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Engineers and pilots favourite and least favourite aeroplanes

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Engineers and pilots favourite and least favourite aeroplanes

Old 1st Mar 2022, 17:05
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
Sleeve Wing,
IIRC an engine change on the Hunter was a couple of hours due to the ability to split the fuselage at the transit joint.
Just so, aa62.
Off the line into the hangar in the evening, engine change, duplicate signatures then out onto the line for engine runs and tweeks.
Ready for service again for the dawn patrol. Magic. ;-)
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 18:26
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Where as I much preferred the 757 GTi over the 767

Favourite Airliner - 747 Classic..... God bless FEs Second the 747-400

777 is a good aircraft but I fail to get the same enjoyment.

737 seemed like a tractor with wings but then for sheer excitement I give you the Shorts SD330 in ice with the rudders frozen.

Favourite little one - FLS Sprint aka Trago Mills SAH1 but then I am biased 🙂
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 20:34
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Originally Posted by WOTME? View Post
Easily the worst I've ever worked on was the English Electric Lightning,doing a compressor blade check on an after flight was not very nice in the Saudi heat.
.
I luckily managed to avoid working on Lightnings (some of my fellow ex brat chums were not so lucky )
A close second though must have been Harriers,when I was younger I used to relish engineering 'challenges' and quite enjoyed all those nice jobs on leaping heaps,however by the time wastospace closed down dunsfold I was definitely feeling older and when I started my final employment 'somewhere in wiltshire' I kept very quiet about my 11 years Harrier experience .
I was lucky when I graduated from Halton - i was posted to Canberras - and they were a nice simple a/c (B2 + T4) to settle into Riggering.
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Old 1st Mar 2022, 22:36
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with you on that L Ron.
I've never been so filthy as when I riggered Harriers. A lot of work required the engine out, to take the engine out you had to take the wing off; to take the wing off you had to jack it up; to jack it up you needed four jacks; and so it went on. All this in the field!!
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 07:42
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Slightly off topic but loading containers into the belly of Lakers DC-10's and A.300's showed a certain diveregence of design philosophy - the DC-10 system was simple, rugged and mechanical. The A.300's wasn't - computerised sensors etc. Worked ok so long as all your containers were absolutely true and square....
My experience was the total opposite. The DC-10 with shuttle (shutter?) bars was a pig. The A300 was better as the LD3 had individual locks and you didn't have to load pairs (on the DC-10 if you had only one loaded LD3 you had to load another empty to provide side restraint. This was during my time with Fedex.

rgds
Anilv

Last edited by Anilv; 2nd Mar 2022 at 07:55.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 07:55
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with you on that L Ron.
I've never been so filthy as when I riggered Harriers. A lot of work required the engine out, to take the engine out you had to take the wing off; to take the wing off you had to jack it up; to jack it up you needed four jacks; and so it went on. All this in the field!!
Indeed ABB
We always said that the wing should have been named 'Panel 1' as it had to be removed so often
One little job I had the 'pleasure' of doing twice was replacing the FFP (Fuel Flow Proportioner) in situ with the engine still fitted.
This job has been likened to taking your teeth out through your Ass,working under the fuselage through a small access panel with all that lovely dripping fuel and hyd fluid,you had to disconnect the fuel and hyd conns,unbolt the damn thing but could not let it drop as it would have flattened a nest of thin walled hyd pipes underneath the FFP (the FFP was a fairly heavy item LOL).
Why did I have to do it twice ? incorrect diagnosis by an electrical 'colleague',the FFP caption was on in the cockpit and I had asked him ''are you absolutely sure it is a duff FFP ?''.
Anyway the first replacement item I fitted failed mechanically (think loud clanking noise) during engine run,so I had to then fit another 'new' FFP - I wonder why I have neck and back problems ??
The true cause of the FFP caption was actually a tiny little elec relay - eventually diagnosed when it was found that the caption was still illuminated on ground runs - result one sparky off my christmas card list
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 08:06
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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As a pilot : the B737 - 300/400 Classics were hideous. Just awful flight decks and poor automatics.

My first commercial type; the Shed (Shorts 3-60) was a delight to fly despite looking as though it was still in its delivery box, poor thing !

BAe 146 was lovely to fly - great control and airframe feedback. Great speed-brake. Shame about the smelly socks smell of the organophosphate fumes. On turbulent approaches the servo-tab control surfaces couldn't always 'keep up' with your inputs. Did my best landing ever in a 146.

My absolute favourite aircraft though is the Airbus A-330. A beautiful, stately aircraft, and lovely to fly. Plenty of power from those huge Trents. Fantastic flight deck and really good fly-by-wire systems. Even better after I taught myself how to land it really smoothly.

A320 good too, especially after I taught myself how to use the side-stick properly.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 08:21
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Definitely the Vulcan - a delight to fly - outperformed most fighters above 20000ft!
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 08:23
  #49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
BAe 146 ... On turbulent approaches the servo-tab control surfaces couldn't always 'keep up' with your inputs. Did my best landing ever in a 146..
Was that perhaps a reason why the Crossair 146 made that heavy arrival at London City?
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 10:09
  #50 (permalink)  

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My first commercial type; the Shed (Shorts 3-60) was a delight to fly despite looking as though it was still in its delivery box, poor thing !
Yes, until it encountered icing. 30 minutes airborne, and throttles firewalled on finals.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 11:48
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Pilot here. I've flown 4 commercial types

BAe J41. First turbo prop. Fun to fly and excellent handling
BAe46 First jet. Nice handling, but quirky systems. Always seemed to be tech. Runs out of puff at higher levels, especially in icing conditions.
Boeing 737. First proper jet. Just awful.
Airbus A320 series. Definitely my favourite

Ga types. I only fly light A/C for glider towing.

