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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 14th Mar 2013, 02:34
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Danny42C
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The Citroen was very popular in RAF Germany in '60-'62, but most people could only afford the cheaper ID. Cost about 620, at a guess. But it looked good !

D.
 
Old 14th Mar 2013, 10:23
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I think the car in front is an Austin A 30. Pass on the one behind

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Old 14th Mar 2013, 10:35
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But some Citroen's rusted badly - remember my flight commander at Watton (360) jacking his Citroen on the drive and it collapsed either side of the jack. ....the late Eric D.... who figures in the Nuclear Test Veterans' claim saga. RIP
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 10:56
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I learnt to drive on a Jowett Javelin, and I don't think that's one. But I'm quite prepared to be told I'm talking rubbish and to get back in my box...
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 11:45
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I think the one in front is an Austin A40 Dorset, and the one behind is a Minor convertible. I've just discovered that the headlights on export Minors were raised from either side of the rad grille as per home production, and Minors were big in Aden. I can still see Miss Buckle arriving from her home in Steamer Point. Service personnel could buy cars tax-free and take them home. I remember Tubby Trinnick bought a Ford Prefect and was the talk of Croft concentrationxxxx transit camp when it appeared with its ADN registration.

By the way, in the background is the Cowasjee Dinshaw department store. He was a far-sighted Parsee from Bombay who foresaw the importance of Aden after the Suez Canal opened in 1869, and did much to develop the port and help its people. He became known as Aden-wallah and troopship tenders came and went via the Dinshaw Pontoon as there were no deep-water quays.

Errrr ... I started this, but how much farther off-thread can we go?

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Old 14th Mar 2013, 12:05
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The headlights on Minors were raised to meet American legislation in the same way as the Jaguar E Type and the Rover SDI had to have their headlights vertical.

A problem in Aden in later years with cars that had chrome strips along the bodywork was the clip points rusting. When the cars were made the strips were thumped on and the metal clips would cut through the paint on the inside on the holes. To overcome the effect of this those that bought a car in Aden would have all the strips removed, damage repaired and then they would drive it around without any strips on, just holes. Just before it was indulged back to the UK on a carrier the strips would be replaced.





Then the carrier would be dispached to some emergency in the Far East and all the cars would be dumped overboard. It happened once.
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 13:33
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Geriaviator:-
Errrr ... I started this, but how much farther off-thread can we go?
This thread is very much like the camel cart of which you tell us, Gerry. It can be turned, then turned again, or allowed to wander where it may. Provided it does not cause mayhem by colliding with whatever might be the PPRuNe equivalent of Abdullah's gate or his box, then I'm sure all will be well. Not that I am suggesting that the Mods are under the effect of qat or indeed of any other hallucinatory substance. I wish to make that very clear!
Thanks for the pic. I will leave others better informed than I to comment on the motorised content, but the whole splendidly encapsulates both time and place.

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Old 14th Mar 2013, 15:02
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Gerivator,
I like think that the late Cliffnemo who started this wonderful thread is looking down on us and enjoying the many twists and turns it has taken. Thanks to all who have contributed since it's inception it is by far and away the best on PPRuNe. Long may the track drift continue.
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 17:50
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I still think it is a Nash There was a large industry in Port Eizabeth assembling Canadian versions of Detroit iron. I used to drive them up as part of a convoy to Bulawayo.
This is a Nash;

The one behind it is a 50/51 Chevrolet.
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 18:32
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What is it ?

Schiller,

I defer to your superior knowledge ! (anyone who has learned to drive in a car knows that car !) - I have fond memories of the '37 - '38 Austin Seven "Ruby" Saloon the last (and best) of the Sevens - and could describe it exactly today).

The Javelin (and the Jupiter ? sports car) were unattainable objects of desire to us in the '50s. It was a 80 mph car in an age when 80 mph was a wonderful thing (even if the crankshafts were machined out of hard cheese, as the car's detractors maintained).

D.

EDIT: On examining a specimen for sale on Internet (7000 !), I can now see that you're right. Proportions of windscreen are quite different.......D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 14th Mar 2013 at 20:08. Reason: Add Text.
 
Old 14th Mar 2013, 18:46
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Well, as everyone seems to be enjoying this afternoon's chat, here's another picture to ponder. From AP129 1951 edition, and with apologies to our revered and much loved Officer Commanding:


From one who was told he was a cheeky brat and would forever be a cheeky brat. I'm off for a glass of wine and my dinner before the OC puts me on a well deserved 252.
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 23:24
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Bit of an Overshoot, what ?

