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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 26th Nov 2013, 23:28
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Danny42C
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Union Jack,

Thanks for the kind words !.....D.

Fareastdriver,

Yes, 5ºC does seem to be a chilly (or was it a rise of 5º they wanted ?)...D.

Chugalug,

Even at that, the Hercules seems to be pretty tolerant. Our Double Cyclones had to have a rise of 15ºC before taking any serious power out of them (and on early winter mornings it sometimes went as low as 5ºC outside), but with a day temperature of 30ºC+, you didn't have to bother much after that.

I think our Youngest Captain was with Silver City (and he had warm engines, anyway). The Belgians were reputed to fly like they drove their cars !....D.

Cheers to all, Danny.
 
Old 27th Nov 2013, 06:29
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Frequency confirmation

R.A.F. Common: 117.9 MHz
Fighter Command Common: 107.28 MHz
Transport Command Common: 135.9 MHz
Fighter Command Metropolitan Sector: 112.86 MHz, 135.18 and 153.9 MHz

...and ISTR that Bomber Command Common was around 101.xx MHz now the haunt of Classic FM.

I can not understand the use of non 50k spaced frequencies, if I remember correctly in civil we only had 50, and 100k was the most common.

This spacing was due mostly to the inability of keeping stable crystals.

Comments from them what know...... Glf
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 08:21
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I recently found the following on the Airfield Information Exchange web forum:

At the end of WWII the military air VHF band was 100-156MHz. Transmit frequencies were derived from crystal oscillators working in the range of 5.560MHz to 8.665MHz which were electronically multiplied by 18 to give the transmitter output freq.

The oscillator crystals were manufactured at 5KHz spacing, which when multiplied by 18 gave an output channel spacing of 90KHz. Thus there were some 622 channels available from 100.08MHz to 155.97MHz at the end of WWII.
Thus frequencies such as 142.29 Mc/s would have been created by a 7.905 oscillator with an 18 fold multiplier.

Our UAS Chipmunks were still equipped with many of these obsolete frequencies (e.g. 117.9 and 142.29) well into the 1970s!
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 09:15
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That would be the 10 channel VHF 1985/6/7/8/9 series of Tx/Rx Radios fitted in just about every RAF aircraft flying after WWII (pre UHF). The 1985 set covering (100 to 125 Mhz), the 1986 (125 to 145 Mhz) and the 1987/8/9 (100 to 156Mhz) ... the 1988/9 sets were the standard VHF rig for the Chipmunk. The later sets could just about cope with 25khz spacing.

The crystals (Xtl's) mentioned by BEagle can be seen in the pic below located just above the main pre-set turning controls.



Historic Context : VHF Civilian Channel Spacing ...

Channel spacing for voice communication on the VHF airband was originally 200 kHz until 1947, providing 70 channels from 118 to 132 MHz. Some radios of that time provided receive-only coverage below 118 MHz for a total of 90 channels.

From 1947–1958 the spacing became 100 kHz; from 1954 split once again to 50 kHz and the upper limit extended to 135.95 MHz (360 channels), and then to 25 kHz in 1972 to provide 720 usable channels. On 1 January 1990 the frequencies between 136.000 and 136.975 MHz were added, resulting in 760 channels.

Increasing air traffic congestion then led to further subdivision into narrow-band 8.33 kHz channels (2,280 channels) in the ICAO European region for use by aircraft flying above 19,500 feet
Best ...

Coff.

Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 27th Nov 2013 at 13:54.
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 10:34
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You may remember the Brussels - Ostende Autosnelweg as it was when you travelled, if only for the racket of the tyres as they went over the joins in the concrete -- thump -thump .....thump - thump .....for seventy odd miles between Brussels and the coast.
I think that we must have been one of the first cars to use the road. We'd had a 2 week holiday 'on the continent' and had stopped off at the Expo58 fair to see the Atomium etc. I remember the Sputnik 1 model in the Russian pavilion - and my first ever sigh of 'color' TV in the American pavilion. We didn't have time to do the Atomium, so then it was back into the Zephyr convertible and off to Oostende on what seemed to be a private road - nothing at all in front or behind us! In fact my father wasn't even sure whether it had been fully opened. But we didn't take long to get to Oostende, then an overnight crossing in those awful 'couchette' things - basically a 3 tier padded shelf system on which you were supposed to try and sleep.

