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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 20th Aug 2013, 16:06
  #4201 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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MPN11,

The wonders of radar were incomprehensible to the operarors as well. Let the cobbler stick to his last ! The Radar Fitters and Mechs know what they're doing, let them get on with it.

Talkdown, Director and Tracker only wanted a Brilliance and a Gain knob to be quite happy - and they already had that in the TV at home, except that "Gain" was called "Contrast" - so they knew how it worked. They didn't need to know any more.

As for a Controller with a screwdriver in his pocket........you might as well give a toddler a loaded pistol to play with ! The mind boggles !

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 20th Aug 2013, 17:38
  #4202 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
As for a Controller with a screwdriver in his pocket........you might as well give a toddler a loaded pistol to play with ! The mind boggles !
You MPN-1 wimp

That's what you get when you're being supported by half a flight of Mother's Little Helpers.
WE did the Truck Test. OK?

When the weather was doing a Strubby, and the MPN11 had gone off tune, you hadn't got time to bleat for a Mech. You sorted it out yourself, quickly, HV cabinets notwithstanding (although Bay 4 scared me, I will admit - there was a screwdriver control deep in on the right side).

MPN11

Trucking on

Last edited by MPN11; 20th Aug 2013 at 17:41.
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 23:14
  #4203 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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MPN11,

I stand in awe of, and humbly defer to, your courage and technical expertise ! As for even daring to look inside the HT Cabinet, perish the thought !...... Screwdriver ?....... (I feel quite faint).

I've always believed in the Division of Labour. A bit of half rememberd doggerel (G.K. Chesterton ?):

"Peter Charles Augustus White
Tried to mend the Electric Light.
It struck him dead, and Serve Him Right."

"It is the duty of the Wealthy Man
To give Employment to the Artisan"

(Forget the Wealthy bit)......Cheers, Danny
 
Old 21st Aug 2013, 08:26
  #4204 (permalink)  
 
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At the turn of the century our ancient Chinese radar was replaced by the internet. The met office now had a bank of computer screen with Hong Kong Met Office live rainfall map that covered everything within 200 miles of Lion Rock.

En route you would ask your co-pilot, who knew how to operate these things, to get an update on his smartphone.
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Old 21st Aug 2013, 09:40
  #4205 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes, the ever moving white heat of technology...in the 60's routine HF position reports and met observations over the oceans were composed with RAF Form 2347 (The Airep).

On the front of the form vertical columns enabled each call and observation to be composed as one would expect, ie position, time, Flight Level, next position and estimate, ETA, endurance. In addition (and not for transmission) were Corrected OAT, W/V, present weather (ie TS, hail, rain, snow, freezing rain), cloud (amount, type, top, base, eg CB top 28,000, bkn stf top 4000), icing (light, mod, severe), and general remarks.

On the reverse of the form, corresponding vertical columns allowed for a "Pictorial Cross Section of Weather Observed". This was the opportunity for the Co-Pilot to impress. Armed with a full set of crayons that any school child would covert he would draw a cross section of the clouds and weather at each position against a vertical scale calibrated in Flight Levels, with intensity or urgency indicated by the colour used (in much the same way as Blacksheep's Wx Radar).

The completed form was handed into the met office at destination, where there usually ensued a verbal debrief. So it went on year on year, until arriving one night at Gan from Changi. The duty forecaster thanked us for the form, put it in an in-tray and made as if our business was done. "Don't you need that then?", I asked. "Well, it's just that we have this now.", he replied, pushing a photo towards us. There was the first satellite weather picture we had ever seen. "There's Singapore, here's Gan, this was your route, here are the clouds you encountered", he explained. We marvelled at this role change, whereby suddenly he could tell us what was actually en-route rather than we tell him. The crayons were quietly put away...

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Old 21st Aug 2013, 16:52
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While the esteemed Danny42C is having his post-lunch nap (Sorry, Guv'nor) I had been mulling over the peculiarities of Strubby. And doodling, as you will see below.

So, apart from being the home of the Canberras of the Spec N/Staff N course (who just took off, poked off, and came home many hours later), in 65-67 it was the home of the Varsities of the School of (Heavy) Refresher Flying. The noisy little JP things for Dinky Refreshing mercifully lived at Manby, and rarely annoyed us (I'll rephrase that, they always annoyed us, and ATC Manby always annoyed us, but that's a different story).

