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

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

Old 8th Mar 2013, 18:03
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F/Lt Rodney C. Topley, 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron

Hello,

RE: ICARE's post as follows:

"I came across this just a few moments ago

Quote:
My late father Flight Lieutenant Rodney C. Topley served 3 years in Burma as a pilot and ' A Flight' commander from 1941-4 , flying Vultee Vengeances-A31"s against the Japanese. In 1944-45 he was switched to Typhoon Tempests in Europe which he eventully crashed on takeoff one day. by the way , the 110 's motto is "nec timeo nec sperno" Best regards, and keep up the good work, John D. Topley

about one quarter the way down on the Guest book 2001-2002.htm site. There is an email address for John Topley but it's 10 years old, but might still get him if you wanted."


Rodney Topley died in 1978 and his son John Topley died a year ago. The site you reference is how I found John some years ago, with serendipity because that email address was no longer used by John but somehow my second email to him got through. John provided me with great information on his Dad and 110(H) Squadron and also became a great friend. I miss him.

Sara V. Mosher
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Old 8th Mar 2013, 18:19
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No. 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron

Hello Danny,

Just to divert back to your service with 110(H) – as you mentioned, I had told you that Reg Duncan actually survived the war (died March 2010). You posted that Reg was your mentor. Did you also know his Wop/Air gunner, Bob Harvey?

I can't locate some of my posts about 110(H), only your replies to them. I've been "away", publishing a book on No. 65 (East India) Squadron RAF ops during the summer of 1944. I'm caught up now as I've just finished reading all your detailed posts. A lot of very interesting information, especially as my father was there — posted to 110 a month before you were transferred to No. 8 IAF. Thank you for sharing your experiences with such gusto!

Sara
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Old 8th Mar 2013, 18:40
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Also Danny, in response to your post #2607, page 131

QUOTE
I arrived back In the last week in April, and Stew and I flew a few more training exercises. In May, he vanishes. Where ? Could he have got malaria ? Quite possibly. I should remember, but I don't. From the 8th, my regular crewman was a P/O Robertson (nav), and it was with him that I went to war on the 12th. Stew does not appear again until 5th July, when we'd pulled back to Bengal from the Arakan for the Monsoon, and after that "we were not divided".

While I'd been away, 110 (maybe just one flight) went on a week's detachment to Dohazari - in Arakan a bit south of Chittagong - and flown one or two sorties (I only found this out from Wiki - I don't remember anyone telling me about it at the time - Odd ?) And again, what was the point of sending them across there just for a week ? (it might have enabled them to say that 110 was the first VV Squadron to go into action - which it was - but little else).
END QUOTE

From my book "Remember Me: No. 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron"
Sources: Reg Duncan, Elwyn D. Bell and author Peter C. Smith:

In March the Squadron is ordered into action on the Arakan front. On the afternoon of the 17th, six aircraft lift off from Madhaiganj for the trip to the advanced landing ground at Dohazari. Pilots on this detachment, codenamed Dog Group, are Flight Lieutenant Ritchie, Pilot Officer Rule, Flying Officer Topley, Flying Officer Brooks, Flight Sergeant Davies and Flight Sergeant Duncan. “The Army sent a detachment of six of us down to the front,” explains Reg. “I was on the first mission and we hit her pretty good. We did five missions to see how they worked out.” Their attack on March 19, 1943 escorted by six Mohawks of No. 5 Squadron, against a Japanese Headquarters in the village of Htizwe, Burma, launched from the traditional dive out of the sun, comes as a complete surprise.

This is the first time that Vengeances have been used in operations on this front and each of the five missions is a total success with 100% hits nearly every time. Messages of congratulations begin to stream in. From Command Headquarters comes the message, “Very glad indeed to see that Vengeances of 110 Squadron have joined in offensive against enemy on this front. Congratulations on highly successful bombing during first attack.” Group Headquarters signals, “Congratulations to all ranks of detachment on grand work carried out. Aircrew put up splendid show and high serviceability reflected great credit on maintenance personnel.” (36) The Army has been shown the true grit and accuracy they can expect from Vengeance crews.


(36) Bell, Flight Lieutenant Elwyn D. The Story of No 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron Royal Air Force. Stone Cottage, Great Sampford, Saffron Walden, Essex, Air-Britain, 1971.


Sara V. Mosher
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Old 10th Mar 2013, 00:37
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Danny42C
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110 (Hyderabad) Sqdn in India and Burma.

Savimosh01

Thanks for the information concerning the "missing month" in my memoirs from March '43. Yes, Bob Harvey rings a bell, but I cannot connect it to a face. It would seem that the short detachment to Dohazari was primarily for publicity purposes (at a time when the VV squadrons were badly in need of it).

