PPRuNe Forums

PPRuNe Forums (https://www.pprune.org/)
-   Aviation History and Nostalgia (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia-86/)
-   -   LUTON History and Nostalgia (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/527527-luton-history-nostalgia.html)

rogerg 6th Oct 2017 15:57

Had to do it a few times as a 1-11 pilot. Once down route in Tripoli and we were very keen to leave. I seem to remember it was a valve in the pneumatic starting system playing up. There was also one in the sub wing to the engine cowl, and we had a rod thing in the cockpit to give it a twist. As you were locking up the cowl it was a bit noisy!!
All part of the fun in those days.

staircase 6th Oct 2017 16:00

The 1-11 engines, as perhaps are all large jet engines, were started by air. This can be taken from the APU or a ground source.

You pressed the start switch on a 1-11 and it opened the air valve in the engine cowling to allow the high pressure air to the engine start system.

Only on the 1-11 the said valve was notorious for sticking, and this could be cured by giving it a ‘whack’. Not hard enough to damage it, but hard enough to encourage the valve to open.

I well remember being the captain of a DAN 1-11 when the valve didn’t open in Toulouse one afternoon. I left the F/O in the jet, stationed a member to the handling crew at the front to give the F/O the thumbs up when I was ready, and then hitting the valve with the rubber bit of the fire axe – all watched by some passengers looking out of the terminal window and the rear of the aeroplane.

It was certainly in the stub wing, and it was very noisy closing the the cowling up after the start. I don't remember any rod to twist, but it was over 25 years ago. Lets see 25 multiply by 365 and then by 2 pints a night and the memory may not be that sharp!

Hey ho – interesting times.

Spiney Norman 6th Oct 2017 16:27

Thanks guys! Excellent. I thought the engineers were hitting something but from my seat in GMC it was difficult to see, even with binoculars! They seemed to use the aircraft engineers equivalent of a panel beating hammer.

On the Monarch aicraft starting issue ..The Boeing 720B. I remember that on occasion they were started by an air start compressor that was connected by some sort of trunking to the aircraft belly? I do remember an incident when the ‘trunking’ either ripped or the coupling to the aircraft became detached leaving it snaking around like a demented Python. However, my personal favourite was the spectacular flame from each Proteus as a Bristol Britannia started. Sadly something that we won’t see again.

Tempsford 6th Oct 2017 18:16

As one of the Airline Engineering guys who applied a ‘calculated tap’ to the Spey I can tell you that it was the CSDS PRV that we ‘tapped’. The mechanism was prone to sticking. I have seen various implements used, including a chock. The start up was always a waiting game to see if the engine started or the CSDS Drive sheared. Prior to this happening you would hear a ‘zing’ as it sheared leaving you in no doubt what the problem was.

Tempsford 6th Oct 2017 18:22

The Air Start unit used to start the 720 plugged into the l/h fuselage just fwd of the wing. This noisy beast was also very heavy. Towing it slowly was advisable as it took some stopping. On the flight deck one day the aircraft was jolted violently to the left. Rushing downstairs we discovered that an air start had disconnected from the tow vehicle when being positioned and embedded itself in the rear fuselage by the aft cargo hold. Morning departures for up to 6 720 normally parked next to each other within a few minutes of each other was always exciting. Lots of noise, movement and......oh the memories.

cj241101 6th Oct 2017 19:57


Originally Posted by Offchocks (Post 9915674)
LTNman thanks for posting that photo of the Monarch 1-11 framed by B720 tails, any idea which winter it was taken in?

G-BFMI was Monarch's 1st 707, a -123B, delivered on 5/3/78 in bare metal IIRC, sold to Cyprus as 5B-DAK 9/2/79. Therefore winter 78/79, quite possibly early Jan '79 following snowfall on New Years Eve 31/12/78 which hit Gatwick and Heathrow ahead of Luton and brought in 3 Laker DC-10's along with many other diverted flights.

Love the photo by the way.

pabely 6th Oct 2017 21:13

I remember that day, two on "The Pond" the third left on the Alpha taxiway and passengers left for hours. Only Bravo in use after that though not much else got in due to the number of EGKK diverts.

Offchocks 7th Oct 2017 04:51


Originally Posted by cj241101 (Post 9916832)
quite possibly early Jan '79 following snowfall on New Years Eve 31/12/78 which hit Gatwick and Heathrow ahead of Luton

Thanks cj241101 my thoughts as well, I was a brand new to Monarch at the time and we had to go to Perpignan for our initial flight training (circuits) due to all the snow in the UK. A fabulous introduction for a young lad to his new Airline!

LTNman 7th Oct 2017 07:12


Originally Posted by pabely (Post 9916898)
I remember that day, two on "The Pond" the third left on the Alpha taxiway and passengers left for hours. Only Bravo in use after that though not much else got in due to the number of EGKK diverts.