So … Air Traffic 1.03.15 … Operating From Three Runways At Once.

Yes that was fun. Was that 67 or 68, before I did the GCA Course? Whenever … we had an Easterly wind, so the SRF studes were drilling the Varsities into the 09 GCA approaches and visual circuits. But, of course, they also had to get ticks in the box for ILS approaches (Sorry, Danny, modern stuff, someone will update you )

So … GCA to 09, ILS to 27. At the same time … Woot!!

And then we had a UAS/AEF Det of Chipmunks, which due to the wind and traffic density decided to operate from the still-viable RW 03. We now had 3 runways in use at the same time

I honestly have no idea these days how we sequenced all that stuff, but I was that Local Controller …clearing GCA to do head-on approaches to 09 and ILS to 27, whilst slotting Chipmunks off 03 into the plot. I doubt it would be allowed these days … but back then we were bloody good, eh? As my wife says, timing is everything.

Have a cr@p diagram, roughly to scale.


Last edited by MPN11; 21st Aug 2013 at 17:02.
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Old 21st Aug 2013, 17:11
  #4207 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Danny does his Good (?) Deed for the Day.

I don't recall how many shifts I did with the winter wind stuck in the West, and the truck in 27 position. But everything changes in time, and the morning came when the order came: "Shut down and change ends". Of course, it was a matter-of-course for everyone except me. But there has to be a first time for everything, hasn't there ?

It seems there was a "book time" (40 mins) for the whole job. But this morning it would take rather longer, I must now admit that it was All my Fault (but I shall not tell you what I did wrong for the moment, so as not to spoil the surprise).

Now the others swung into a well-oiled routine. The HT was run down (but the LT - mains voltage from the Generator Truck - kept on to keep the equipment heaters going (Radar is very temperature-sensitive). The (hydraulic) jacks were retracted to put the Truck back on its wheels. Tyres were kicked. Now the Search Aerial leaned drunkenly, 4°out of plumb, but still turning.

In the Workshop Truck, jobs in progess and tools were secured. The Rest Caravan hoisted the Calor Gas tank inboard, all crockery was stowed, the steps pushed inside, the power connection to the Truck was unplugged, handbrake 'off' and the door shut.

At last we got our clearance to move from Local, and their squawk box (the last) intercom plug lead was pulled out, earthing spikes drawn up, everyone who hadn't got a bike climbed in (except Chiefy, who would drive the Bedford, and I) and they pulled up the steps into the truck behind them. "Handbrake's off, Sir - take it away !"

Old habits die hard. To this day, I do a walk-around the car before I first climb in. After doing so here, I climbed the North Face of the Eiger up into the "Matador" cab. Nowadays H&S would demand that I had a HGV licence, but then nobody bothered. During the war, out East, no one even cared whether you had any kind of licence at all - if it had wheels and would move, you drove it.

There was no "Matador" driving instruction at Shawbury. I looked round the spacious cab for the first time. It seemed an enormous distance from the ground. Everything was on a gargantuan scale, hand brake and gear lever almost the size of the ones in a railway signal box. Pedals bigger than a Landrover. Now IIRC, I had to switch on a Glow Plug or something, then nervously pressed the starter button.

I was unprepared for the racket that broke out - for the engine was virtually inside the middle of the cab by my side. A huge cloud of black smoke enveloped us. Local Controller was watching for this, and gave me a green Aldis. Handbrake off, graunch into bottom gear, let clutch in with infinite care. To my surprise, it took up the drive quite smoothly.

(Now the Strubby map will come in handy). I'm heading away from the runway, with a hundred yards or so to go to the taxiway. I double-declutch ponderously up through the box. That's unknown now, but then we all had to do it, for the old bangers we drove only had crash boxes - for whatever sychromesh they ever had was long gone.

Take it right across taxiway and lock over hard left. Now I'm up into top gear, about 15mph, and surprised how easy it is. The whole majestic cavalcade comes in line astern, "pennants flying and drums beating" (so to speak) along the centre of the taxiway as I set out on the mile long haul right round to the 09 threshold. Then I'll turn left onto the runway, run down it for some 300 yards to my access track, turn right into it and halt 20-30 yards short of my new position.

