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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 12th Mar 2014, 23:05
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ValMORNA, welcome aboard Sir! I can but echo smuj's comments. This thread has become a treasured link to a distant country where they do things differently, and the person who now guides us through it is most likely the last one able to start his tale iaw the thread title.
Danny rightly reminds us of the tireless patience of the Mods who smile indulgently on our meanderings, for they know a good thing when they see it! As with all meandering, the secret is to amble, to take one's time, to be ever ready to explore unexpected diversions, and above all to enjoy good company!
So be assured that your memories will be our revelations, each shining a light into the obscure shadows.
Danny will no doubt pass on his tricks of the trade so I'll not pre-empt them, but simply say that you have already created a green eyed monster from the contents of your Record of Service Book; DH89, Dakota, Lincoln, B29, lucky man! All I can share with you is the DH89, for it was in its Dragon Rapide guise that I had my first brief flight, once round the Northolt circuit. That was enough though, I was smitten!
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 23:37
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valMORNA and Smudge,

May I second every word which Smudge has just said ! Every story of wartime or post war reminisences must necessarily be unique: all are of equal value. Press on rewardless! (as I was told by Chugalug at the start).

valMORNA, you seem to have had an interesting time in Battle (to say the least). The tale of the messed-up cricket pitch touches a chord. In '41, before call-in from "Deferred Service", I was cycling in to my job in Liverpool from Maghull (8 miles out). Half way I passed a big "Road House" (suburban pub).

They'd just finished laying down a beautiful new bowling green (I don't think it'd ever been played on). There'd been a big raid on the city the night before, a stray bomb had blown a huge crater out of the exact centre. A sad sight indeed.....D.

Chugalug,

(You've been absent for a while, I was getting quite worried) As ever, I join you (and us all, I'm sure) in our thanks to our Moderators - may their Tribe Increase !....D

My next instalment follows.

Cheers, all. Danny.
 
Old 13th Mar 2014, 00:06
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Danny becomes the proud owner of an "Isetta"

Breighton would be at the back of beyond. The problem of the marooned Mrs D. would arise again. I had the (still crated) "Winged Wheel", * but that would be quite out of the question now. The commute would be 25 miles, including a transit of York. It was "not on". Not for the first time I rued the day that I'd parted with the "Bond".

Something simple, cheap to buy and run, and hopefully reliable was needed. It shouldn't be too difficult. An AFS is usually awash with moribund old "bangers", passed down from hand to hand through generations of students. The MOT regulations had come in about this time, and that must have thinned the stock out quite a bit, but there must be plenty left still.

I put the word around that I was in the market. Almost at once I got a bite. A young nav offered a lhd 4-wheel BMW "Isetta" (no, I don't know what a nav was doing in a pilot AFS, it would be unusual for a nav to be retrained as pilot. Perhaps he was on the Ground School staff). Whatever, he had this faded blue "Isetta" for sale. I knew nothing at all about these things, apart from the fact that they were at the top of the bubble-car tree. The idea was the exact opposite to that which had inspired the Bond of an earlier period.

The Bond was a scaled-up three-wheeled scooter (Vesta/Lambretta type) with a lawnmower engine, a bench seat for 2-3 and rudimentary weather protection. The Isetta was a scaled down car. You had a bench seat of much the same size, but a big glass screen with a proper wiper. There were decent lights, hydraulic brakes all round, a 300cc 4-stroke engine with electric starter driving the back wheel(s) through a 4-speed and reverse gearbox: it drove exactly like a small car.

The really unique feature was the front (and only) door. Hinged at the side and stretching the full width of the car, getting in and out was perfectly easy. Not only that, but you could park it end-on to the pavement; with the front wheels hard against the kerb, the back end stuck out no further into the road than a badly parked car. In this way you could shoe-horn into parking spaces where your only competition was from m/cycles - and parking was never easy in York.

Solidly built with steel body on a tubular steel chassis, it was much heavier than the Bond (you couldn't pick the back up and carry it round !). This was reflected in a much greater consumption (I got around 50 mpg), but for that you had cruising and max speeds about 10 mph faster. Careful driving was essential; there being nothing between you and the accident.

As the steering wheel and instrument binnacle were fitted to the door at the hinge side, a very complicated system of rods and u/joints took the shaft to the steering box, the wheel coming to the horizontal when the door was fully open (Wiki gives a detailed description of the vehicle, with plenty of photos).

It was almost perfect for my purposes (and an excellent shopping vehicle, too). Fresh air was provided by push-down side windows and a full-length canvas "sunshine roof", but it had no heater (although you could get one - a hot-air duct drawing air over the cylinder fins - but I didn't bother).

They had never been cheap (no idea of the new price, but this one was about as old as they came, and we shook hands on 70). I have no idea of the mileage. It served me well for the 15 months I had it, and will be the centrepiece of two good stories to come.

And now I had better return to my Fire Section to take that story forward.

Goodnight once more,

Danny42C


....."Three wheels on my wagon,".....(well, four actually, but the back two were so close together that they count as one).

Note * I never took the Winged Wheel out of the crate. IIRC, at Leeming I gave it to P/O Bob MacEvoy to play with.
 
Old 13th Mar 2014, 11:34
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There is a owner's club Danny..... Isetta Owners Club of Great Britain
Some photos here. Isetta bubble car - Searchya - Search Results Yahoo Search Results
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 14:40
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Danny,
have you seen how much these 'bubble cars' are worth these days ?
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:06
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Saw an Isetta in a show room in Copenhagen a couple of years back - reminded me of my brother's similar car - you had to leave room in front when parkins so as to be able to open the door. He used to frighten me to death by driving up to within inches of the backs of busses.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:18
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We had a massive oak dining table in our house and as soon as the sirens went my sister and I were ushered underneath it until the All Clear. When the unmistakable sound of a Doodlebug came over we used to hide until the engine stopped.


