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RAE Thurleigh

Old 31st Oct 2008, 15:25
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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HP 115 and Shorts SC.1 can both be found at Yeovilton. (On second thoughts, has the SC1 moved to the Science Museum? )

Last edited by BossEyed; 31st Oct 2008 at 15:58.
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Old 1st Nov 2008, 10:17
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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HP 115
Apparently it wasn't desigend with endurance in mind. If it visited Farnborough, it had to be booked for re-fuel at Benson 'just in case'.
The main gear was, I am told, Piston Provost legs. One day as it took off, one of these became partially detached. The pilot (Clive Rustin-OC Flying Farnborough when I arrived there) elected to land back again although ATC advised him the leg was wobbling about. On touchdown, the leg not surprisingly folded, and the late Johnny Mansfield, manning the runway caravan, had the dubious distinction of seeing the aircraft do a complete circle round him on the grass!
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Old 1st Nov 2008, 17:05
  #43 (permalink)  

Do a Hover - it avoids G
 
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Mmmmmm.

The pilot was Jack Henderson not Clive. After a roller landing Jack felt a marked jolt and it transpired the left leg had displaced 80deg left. Since part of a ground loop was clearly on the cards we were all concerned that the aircraft would roll RIGHT as it slewed LEFT and perhaps ding Jack by going inverted. After touchdown the aircraft actually turned left through about 120 deg but did not roll right.

JF
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Old 2nd Nov 2008, 08:54
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks John. Johnny Mansfield (died 30 years ago) told me the tale, so I obviously got the wrong pilot. Mind you, Clive always wanted to be 'first' at something, so he was first to do a 'Martin Baker' from a Jaguar when he went to Bsocombe.
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Old 2nd Nov 2008, 15:18
  #45 (permalink)  

Do a Hover - it avoids G
 
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so he was first to do a 'Martin Baker' from a Jaguar when he went to Bsocombe.

I must ask him who was quicker on the draw from the Jag, Clive or Colin!
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Old 2nd Nov 2008, 16:27
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I remember Clive saying in a TV interview that he gave the order to eject, but if command eject was selected, who knows?
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 15:34
  #47 (permalink)  
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I recall the Apprentice classrooms being over the far end of the air field, this would of been in 84, 85. I cannot recall the name of one of the instructors but he drove a reliant robin, and had some amazing stories. Some time later when transferred to the Number 1 hanger to continue my apprenticeship, he was described as a 'sprucer', a term i still use today
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 20:01
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Never had command eject in a Jaguar
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 20:38
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Chevvron

Your description of a busy period at Bedford was lacking one vital component....
At least they weren`t firing a Phantom of the steam catapult in between all that!
Was there as a trainee ATCO in the early 70`s

Yakker

Are you sure it wasn`t Court Lines Tristar "Halcyon Days" that was parked overnight? I seem to remember that happening in 1973.

One particular event I recall was working 3 Hastings at one time in the circuit. One being delivered to the fire dump and burning off the last of its fuel, the other to collect the crew of the first, and the last being the RaE one doing things with the ILS.

With thanks to None Of The Above for pointing out this thread...he was there too.
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 21:02
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone remember the Phantom that was doing high AUW trials in 74 or 75?

It suffered a burst tyre at high speed in the take-off run and departed the runway to the north. The crew were unhurt but set up the world record for the 100yds in full flying kit.

The port undercarriage leg had collapsed and was pushed through the upper wing surface. I don't know what hidden damage there was, or whether it flew again but, to the uninitiated, it didn't appear to be beyond repair.

I can't remember if it was an RAF or RN aircraft, but I do recall that Hawker Siddeley supplied the crew. That struck me as an odd arrangement at the time, but a lot of odd things happened in R&D.

N o t a
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 21:18
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Turned up one morning in thick fog and prepared the Land Rover for a runway inspection in case BLEU wanted to do some autoland stuff. Briefed the assistant...a lovely bloke called George and set off.

As the runway was 300 ft wide this required several passes, with ones head out of the window whilst driving slowly down the runway....the better to spot any debris etc.

About halfway down the runway I heard George on the RT clear a vehicle to cross the main drag...I was deliberating whether to to remind George that I was on the runway, when said vehicle suddenly appeared seemingly 6 inches away from the nose of the Landy before being swallowed up again in the murk. When I appeared again in the tower, George looked at my ashen face and looked suitably crestfallen.

I got my own back on him the day I managed to creep up on him as he was manning the caravan and fired a bird scaring flare in his direction, it arrived just over the roof of the caravan before detonating.

I remember being nicely asked by the fire service not to have practice alarms whilst the naafi wagon was delivering the morning sticky buns to the fire station.

