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The Handley Page Victor.

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The Handley Page Victor.

Old 22nd Apr 2004, 07:38
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
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From a receiver pilot's viewpoint, the Victor was probably the worst tanker we ever had! But only because the Mk 20 pods at low tanker fuel weights couldn't keep up with the offload requirements of an F4!

The Vulcan was a very nice, stable platform to prod - the only mildly disorientating thinhg was the 2 underwing anti-colls gave the impression (at night) that you were further aay from the drogue than you really were. The MFI wardrobe HDU housing wasn't the best - and I once prodded a Vulcan drogue and the HDU failed to take up the slack properly, leading to a large travelling wave coming back down the hose towards me! Fortunately I disconnected quickly before it did so, else it would have taken the probe tip! But a rewind and trail fixed it and we got our gas!

I prodded the F4 against Victor, Vulcan, KC-135 (+BDA) and KC-10. In order of preference, I'd put the Vulcan and KC-10 equal first, then the Victor - but the KC-135 (+BDA) a very distant last!

I never prodded the VC10 against the Victor, but witnessed quite a few attempts from the co-pilots seat. The vibration, buffeting and trim changes involved were considerable and must have had a considerable adverse effect on a/c fatigue consumption!

With the number of stickies being something of an issue to some folk, perhaps the 'Vulcan' and 'Victor' threads could be combined into a single "Were you in the V-force" sticky?

Last edited by BEagle; 22nd Apr 2004 at 08:25.
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 09:13
  #62 (permalink)  

Yes, Him
 
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Unsticking this one appears to have revived it though.
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 09:23
  #63 (permalink)  

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BEagle. On your comment "it would have taken the probe tip". Did this actually happen when re-fuelling and what were the consequences if any?
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 11:47
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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lasernigel I know your question was addressed to Beagle but I'll answer as it did happen to me. I was Tanking in a Nimrod, from a Tristar, when just the sort of travelling wave that Beagle described developed. We weren't quick enough to break contact and the hose just ripped out the probe tip easy as anything! No particular consequences - not in the Nimrod, anyway. In fact one of the nice things about AAR was that it was about the only activity where you could damage HM aeroplanes with impunity!
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 12:14
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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The official advice given should your overtake speed on contact be too high for the HDU to take up the slack was to sit there and take what was coming. As the probe tip has a sideways shear force of about 1000lbs, this invariably meant leaving it stuck in the basket! There were few structural flight safety implications, but the fuel hoovering out of the now open basket mushroom valve meant that your in flight visibilty was somewhat impaired. Not such a good thing considering how close you were to another aircraft!

I saw it happen twice, but not as a result of my handling I'm pleased to say.
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 12:20
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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The probe tip is fitted with a weak link secured by shear rivets. The idea is that if things get tense, the probe tip breaks cleanly and stays in the drogue. Obviously that puts both reciever probe and hose out of action, but no other really significant consequence.

I've seen tipless probes with a bean tin speed-taped over the soggy end used as a get-you-home device before now.

The Timmy has a habit of walloping rather high fuel pressures down the hose if allowed to - I've had excess fuel pressure blow the probe tip out of the drogue on initial contact behind a TriShaw. Making contact with low pressure in the hose and then selecting the Carter pumps on seems to help - and stopped the pulsing effect.

On the A310 MRTT, the current plan is for 2 Carter pumps to supply the AAR gallery, pressure is then regulated and augmented at the pod by the RAT ('pod prop') system. But the Carters are quite powerful beasts, so I can't see the pod RATs having to work particularly hard!
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 12:26
  #67 (permalink)  

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Just to ask another on refuelling.Has anyone done it the "USAF way" with a probe and which works better?
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 19:14
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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KC135 MPRS

The KC135s now often get airborne with their equivalent of the HDUs on the VC10, allowing probe-equipped USAF/USN ac to refuel using probe and drogue rather than the boom method. There is a limited number of sets at Mildenhall, so not all 135s have them.

IIRC, MPRS = Multi-Point Refuelling System.

Can anyone out there confirm whether and which RAF ac are cleared to refuel from MPRS? From what I have heard and read, it would seem to be a much better option than BDA! Such a capability might also improve prospects for bootleg!!!!!!!!
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 21:40
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Is n't a bit of knowledge a dangerous thing? The HDU is the centre hose on the VC10 and the 135 no direct equivalent. I take it STH means the wing hoses of the MPRS equipped ac. The availability of said assets has f*** all to do with sets rather the no of ac that have been modded. The set no problems is that on the KC10. All types of the FJs in theatre in GW2 used the MPRS but I cant say whether the RTS' still allow this.

BEags -just read your crit on tanker types. The Mk 20 pod gave a low fuel flow whatever the Victor fuel state which is why out of choice we refuelled F4s on the HDU rather than in pairs on the wings. I cant believe the lash up on the Vulcan was any better that the Victor HDU.
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 22:06
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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No mate - the HUD installation was much the same, but the airflow behind the a/c was smoother. Plus there was no other option, so pitching up on the wing of a Vulcan meant that you'd always find a centreline hose, rather than having to ask for a hose swap on the Victor if it had the Mk 20s hoses extended.