Ah, these two then. I think some folk here have remarkable memories. Either that or extraordinary days at Luton are burned into peoples memories.

https://i.imgur.com/Jt2MkfO.jpg
Photo by Howard Sanderson

compton3bravo 7th Oct 2017 08:23

Probably both LTMan. No Thameslink or M25 in those days. Down M1 to the North Circular, then over Kew Bridge and wind your way across to the A217 to Reigate and on to Gatwick. I remember a very nice Little Chef (when they were good) just before Gatwick that did a very nice breakfast served by a very good looking blonde lady. I digress. Coaches used to get pax back to Gatwick I suppose Seamarks, Richmonds and Crawley Luxury, the latter two still going strong.

pabely 7th Oct 2017 08:48

That's them! I was going to dig out some pictures myself but mine would have been from the spectators enclosure. I had conned my dad in taking me up on a Sunday morning as I wasn't going up on my push bike.
RIP Dad, hope you are still enjoying your touch and goes on 24/06.

cj241101 7th Oct 2017 10:07


Originally Posted by LTNman (Post 9917103)
Ah, these two then. I think some folk here have remarkable memories. Either that or extraordinary days at Luton are burned into peoples memories.

Or you were a mega-anorak who recorded days like this with meticulous detail, not just aircraft movements but also including where they were parked and what the weather was like....

I was working a night shift (2000-0800) on 31/12/78. Management had struck a deal for us to start early at 1700 and finish after the last movement, which was the regular Sunday Austrian DC-9 STD 2150. Then everyone was expecting to go to a New Years Eve party. Temperature was already down to -5º when I arrived for my shift to be greeted by the sight of 4 diverted Dan Airs, a couple of Lufthansa 737's and the 2 Laker DC-10's on stands 16/17. It was dark, so I didn't realise taxiway Alpha was home to the 3rd Laker DC-10 and a Sterling Caravelle. A Lufthansa 727-200 and a Midland DC-9-14 had already departed after diverting in earlier. Snow moved in during the evening dropping the temperature down to -7º but the airport must have stayed open, with the Austrian managing to get in and out on time. Needless to say, with the ongoing situation and the threat of more diverted flights, no-one got away for their planned parties until after midnight, around 0100 in my case.

LTNman 9th Oct 2017 08:08

Ex RAF but I can't tell which airline.

https://i.imgur.com/UyPmQXx.jpg
Photo by Howard Sanderson

pabely 9th Oct 2017 09:38

Geminair 9G-ACE?

Snarlingdog 9th Oct 2017 15:20

@LTNman (or anyone)


The old Spittlesea Hospital Main Building (now used by SixT) has to be the oldest original building on the site but what can you tell us about Hangar 24?


I'd hazard a guess that it's very much the last man standing in term of oldest airport buildings. (there is/was a photo of it being built somewhere in this forum). Is it now a listed building? Was it of any significance?

cj241101 9th Oct 2017 16:22


Originally Posted by LTNman (Post 9919019)
Ex RAF but I can't tell which airline. Photo by Howard Sanderson

My vote is for Geminair, although Aer Turas did have EI-BDC which flew in RAF colours and no titles. The photo above has the flag, titles and tail logo just visible which looks like the Geminair 9G-ACE

https://i.imgur.com/2kI9Eat.jpg
22/8/76

vintage ATCO 9th Oct 2017 17:06


Originally Posted by Snarlingdog (Post 9919478)
The old Spittlesea Hospital Main Building (now used by SixT) has to be the oldest original building on the site but what can you tell us about Hangar 24?

The Monarch hangars (7/8) are pretty old - they had Luton Corporation on the front of them - as is hangar 9 next to them. Hangar 24 is behind hangar 9 although I suspect all have been re-clad over the years. Hangars 7/8 were extended.

Here is a pic from 1938. Another hangar going up next to hangar 24 (was this hangar 22?)

https://i.imgur.com/gRdjQgK.jpg

LTNman 9th Oct 2017 17:23


Originally Posted by Snarlingdog (Post 9919478)
@LTNman (or anyone)


The old Spittlesea Hospital Main Building (now used by SixT) has to be the oldest original building on the site but what can you tell us about Hangar 24?


I'd hazard a guess that it's very much the last man standing in term of oldest airport buildings. (there is/was a photo of it being built somewhere in this forum). Is it now a listed building? Was it of any significance?

Hangar 24 is the present Motor Transport and Airport Maintenance Department building. It can't be listed as it is due to be demolished to make way for a dual carriageway within the next year or two. It was the middle one of a set of 3 type T2 hangars that became landlocked as the airport expanded and is the only hangar not to be re-clad. Next to it stands another T2 with the third one being demolished a few years ago. There is another one on the hangar line but again has been re-clad or maybe it got demolished and rebuilt?

I think the oldest hangars are the former Monarch hangars 7 & 8 but they gained height in the 60's but I don't know if they were rebuilt or just made taller.

https://i.imgur.com/fCuqcmx.jpg?1

https://i.imgur.com/kDjk54U.jpg


Hangar 24 is behind hangar 9 although I suspect all have been re-clad over the years. Hangars 7/8 were extended.
I think your photo shows hanger 24 under construction. A quick spin on street view shows hanger 24 is opposite Monarch hangar 127

mustbeaboeing 9th Oct 2017 21:35

I am intrigued as to the purpose of the 'second line' of hangars, being called 22, 24 etc. As they are away from the grass airfield line. Were they built for the construction of aircraft / components, rather than the storage of aeroplanes ? As they were no doubt called in those days

treadigraph 9th Oct 2017 22:07

Geminair, another airline I'd forgotten... 9G-ACE was a regular at Gatwick.


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:46.


Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.