Geriaviator,

Re:
Form 765C

Not my fault, Guv ! It was this Gremin (Gremlinus Prangiferous) - you know, the one that shifts the runway sideways just when you're nicely lined up - wot did it.

Let all the compressed air out of the tank it did ! - just on touchdown ! - No brakes ! - Honest ! - Saw the little blighter running away !

Danny.
 
Old 15th Mar 2013, 18:22
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Danny has his Air Gunnery skills sharpened up.

In March '51 there had been a strange little interlude. Niel and I were selected to go on an Air Gunnery Course at 226 OCU (Stradishall). It would be a really intensive Course (dates 21 - 31 March, and there was no flying 22 - 27th - weather ?) I flew three exercises on the 21st, and eleven in the four days 28th - 31st (including four on the 28th). As I recall, about half of this was on range and tracking practice with the GGS, and the rest air firing on a flag target towed by a Meteor. (I don't think we put many holes in it - the flag, that is).

The novelty for me was that this was all flown on Griffon Spits (Mks XIV and XXII indiscriminately) which I had never flown before, and with which I was now not at all impressed. They looked like all other Spitfires (indeed I thought they looked even better, the longer nose making them more elegant), but they didn't fly alike. It was the same as the A31/A35 Vultee Vengeance story, where two types which looked identical behaved differently and should have had different names.

(All what follows is IMHO, of course, and with only 12 hrs on Griffons, I stand to be shot down at once by any true Spitfire aficionado).

They had Coffman starters, which frightened the life out of me. Then the prop went round the wrong way (widdershins ?) so that the brute swung right on take off if you let it. And even if you kept it pointing straight, it had the disconcerting habit of hopping sideways across the runway ( a sort of "right close march" movement) if you fed in power too fast. In the air, if you gave the throttle a bit of a poke, it would jump fifty feet up and the same to the side - rather like the Knight's move in chess.

I was glad I did not have to fly formation in the thing. My opinion was that the engine went where it liked: the rest had to follow on behind like Mary's little lamb. The effect was that of taking a big, powerul, playful dog for "walkies". However neither of us bent anything, so all was well. (Niel had the advantage over me, he had flown the XIV on 8 Sqdn IAF (my old Sqdn) in the later stages of the Burma war).

The really mysterious thing was: what was this all about ? (Ironically, it was the only real bit of live firing I'd ever done in my supposedly "fighter pilot" career). The Korean War was in full swing at the time, but only a madman would introduce a Spitfire into the mix out there. I believe the RAAF tried some of their Meteors, but they were so outclassed that they were relegated to ground-attack duties.

The air war was fought out between the USAF F-86 Sabre and the Mig-15, (powered by copies of the Rolls-Royce "Nene" engine which the Attlee government had helpfully supplied to Russia. Also, our designers had been too slow (or too stupid) to take advantage of captured German research into the advantages of the swept wing).

But there was another low-key war going on at the same time. The French were having no end of trouble (with the Viet Minh) in hanging on to their colony in French Indo-China. Might someone have had a brainstorm, and decided that we should give them a hand ? (stranger things have happened). If that were the case, thank Heavens nothing came of it ! As we know, the Americans took over that war in 1959 and were to come spectacularly unstuck. (We never heard any more about it).

Getting to and from this Course was an adventure in itself, for I got permission to make it a duty journey by road. I think I got the car allowance for this which, IIRC, was 4 d per mile then (and I think I got another d for Niel as passenger). As it was 300 miles or so each way, I would pick up the best part of 12 (less about 10/- for petrol), which was not to be sneezed at, and it would be cheaper for the RAF than the two rail warrants.

We piled ourselves and our kit into my Bond and set off at dawn on a Sunday, sharing the driving and averaging about 30 mph. This may sound dreadfully boring now, but we were so close to the ground that it seemed quite a respectable speed. And there was a lot of slow-moving traffic on the roads in those days (I think trucks - "lorries" we called them - over 3 tons were restricted to 20 mph, and carried a plate to that effect. There would be steam "lorries" still, and these travelled very slowly indeed). 40 - 45 mph was quite a normal cruising speed for a car.

My interest was to see how the Bond coped with its first long haul, and we were both very impressed. The little (122 cc) Villiers engine did not miss a beat and buzzed along happily for the ten-hour journey (navigation courtesy of AA Route Maps - remember them ?). The weather was pretty good, so it was really an almost enjoyable trip across England to Stradishall (Cambridgeshire) and back.

Next time Danny will do some Heavy Lifting (in two exciting Parts !)

Cheerio to all our readers,

Danny42C


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Old 15th Mar 2013, 21:45
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300 miles in a Bond Minicar Type A???