Have seen the films of clearing GAF Tornados against the KC-135 MPRS. Very exciting - but better than the BDA for sure. Only had to prod that once - that was on a live scramble in a Q-fit F4 with 3 tanks and 8 rockets and without having had the benefit of any instruction, either dual or theoretical.....
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Old 22nd Apr 2004, 23:02
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Vascodegama ...

Sorry, muppetry acknowledged, not intended.

Yes, I did indeed mean to compare the under-wing hose units on the VC10 with those on the KC135.

Notwithstanding the previous confusion, during a visit a few months ago to Mildenhall, the crew hosting us were quite specific that the number of sets available at the Unit was limited. Perhaps it was their use of phraseology that created the confusion in my mind, but the implication was that there were more airframes able to take the pods themselves than there were pods. Moreover, the pods themselves were 'removable' (no small task I know), so that for extended periods where the additional capability was not required, the airframes could operate without the drag which the pods must create.

Back to the original question: I know that one of the reasons the MPRS was developed was to allow the KC-135 to support USN ac types, and an old Boeing press release:

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/...e.970120a.html

indicated that the intention was additionally to provide the capability for other NATO ac. What I want to know is whether a routine UK sortie of F3s/Jags/GR4s/GR9s requesting bootleg would be interested/able to take fuel from a MPRS-equipped KC-135? Given what was said about GW II refuelling, presumably this is, as vascodegama suggests, an RTS issue. Does anyone know, or should I just not bother looking at AARA 8 next time I am asked if there is any bootleg available in the North Sea?
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 00:06
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Keithl - TVM for the 543 anecdote. I can imagine the climb out you described. The SR2s I saw operating certainly looked very lively.

I had my first introduction to the pleasures and perils of the hop at Wyton.

Mark.
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 07:50
  #73 (permalink)  

OLD RED DAMASK
 
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Sorry my ignorance and wording. What I meant to ask was ..Has anyone done it with the boom method when on exchange with the USAF and which method do they think is better?
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 09:42
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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I guess the main difference between handling the Victor and the Vulcan was the speed at which you flew the approach. Is that correct Mike?
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 09:51
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Ya Zi, is your other name Ron Atkinson?.
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 09:51
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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The MPRS fit is the same as on the French KC135Fs, albeit the French aircraft use the FR MK32 pod wheras the USAF use the Sergeant Fletcher version of the same pod - although I believe Sergteant Fletcher may well be owned by FR now. The pod sits right at the very wingtip out of necessity (due to the outboard engines). Consequently, it sits in the wing Vortex and needs an airflow deflector on the pod to cancel out the effect of the Vortex as well as an 80' hose as opposed to the 50' one normally fitted. I gather it makes receiving from it quite sporty at times - especially if you drift towards tthe centreline and catch the efflux from the engine.
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 09:58
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Damn! Found out already.

PS. Anyone need a sports commentator?
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 10:28
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Lasernigel,

The RAF Sentries are equipped to be refuelled via a boom , I've witnessed one from the cockpit of a Sentry that refuelled from a KC-135.

As it was my first "jump seat ride", I wouldn't be able to make any informed comments on the technicalities of it compared to the probe and drogue (maybe someone from 8 or 23 Sqns would care to) . But it did feel unusual to see a guy with baseball cap and headset on staring at you from the tail of the tanker that was only about 5 metres away!

Last edited by small_dog; 23rd Apr 2004 at 12:15.
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 11:04
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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The philosophical query has been raised about why the Vulcan always seem to get a better press than the Victor? When I talked with the Handley Page design team many years ago, they felt the same grief over the way in which the Lancaster always seemed to overshadow the Halifax. Radlett strove to design a jet bomber that could carry more, and fly further and higher than the Avro opposition, and the Victor did that (e.g. 35,000lb bomb load compared with 21,000lb for the Vulcan). We must get round to posting the photo of Tommy Thomson dropping 35 1,000lb bombs on the Song Song range.

But it didn't seem to make any difference, and I think the answer is two-fold. First, the aluminium triangular overcast was a more awesome sight at flying displays. Second the Victor became a multi-role aircraft, whereas the Vulcan was pretty much bomber focused. Witness the proportion of tanker or SR related tales on this thread.

Talking of which, while on the Victor 2 OCU I represented RAF Wittering on the parade marking the disbandment of Bomber Command and the stand-up of STC in 1968. My mind had wandered to the legs of the PM officer with the Nocton Hall flight when the flypast started. At below 1,000ft, in swept a Victor three point tanker, supposedly with three Lightnings hooked in trail. But only two Lightnings ran-in, leaving one hose unattached. The third Lightning had gone in during the join up, killing the pilot. Nowadays, the flying display would have been cancelled while everyone shared their pain. In 1968, the attitude was somewhat more robust.
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Old 23rd Apr 2004, 15:50
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Flat Iron... be careful of the well-known pic of the Victor dropping the 35 1000 pounders... it's a fake! On the occasion you mention there were, apparently, plenty of Indonesian press in boats nearby (for that was the whole point of the event!), but I've never seen any pics taken on the day.

Even asked the Gp Capt in AHB to dig some out for me... heard nothing since.
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