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RAE Thurleigh

Old 1st Dec 2008, 12:32
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: northants
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Qinetiq is be closing whats left of RAE Bedford, the lease finishes at Thurliegh next March, so that is the end of that.
The good news is I have heard the old documents, photos and film is being trawled through by some ex-boffins. This may then be published including a DVD documenting the history of RAE Bedford.
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Old 8th Dec 2008, 13:12
  #82 (permalink)  
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Seeing mention of the noise trials raises a question from me. I joined Hatfield in September 1973 and worked in the Instrument Lab as an introduction to the industry before moving to the Project Office in December 1973.

During that period, we took part in an excercise on airframe self noise generation that required flying an aircraft over a microphone array in a variety of configurations (u/c up and down, u/c doors open and closed and with different combinations of slat and flap position) with a minimum level of engine noise - as close to low level gliding as safety would allow. This excercise employed not only the HSA team from Hatfield but also a team from BAC at Weybridge and some folks from RAE. The ex-BUA VC10 was used during my time at the site and some of the flying was 'quite dramatic' with a low power pass over the microphones followed by a very late and noisy application of power with the runway ever so close! And boy was it cold!

Whilst we were there - Nov / Dec time in 1973 - a Hastings and a Comet - both allocated to RAE for some research works - did a photo flight with the airfield as the backdrop and a Dove/Devon as the photo aircraft. The Comet and Hastings changing position to be closer to the Devon and the airfield. We were told that both the Comet and Hastings were about to go and so the photos were taken as a momento. My very unreliable memory tells me that bo the the Comet and Hastings were in more or less standard RAF Transport Command colours rather than RAE colours - unlike the VC10 and the 1-11.

Has anyone got any of these photos? I would love a copy to remind me of some very happy days when I learned a lot.
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 08:18
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
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RAE Thurleigh Photo's

I have photo's of the RAE fleet during 1992. What are you after I have pic's of the Seaking in fact I used to Fly a RC Helicopter with a similar setup as I attached a Camera to the front of the RC Helicopter in the same arangement.
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Old 11th Dec 2008, 20:04
  #84 (permalink)  
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As far as I can remember, the Hastings was in a predominantly blue finish. I think you`re right about the Comet. We are of course talking about 35 years ago....ho hum.

I remember the VC10 noise trials, certainly looked amazing from the tower!
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Old 17th Dec 2008, 11:53
  #85 (permalink)  
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Trust me, from out on the airfield - I seem to remember we had our caravan near the VTOL pit - they were sensational! Especially when, after one particular pass, the usual noise did not come on after the usual 'x' seconds after it passed overhead - and we all rushed out the 'van to see the VC10 just climbing away from a very very very low altitude at very high alpha supported on solid black carbon and solid noise!

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Old 1st Jan 2009, 16:21
  #86 (permalink)  
Robert Woodhouse
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U2 at Thurleigh

Back in 1966 I recollect the walking out to the main runway to greet a U2 pilot who had just landed. Years later I met him again - his name was Ed Smart and he had become the IFALPA representative on the ICAO Air Navigation Commission. Small world!
Old 1st Jan 2009, 19:13
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bedford
Posts: 412
During April/May 1967 a WU-2A "66722" was detached to Thurleigh for a clear air turbulence research project "Hicat". it entailed flights of up to 9 hours from Scotland to Norway. The pilot was Captain Ken Mason of USAF. The U-2 is now at the Wright -Patterson Museum.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 17:29
  #88 (permalink)  
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U2 Landings

U2's would land at RAE BEdford when the cross wind at Alconbury meant they couldn't land safely, it was interesting to see a pilot exit an aircraft in a space suite.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 17:38
  #89 (permalink)  
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Trident and comet collision

