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RAF fast boat. I can't put Pinnis in the search.

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RAF fast boat. I can't put Pinnis in the search.

Old 9th Jan 2021, 10:58
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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K'nc - of course - and very nice too !.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 11:02
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Couple of memories from times working with the Marine Craft Units on S&R - Holyhead from Valley and Littlehampton from Thorney.. Holyhead were used for all out 'wet' and deck training and the latter prompts the memory of leaving a Whirlwind 10 main gear tyre print on the mast 'button' ... slow reaction to a 'sleepy' student! We worked with the Littlehampton boat on a trial conducted by Farnborough to plot static discharge curves produced from aircraft /surtace contact. From memory, we were told that the maximum recorded was 175,000 volts but, thankfully very low amperage !! ... which triggers another , this in Holyhead harbour on a particularly hard-working session, breathing hard, mouth open and momentarily forgetting to 'hands-off' the cable on deck touch-down. Old-style dentistry gave me amalgum fillings top and bottom - the static shorted across the gnashers !!! I still remember the taste of static !
One of the jobs I had to do, years ago, was transfer from the Seaking trials aircraft we'd just dropped weapons from, down to the PAS boat that was doing the weapon recovery, so I could check a few things as the trials weapons were recovered. This entailed winching down to the upper rear deck area of the boat (a Clovelly class Fleet Tender, we had three, RMAS Clovelly, RMAS Hever and RMAS Headcorn).

You only forget to make sure the earthing wire gets shorted to the deck before your feet touch it once - the shock is pretty violent from the static discharge. Before we routinely winched with a dangling earthing wire below our feet, fitted to the cable hook, there was Heath Robinson arrangement consisting of a cylindrical steel weight placed on the deck, attached by a cable to a pole held by one of the boat's crew. His job was to try and touch the earthed metal end of the pole to the winch cable, before the victim's feet touched the deck. Needless to say this was not a 100% reliable solution.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 11:31
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Imagegear View Post
This film puts a bit of salt in the vein

HSL

Sounds like the Packards to me

Got to see night target towing for Shacks with the SAAF a long time ago.

IG
What a wonderful sound and wish I had a quid for every time I've sailed up or down that channel! In the same vein, another wonderful sound was the SAAF Historic Flight Shackleton doing a low level pass and 180 degree turn immediately overhead as I was playing golf at Hermanus in the Western Cape a few years ago. No wonder I missed my putt....

Jack
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 12:29
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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KelvinD,when I live for a couple of years in Bognor Regis in the late'70s,I seem to remember there were 1or2 sections of Mulberry harbour lying on the beach West of the town,towards Pagham.
Also,when I was commuting between Norfolk and London about 30 years ago I do remember passing the entrance to a house that lay beside the A11,and the name on the gate-post read 'Mulberry Harbour'.I thought that a little unusual !
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 12:58
  #25 (permalink)  
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 13:19
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Oh thanks for that,long time since I've seen them.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 14:14
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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In the RAF and indeed the RN a number of different craft have been designated as Pinnaces, looking at the previous comments I get the feeling that it is the 60ft all wood General Service Pinnace, these superb looking mainly Wartime built vessels were built by various Motor Yacht Builders, Double Diagonal Hull with a sheet of Calico between the layers of wood, powered by triple Perkins S6 (6cy) Diesel engines and a top speed of around 12kts, in their ASR role not fast but plenty of range or loiter time depending in what guise they were built as some were used for Torpedo Recovery with the Hold Aft. Post War Disposals were handled by RN Disposals and advertised in magazines like Motor Boat and Yachting. Post War another version of this style of Pinnace was built for the RAF, slightly longer same style wooden Hull but with Alloy Topsides powered by twin 6cy RR Diesels but not half as attractive looking as the Wartime Built type.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 17:08
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Mulberry caissons were built by Costain in Erith, after the war they continued to use the site and their marine engineering subsidiary (name escapes me), operated from their. IIRC one of the caissons they built did not get towed across to France and remained there and the marine engineering company used it as a floating pontoon. It still seems to be there....



Perhaps it should go to the D-Day museum?



