Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Old 15th Jan 2013, 22:59
  #3421 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Yamagata ken,

Thanks, Ken. So a dry hole is possible. Now we have the top hat, where's the rabbit ?

Still a sceptic (it would be wonderful, but.........)

Old 15th Jan 2013, 23:26
  #3422 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 169
Canadian Tiger Moth with canopy ( stolen from another website )

Nervous SLF is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2013, 07:20
  #3423 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,390
Ah, the dear old Tiger Moth! What a wonderful aeroplane it still is. As Danny says, there were more surplus Tigers in the 50's than you could count. Evidently many of the survivors still show damage and/or repairs to the nose cowl where they were stood on end, a la Toast Racks, in storage awaiting their fate. One such fate was to have the centre fuselage widened out and a four seater (just) cabin replace the two cockpits, the engine moved forward a little and the rear fuselage lengthened to accommodate baggage. The result was a cheap touring aircraft with utility variants (crop dusting etc), called the Thruxton Jackaroo. As the name suggests this was done at Thruxton where was the Wiltshire School of Flying. It was to there that I reported as the lucky recipient of a CCF Flying Scholarship. Most of the training was on the Jackaroo, but the spinning and stalling stuff still had to be done on the Tiger, thank goodness!
Happy days; no radios, no ATC, and our accommodation in the ubiquitous Nissen Hut. The airfield had been a USAAF Thunderbolt base during the recent "unpleasantness" and little had changed meantime. Car and Motorbike Racing were still a good idea yet to occur...
Thruxton Jackaroo -
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2013, 11:22
  #3424 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 64
Posts: 3,120
Did anyone find the Moth uncomfortable? I had the pleasure of flying one from the front seat one day but by golly, was my back stiff when I got out. Lovely to fly but not lovely to sit in.

Danny, wonderful to read your posts, I'm sure there are many like me who read them without you knowing!
thing is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2013, 14:19
  #3425 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 79
Posts: 555
Jackaroo at work

Yes Chugalug, I well remember the Jackaroo. In the 1950s there was a great demand for cabin tourers so the tubular centre section of a war surplus Tiger Moth was removed, cut longitudinally along one side, and widened to accommodate two narrow seats. The Tiger control box, a wooden structure about six feet long and housing the two sticks internally linked by a tube, remained in its original mounting so pilot and instructor sat on the left. In plan view it resembled a tadpole and had ample room for four Hobbits, though I never tried it with four humans.

As far as I recall about 20 were so converted, among them G-APAO which I borrowed for a trip to the islands of Islay and Colonsay, landing on the golf links, an area of rough pasture slightly less rough than the other pasture. The long travel undercart and fat wheels easily coped with the rabbit holes.

The Jackaroo handled like a Tiger but its fine-pitch airscrew (low geared, if you like) gave a cruising speed of only 70 mph at 1850 rpm, with corresponding reduction in range. On the other hand, two-up it leapt into the Atlantic breeze in four or five times its length. About 30 years ago -- wearing my grease-monkey overalls rather than my flying set -- I had a hand in converting her back to a Tiger Moth. She now flies in RAF Training Command colours.

The Auster Autocrat offered better performance but wasn't as nice to fly, with a nasty habit of dropping its wing when landing in gusty conditions. Within a few years Cessna and Piper made their appearance and the fabric covered taildragger almost disappeared until today, when folk pay big money to fly something which nobody wanted a few decades ago. But then I suppose they said the same about Rembrandt's creations.

Thing, I'm average build but found the Tiger Moth as comfortable as any other motorbike. I made a padded storage box to replace the seat parachute and had no back troubles in some 400 hours but sea crossings perched on a dinghy made for a numb bum. Long afterwards I had a shoulder problem which I'm sure began with prop-swinging, though now it's faded among all the other aches and pains. Longest trip was Paris and back, 1100 miles non-radio in happy days when one didn't need ATC clearance to visit the airfield loo ...

While on the Tiger theme, may I remember my first instructor A.C.H. (Tubby) Dash, AFC, the medal awarded for his services to flight training. He had many hundreds if not thousands of hours on Tiger Moths and he could almost make them talk. At war's end he moved from Shorts at Rochester to Shorts in Belfast, where he ferried new aircraft to the Far East as well as instructing the firm's flying club.