All the people named are well remembered by me. F/Sgt George Davies was the chap who had to bale out with his crewman from a one-legged Vengeance (come to think of it, I cannot think of another bale-out on 110 from a VV).

Danny42C
 
Old 10th Mar 2013, 01:01
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Danny is in sight of the end at Valley

Perhaps two-thirds of "A" Flight's flying was on the Spitfires. the rest being on the Vampires which were used for high-level Calibration runs for the Ty Croes experimental gun-laying radar unit. As with all calibration flying trips, there was normally nothing memorable about them, but I particularly remember one such run from East to West across Anglesey.

It was late on a spring afternoon, for once there was little cloud, and from 35,000 ft I could see clear across to the Wicklow mountains on the Dublin side. But in between, the low sun reflected in the Irish sea, turning it into a wide, blazing lake of pure molten gold spread out before me. It was one of those sights that stays with you for a long time.

The spring had come, and I had two questions to settle before the end came in September. The Boss had now had me on the Squadron for eighteen months. He would know me now as well as he ever would. I put in a formal request for consideration for a Permanent Commission. He said that he would put it forward with his support.

And what was in store for me by way of my next Posting ? Obviously Ground Duties - I could not expect two consecutive flying posts. An interesting possibility appeared in an AMO. It appeared that all the Services were in need of Russian speakers - or at least translators. The London School of Oriental (or Slavonic ?) Languages would run a basic three months Course there, starting in October.

The RAF would put you up in London with a Russian-speaking household during this time. If you successfully completed the first part of the Course, you would be shipped out to Paris (presumably under the command of the air attaché in the Embassy) and again boarded out with a (White) Russian family for a further three months. The thinking was that, by this point, the basic Russian you'd just learned would be better than any French you'd managed to remember from your schooldays. As your Parisian hosts had been screened to exclude any English speakers, you'd have to speak Russian 24/7, with the result that you should become moderately fluent by the end of the three months. Then there would be an examination conducted by some sort of International Institute of Interpreters.

The A* people might get a job as some General's interpreter in Berlin. The less gifted Bs and Cs would be put on radio monitoring. The Ds would be sat down with a whole pile of old technical Russian magazines and told to look for anything which might be interesting. Whichever, you were attached to the Intelligence Branch for the rest of your tour.

This sounded to be a rather attractive option; both Niel (sic) Ker and I applied. I simply cannot remember if we had to go to London for interview (does "Bedford Square" mean anything ?), or whether it was all on paper. Whichever it was, the outcome was the same. Niel, with the fluent Urdu/Hindi that any Indian Army officer had to have to get past 2nd Lieut., was a shoo-in.

I humbly proffered my HSCs in French and Latin. "Go away", they said, "Learn some Russian and come again next year". (I believe many ex-Grammar School NS airmen were selected for this Course, which was probably a good idea, as their brains would be at their most receptive). Niel got through in the middle tranche and ended up radio monitoring in Habbaniya. (I visited him in London and Paris during his Course, but those are stories for another day)

But I was now left at the mercy of whatever would come out of the P2 bran tub. It seemed that I was to be the next Adjutant of No. 3608 (Fighter Control) Unit of the R.Aux.A.F. in a place called Thornaby. Where was Thornaby ?

But a good deal of water had to flow under the Menai bridges before I had to worry about that.

Goodnight chaps,

Danny42C


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Old 11th Mar 2013, 19:17
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Principles of Flight Exam

I know this thread has moved on from the war era but I found an Initial Training Wing exam paper today from circa 1942 on the Principles of Flight and I thought I would offer you the opportunity to debate and provide me with the answers (as I don't have the answer sheet to go with it!).

As they were ITW related I guess they are fairly basic but here is a taster:

"Name three kinds of Wing Drag and state briefly how each might be reduced".

(PS. Let me know if you would like me to post further questions on a periodic basis [just for fun really])

Regards

Pete

Last edited by Petet; 11th Mar 2013 at 20:38.
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Old 11th Mar 2013, 20:18
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Drag artist

Hiya Petet,

From my time as a Craft Apprentice at Halton I recall the following types of drag:

1. Induced Drag.
2. Skin Friction Drag.
3. Profile Drag.

Dealing with aforesaid:

1. A winglet or similar feature will help deal with this "pesky" blighter !
Its a drag force that occurs whenever a moving object redirects the airflow coming at it. This drag force occurs in aircraft due to an aileron, elevator or flap redirecting air to cause lift. With other parameters remaining the same, induced drag increases as the angle of attack increases.