I was also aware of a colision of a Comet and Trident touching each other whilst one was about to land while the other was waiting to take off at the end of the runway, not sure when I think in the 70's, not sure which was on approach though. I think the tail fin was damaged and if the story is true tyre marks on the roof of one of them. A ery close call.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 19:48
  #90 (permalink)  
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A landing Trident 3 hit the top of XP915 fin and rudder whilst waiting to take off . This occurred on January 19th 1971. It was repaired and used in foam arresting trials in 1973.
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 16:05
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Bedford
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I've just picked up your question about "Wings Over Thurleigh". I've got the same problem - I'm reading a copy that belongs to someone else and cannot find another copy. Details: ISBN 0-9541594-0-3; published by Allison Printers, Wollaston, Northants. The only place that seems to recognise the book is Amazon but they don't have a copy. If you find a source, please let me know.
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 16:47
  #92 (permalink)  

Do a Hover - it avoids G
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It was printed not published by Alison Printers

Could affect a search.
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Old 13th Sep 2009, 10:31
  #93 (permalink)  
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Trident v Comet

Seem to recall in the dim distant past, there was a cartoon of the incident somewhere on the airfield and the Trident had been renamed "Fourdent" in commemoration.
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Old 14th Sep 2009, 13:06
  #94 (permalink)  
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Wings Over Thurleigh

Not found on AbeBooks Official Site - New & Used Books, New & Used Textbooks, Rare & Out of Print Books and if they haven't got it (110 Million books on line!) it is going to being hard to find!
A2QFI is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2009, 18:35
  #95 (permalink)  
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Re Trident incident G-AWZA was the aircraft and was on autoland training detail.I know the training captain who was in command at the time as well as the chap handling as P2.

report here....
Air Accidents Investigation: 4/1972 G-AWZA and XP-915
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Old 18th Sep 2009, 15:06
  #96 (permalink)  
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Location: Bedford
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Thanks Tridentman for the Trident information, the best photography book on RAE aircraft is "Testing Colours" by Adrian Balch,Airlife 1993. It will answer the queries on the Hastings colour schemes.
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Old 29th Sep 2009, 09:42
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northants
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Thurleigh's last flight ?

Interesting thread on Thurleigh, guys, but I'm interested to know whether my departure from Thurleigh on 14th April 2007 was the last recorded from the site ? My colleagues and I were offered a Blanik L13 glider which was quietly rotting in one of the old workshops there, and because the workshop was itself due for demolition, the glider's owner wanted rid. Because the glider's trailer floor was shot, we decided to aerotow out on the last remaining 500 metres of runway not covered with cars, vans or sheep. So 14/4/07 saw Blanik G-DCVB towed out by Wilga G-BXBZ to Lyveden in Northants. If anyone is documenting the history of the airfield, the departure was recorded on video and I'm happy to make a copy available. Any advance on 14/4/07 ?

And if T-21 is reading this, I've worked out who you are. Remember us together in a K7 at 600 feet over the A1 on a Navex to Crowland in 1998 ? It would be great to see you again.....

Cheers all

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Old 7th Oct 2009, 13:27
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bedford
Age: 48
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RAE Photos

Are you Paul Earl, Avionics Apprentice Instructor from RAE during the early 90's?

I was an apprentice there with Mr. Blyth and Handscomb as my Masters when in the Apprentice Trade Training School and remember an instructor when did fly a model helicopter from RAE.

I also joined the model flying club during my last years at RAE.

I still remember those days and would love to see some photos of RAE as it was in 1992. The only Photos I have are photos of photos taken after the Open day that was held but they are terrible quality....

Anonflyer is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2010, 21:05
  #99 (permalink)  
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Paul Earl Yes thats me!!

Hi Yes thats me How I miss Working at RAE didn't relaise at the time but is was great to work there.
I do have a number of photos that I took during the open day and still have a video of flights out of RAE during The closure of the Airfield.

If your interested drop me a line.



[email protected]
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Old 8th Apr 2010, 02:12
  #100 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: wellingborough
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Tonka Toy

Its been years since I heard that term for the RAE Tornado, I seem to remember a form of elitism going on when working on the Tonka Toy.
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