Danny, I am amazed that anyone could face a 300 mile journey, 2 up, in a Bond Minicar. I once bet a friend of mine, who only had a motorcycle licence, a half pint of cider if he would buy one of these machines. This was on the mid 50's so, even if it was a Type B with the bigger engine, it was quite old. He actually bought it and we had great fun driving it around the local countryside. We once tried to ford a stream by rushing it. We got halfway and it sunk in about a foot of water. We simply dragged it out, stripped and dried out the magneto, and off we went. If you took your foot of the accelerator for two long the engine would stop so braking had to be done in a series of quick prods.

Strangely, my friends name was also Danny!
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Old 15th Mar 2013, 23:50
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Small is Beautiful.

Pulse1,

Yes, it was an "A", bought May '50 for the magnificent sum of 199. They wanted another 25 for the "de luxe" job, for that you got the 197 cc Villiers and a proper glass screen with surround. I just had perspex with no top rail, so of course it got bust.

Luckily Perspex was not in short supply in the RAF, we cut a piece to size and moulded it to the curve, softening it in the Mess kitchen boilers. A serious snag was the steering system: thin steel cable with a couple of twists round a bobbin on the end of the steering shaft.

As it was open to all the water, salt and grit thrown up by the wheel, the cable soon rusted and snapped. It happened to me twice: on the first occasion I was pushing it, on the second I was moving at only walking pace.
But I heard of a young RAF M.O., who lost steering this way at full chat; he was badly injured, for it was one big crumple zone.

Again, there was plenty of control cable in Stores, and airmen skilled in silver-soldering (for a consideration) the end fittings. Soon a DIY retrofit rack and pinion kit replaced the cable - you probably had that (or you were living on borrowed time !)

Your little Amal carb needed some TLC, I think. Shouldn't have kept stopping like that. I could write a book about the Bond !

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 16th Mar 2013, 10:32
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So this was later improved version? Interesting that (according to Wikki) they were made of aluminium, as were so many of those early postwar cars. I recall the A40 Sports and the Triumph Roadster were too, amongst many others. Hardly surprising with so many surplus aircraft to recycle, not least by Sir Freddy Laker's Southend smelter, as previously mentioned. At least you didn't have to climb into the engine compartment to kick-start the engine...or did you?
Your comments on the Griffon powered Spit are interesting Danny. Why would they have a prop rotating in the opposite direction to all previous Spitfires? Seems to be a recipe for disaster, even before you start to cope with the much higher power output. Was there a standard direction of Rotation for British propeller aircraft? Indeed was there such a standard for US aircraft? If so did they accord with each other? Did you Vengeance turn and burn the same as the Merlin Spits?
I recall that the effect of antisymmetric propeller thrust on the Hastings meant you had to correct a tendency to swing to the right (like the Griffon Spit) by feeding the throttles in with No. 1 leading, with 2, 3, and 4 lagging in turn. Perhaps the Griffon Spit was an early casualty of the NATO Stanag system that later targeted the Hastings. Overnight all our boost gauges calibrated in lbs were swapped for "Hg ones instead. "So what?", you might ask, the same power was still achieved at the same pointer position. True enough, but pilots did not operate the engines for Take-off, Approach and Landing. That was done by the Flight Engineer, as both hands we needed to fly it. The familiar calls on the approach of "-2, -4, -6' -4" etc were suddenly replaced by "28, 24, 20, 24" etc. The conversion required you to double the normal number you would have previously call for, subtract that from 32, and then call for the result. Of course, unless you were a budding Carol Vordeman, by the time you had completed this mental arithmetic you now needed a far greater alteration, and steady 3 degree glide slopes became alarming divergent excursions. I'm sure though that it all made sense in some staffed paper!

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Old 16th Mar 2013, 14:16
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The Merlin tuned anti clockwise from the front because it was designed during the years of hand swinging or the Hucks Starter. After that British engines went he same way as automobile engines.
The Americans always had done but they attached the propellor to where the clutch would have been so the engine was turned around. In British engines the cylinders are numbered from front to rear, Americans from rear to front.

I remembered it as 'British push the clutch' 'American push the accelerator' because they didn't have a clutch.

Overnight all our boost gauges calibrated in "Hg were swapped for lbs ones instead
I think there is a typo there. In my experience it was the other way round.
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Old 16th Mar 2013, 14:46
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FED:-
I think there is a typo there. In my experience it was the other way round.
Ah, glad you spotted that one, yes quite right! So edited. I am obliged to you, Sir.

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Old 16th Mar 2013, 21:45
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Chugalug,

I think FED has the answer (as the Hucks starter was a bit before even my time, it hadn't occurred to me). All the props I ever flew behind, British or American, - rotated clockwise as seen from the cockpit - except the Griffon. Why ? Don't know.