Tubby consumed whisky as a Tiger Moth drank petrol and would often be completely relaxed by the end of the evening. Despite this one could set the clock by his 0955 arrival the following morning. He told me one day that around 1949 he had ferried a Sealand amphibian to the Middle East using a school atlas, maps not being available. He instructed until he was 80, and to my knowledge no pupil in his care came to harm in his last 30 years of tuition.

When Tubby died around 1982 we decided to pay tribute with a Tiger Moth triple formation. Rehearsals showed that this required considerable effort but on the morning I think the old aeroplanes knew, for BZ failed to develop her frequent mag drop, IT started instantly despite being warm, and DP did not flood her carb as usual. Summoned from a discreet distance by secret signal (bedsheet waved from rear of the crematorium) our tight vic puttered over the cemetery at 500ft, or maybe a little lower. The best bit was receiving a letter from Tubby's widow thanking us for the lovely surprise and saying that nobody could have given him a finer sendoff.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 16th Jan 2013 at 16:57. Reason: Adding the Funeral Flypast
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 16th Jan 2013, 20:03
  #3426 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Nervous SLF,

Thanks for the very nice pic. It looks quite a roomy arrangement, doesn't it, and with Geriaviator's wheel brakes would make the Tiger wellnigh perfect.

Two things caught my eye: on the left front strut there seems to be the quadrant for the old spring flap ASI (but the Tiger in front must have a more civilised one). And the crash truck over by the hangar is yellow, not red. Were they that colour in Canada ? (if the thing on top of the cab is not a foam monitor, what is it ?.............D


I'd never heard of the Thruxton Jackaroo - at first I thought we were talking about the Fox Moth of the early '30s. (Long ago on this Thread, fredjhh and I were trading memories of the one on Ainsdale Beach ). This second stab at the idea of a 'cabin' Tiger, using every bit of a Tiger ("except the squeal"), looks better than the first, I must say. Happy Days they surely were !......D.


There is no such thing as a comfortable pilot seat in any military aircraft - at least as far as the one-man-band operators are concerned. As for the four-in-handers, I imagine they recline in their club armchairs, reading the Times while second dickey watches autopilot and calls for coffee and biscuits as and when instructed ('ware incoming ..... Chugalug ?) ...... And many thanks for the very kind words........D.


Thanks for the description of the Jackaroo. Pic (on Wiki) looks very civilised. At least they had some forward vision, whereas the Fox Moth had a sort of four-seat Sedan chair set-in where the cockpits had been, with the pilot stuck up behind on top like a Hansom-cab driver.

"Only" 90 mph cruise ? My memory of Tigers is that the magic figure was 55 knots (65 mph). You used that for everything, take off, flying around and coming in to land

Your Tubby Dash sounds a character. They don't make 'em like that any more - more's the pity..........D.

Cheerio, everyone,

Old 17th Jan 2013, 08:10
  #3427 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bury St. Edmunds
Age: 60
Posts: 539
Bill Ison - Tiger QFI par excellence

Tiger Moth Flying at Cambridge

I had the great privilege to fly the two Tigers at the Cambridge Flying Group and be taught by Bill Ison back in 1989. He was a legend as CFI and after 6 hours dual had my first solo. (This was after a three year gap in flying after leaving the RAF).

A truly great experience and my first open cockpit flying since 1976 as an ATC cadet flying T21/T31 gliders at Debden.

Happy days!

Madbob is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2013, 08:26
  #3428 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,390
Chugalug, I'd never heard of the Thruxton Jackaroo
tbh, Danny, you hadn't missed much. We studes were less than impressed, having each been issued with the complete Biggles Kit of helmet (with Gosport "earphones" rather than electric ones), fur lined boots, Irvin jackets, gloves silk inner, gauntlets outer leather, etc etc, only to find that we could leave it all packed away as most of our flying was to be in this proverbial bus! Unlike you I don't remember the numbers but the thrill of being in a "real" aeroplane when we quit the Jackaroo for the Tiger Moth is still vivid in my mind.
Geriaviator, I'm glad to hear that you did the right thing in turning this uninspiring caterpillar back into the glorious species of Lepidoptera that it really was. Hopefully the same thing happened to most of the others, though the one or two remaining examples bear warning to others who might have a similar "good idea". I seem to remember that the project was under the auspices of one Sqn Ldr Doran Webb who also presided over the Wiltshire School of Flying. At least that ensured the launch customer base, indeed probably the only one. It might perhaps have been he who ruefully warned that "the Jackaroo will knacker you", for I doubt if it made him rich.

