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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 28th Mar 2015, 23:05
  #6861 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Union Jack (et al),

Brought back another scrap of memory from my Ancient Mariner:

"Two points abaft the beam", which I suppose has some connection with the arcane incantations under discussion.

The old chap (Tom Onley, by name) gave me his Pocket Code Book for 1913 (now long gone). As a boy, I could, at a moment's notice, sketch you the Pennant for a Commodore (2nd Class) in the Chilean Navy.

Not many people can say that.

Danny.
 
Old 29th Mar 2015, 01:10
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Hi Danny
sketch you the Pennant for a Commodore (2nd Class) in the Chilean Navy
As a result of painful memories of the RN's defeat at the Battle of Coronel in November 1914 perhaps? Although I don't think the Chilean Navy was involved apart from allowing the German battle fleet to visit Valparaíso.

As an aside one shouldn't forget the Chilean Navy possessed a very desirable battleship by the name of "Capitán Prat" - perhaps your Commodore (2nd Class) was based on that!

see here: Battle of Coronel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 12:45
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"Two points abaft the beam", which I suppose has some connection with the arcane incantations under discussion.

Indeed it does, Danny, since "two points abaft the beam", or 22.5 degrees (since there are 32 points of the compass), is the specified limit for the arc of visibility of a vessel's port or starboard navigation lights when seen from the side and, similarly for the stern light when seen from astern.

And, to perpetuate a "degree" of thread drift, here are images of the current
Chilean Navy naval rank flags and confirmation for Warmtoast that the CAPITAN PRAT lives on in the present day Chilean Navy in the form of a former RNlN frigate, together with many other eminently named ships - and a rather thought-provoking number of ships compared with the Royal Navy, vide List of current ships of the Chilean Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jack
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 18:04
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Ab initio by night

Danny, your 6846 regarding ab initio training by night registered with me although I was crewbaby in a pram when it was going on!

The CFI in charge of the project was A.C.H. (Tubby) Dash, the aircraft Tiger Moth (what else?) and I think the venue was Stapleford Tawney. The experiment ended when no advantages became apparent, but Tubby was later awarded the AFC for his services to RAF training.

He joined Shorts at Rochester, then at Belfast, where he ferried Sealand amphibians to the Middle East. He told me that the story of two legs of his ferry flight using two sheets from a school atlas was true, as no maps were available. The Sealand was the most useless aircraft he had ever flown because it could just about lift fuel, or passengers ... but not both.

Tubby became CFI of the Shorts Flying Club at Newtownards, which became the Ulster Flying Club in 1961. He was CFI when I learned to fly and continued instructing until his early 70s, alongside Bill Eames who trained as bomb-aimer on Stirlings, joined ATC after the war, became SATCO at Belfast International (Aldergrove) and instructed until his 80s when the medics called a halt. They don't make 'em like that any more?

Tubby died in 1987 and another ex-pupil, the late Harvey McWhir, together with Shorts test pilot Allan Deacon, led our formation of three Tiger Moths low over his funeral cortege.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 18:58
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Sorry to butt in, and apologise if this has already been posted, but perhaps Danny, you might enjoy this Youtube video, which certainly gives due respect to the Indian Air Force;

https://youtu.be/B6iG4aSqeuk

Thanks all, now, back to the discussion.

Smudge
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 20:20
  #6866 (permalink)  
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Geriaviator,

Your: "They don't make 'em like that any more ?"

More's the pity ! The Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines of that era were truly something to look back on with awe and admiration. It was a time when we had: "Wooden aeroplanes and Iron Men !"

Danny.
 
Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:06
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Smudge,

Thanks for the link ! (Never seen it before). Long after my time, but they seem to have kept their Air Force up !

Rather a catholic mix of aircraft (except that the Chinese don't get much of a look in - but then there were some minor disagreements over frontiers: spares might be problematic).

For the Good old Days, try BHARAT RAKSHAK.

Danny.
 