Nugget 93 was, while I was there, engaged mostly in driving the Sea Vixen at speed into the arrestor wire over and over again....I never did find out why. He was a Scottish guy Millar/ Miller? I can still hear his voice if I close my eyes and think for a moment....he used to sound completely knackered at the end of each serial.
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 23:51
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Loki I assure you that Nugget 93 (1976-80) was completely English (not TM), and that I thoroughly enjoyed the love-hate relationship with ‘my’ personal Sea Vixen. The aircraft was ‘given’ to me by the outgoing (and last RN base commander) because he considered that I may have had some semblance of experience in naval operations – a false assumption for a RAF pilot even with USN associations.

The arrestor wire trials were a mixture of testing the pullout characteristics of bottom wire on net barriers and developing new arresting devices, rotary hydraulic, chain, etc. The spray system (SPRAG) was one of the more interesting which produced fountains of water from many yards of pipe across the airfield, but if the pipes/holes were mis tuned, the cable would pullout asymmetrically swinging the aircraft toward the runway edge. The ‘completely knackered sound’ was probably the result of the boffins mis calculating the retarding ‘g’ – resulting in a harsh stop, even worse if the hook engaged a ‘temporary cable support’ in error – spring steel ramp bolted to the runway.

The Sea Vixen was also used to check HMS Bedford’s steam boiler every 6mths. My first launch required a ‘Naval’ briefing and attendance of a Deck Launch Officer, who turned out to be an engineer who pulled a lever when you saluted – giving you a ride of your life. The subsequent landing was complicated by the airfield being contaminated by extensive wild life which normally resided beneath the catapult structure and had made a hasty exit during the first launch! In addition, the SATCO banned tail-dragging aerodynamic braking (keeping the brakes cool) as it ruined his runway centre line lighting.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 11:34
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Ah, the Nugget 93 I refer to was a predecessor circa 1973.

When I was there the catapult was in regular use, with F4s being the most common projectile, the the Sea Vixen, visiting Buccaneer and once a Gannet all being customers.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 15:24
  #54 (permalink)  
'India-Mike
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I'm amazed that this thread has run and run. The place is obviously held in some affection. I always felt that it was a privilege to work there, and put down some deep roots in the area.

Here's one of the only two photos I have from my time there, and I now remember the photographer's name - Pete Hudson.

Vividly remember the photo being taken - late '80's and crewed by Lt H, Mr H and Dr H. Cockpit air was blue 'cos Mr Hudson was setting us up like family at a wedding. Happy days

View north from the pan at H3. If memory serves correctly the Bucc in the image was an S1


Last edited by 'India-Mike; 8th Nov 2008 at 15:25. Reason: spelling as usual
 
Old 8th Nov 2008, 18:04
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Busa 1400, the instructor you refer to, would have been Keith Paull, head of the electronics school.

Loki. I'm not sure about the year, but I'm sure it was a 747.

As an apprentice in the early 70's and as the apprentice school was by the catapult, we spent many an hour watching Phantoms take to the air. The Jaguar trials were interesting, especially when the departing French painted their hire cars red, white and blue.
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Old 9th Nov 2008, 10:29
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Re the Sea Vixen conducting arrestor wire trials.

There's some footage here of the other end of the process.
The quality isn't exactly high definition but it might be of some interest.

N o t a
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Old 10th Nov 2008, 09:40
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Loki: no there wasn't a 'catapult' test that day, but they were firing something into the arrestor barrier on the north side using a rocket powered rig!
I'm not sure if it was that visit or an earlier one, but I remember seeing the Hunting H126 leaving on the back of a lorry crossing the 08 undershoot. I think I saw it a few years later at Topcliffe, where they also had a couple of Avro 707s and the Short SB5. I think they were all moved to Cosford when Topcliffe closed.

Edit- Memory playing up; thinking back, I went to Topcliffe in '71, long before I went to Bedford, so the '126 can't have been there! (The '707s and the SB5 definitely were though)

Last edited by chevvron; 10th Nov 2008 at 13:02.
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Old 10th Nov 2008, 11:25
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by John Farley View Post
so he was first to do a 'Martin Baker' from a Jaguar when he went to Bsocombe.

I must ask him who was quicker on the draw from the Jag, Clive or Colin!
My understanding from several conversations with Clive on the topic of that accident is that his memory of the accident is pretty much nil between briefing and recovering (in hospital).

If memory serves however, if both pulled together, there was an inbuilt 1/3rd second time delay between the two seats to stop them leaving absolutely together. Rear seat first I *think*.

G
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Old 12th Nov 2008, 00:17
  #59 (permalink)  
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I seem to have had a memory failure, but I remember U2's coming in sometime when there was a cross wind where they were suppose to be landing !!
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Old 12th Nov 2008, 08:26
  #60 (permalink)  
More bang for your buck
 
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Bedford I believe was the diversion airfield for the U2/TRS1 aircraft from Alconbury, they used to come and do PFL's quite regularly..

Pickie of Bedford's Tonka Toy.

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