There is no such thing as a comfortable pilot seat in any military aircraft - at least as far as the one-man-band operators are concerned.
Bit late to start complaining now, old chap. As you say we multi seat wallahs faired much better, once we had become unencumbered of the bang seats and parachute harnesses that were part of the training system. The Hastings pilot seats would have done justice to a Pall Mall Club, upholstered as they were in a tasteful shade of green leather, fully adjustable, equipped with arm and head rests, in short a fitting tribute to Mr Handley Page's awareness of the importance of satisfied customers. Unlike Mr Lockheed, who fitted out his wares solely for large Texan cowboys, I suspect. Those of lesser stature needed to resort to variants of a child's booster seat to see over the control column...

Last edited by Chugalug2; 17th Jan 2013 at 08:49.
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2013, 10:28
  #3429 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 79
Posts: 555
Quite right Danny, 55 kts was appropriate for the Tiger Moth, but they would cruise at 90 mph/2050 rpm. My pilot side wanted to crack on, the grease-monkey on my shoulder whispered "1930 design and casting, white metal bearings, Avgas 15p a litre" so I throttled back to 1850 rpm and about 75 kts. After all I had to pay for the Avgas which gurgled down its gravity feed much more quickly at such high speeds

The Jackaroo's fine pitch prop lifted the load but restricted cruise to 70/seventy mph. The Gipsy Major was very reliable but I never pushed it not least because the repair bill would fall on myself and not Her Majesty, assuming I was able to walk out from the pieces. Not that I minded, for Their Majesties often required the ultimate price for your generation's aviation.

Another memory of Tubby Dash my instructor. Relatively little has been written by WW2 instructors, Yellow Belly (Chance) being the only book I have encountered. Perhaps this is because so many operational pilots were posted to instruct as a "rest". I could not get Tubby to talk about his wartime experiences except on yet another rainy day to delay my first cross-country. "Listen, son, better down here wishing you were up there than up there praying you were down here".

I asked him what he remembered best about a lifetime of instruction and he gazed out the rain-lashed window for at least 30 seconds. "Seeing young men grow up", he replied. When at long last I found myself alone in the skies for the first time, I began to understand what he meant.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 17th Jan 2013 at 10:29.
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2013, 18:34
  #3430 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Quote: "This was after a three year gap in flying after leaving the RAF" My experience exactly. It's true, it's like riding a bike. You never forget !....D.


Like you, all the full scale of my flying kit went back to stores unused except for helmet, goggles and mask (suede flying boots were "liberated", I have with shame to confess). But wasn't it a bit chilly when you got to the Tiger at last (perhaps it was in warmer climes ?) They'd have done better to issue the stuff in bits and pieces as need arose. And the kit took up most of a kitbag, which was a nuisance.

Seats ? All right for some ! You're quite right about the US - the Vengeance seats and cockpits were designed for your typical All-American quarterback !.........D.


"Avgas 15p a litre" If only....! How right your old Tubby was ! A whole generation of young men had to grow up very fast indeed. I've always thought of my five years in War as the university that I could never have afforded (in those days) to attend.......D.

My thanks to you all for your support for this prince of Threads (another Post on the way tonight),

Old 17th Jan 2013, 19:21
  #3431 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
The Beauty Competion (Part 2)

The operation was therefore mounted. I am not sure where (all this happened months before my time), and the publicity brought in quite a squad of hopeful contestants from all round the island. Now they needed an impartial panel of judges. The difficulty was that every Welshman is pathologically suspicious of the motives every other Welshman, and the promoters would find it hard indeed to compose a group which would not finish at each other's throats.

The obvious solution was staring them in the face. What about this new community of impartial strangers which had just arrived in their midst ? They invited the officers of the Squadron to put up half a dozen of their finest. In hindsight this was not to turn out to be the best idea since sliced bread, but it looked all right at the time. In the Mess, there was some in-fighting to secure one of the half-dozen places, as the possibilities were obvious. I think the Boss had to lay down the law in the end. Anyway, the rest would be in the front row with the local civic notables. The great day came - and the panel opened their Sealed Orders.