2. Skin friction drag has everything to do with the roughness of the aircraft wing surface and is largely determined by the total area of the aircraft which is exposed to the air flowing past it. Since these surfaces are exposed to high speed airflow it is necessary to keep these surfaces clean and smooth. What happens is that a small layer of air may cling to these rough surfaces and create small eddies which contribute to drag. The only way to reduce skin friction drag is by controlling the boundary layer. To keep friction drag to the minimum, the transition from laminar to turbulent airflow has to be delayed for as long as practicable. Buccaneer blown flaps a nice example I think !

3. Profile drag is basically, and I mean basically down to the frontal area of the wing creating resistance to the airflow. All wing attachments and fittings can contribute to this factor including external weapons stores, pods and the like of instrument probes. Bomb bays, etc remove such objects from the airflow and reduce such drag.

My best guess since leaving Halton in 1971. I had a great instructor in Airframe Science, Sqn Ldr John Potter, bit of a lad if I might be so bold. Anyway, hope,I'm nearly there for a non driver airframe. ( unless you count the 500 hours solo gliding )!
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Old 11th Mar 2013, 21:00
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Principles of Flight Exam

WOW ... that looks good to me .... but then I know nothing about this subject .... "I learn it from a booook".

The ITW Lecture Notes (in which I found the exam paper) call it "Form" drag rather than Profile drag ... but I won't dock you any marks for that ... unless others feel I should.

There is a second part to the question which is:

"Give reasonable values for:
(a) The Lift / Drag ratio of a wing
(b) The Lift / Drag ratio of a complete aircraft"

..... so over to you

Regards

Pete
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Old 11th Mar 2013, 21:03
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Peter,

I'm thinking part two of the question would be better answered by proper aviators, and not the pond life. I bet, even now, Danny can offer some figures that would help you out ?

Smudge

Seems a wierd question as both answers must depend on several variables, speed, aerosol section, overall drag at speed etc etc.! I suspect one of those 1/2 rho V2 S Cd type equations might have the answers.

Last edited by smujsmith; 11th Mar 2013 at 21:13.
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Old 11th Mar 2013, 22:02
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Drag - line.

Smujsmith,

I bet Danny can't ! To the best of my recollection, all they told me was that there are two kinds of drag:

Induced drag (incurred in the process of creating lift).

Parasite drag (all the rest).

That's all, folks.

From your Post "Drag Artist" (1918 today), Smuj, it looks as if Halton knew a lot more than my ITW in Newquay ! (which doesn't surprise me).

Danny.
 
Old 11th Mar 2013, 22:10
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Thumbs up Danny and Drag !

Danny, thanks for your response, I suspect that a lot of the stuff they gave us at Halton was superfluous to requirements. A pilot once stopped me halfway through expounding the lift equation etc etc and said this - I want an engine that makes it go faster, the faster it goes the more Bernoulis I get under the wings. More Bernoulis I go up, less Bernoulis I go down. Lecture end of. Generally speaking I like the Bernoulis theory (sorry for the spelling).

Smudge

PS, he was a Lightning pilot.
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Old 11th Mar 2013, 22:27
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Drag - oons.

Smuj,

If he was a Lightning driver, he wouldn't have to worry about lift anyway. Surely the thing was a rocket, and the wings were put on just to make it look like an aeroplane ?

PAX to all Lighning Top Guns (and you wouldn't hit an old man, now would you ?)

Danny.
 
Old 11th Mar 2013, 22:34
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I promise you Danny, the wings did have a function on the beast, if not for directional control in the vertical then at least you had somewhere to stow the undercarriage away, good look with the Fighter Jocks, I'm sure they can take it as well as give it.

Smudge

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Old 12th Mar 2013, 13:17
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THE BITER BITTEN: or the crab who caught the cat

Tiddles the tomcat is half a stone of pure evil. Sgt. and Mrs. Wilson belong to him, he allows them to share his house along the Patch two rows away from ours. Tiddles spends his time sunning himself on the front step, waiting for unwary passersby to stroke him, so he can sink his teeth into their wrist while raking four tears down their forearm.

In between he strolls through his neighbours’ gardens leaving generous presents thinly covered with sand. He likes killing land crabs and has eaten Sayed, Robert’s pet. However, we Khormaksar Kids tolerate Tiddles because he is even more unpopular than we are.

We’re operating our Dinky lorry fleet at Graham’s back door and, concentrating on our driving, don’t notice Tiddles until he races up and pounces upon Abdul who is quietly watching from the sidelines. Graham cries out in alarm, for he’s very fond of his pet, now invisible beneath the huge tomcat. But a year of juicy cockroaches and locusts has built Abdul twice normal size, and his new shell has hardened into armour plate.

Suddenly Tiddles leaps vertically upwards, a snarling, hissing, spitting ball of fury. He spins around and streaks homeward, leaving a trail of dust and orange fur. Graham, now crying, dashes to Abdul who extends his legs, raises his twin periscopes and lifts his pincers in the air like Joe Louis winning his big fight. His fighting pincer contains a tuft of fur and something that looks like a scrap of meat, which he devours with relish.