The chaps will bale out of the Truck and the bikes catch up. Now I must creep on with extreme care, for the Truck behind me must finish up exactly aligned with the markings and within an inch or two of the correct point under the centre of the azimuth waveguide. But I have plenty of eager guidance: Chiefy (who has hopped out of his cab) and the crew are all: "Left hand down a bit, sir - back a bit - right hand down now - just a bit more - Whoa !! "

(If I get it really wrong, then I'd have to go out forward onto the North taxiway. right round back to the runway, down it, turn into the track and try again).

Ideally, that's what should have happened (without a go-around, of course). As it was, I trundled past the Tower and a little way further on (almost to exactly the spot where Ahmed had flamed-out).

And then the same happened to me ! And the worst of it was, I knew why !

As I've already demonstrated, it's one of my unfortunate traits that I have a yen for Putting Things Right (in the supermarket, I'm always the one who picks up the packet that someone else has carelessly knocked down, and puts it back on the shelf). What had I done now ?

On my walk-round, I'd come past the big cylindrical fuel tank hung on the offside chassis. On it, a two-way tap said "Main-Reserve", it was set to "Reserve". I knew this arrangement well: I'd had exactly the same in my old "Bond". (On "main", you draw fuel from a short standpipe which gives you (say) 3/4 of the fuel, "Reserve" is the last 1/4, drawn from the bottom of the tank - which is where all the condensed water, rust and gunge collects). This I knew from bitter experience; for that reason, you should never run on "Reserve" unless you absolutely have to.

"Tsk,tsk!", I thought. That shouldn't be. Of course the tank must have plenty of fuel in it ! Why would it not ? There's plenty of Derv sloshing round all the time ! (and the gauge in the cab said 1/2 full, anyway)......... I put he tap back to "main"..........so here I'm stuck in the middle of the taxiway where no aircraft can get past me. What now ?

This is much too long already. Will Danny escape with reputation intact ? (Wait for the next thrilling number !)

Goodnight, all, Danny42C.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it
 
Old 21st Aug 2013, 17:23
  #4208 (permalink)  
 
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hahahahaha

and again …

hahahahaha

Nice one, Danny
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Old 21st Aug 2013, 17:42
  #4209 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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MPN11,

Talk about a nightmare scenario ! (if we'd put up a Mock programme like that at the School, we'd have been carted off to the Funny Farm !) Did the RAF have a death-wish in '67-'68, perhaps ?

Your only consolation was that you had a CPN-4 (or PAR ?). Just imagine feeding an MPN-1 into the mix, and doing a runway change with a Danny at the helm.

And worse is to come! Watch this space.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 21st Aug 2013 at 20:00. Reason: Tedious Repetition.
 
Old 21st Aug 2013, 18:27
  #4210 (permalink)  
 
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Just the MPN 11 on the turntable, Danny ... At least that bit was easy, and level. No cross-country expeditions with the Trucks for us!! Just letting the Techies rotate the entire assembly on the railway tracks, set up and Truck on!!

Local is easy ... It's their fault, as they're visual. I may divert your narrative again sometime, with dissertations about having 34 in the visual circuit (there is a PAR connotation) or the juggling of assorted types at Stanley in 83.

However, sir, the floor is yours again ... i just wanted to get that Strubby 3-RW dit off my chest before I forget where I was!!
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 00:13
  #4211 (permalink)  
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Where my Caravan hath Rested.

MPN11,

Divert away whenever and however you like, my dear sir ! And, as soon as you can, please tell us about the turntable operation with the MPN11/CPN-4. I worked a CPN-4 from autumn '58 to autumn '62, and never heard of such a thing in my experience.

It must have come into operation some time after that. It was so obvious a solution (and I suppose there was really no reason why you couldn't put it in the centre of the "cocked hat" and serve all six runway directions, if you wanted). For that matter, it could have been used with the MPN-1, and saved a lot of trouble all round!