Of course the thing was a fix. This was the only condition on which the Leaders had allowed it to go forward. Virtue must be seen to triumph. In all conscience the Preferred Candidate would have been high in the betting order in any case, and she was of impeccable pedigree, too - Sunday School teacher, lead soprano in the choir, Brown Owl, pillar of the Chapel - the lot. They were to choose her and no other. But when the parade was assembled for inspection, another last-minute entrant appeared who was head and shoulders ahead of the field, so to speak. They flouted their orders and voted unanimously for her.

Then all Hell broke loose, for it seemed that they had unwittingly selected a well known Lady of Ill Fame. They barely escaped from the venue with their lives. Loudly rang out the hwyl in the Chapels next morning. Beelzebub had come amongst them and his name was RAF Valley. They were banished from the polite society of Anglesey - not that there was all that much of that, anyway. Daughters were locked up. Pubs and shops did not to carry their aversion to them to the point of actually refusing their money, but a bar which could be heard loudly discussing the football results, say, suddenly switched in a body to Welsh as we came in. I don't know the Welsh for "doghouse", but whatever it was, they were well and truly in it.

Even a Max Clifford would be hard put to it to improve our image. Some remedial P.R. was badly needed. So matters rested when I arrived on the Squadron in April, 1950. And about this time there happened another unfortunate incident.

A retired senior member of the Works and Bricks team who had maintained the airfield for years in war and peace had died. He had expressed a wish that his ashes be scattered from the air over the airfield which he'd had in his care for so long.

All arrangements were made to do this with due reverence and dignity. The time was chosen, a clergyman of his denomination would attend with the mourners. No aircraft would move (excepting the Harvard which would perform the task), and the Station would maintain silence during the ceremony. The Harvard would overfly at 1,000 ft, the urn-bearer in the back cockpit would uncap and instruct the pilot to yaw hard, while the ashes of the deceased were poured over into the inside of the yaw.

What exactly went wrong, I do not know. There was an unstable north -westerly blowing; it was very turbulent. Perhaps the timing of the "Yaw" was 'out'. Fortunately about half the ashes went over the side, so the watchers below would see a grey-white puff of "smoke" to confirm that the task had been completed. The other half blew back into the Harvard, ending all over the cockpit, its occupant and down the back end. The horrifed crew conferred frantically. Should they confess when they got down ? How could the aircraft be reverently cleaned ? (you can't very well hose him out). Who would tell the mourners ? It didn't bear thinking about.

On the other hand, a cockpit is pretty dusty at the best of times, isn't it ? What had gone down the back end was only grit and powder, it was well spread out, it shouldn't cause any problems if left alone. They resolved to keep their mouths shut, and it was long afterwards before I heard a whisper of what had really happened.

The Harvard continued in service and showed no sign of its grisly secret. By rights, there should be a ghost story coming along soon - the "Tale of the Haunted Harvard" - but apparently the dear departed saw the funny side of things and bore us no ill will. It may be flying yet - Harvards moved from Station to Station a lot, and over the years some of my readers may have flown it, so I shall not give its airframe number.

Some Good News coming next (and not before !) time, so all is not lost - yet !

Goodnight again,


Misfortunes never come singly.

Last edited by Danny42C; 17th Jan 2013 at 19:26. Reason: Spelling Error
Old 17th Jan 2013, 20:26
  #3432 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Wiltshire
Age: 67
Posts: 2,062
Danny : Sky funerals

Great reminiscence Danny, and up to your usual standard. Your recollection of the " ashes drop" brought to mind my time on the Flight line at RAF Lyneham (mid 80's). A very well known and well liked W.O. Had died and asked that his ashes be disbursed from the ramp of an Albert, over a particularly beautiful spot of his choosing. Permission was granted for this and the task flown, complete with Sky Pilot and supporters, all wearing belts and being tethered to the floor.

As the point of release approached, said sky pilot began his ministrations, the para drop sequence lights were used in sequence and the Loadmaster attempted to spread the contents of the urn to the four winds. As any Para will tell you, the turbulence around the rear of Albert is serious stuff, and, whilst most of the contents of the urn escaped to target, a lot remained, coating the inside of the rear of the aircraft.