Favorite 180HP Super Cub. An absolute dream to fly.

Worst, any version of the Eurofox. I absolutely despise this aeroplane.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 13:38
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Originally Posted by AlphaMikeTango View Post
I'm a short-a*** and for me the worst aircraft to get in and out off was by far the unlamented Edgar Percival EP9 - one needs to be virually double-joined and heaven help you if you needed to get out in a hurry.. The Vampire's cockpit is also cramed and untidy ... luckily I'm not too claustrophobic.
I've worked on many types but by nationality British ones were horrible - no space to get in an access hole with a normal wrist as well as a spanner. Here I refer to types such as the Spitire (airframe fuel and hydraulic systems especially) and Vampire (working on a Goblin in situ) French ones such as their helicopters were great and American ones such as C47, AT6 and even the Mustang also nice.
SAAF Museum EP9 I assume. Not too many of those floating about.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 19:45
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Those dreaded words
“A) Gain access to part.”
AKA - dismantle 25% of the airframe, remove 4 or 5 other parts plus associated wiring harness and hoses. Be prepared to work upside down and backwards in total darkness in an unventilated, claustrophobic space covered in grease and hydraulic fluid, reeking of fuel, oil, and lavatory fluids.
Then discover, after an hour or two, that the cure for the snag lays elsewhere and can easily be rectified in 5 minutes or less by replacing a switch, or the person operating same.
For giggles this should be done at night at -35C with 40Kt wind under blizzard conditions in an area frequented by famished Polar Bears or under a blazing sun on a snake infested jungle strip at +40C during a dust storm or tropical rainstorm of biblical proportions.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 20:32
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Originally Posted by ZoltN View Post
The MD900 Explorer is a maintenance engineer's nightmare - requires more planned maintenance per year than any other aircraft I know, maintenance manuals are ambiguous and poorly written, spare part availability is poor. However, all pilots I know are in love with it.

I also hated to work on the B737, which is praised by many pilots, but is full of outdated systems. I was working on it together with the A320, and the contrast is huge. The latter is the most user friendly aircraft I have ever seen.
In my first days outside the military, I was a mechanic at a place that did the heavy checks on 73s and Scarebuses. The C Cert that interviewed me for the job (and our paths had crossed way before my military career) said of the two. The 73 is a Mondeo. The 320 is a Merc. Enough said.
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Old 2nd Mar 2022, 21:46
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Time to resurrect Eric "Winkle" Brown's classic quote about an aircraft he was testing (variously attributed to the Blackburn Botha and/or the Westland Wyvern): "Access to the cockpit is difficult. It should be made impossible."
Hushkits Worst 10 British Aircraft. Sometimes a British manufacturer got it right nine times out of ten. Didn't apply to Blackburn. Actually nobody else as Chadwick, Camm and Mitchell designed some massive clunkers.
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Old 3rd Mar 2022, 08:02
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Hawker Hunter

Some electrical components were not easy to get at!Engine fire bottles,and worse,changing the two generators ,eack about 60 lbs each and you had to pull them from the gearbox onto your chest!Engine changes easy,tailplane actuator ,careful not to drop nuts etc as they would disappear.Still have back scars from the various protrusions underneath!Oh and wire locking on the fire bottles always got your finger ends.
Had a sabrina door blown ofonto my shin,took a bone chip out,I can still feel the dent!
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Old 3rd Mar 2022, 08:26
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Was that perhaps a reason why the Crossair 146 made that heavy arrival at London City?
Maybe, I don't recall that one. Might have been the 5° glideslope?


Yes, until it {Shorts 3-60} encountered icing. 30 minutes airborne, and throttles firewalled on finals.
Ah. Had the elevators freeze solid on a 146 as we reached cruising altitude. That focussed our minds somewhat..........
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Old 3rd Mar 2022, 08:47
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Aileron freezing was a routine inconvenience with the 146/RJ. Type IV fluid and buildup of residual fluid that swelled when moisture added was to blame. Other types with non-powered controls also suffered. ISTR that someone at FlyBe came within a whisker of ripping the tail off a 146 after the elevator froze up.

SHD 330/360 icing was an issue that you needed to be ahead of. Watched a fellow pilot stall a 330 on his first line trg flight - FL 70 over the Pennies, The stall was very benign. However, I did once have ALL the controls on a SHD 330 frozen up. The winterisation check to dry out the control run bearings was deemed the cause. Trimmers worked fine though. Back in the 80s it was all part of the fun…
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Old 3rd Mar 2022, 12:02
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Lightnings were quite labour intensive, however I think the Lear Jet and Fairchild Metro were the most horrible to work on, followed by early Citations.
The Herald rudder was prone to freezing, we used to pack the lower bearing with grease 7 in a sort of pyramid so the moisture would run off.
Bae 146 engine changes paid off my mortgage.
Best to work on was F27.
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Old 3rd Mar 2022, 12:59
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I’m sure riggers’ of a certain age will remember the Canberra brake control unit and its near impossible wire locking. It was as if EE built the rest of the fuselage around it.
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