Tiddles never returns to Graham’s house and everyone except the Wilsons seems quite pleased at what happened. Dad tells Mum that he doesn’t know what Tug Wilson is moaning about, the vet would have charged him a couple of quid. “A couple of quid for what, Dad?” But he won’t tell me.
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Old 12th Mar 2013, 17:27
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For those sitting Petet's wonderful exam paper find, the answers and much more are to be found in the superb AP129: Pilots' Flying Manual. I have both 1951 and 1955 editions, the most concise, clear and enjoyable textbooks I've ever encountered. I have even used some of the signals in our Tiger Moth trio formation.

These days, I find Fig. 16 "Opening Throttle" works well when alongside a boy racer at traffic lights, though I'm getting a bit old for this as well.
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Old 12th Mar 2013, 18:41
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Principles of Flight Exam

Geriaviator

I will need to check with the Central Examination Board, Royal Air Force, to ensure that books published after the exam date can be utilised "for the purposes of cheating".

Would anyone like another question?

Regards

Pete

Last edited by Petet; 12th Mar 2013 at 18:43.
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 15:14
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KHORMAKSAR KIDS GIVE CAMEL THE HUMP



Camel cart passing along The Crescent, Steamer Point, in 1951.

ABDULLAH the chowkidar guards the families’ gate from his little sentry box, leaving one section open for pedestrians and opening the other only for the gharri. Everyone likes Abdullah, who spent many years in India so we converse in a mixture of Arabic, Hindi and English. Dave and I greet him as we leave his gate onto the Sheikothman Road on our way to the pool, with Graham and Robert a short distance behind.

Along comes a camel cart, its driver asleep on top of his load. Dad says the Arabs have a special chewing gum called qat that makes them sleepy so the carters pull their dishdash over their heads and leave the camel to plod the 18 miles from Crater to Sheikothman or vice versa. It has been known for carts to be set onto reciprocal heading, so the driver awakes at his starting point. We choose the variation known as camel cart tennis, in which the cart is sent to and fro between the participants.

Dodgy things, camels, they will bite, kick or spit from both ends, so we’re careful as we walk alongside, bid it salaam, and gently pull on the rein. This one is quite amenable and is soon padding back towards Crater, and when it reaches Graham he turns it around again. Unfortunately this beast has a defective autopilot, and as we wait to turn it back it swings to the left, then right, then hard left. We watch in horror as the camel plods wearily through the pedestrian gate.

One wheel of the cart brings down the closed section of gate, the other topples Abdullah’s box which acts as a chock and brings it to a halt. A furious driver slides down from its side and begins to shout in Arabic, an equally angry Abdullah emerges from his wrecked box. We flee to the swimming pool and forget all about it.

On our return the good fairy had repaired both gate and sentry box, or so we thought. The angry shouting had awakened half the Patch, including our parents, who had to leave their afternoon naps and carry tools and timber half a mile from the hangars to repair the damage during the hottest part of the day. This is explained to us in a brief but very painful interview.

FORTHCOMING ATTRACTION: Dismay as VD, the deadly Cold War plague released by the Russians, strikes another victim.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 2nd May 2018 at 11:03. Reason: Replacing picture from photobucket
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Old 13th Mar 2013, 21:10
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Cats and Camels.

Geriaviator,

So Tiddles is a sadder, a wiser - and (hopefully) a more placid cat - it will be a long time before he ventures within claw range of another land crab !

The hand signal pictures I have never seen before. We didn't do any formation at Primary in the States, so they weren't necessary in our Stearman trainers. I am rather surprised that aircraft equipped with retracting undercarriages, flaps and dive brakes would not also have radio, but there you go. My contempories may recall the Highway Code of long ago, and the circling whip signal to indicate a turn by the driver of a Horse-Drawn Vehicle!

The 180° turn camel trick had its counterpart in India. A bullock-cart (1mph) could be gently turned round without waking the sleeping driver, and set off back home (a rather cruel practical joke IMHO).

Cheers, Danny.

EDIT : The car in front is a Jowett Javelin. What is the second ?.....D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 13th Mar 2013 at 21:15. Reason: Add Text.
 
Old 13th Mar 2013, 22:13
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Looks to me like a Nash cabriolet, (drophead, convertable).

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Old 13th Mar 2013, 23:51
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... and there's me thinking one is a Standard something and the other a Morry Minor ... what do I know?
The Jowett Javelin had such beautiful lines, until I saw the Citroen DS it was my idea of what a car should look like. No idea what it was like to drive but that fast back shape was delightful. The motoring equivalent of "If it looks good..."
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