The railways must have been substantial, and did you have four concentric circles (in which case getting the eight road wheels up on the "castors" must have been fun) - or did they do it like a railway loco, with one long bridge across, and you could haul the whole lot up on it ?

Will have a look on Google (never know your luck !) .....D.

EDIT: Yes ! "GCA operation on Turntable" "AN/MPN 14k" (Didn't get far)..D

Last edited by Danny42C; 22nd Aug 2013 at 00:28.
 
Old 22nd Aug 2013, 06:47
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Danny. Sorry to distract you from your radar but a thread has started on Key Historic about the Vengeance. Somebody is planning a model and asked for details. There are several photos of the survivor in Australia.
Vultee Vengeance series - Help needed.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 15:09
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Vultee Vengeance - again !

mmitch,

Thanks ! Will give them a buzz.

Danny.

EDIT: mmitch, I've tried to join their happy band, I'm sure I've registered correctly (using same name and password as PPRuNe), but got brush-off:
  • "Danny42C, you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:
  • Your user account may not have sufficient privileges to access this page. Are you trying to edit someone else's post, access administrative features or some other privileged system?
  • If you are trying to post, the administrator may have disabled your account, or it may be awaiting activation.
Any ideas (is there a way to ask them to come up on PPRuNe ?), It's hard to help some people ! ...D


EDIT II: Light at the end of the Tunnel ! Of course - it's the middle of the night in Oz, and Moderator/Administrator is safely tucked up in bed ..... D

Last edited by Danny42C; 22nd Aug 2013 at 19:56. Reason: Add Text and Errors
 
Old 22nd Aug 2013, 20:24
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Danny if you are trying to join Key Historic there is a mod in Canada so somebody is usually around. You may be waiting for them to authenticate your account. Some other photos appearing on that thread.
mmitch.

PS I could send a private message to the thread starter (OP) and suggest he contacts you by PM but only if you wish it?
mmitch.

Last edited by mmitch; 22nd Aug 2013 at 20:29.
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Old 22nd Aug 2013, 22:52
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Vultee Vengeances.

mmitch,

I'd be very grateful if you could get a PM to the Thread Starter (or open Post, doesn't matter), because it seems to be more than I can manage with my limited skill.

The easiest way for everybody would be to invite him onto our Thread on PPRuNe, even just as a guest, for then he could pick my Posts up from # 2548 p.128 onward and learn all I know about the VV from my stories. If he wanted, he could apply to register and ask me questions on open post.

I know Airfix did a 1/72 model of a VV around '68, might be some left yet.

I've seen one of the other VV photos you mention. It was my aircraft, with me flying it, over the Western Ghats near Cannanore in '45 ! (I've a copy of it in my logbook). It's my favourite Mk.III, FB986, bearing its old Sqn letter 'M'. He thinks it's a 110 aircraft, may well have been at one time (although I think the Mk.IIIs only came in after the Squadrons pulled off ops), and had later been handed down to me.

It's a splendid illustration of the underwing spray tanks, which he thinks are for some kind of smoke spray, but of course were for the mustard gas my unit sprayed for the Chemical Defence Research Establishment trials.

Small, small world ! (The Aussies used the Mk.IVs out there - their 12 Sqn - might be some of their old-timers alive).

I'll leave it to you, mmitch, with hopeful thanks,

Danny.
 
Old 23rd Aug 2013, 07:46
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Danny,
apologies if this has been mentioned before but my daughter says that there is a radial engine from a Vengeance in the Aviation Museum in Perth Australia. Perhaps one of our 'down under' contributors could confirm with a pic.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 09:06
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1942 control tower

http://lot-images.atgmedia.com/SR/15...0_original.jpg

A 1942 control tower, by Hugh Casson (whom I am not aware of as a war artist, but...). One sees control tower and thinks "aeroplanes" but maybe I shouldn't? Danny, what do you think.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 09:42
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Danny. Have posted an invite for the enquirer on Key Historic to come and read and perhaps contact you on here.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 12:54
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Danny
I can confirm the RAAF Association museum at Bull Creek has a Wright Cyclone from a 25 Squadron Vengeance on display.

There's a photo of it on their website but I am having problems posting the link.
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Old 23rd Aug 2013, 17:57
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Danny42C I have sent you a PM (private message)
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