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Old 9th Jan 2021, 17:14
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
One of the jobs I had to do, years ago, was transfer from the Seaking trials aircraft we'd just dropped weapons from, down to the PAS boat that was doing the weapon recovery, so I could check a few things as the trials weapons were recovered. This entailed winching down to the upper rear deck area of the boat (a Clovelly class Fleet Tender, we had three, RMAS Clovelly, RMAS Hever and RMAS Headcorn).
.
Sounds like fun, VP. Didn't realise the fleet tenders were used for weapon recovery, on the Clyde (late 70s/early 80's) we usually had TRV's RMAS Tornado and Toreador, not sure what was at BUTEC. Only trip on a fleet tender was from Kilcreggan pier to NFD Loch Striven and return on RMAS Lamlash.
Happy days.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 17:52
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Pugwash View Post
Sounds like fun, VP. Didn't realise the fleet tenders were used for weapon recovery, on the Clyde (late 70s/early 80's) we usually had TRV's RMAS Tornado and Toreador, not sure what was at BUTEC. Only trip on a fleet tender was from Kilcreggan pier to NFD Loch Striven and return on RMAS Lamlash.
Happy days.
Spent some time at BUTEC over the years, and a couple of trips out to AUTEC. Wasn't Tormentor the usual BUTEC recovery boat? Butec also had a couple of Clovelly class Fleet Tenders based at Kyle, I remember doing some stuff from one of them in the run up to the Falklands, and having an "interesting" encounter with the boats crew the evening before. I was always happier flying than doing stuff on/in the water. Those Fleet Tenders were not great sea boats, and used to roll a great deal in the relatively open water of Falmouth Bay.

RMAS Clovelly, Headcorn and Hever were all based at Falmouth, and used as range safety and weapon recovery boats on Falmouth Range, when it was still operational. Originally they used the derrick for recovery, but one or two of the boats had a HIAB fitted (can't remember which ones) to make life a bit easier doing recoveries, or launching the Gemini, in rough weather. I spent a good few years flying over Falmouth Range is a variety of A/C, pretty much anything capable of dropping weapons at sea, from the Wasp HAS1 to various Mks of Nimrod, plus a Canberra BI6. Not always British, either, I ended up doing trials for the Argentinians, Dutch, and most infamously Nigeria (never again). Even tried out a Fokker F27 and an Islander BN-2T as torpedo bombers on that range, the latter as much to do with trying to help BN sell their Defender as a small MPA as anything else, I think.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 18:14
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Capt P, there was a Post War style 63 ft Wooden hulled Alloy Topsides Pinnace working out of Portpatrick many years ago, first RAF Crewed and then Civilianised I believe.
I see you live around Keevil I visited the Airfield a long time ago when the original T2 Hanger was in place it was absolutely jammed packed with Aircraft and parts mainly Vampires, don’t know who owned them, any idea?
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 18:26
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Red face

Originally Posted by Imagegear View Post
This film puts a bit of salt in the vein

Sounds like the Packards to me

Got to see night target towing for Shacks with the SAAF a long time ago.

IG
As one Pilot said “can you tell the Gun Crews I am pulling the Target not pushing it”.
It could be quite dangerous for those who manned the Launches when Target Towing as there was creep towards the launches when the Pilot fired his guns.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 19:32
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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At risk of further thread drift, not sure of the BUTEC TRV, may also have been RMAS Torch at some time, they were probably rotated around the various bases. The Clyde vessels were mostly involved with heavyweight torpedoes rather than air-dropped. I wonder if you were involved with the Stingray which nearly brought down its launch aircraft when the FIAM failed to deploy?
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 20:12
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
Capt P, there was a Post War style 63 ft Wooden hulled Alloy Topsides Pinnace working out of Portpatrick many years ago, first RAF Crewed and then Civilianised I believe.
I see you live around Keevil I visited the Airfield a long time ago when the original T2 Hanger was in place it was absolutely jammed packed with Aircraft and parts mainly Vampires, don’t know who owned them, any idea?
I was OiC there later. That first pinnace at Portpatrick was the Aquila Maris. In my day it had been replaced with a Fairey Marine Tracker, Aquila Maris II, crewed by RMAS at first, then taken over by Serco/Flight Refuelling, working in partnership. Portpatrick Range, D411, and West Freugh , closed around the time I moved on to run a couple of research establishments near the south coast, part of what had once been ASWE.

