 10th Apr 2021, 08:13
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Surely he must have flown the DH Herons of The Queen's Flight before they were replaced by the Andover CC2s in 1966.

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Old 10th Apr 2021, 13:02
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Would he be 'checked out' on the various Royal Flight types in the same way as a regular RAF pilot would on type e.g. he's flying an Andover/748, has an engine failure after take off and deals with it with his crew members or would it be a case of 'the RAF pilot in the other seat then has to perform both pilots/ flight engineers tasks/memory items? Would he be given a 'type rating' on the more complex types he flew regularly such as the 748 and 146? An interesting scenario.

When Prince Charles went off the runway in a 146 at Islay, the RAF pilot on board seemed to be giving instructions as to what to do when it became apparent the landing was going wrong.

With types such as the Trident, 757 and Concorde, it seems more like he was given the opportunity to sit at the controls on demo flights whilst on royal visits.
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Old 10th Apr 2021, 16:10
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Charles had suggested he would like fly in a Tiger Moth, and was indeed 'on paper' a member of said Tiger Club at Redhill.
Very soon RAF chaps arrived to inspect our T Moth G-ACDC which at the time was the oldest Moth in regular club use, and also a veteran of all manner of air show flying including Standing on the wing, Crazy flying, balloon bursting, leading the 'Balbo', basic aero's, and even towing the odd glider. You could say DC was a well rounded Tiger that never missed a beat., and was in regular daily use checking out new members. I think the RAF chaps ran out of paper doing a snag sheet, although the machine did have an excellent intercom but of course no radio.
So Charles never experienced our machine but no doubt flew one with an immaculate paint job !!!
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Old 10th Apr 2021, 17:11
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I seem to remember "Rainbow" being the callisgn when Prince Phillip was piloting the Royal Flight aircraft and Prince Charles's callsign was "Unicorn".
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Old 10th Apr 2021, 18:46
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John Severne Philps Equerry 58-61

Looking back I think John Severne ** rather 'managed' Philips Turb hop, but kept it tight lipped to avoid RAF red tape.
As Philips equerry his 'day job' mainly revolved around organising flights, and accompanying P on official engagements.
However John (Later AVM Sir John Severne) was no stranger to 'arranging' his own luck, as he did after completing pilot training just as the war finished.
He completed wings training after a Cranwell short course, and was sent on 'indefinite leave' prior to reporting to transport command. However a few months into this sabbatical he was contacted by a fellow student who was on a Mosquito course up north, and invited up for a weekend. Up he goes in his BSA Three wheeler, and was mightily impressed to the point that he approached the CFI to see if he could join the course, who to his amazement said 'yes' start tomorrow !!. Suffice to say after going back to Kent to collect his uniform he started two days later (not having ever done a basic Twin conversion !) The matter of a transfer from T command was all done after he started the course. He later wrangled a trip in a Hornet fighter in a similar (John) fashion. Thats enough, read the book, Silvered Wings P writes the FWD. Would be Nice to hear about Philips 'Harvard' days.
** Tiger Club member
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Old 10th Apr 2021, 21:10
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I posted this many years ago and in the circumstances thought it worth reposting.

Duke of Edinburgh’s R.A.F. Commission
On January 15th [1953] the Air Ministry announced that Her Majesty the Queen had been graciously pleased to appoint H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh to a commission in the Royal Air Force, in the rank of Marshal of the Royal Air Force, with effect from that date. Simultaneous announcements by the Admiralty and War Office gave news, respectively, of the Duke’s promotion to ranks of Admiral of the Fleet (he is already a commander in the Royal Navy) and of Field Marshal.
The Duke, who recently succeeded the late King as Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps, now becomes the third member of the Royal Family to have held the highest rank in the R.A.F. King George V did not hold the rank as such, but assumed the title of Chief of the Royal Air Force. The Duke of Windsor was appointed a Marshal of the Royal Air Force on his accession in 1936 and has retained that rank since his abdication, and the late King George VI also assumed the rank on his accession. Both the Duke of Windsor and King George VI learned to fly, the former being taught by A. Cdre. Sir Edward Fielden and the latter by Air Chief Marshal Sir Alec Coryton.
..and here he is flying over his home in a 'five star' Harvard.




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