Funny thing, I did loads of routes in that particular aircraft as a GE and often felt that my old W.O. was there laughing at me. Your last post brought that straight back to mind after many years, Thank you.


Last edited by smujsmith; 17th Jan 2013 at 20:28.
smujsmith is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 03:32
  #3433 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 127
Marvelous thread. First came across it in Cliffnmo days, out of touch for a year or two, then delighted to find it still here with Danny and all the others, but haven't contributed because being a Cold War warrior, Meteor, Canberra, instructing, and various desks, never called upon to do anything dangerous or daring! But now, I feel I have to take issue with Danny in his remarks about the Spit 9(T) two seater, having spent several enjoyable hours driving the beast from the rear seat, with either a camera man, a camera only, or on one occasion a dummy dressed as a B of B pilot, in the front seat. So I know what the two seater was really for once the Irish air force, I think, had finished with them!
I agree with him about the other Marks, though never having flown a Griffon one. My favourite was the Mk2 which was the last I flew when I delivered it from Bovingdon to Coltishall, via Cranwell, for the B ofB Memorial Flight once the B of B filming was over.
Wish I could recall as well as Danny, and I am ten years his junior! Many thanks all, keep going, and sorry for the interruption!
Tim Mills is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 05:24
  #3434 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Two seater Spits.

Tim Mills,

I don't think we're really too far apart on this, Tim. While I readily ackowledge that the 9(T) is very useful for publicity and film purposes, and has given opprtunities to many pilots who could otherwise never have flown in a Spit, it overlooks the basic question.

Is it necessary as a trainer aircraft ? I think not. Any pilot who has gone through basic military flying school should be able to climb in and take it away, as thousands have done before.

Indeed, there was once a popular "thought experiment": If you gave a chap (say) 150 hours in a Tiger Moth, and a month's hard ground school with the Pilot's Notes for a "simple" Spit (Mk. I or II), could he fly it ? I think, very probably, yes (after all, it floats much like a big Tiger on landing).

Come in and interrupt all you like (the water's fine !)

Cheers, Danny.
Old 18th Jan 2013, 08:46
  #3435 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,699
My favourite was the Mk2 which was the last I flew when I delivered it from Bovingdon to Coltishall, via Cranwell, for the B ofB Memorial Flight once the B of B filming was over.
I guess that was the one I saw whilst marching back to the SBL from Whittle Hall one afternoon? It certainly lifted the spirits of sprog Junior Entry Flt Cdts like me and I can still clearly remember the sight! Mixing with the JPs in the circuit, it looked like a pike amongst minnows. Thanks Tim!
BEagle is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 08:55
  #3436 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 87
...but a bar which could be heard loudly discussing the football results, say, suddenly switched in a body to Welsh as we came in.
Many years after this event, I was stationed at a top secret avionics repair establishment situated in the other corner of North Wales. At the weekends, I often used to explore North Wales (including Anglesey) on my motorbike, stopping off for the occasional pint on my journey.

Many's the time when I encountered this same situation upon entering a pub...the minute they clapped eyes on me, the conversation slipped into Welsh. Perhaps they treat all strangers this way...or perhaps they clocked my short haircut and the memory of the beauty competition remained fresh in the collective memory!
PeregrineW is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 09:37
  #3437 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,699
One of the guys on my Gnat course went into a shop in Llangefni or somewhere. The locals immediately switched to Welsh and made some rude comments....

Mistake. Said chum was a fluent Welsh speaker from South Wales, who gave them his robust opinion of ignorant locals who went out of their way to be rude to vistors!

It was quite amusing listening to the locals jabbering away in their local language. Every few moments an English word would be needed for inventions new to them, such as 'fire' or 'wheel'....