Thanks for the lovely pic ! How many times have I banged my head on that lid when pulling the plug out (when a 2-stroke won't start, it's always the plug). We did our courting in one like that, but my wife says ours was much nicer !

Re: lbs/sq.in. (+/-) versus in/Hg (absolute), our poor instructors at Advanced School in the US had to cope with cm/Hg (absolute), to add to their other woes, in the diabolical AT-12.

Kick start ? No way ! If ever more vigorous pulls on the in-cockpit handle didn't do the job, a push-start was a piece of cake, as it was so light.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 19th Mar 2013, 18:23
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Danny gets more than he bargained for (Part I).

I was at a loose end in the crewroom one afternoon. The Army had called off my trip (gun u/s ? - no ammo ? - no idea), and I had settled down contentedly with a pile of old newspapers. I am indebted to the D.T. for the interesting information that there is a Taoist concept of "wu wei", which seemingly translates into "masterly inactivity" or "knowing when not to act". As a past master in this art , I relaxed in the best armchair for a nice quiet time, and a chat with casual passers-by (fat chance !).

The Boss poked his head round the door: "Make yourself useful !" - "Go down to St. Athan and pick up some MT spares they've got for us" - "Right, Boss !" There isn't much room in a Spitfire. Something small, I thought - a pack of gaskets or a box of bearing shells, something like that - but didn't ask. The Authorisation Book was no help: "St. Athan and Ret. - P/U Spares" (so Willie had no idea, either). I drew a line on my map, put a protractor on it, took a Spitfire and got airborne.

It was a lovely day. Apart from our little NW corner, Wales was terra incognita to me. I cruised down the middle of the country, past the Breckon Beacons and the Black Mountains, aiming to hit the Bristol Channel a bit east of the Rhondda. I'd read so much about the Valleys ("How Green was My Valley" etc), where the boyos all sang soulfully in the Male Voice Choirs, (when not playing rugger with lumps of coal), to miss the chance to take a look from the air.

In all mapreading, you must read from the ground to the map (and never vice versa). But any aviator will agree with me that, on rare occasions, there are times when the picture on the ground positively jumps into the cockpit and onto your map, shouting:- "Look - here I am, here, here !"

This was one of those days. Each of the Valleys, with its road, rail line and ribbon of miner's cottages running from the bottom up to the mine and its slag heaps at the vale head, exactly matched the black lines on my map like the teeth of a rake. The green hills, as I recall, were in varying shades of violet on the map.

Heading West, I followed the coast past Cardiff and Tiger Bay. Next stop Barry. Given the topography of the south Wales coast, any cub scout worthy of the name would be chucked out of the pack if he couldn't find Barry. Tucked behind it was RAF St. Athan. QSY to good old 117.9, ask for landing instructions.

St. Athan was the biggest RAF station I'd ever seen. It seemed to stretch over most of Glamorgan. I landed and taxied over to what looked quite a busy Duty Flight ( I think they had three or four visitors on the line already). A Flt. Sgt. was in charge, I stumped into his office. Sad eyes rose to meet me; here was a chap with all the woes of the world on his shoulders (he was actually doing his Pools Coupon). His initial irritation at being disturbed softened when we "clocked" the Burma Stars in our respective Fruit Salads. I stated my business. "I'd better give Stores a ring for you, sir". A rickety chair was dusted off for me and Chiefy reached for the phone.

Events then followed a predictable path. First, they denied all knowledge of me, of Valley, or of any such arrangement. concerning stores. Chiefy persisted, the tone becoming increasingly acerbic. Then someone remembered that a Dai had said something about some stuff for Valley, but that was some time ago. "Get hold of Dai !" growled Chiefy. But it seemed, they couldn't do that, Flight. "Why not". Dai had gone on demob last Friday, you see, Flight, so there was no way to ask him now, you do see, Flight, don't you ? Nothing we can do. Sorry, Flight.

Then Chiefy grew wroth: "I shall get on to my Engineer Officer, and he will call your Equipment Officer, and you will be on coal-shovelling party for a month if you do not GET OFF YOUR FAT @RSES AND GO AND LOOK FOR THE BLOODY STUFF !"

This was no idle threat. The two officers concerned were climbing buddies of some renown, spending much of their spare time roped together, scrabbling about on some vertiginous crag in Snowdonia or the Lake District (not my cup of tea, but it takes all sorts). It produced the required result. Stores would have a scout round and ring back.

Would they find anything ? Or will Danny have to go back empty-handed ?
(All will be made clear in the Next Gripping Instalment).

Good Day, folks,

Danny42C


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