Originally Posted by Cpt_Pugwash View Post
At risk of further thread drift, not sure of the BUTEC TRV, may also have been RMAS Torch at some time, they were probably rotated around the various bases. The Clyde vessels were mostly involved with heavyweight torpedoes rather than air-dropped. I wonder if you were involved with the Stingray which nearly brought down its launch aircraft when the FIAM failed to deploy?
You're right, it was Torch, I'm sure. Tormentor came around to Falmouth when we were doing some Spearfish trials, not that I was involved with them. I must have dropped literally hundreds of Stingray dummies over the years, mainly instrumented ballistic A Dummies, but a few runners with instrument heads in the run up to the Falklands, trying to get pre-production weapons through some sort of limited acceptance before sending a few over to Ascension. Plenty of FIAM failures, mainly the high speed ribbon 'chute, the AT-S, that never made it into service. There was a last minute change to adapt the low speed AT-Q with additional reefing, so it could handle a 400kt release without over-stressing the Stingray tail shaft.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 20:38
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
Capt P, there was a Post War style 63 ft Wooden hulled Alloy Topsides Pinnace working out of Portpatrick many years ago, first RAF Crewed and then Civilianised I believe.
I see you live around Keevil I visited the Airfield a long time ago when the original T2 Hanger was in place it was absolutely jammed packed with Aircraft and parts mainly Vampires, don’t know who owned them, any idea?
Tramontana, I suspect they would still have been service owned, it wasn't until Resource and Budget (RAB) accounting came along that the services emptied a lot of their (very) long term storage sites, but that's another story!
Keevil airfield is still in use of course, we see a lot of C17s, Atlas and the odd Hercules still. There is also gliding from the airfield, although I think the Wilts and Glos club had to move out to The Park at Kingston Deverill.
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 21:22
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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The story behind the Portpatrick pinnace, renamed Aquila Maris, is that she was either transferred to RAE for work on Portpatrick Range, in about 1969, or was provided as a service by RMAS. The skipper and crew were RMAS guys, who then got taken over by the privatisation thing in the early 1980's. The original pinnace there was scrapped sometime in the mid-1980's, I think, when the hull was deemed too badly damaged by rot to be repaired, during an annual survey up on the Clyde. At the same time, by pure chance, there was a surplus coastguard boat going spare, a Fairey Marine Tracker II, that had been intended as an export order to the Middle East, but got cancelled for some political reason. The coastguard didn't like the open flying bridge, or the dark tinted glass, so she was transferred to Portpatrick Range and renamed Aquila Maris II. After a year of operating her with the open flying bridge, she went up to a yard on the Clyde to be modified, removing the remnants of the cannon mount that had been on the foredeck and adding an enclosed wheelhouse, with heating.

Aquila Maris II had a mooring alongside, on what used to be the MoD jetty at Portpatrick, right behind the Lifeboat shed. She had a GRP hull, with an aluminium superstructure. I have some photos somewhere, taken around the time I was OiC up there, I'll try and dig them out and scan them if I can. There were two of the original double diagonal wooden pinnaces that were still in use on Luce Bay range when I moved on. Both were in a sorry state, though, and kept at Drummore. The fact that their moorings dried at low water probably didn't do their hulls any favours, although they were lightly built boats, and weren't expected to stay in service right up to the mid-1990's.

Last edited by VP959; 9th Jan 2021 at 21:41. Reason: typo
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 02:44
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Oh, for crying out loud. Why are bloke's minds so fixated? Everything is about that drawing in the sky. Naughty boys.
...
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 07:56
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
As one Pilot said “can you tell the Gun Crews I am pulling the Target not pushing it”.
It could be quite dangerous for those who manned the Launches when Target Towing as there was creep towards the launches when the Pilot fired his guns.
This was in 1974, and we left Saldanha Bay around midnight . We were staying at the old Saldanha Bay Hotel in Langebaan and the pinnace was moored on a buoy in the small channel opposite the Hotel. Around 15 miles beyond the Bay entrance, the viz was around 200m in mist and we streamed what looked like a bouncy castle.

We heard the Shack, talked to the Shack, and it made several runs at the target none of which we could see, but I was informed that all the attacks were from the beam. Later in the night we got a visit from a Canberra, but again, we saw nothing. Sometime around five in the morning it was home for more tea and bacon butties..
I have no idea of the origin of the pinnaces in South Africa, but I expect they were ex-RAF or possibly RN.

IG
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 08:43
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
Capt P, there was a Post War style 63 ft Wooden hulled Alloy Topsides Pinnace working out of Portpatrick many years ago, first RAF Crewed and then Civilianised I believe.

I can't find any photos of the old RAF pinnace that used to be at Portpatrick, but have found a photo from 1985 (according to the RAE photo section stamp on the back) of her replacement, Aquila Maris II, sailing out of Portpatrick Harbour (this was taken a few years before my time up there). At a guess I'd say this was very shortly after the wheelhouse had been added, above the dark tinted glass of the original low level helm position. The new wheelhouse replaced the open flying bridge that had been fitted when she was intended for export to the ME somewhere.




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Old 10th Jan 2021, 09:13
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Pugwash View Post
At risk of further thread drift, not sure of the BUTEC TRV, may also have been RMAS Torch at some time, they were probably rotated around the various bases. The Clyde vessels were mostly involved with heavyweight torpedoes rather than air-dropped. I wonder if you were involved with the Stingray which nearly brought down its launch aircraft when the FIAM failed to deploy?
Just found some other old photos. This one isn't "official", it's one I took out of the cargo door of a Seaking, shortly before winching down on to RMAS Headcorn in the middle of Falmouth Range, taken some time around 1980/81 at a guess:





You asked about Stingray FIAM, so here are a couple of shots of a Stingray A dummy, fitted with an AT/Q, mid-flight and hitting the water on Falmouth Range. Same vintage as the photo above, except these ones are official, they have ARE photo section stamps on the back, with negative numbers, but no dates, unfortunately:





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