Old 29th Mar 2015, 22:31
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Geriaviator

Re the Short Sealand.
I'm not familiar with its payload capabilities, but always considered the Sealand as a 'pretty' aircraft. See my photos of Indian Navy Sealands taken at China Bay in October 1957 here:
http://www.pprune.org/aviation-histo...ml#post6463864
Post # 17
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 11:22
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Geri aviator, Danny 42C

Gents, I still love this thread ( the best on Prune ), but I get really irritated when I see the phrase 'They don't make them like that any more'!! YES THEY DO!

Just take a look at the 23 DFCs thread here, think back to the Falklands War, GW1 and 2 etc. My hero, my No1 son, flew 110 operational Jaguar sorties over Iraq and Bosnia.

Should the unthinkable happen and Vlad send his armies into free Europe, the modern equivalent of 'The Few' will be there doing their utmost to defend us.

The difference today is that 'elf and safety' and political correctness stops them being exactly the same as their forebears - no booze before flying, dogs called N****r etc - oh, and I expect they don't like the music of Glenn Miller and Vera Lynn either. Should be a smilie here, but I can't make it work!
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 16:05
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Brian 48nav,

Mea maxima Culpa !

Of course you're absolutely right: I shall go and stand in the corner with my dunce's cap on ! I've said myself on this Thread: "The Right Stuff is as Right as ever it was".

(We all go ga-ga in the end, seems my time has come).

In sackcloth and ashes, therefore,

Danny.
 
Old 30th Mar 2015, 20:55
  #6871 (permalink)  
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Smudge (your #6864),

I've now had the opportunity to have a detailed look at the link to the IAF you gave me; it really is an impressive piece of work. I was particularly interested in the WWII part, but looked in vain for shots of their two VV Squadrons (7 & 8), but apart from a momentary glance at what might have been a VV, there was nothing.

This surprises me, but I can only conclude that Vlad's home-grown film taken during the war (probably clandestinely), at what I am pretty sure was the VV OTU at Peshawar, must have come to light only after the preparation of this video. We are indebted to Chugalug for putting the You Tube of it on this Thread some time ago. (Google: "Vultee Vengeance", it's on there now).

I must sadly agree with their commentator who said that the Oscar was superior to the Hurricane (not that I had any direct experience myself), but the Nakajima "Oscar" was designed on the same lines as its more glamourous marine cousin, the Mitsuibishi "Zero" (ie, it could "dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee" - to borrow a phrase from Muhammed Ali), and so being lighter could fly rings round the much more heavily armed and armoured Hurricane.

But what comes across so powerfully throughout your link is the bond there was then between the RAF and the IAF, and the way that association has been gracefully remembered through nearly 70 years since Independence in '47. They took across unchanged our caps and uniforms, our ranks and badges, our language of course, our procedures and customs ("Mr Vice, the President"). Even their brevets could be mistaken for ours, except that the Crown (Lion ?) of Ashoka has replaced the royal Crown.

Of course, it has been carefully staged; they are not as stiff and bandbox-fresh as they appear here all the time ! But it does not need too great a leap of the imagination to see these young men as brothers of our own FJs today. The tragedy has been that once there was no PAF "enemy"; it was all one united air force under the Raj, and one united country, but the load of history was too much to allow that when we left.

The flying shots are magnificent (and surely NATO Intelligence must have benefited enormously from their experience with the Mig-21, 23 and 25 - I believe that it was only with the reunification of Germany that we were presented with a squadron of Mig-29s to try out !)

I can't find any corresponding broad survey of the PAF (can anybody provide a link ?)

Danny.
 
Old 30th Mar 2015, 21:23
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Danny,

I'm glad you found the link useful, and agree that perhaps "back in the day" the bond between airmen of many nationalities was one of the reasons for our combined success in the fight against Nazi domination. I'm sure someone will offer further walks down memory lane for you soon. Stay well and happy.