Quite an adventure for a 7 year old!
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 12:53
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Coff....thanks for the photo! Lurking down in my workshop I have a rather more modern NARCO radio...but still using valves and components soldered across tagstrips. One forgets what electronics used to be like....but at least you could mend 'em!!
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 13:47
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Molemot ... Plus the noisy/hot 24v DC Rotary Transformer to generate the HT
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 14:59
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I was at the brilliant Pegasus Bridge museum yesterday and was amazed to learn that airborne forces were issued with steam engine driven generators to power radios etc. Had the great advantage of silent running.
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 18:10
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Geilenkirchen for lunch

Thursday, 17-4-1958.
As trainee navs we were entrusted to take ATC/CCF cadets for an overseas camp using the trip as a navex using airways procedures.
Route Thorney Island - North Foreland (enter Blue 1?) - Brussels - Brüggen drop off passengers. Brüggen- Geilenkirchen. Lunch pick up return passengers return route Brussels (Blue1!) - North Foreland - Tangmere (for Customs) - Thorney.
Outbound every thing went very smoothly. As we taxied in at Brüggen there was a shout of "Did you see that", I had. The preceding Varsity had swerved violently to port on lift off, there was speculation on what had happened. Unloaded our passengers and got airborne again....."Contact Geilenkirchen approach .......". Immediately we heard "Juliet *** can you taxi?" we all fell about laughing *** had probably extended lunch to dinner and breakfast!
Off to lunch and purchase our goodies 1 Johnny Walker black label 10/6 & 200 Players No3 12/-. Out back to the aircraft with our new passengers, *** has been worked on over lunch and he is out doing a taxi test, he turns and comes back. I've never heard brakes scream so loudly. (A complete brake assembly came out from TI next morning).
Now for the homeward leg at the Belgium border Brussels tells us to maintain 3000' and report at the next waypoint. Next time they said "Call Coxyde military on XXX". Why were we being given the cold shoulder when all was rosy in the morning? When we arrived overhead Coxyde and requested North Foreland this was refused, wrong airway, one way. A new airway had just appeared Blue 29? but nobody appeared at 2 ANS to have realised its purpose.(It was a one way system Blue 1 South bound Blue 29 North bound)
Oh well direct Tangmere then.
15 minutes later "All Thorney aircraft divert Manston" (Oh s**t!).
Now the customs concession then was 1/2 a bottle of spirits, 1 bottle of wine & 200 fags for Joe Bloggs returning from his 2 weeks vacation but if you had only ventured out for lunch it was just 25 ciggies. However Thorney had an understanding with H.M Customs Tangmere for a full bottle of spirits & 200 ciggies provided nobody went out more than once a month.
On arrival we asked to remain in the aircraft for customs so we waited expecting to be hit for about 4 quid. The previous course had returned through Waddington and some had been charged. Enter a cheerful gentleman "Show me what you have got" a quick glance "that's ok on your way."
Never did discover why the diversion but must assume Tangmere had a temporary runway blockage. But the evening news on tele showed the opening of the Brussels World Fair with a flypast and air display hence don't bother us we are busy!
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 21:11
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Danny,
Your tale about that flight from Ostende to Southend bought back some very happy memories as this was my very first time in any type of aircraft.

WQhen I was a young child my father had booked a summer holiday for the family at Blankenberge, Belgium. To get there we were going to fly from Southend to Ostende and yes, this was going to be in a car tansporter even though we were not travelling by car.