Then we would rush outside to see where it had landed.


My great-grandparents received the last but one, so we were told, V2 launched by the Germans. They lived near Doddinghurst in Essex and were having a cup of tea in the kitchen. Their garden was about eighty yards long and it landed at the end of it. The house was a timber frame house with rendered chicken wire for the walls. The detonation blew out the windows, the rendering, half the doors and all the tiles off the roof. My grandparents were unharmed apart from hearing difficulties over the next few days.

The timber frame was relatively unharmed and the house was reoccupied before the end of the war. Later on when I went there bits of V2 were surfacing all the time, including a curved section of the combustion chamber.

What was originally built as a cheap alternative to a brick-built house is now worth some 650,000.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 17:02
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mmitch,

Thanks for the link (and all the little links in close line astern). First one I saw was 3.49. "About right", I thought. Then found it was a fridge magnet. Two doors further on - 11,999 !

Mrs D wails "why, oh why, didn't we keep it ?" (not for the first time in our rough Island story !)

"Owner's Club" ? They must be daft ! Flog it ! (I still have the Dinky-toy)......D.


ancientaviator,

"Worth" ? - matter of opinion ! (although they could be a good idea in town traffic even today; they could hold their own there, but no motorway cruiser. Yet if you could sell that Sinclair C-5 thing a few years back, you can sell anything.

Ah, the wonder of hindsight ! Once (I read somewhere on this Thread), Spitfires were going for scrap at 25. Now if I'd invested my War Gratuity in half-a-dozen as an investment, even allowing for storage in some old barn and fettling-up now, just think........D.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 13th Mar 2014, 21:26
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Danny

When I was at Lyneham in the early 1960's someone on the station had a Messerschmitt 2-seater. Looked rather smart and with its tandem seating would have suited aviators used to such a configuration.

Nice picture here:
File:Messerschmitt Kabinenroller Microcar.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 10:09
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A mate at Watton in the early 70s had one too ... he was going to paint it in WW2 camouflage and markings, but I can't remember if he actually got round to doing it.

Jock, are you reading this? Confirm or deny, please!
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 13:16
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Messerschmidt bubble scooter

Warmtoast and MPN11,

Not much use for courting, though (Bond much better !)

The Kabinroller was supposed to be frighteningly fast (with 200cc) - reckoned the fastest of the lot.

Danny.
 
Old 14th Mar 2014, 15:44
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Once accepted a lift from Emsworth station to the Mess in a Messerschmitt, how we got through the Deeps S bend in a 3 wheel drift I'll never know.
In those days Plod was a bit more tolerant as as this budding "Mike Hawthorn" was stopped in Pompey with 7 in said Messerschmitt, himself& one in the front, two in the back and one riding on back with legs inside and finally two in the lid.
I understand 4 of the passengers were female.

I later had an Isetta when fitted with C47 Town & Country on the rear was very good in snow as the single driving wheel was in virgin snow. (Mini tyres fitted an Isetta)

"Isetta"
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 16:42
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The Messerschmitt also came in a 4 wheel version...a fearsome thing....

FMR Tg500 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The three wheeled one was as fast going backwards as forwards, as reverse was obtained by starting the engine up in the opposite rotation! I recall that one held the record for driving backwards..80+ mph along the runway at Blackbushe, so the story went....

And then there's this....!!!!





Proving they're not all locked up yet...

Last edited by Molemot; 14th Mar 2014 at 16:52.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 16:51
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I fear a diversion onto sexual activity in small vehicles ... But then I guess we all know the answer. We were more flexible in those days

I did like the days of front bench seats, though.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 18:36
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I may be away for some time. No PMs or e-mails please TFN. Will let you know when I get back.

Danny42C.
 
Old 14th Mar 2014, 18:56
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All the best, Danny42C, whatever that is.
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 18:58
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Anyone remember the series of letters in Motor Sport in the late 50s/early 60s on the topic of the possibility or not of achieving intercourse in a frog eye Sprite. Eventually a notice appeared in the letters page - "This correspondence must end. Ed"
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Old 14th Mar 2014, 19:04
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Wander00 ... I assure you it is possible. Been there, done that. Just saying ...

... No roof, of course, and in the sunshine in Singapore in a remote location. I wonder if Jane is tracking this thread?

... oh, and mine had an Ashley bonnet, so cooler than a Froggy

Faded photo from 1967 ... Oops, apologies for not checking image size



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Old 14th Mar 2014, 19:38
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... and one of these (mine was black, I didn't have a camera back then) was brilliant, unless it bogged down in a field near a certain East Anglian OCTU very close to curfew for female officer cadets ... she had to get out and push (the car).


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Old 14th Mar 2014, 22:14
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Frog's Eyes

Anyone remember the series of letters in Motor Sport in the late 50s/early 60s on the topic of the possibility or not of achieving intercourse in a frog eye Sprite. Eventually a notice appeared in the letters page - "This correspondence must end. Ed"
I think the inspiration for this series of letters was a well published court case when Plod was a bit less tolerant. A couple of rally drivers were accused of doing the deed in a Sprite on the forecourt of a well known North West London specialist engine tuner and accessory supplier. I believe the Beck threw the case out.

Last edited by Pom Pax; 14th Mar 2014 at 22:17. Reason: Spelling as usual
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