Smudge
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 16:16
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YLSNED

I have recently rediscovered my Dad's "Ferry Pilots Notes" from his time with 21 Ferry Control Mauripur Karachi, (March to June 1944). The notebook cover says sternly FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (hope it's OK to tell you about this) INDIA COMMAND EDITION - PRINTED IN INDIA - AUGUST 1943.

Handling notes for all the usual suspects, (RAF, from Anson to Wellington), (RN, from Albacore to Walrus) are to be found in this little notebook.
In there, to my surprise, are two types that I had never heard of at all - A "Wicko" (surely they mean a Waco I thought), but no, Foster Wikner Wickos were pressed into RAF service, as were some Airspeed AS5 Couriers - YLSNED. I was aware of the Miles Whitney Straight but I did not know that they served in the RAF. According to Wikki only one, yes (1) example of this type served in India so it was truly comprehensive of the INDIA COMMAND EDITION to provide Ferry Pilot Notes for this lonely specimen.

Danny, I don't know if you ever went anywhere in your VV by yourself, but as they never gave you a handbook for the bird, you might not know that the ferry notes say "Ballast: At least 200lbs. desirable in rear cockpit in lieu of passenger". YLSNED

Best Wishes
Ian BB
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 16:55
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Dad mentioned several incidents that happened during his time at Kirmington. One happened it seems to another Lancaster from a neighbouring squadron- it can under attack by a German night intruder over England, returning from an Op. I believe it was the vicinity of home base. I don,t recall that it may have caused much damage, but it certainly did cause a of pandemonium , as everyone doused their lights and left the control of ATC, scattering anywhere and everywhere. I believe that was the one and only instance in slightly over 3 months of flying there.
I also asked him if he ever remained in the nose of his Lancaster during take off or landing; he replied yes, but then said if anyone asked, he never did- it was expressly forbidden. He always was in the proper station with his back to the rear spar for all landings, and operational take off where they were at full weight.
A few times when they had no bombs or partial fuel load- ie air tests or cross countries, he did remain at the Bomb Aimers station during takeoff- said it was so exhilarating particularly when the tail came up! He loved the view.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 17:16
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Sorry Brian 48nav, I'll join Danny in disgrace in the corner of the hangar

As we grovel together, I might recall that Tubby Dash told me of delivering a Sealand to an Egyptian potentate. This one was so luxuriously fitted out that its payload was even lower. It has been recovered to the Ulster Transport Museum, at Cultra a few miles from the Shorts factory in Belfast, and they hope to restore it to static condition.

An ex-Fleet Air Arm friend reminds me that the Percival Prince/Sea Prince of the 1950s (twin Alvis Leonides) also offered Hobson's choice of lifting fuel or passengers. Again from ancient memory, its air supply was limited and could run low on continuous circuit work. As it was steered by differential air braking, this made for interesting taxying.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 19:45
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Ian B-B,

All sorts of weird things turned up in India/Burma during the war; I would imagine that the Airspeed Courier was originally on the civil register pre-war, perhaps as the personal transport of some Rajah, who found it quicker and more comfortable than his usual ceremonial elephant, and later it had been commandeered by the RAF. And the Army had some Stinson Reliants to pick up casualties from small forward strips and take them back to the nearest MFH (if one happened to be handy), or offload them at some spot a casevac Dakota could get in to to take them further back still. Don't know how we came by these Stinsons.

The back cockpit ballast story was rather complicated. The OTU in Peshawar was set up after our time. We were simply given the aircraft and told to get on with it, as no one had any idea how to use them. We worked it out by trial and error (and I suppose they wrote a training manual based on our experience).

The OTU (AFAIK) trained only IAF crews, all the RAF pilots had come out in a bunch towards the end of '42, had originally joined one of the four RAF (ex-Blenheim) Squadrons, and a number of us were then, after some operational experience, posted to beef-up 8 (IAF) Sqn (I don't think any went to 7) to full Establishment to go into action.