On our arrival at Southend my parents were told there had been a mistake regarding the number of passengers allocated to the aircraft. There were only three available seats!!!! My father suggested they could strap me out on the roof but the Sabena staff stated that if my parents did not object I could sit in the spare seat on the flight deck!!!

What a result, there I was strapped into what I believe was the navigator's seat, water dripping into my lap from the leaking plastic like astro dome and me holding the seat belts together as I could not figure out how to fasten them!!

Once we were airborne, I was really looking forward to watching my pilots carry out their acts of daring do as we headed off toward Ostende, but what a disappointment!!! They engaged the autopilot and got stuck into a crossword and that was it until we got close to our destination, but what an experience for a young schoolchild.

Thank you for fetching back those happy days.

Best wishes
John
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Old 27th Nov 2013, 23:17
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Frequencies and Things

We seem to have got our Virtual Crewroom firing on all cylinders now, and no mistake ! (this is what it's all about, IMHO). So now:

Gulfstreamaviator ,

Bomber Command Common ? From some dark recess in my memory 103.86 popped up unbidden. But why ? The only time I had anything to do with Bomber Command was in the six months after I came back in in '49, when I was an odd bod being kicked around from Command to 1 Group to Binbrook.
All the rest of my ATC time (apart from one tour in RAFG) was in Flying Training Command.

All right, then, what was their Common Freq. ? (Can't remember !).....D.

BEagle, Coffman starter and Molemot,

As one whose radio knowledge goes no further than the on/off button (or the row of little red studs in the box on the RH side of the cockpit), I can only stand in awe of the technical expertise on display (and CS's picure was nice, too, even though I've no idea of what I'm looking at - and please don't try to tell me !)...(Zephyr convertible - all right for some !)....D.

Wander00,

A steam driven radio set ? You simply can't leave us like that (all agog). Tell us more !....D.

Union Jack,

Penny has dropped - you meant I should've come in much earlier, rather than watch from the sidelines for six months. Perhaps....D.

Warmtoast,

Have had more time to study your "Evoluon". Strikes me that, in anything more than a gentle breeze, Bernoulli might come into play, and generate sufficient lift to get this giant frisbee into the air to the consternation of the bystanders (remember the Bouncy Castle which went flyabout in these parts last year). But then I note the massive concrete supports anchoring it down to a deep concrete raft, so I suppose it was safe enough (but wouldn't that have been a story !)

Reverting to "hot & cold", what I really meant was your permanent cabin (the thing I rudely called your yurt). What heat did you have in that ? (obviously no aircon)...D.

Pom Pax,

You seem to have had quite an interesting day. But pleased that you got a nice kind Customs Officer at the end (possibly ex-RAF himself, there were a lot of ex-Forces in HMC&E when I joined). Any form of airshow was a nightmare for the ATC involved.......D.

Regards to all, Danny.
 
Old 27th Nov 2013, 23:43
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Danny42C
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glojo,

John,

What an unexpected delight for a small boy ! And why didn't they give you a stick of chewing gum so that you could make yourself useful, plugging the leaks round the astrodome with it !

And one of them could have got out, put you in the seat (on a cushion if they had one), taken out the autopilot, and let you play with the Freighter for a bit). Naturally the other Belgian would keep hold of the yoke to restrain your youthful exuberence, and they could pass the word back that it was only a bit of turbulence, anyway !

Danny.
 
Old 27th Nov 2013, 23:56
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I'm afraid that this thread isn't exactly what you'd call good PR for Sabena in the '50s. Having imperilled our beloved Danny, they then do the same to a young and impressionable Glojo! Whatever seat you were in on the Flight Deck, it was the crew's responsibility to check that you were at least properly strapped in, and for that matter told how to unstrap yourself and what to do in an emergency.
Dripping/leaking F/D roofs and appendages are another matter, and distribute their largess without fear or favour. The auto pilot was invented of course for the purpose of crossword solving (presumably our suitably qualified operatives were giving half an eye to the instruments and listening out to ATC) so no great issues there.