Last edited by BEagle; 18th Jan 2013 at 09:51.
BEagle is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 10:00
  #3438 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,390
or perhaps they clocked my short haircut and the memory of the beauty competition remained fresh in the collective memory!
I too remember back then, as a CCF cadet on a "hill walking" course based at Bethesda how the local children could slip effortlessly from speaking Welsh into English and back again. Perhaps it was the infamous Beauty Contest that triggered such intense bilingualism, as a bulwark against more cultural invasions? One has to wonder at the naivety of inviting RAF fighter pilots to perform such a task in the first place. Perhaps it was on the basis of Poachers turned Gamekeepers? We shall never know but it clearly backfired spectacularly.
Like Beagle, my appreciation of Spitfires has always been from afar. In that respect I admire them all, single and dual cockpit, Merlin and Griffon powered, Mk 1's to Mk47's, though perhaps the earlier the Mark the greater the interest. If the Burma dig does offer the opportunity to see and hear more of this iconic machine it would be marvellous. Rather like having fleets of HMS Victory, all in full sail! I take Danny's point re the trainer variant though. It was clearly not needed by the RAF, though how many were lost in training accidents that might have been avoided with a spot of dual I do not know. Perhaps that is what the Irish had in mind for the far more limited numbers that they were dealing in. At any rate, as Tim reminds us, that variant has paid off handsomely in filming and even plying for hire to those willing to pay for the "Spitfire experience"

Last edited by Chugalug2; 18th Jan 2013 at 10:04.
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 11:39
  #3439 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 79
Posts: 555
Tiger to Spitfire? Well, maybe not.

Danny, I think I can answer your proposed conversion from Tiger Moth to Spitfire. My favourite instructor was Sqn Ldr Desmond Mock, who trained in Canada, flew Catalinas on Atlantic patrols from Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, left the RAF for a while and rejoined to end up as a CFS instructor on Vampires and JPs. Maybe some venerable airframe driver will remember him?

I had about 200 Tiger hours and could manage it fairly well -- slow roll down the runway at 1000ft into stall turn, recovering speed by diving to 200ft and landing off the ensuing loop, very silly I know but I had even less sense then -- when I asked him that very question. He replied that I might manage the Spitfire but it would be safer after a few hours in a Harvard.

Unlike today's trainers the Tiger Moth requires use of rudder against torque, but its gentle stall/spin was little preparation for the vicious low-speed flick of the Harvard. Trying to cope with higher approach speeds, retractable undercarriage, engine management, VP prop and radio had often proved a fatal combination. He said the Spitfire was more forgiving than the Harvard, though apparently the Mustang could also bite the unwary.

I never did try a Harvard, but I remembered Desmond's kindly words when I eventually encountered wheels, VP prop and full panel in the viceless Piper Arrow. I eventually got all these sorted, and I'm still just about serviceable, so if anyone has a Spitfire handy ...
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2013, 19:01
  #3440 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
BEagle and PeregrineW,

The Welsh language "snub" seems to have been more extensive than I thought. Perhaps it wasn't just us.

In India, the IAF officers used Hindi or Urdu among themseves in the same way as the Welsh, although they were all fluent English speakers. Again it was odd to hear "Formation" (say) interjected into a flow of Urdu. There was a wonderful example of this used with effect in the much loved "It aint' half hot Mum" TV comedy series many years ago.

The punkah-wallah, in reply to a question regarding the Colonel's activities while on recent leave, lets loose a stream of Hindi which ends in "having it off" !........D.


To the best of my (limited) knowledge, training accidents in Spitfires were rare (none in my three months at 57 OTU), at least compared with the postwar carnage with the T7. IMHO, I don't think a dual Spit would have made much difference. Now the Harvard could be a little devil - I reckon it more of a handful than any Spit !

Seems the buried Spitfire saga has ended. Pity - we all enjoy a good fairy tale........D


Tiger to Spit in one bound ? The jury must now be out forever on this one (as in so many of the wartime mysteries). I must of course defer to your QFI (S/Ldr Mock). My case would have been that, with 150 (or even more) hours on the Tiger, the lad would have complete instinctive control of an aircraft, and could concentrate purely on the added mechanical problems he now had and in which he had been thoroughly instructed.

It is curious that it was never tried out in the war (when Prunes were in seemingly inexhaustable supply and anything went). I heard tales of people being taught ab initio to fly (under the hood) from after take-off to long finals. Others did the first 40-50 hours all by night, before they were allowed to see the light of day (when, so the legend went, they were horrified). 150 (or 200) on a TM would save a lot of money.

The test was: try it, it might work. In this vein was the four-engined primary trainer (4 x Pobjoys). I've seen a Recognition silhouette of this, so it must have flown. All these tales reached me out in India, thousands of miles from the action. But somebody must still remember !.........D.

Keep it coming, chaps,


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

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