Coffman Starter, many thanks for the explanation of those seemingly arbitrary VHF frequencies that were allocated back then. All such matters were of course the province of the Air Signallers, who guarded their secrets as surely as the Black Arts. I remember the issuing of crystals prior to departure on a Hastings route trip of perhaps some 2 weeks was a matter of careful briefing and preparation. Once on board they were stowed in a dedicated drawer under the Sig's desk, other than those (10?) required for the first leg which would be channelled up immediately in the VHF T/Rs 1985/6 or 7, just as you illustrated with their cover removed.
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 00:59
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 03:28
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Here's three shots from my slide collection. Sorry if they are a shade larger than your screens, had problems getting them down in size as it was.

Not quite the one that Danny flew in but a Bristol 170 freighter that dropped in Gatwick in Oct 1981.



Taken at Southend these Carvairs were the replacements for the B170. The white one was shot from the neighbouring golf course. The silver one was not so much repainted but "chipped clean". After this update she was reported as going 15 kts faster than before after 8 layers of paint came off. Both taken in the 70's.



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Old 28th Nov 2013, 14:25
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Resize to 800 px wide and you will be everyone's friend!!

Nice nostalgia, though.
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 15:36
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Wink Astrodomes

Danny when you are 20 every day is interesting.
Our coarse No.5 at 2 ANS contained most of the last National Service navs and we were a majority. Further over half had used up all the exemptions they could get and were highly qualified in their civilian careers. Now these elders could out debate Brian H our young astro lecturer.
So at the end of an astro introduction in the Valetta Brain H requests us to perform a practice ditching drill during the approach. All goes by the book until we mount the step to the astrodomes when Brian S starts to recite the instructions to release the astrodome and grabs the handle.
"S------s don't do that!"
"Why not its part of the drill?"
"Just skip that bit"
Sidekick: "How can we practice a drill if a critical action is omitted?"
Sidekick 2:"A drill must be realistic!"
After further dissent Brain H visualising landing with at least 4 out 6 astrodomes popped "Ok lets finish sit down"
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 15:38
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Danny ...

I believe Bomber Command did in fact have a "common" on 103.86 Mhz

Best ...

Coff.
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 17:39
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Gaining an RAF pilots brevet in WW2

Danny 42c
MEMORIES.
Wasnt the Brussels -Ostend autoroute used by Jaguar for some speed record?
Arriving in Brussels in 1962 I was surprised to find that to get phone service in the house we had to pay a "provision"This was a deposit that rose each time your monthly bill exceeded the previous.Apparently this system was because during the World Fair overseas visitors had run up big bills and then disappeared
At that time I often flew Brussels-Hamburg on a Sabena Convair--- Sunday evening,cold aircraft and a cold meal.On the way to the airport i had to drive over a bridge and then a sharp left turn.As you turned you faced a funeral home with several coffins hanging in the window!
UK Customs On arrival at LHR from Brussels I declared a bottle of Grand Marnier .The nasty little man told me that there was no duy free allowance as I was a Belgian resident. By paying 2/6 I was able to have the bottle put into the Queens Warehouse and pick it up a week later when I went out of Dover. Another time at Dover I met a similar nlm who apparently thought I was British Forces coming home His attitude changed when he saw my US passport.
D
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Old 28th Nov 2013, 18:40
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Wasnt the Brussels -Ostend autoroute used by Jaguar for some speed record?

Yes it was also by Triumph and Sunbeam.
On May 30 1949, on the empty Ostend-Jabbeke motorway in Belgium, a prototype XK120 timed by the officials of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium achieved an average of runs in opposing directions of 132.6 mph (ref Wiki).
Note:- Ostend-Jabbeke motorway this was the first section built. As Beagle has posted it took another 9 years to connect to Brussels.
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