Now the OTU suffered a number of accidents in which a solo pilot simply speared-in after a practice dive. The theory was that, without a chap behind, the CoG moved so far forward that the thing trimmed nose-heavy at 300mph in the dive, and, unexpectedly heavy on pull-out, caught the stude out, hence the "ballast in the back" rule.

I never bought this story. Level, there was no problem, I flew my "first solo" (after 20 mins "dual") alone and on several occasions later, and noticed no difference at all. A "man in the back always" order came in soon after for quite a different reason: the immersed electrical fuel pumps shorted, blew the main fuse, and you had a total-electric failure. The only way to stay in the air was to work the manual wobble pump (on the LH side of both cockpits). You had to have a chap in the back to do this, for the pilot couldn't do it on his own and work the throttle, u/c and flaps as well. (By the time the OTU started up, the fuel-pump snag had been fixed, so they could allow chaps out to practice-bomb solo).

I reckon I did 100+ practice dives when 110 were working-up in early '43, and 52 operational ones with 110 and 8 (IAF), and we always flew as a crew. I only did one last "Air Experience" dive afterwards with one of our groundcrew, but by then the two rear guns had been taken out, with ammo and tanks these weighed in at 400lb, but even without this weight it pulled out as normal. There was nothing in the CoG story.

A weird thing did happen, first to me (and later to others), but only when we had a 250lb HE under each wing. When the speed got past 250mph early in the dive, the elevator trim wheel (on the left of my seat) slowly wound itself forward (nose heavy) on its own. Luckily I spotted this out of the corner of my eye, grabbed it and wound it back a handful. But the OTU would never use anything other than 11½ lb practice bombs, so it rules that out as the cause of their trouble.

I reckon their studes were so keen on putting the bomb spot-on that they didn't watch the altimeter carefully enough (in a dive-bomber, this is not a Good Idea; we reckoned that, at pull-out point [3500ft AGL] you had 1000ft to play with, going down at 300mph that's 2.3 secs, not a lot).

(Why would the trim do this ? Only a suggestion: the 250lb bomb interfered with the airflow over the elevator trim in such a way as to move the whole control train... Don't know, really).

No Pilots Notes for us, just a sort of "helpful hints" booklet from Vultee. Only thing I remember was a suggested cure for a wheel which wouldn't come down: "slow the aircraft as far as possible, and apply rudder vigorously from side to side". As this would normally be a fair way to induce a spin, we tried it reluctantly at first, only to find that the VV wouldn't spin at all (at least I never heard of it being done) and would not stall cleanly either, but would merely "mush" into its default "brick" mode. After a month or so with our new toys, we probably wrote the Pilots Notes anyway !

This is much too long. Goodnight,

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 1st Apr 2015 at 19:53. Reason: Spacing and adjust Text
 
Old 1st Apr 2015, 20:57
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jeffb,

Your: "he did remain at the Bomb Aimers station during takeoff- said it was so exhilarating particularly when the tail came up! He loved the view." reminds me:

In the early '50s a USAF B-50 "SuperFortress" detachment came into Valley for a few weeks. Talking to one of their Bombardiers, I was told as follows:

It seems that although their pilots had plenty of perspex all round and could see a runway ahead well enough, a "Lootenant" Hoskins had devised a sure-fire way of Getting the Round-Out absolutely Perfect (for a change).

He put his Bombadier in position (nearest to the accident !), and watched him carefully. If the man leaned to the right or left, he would adjust his heading accordingly. When he shrank back in horror, he would haul back the yoke. Worked every time.

And, in the words of the Iron Duke two centuries ago: "Sir, if you will believe that, you will believe anything . (Seems that, strolling in Piccadilly, Wellington had been accosted by a stranger with the words: "Mr Smith, I presume ?")

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 1st Apr 2015 at 21:00. Reason: Spacing.
 
Old 1st Apr 2015, 21:08
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Geraviator,

Your (re Prince): "Again from ancient memory, its air supply was limited and could run low on continuous circuit work. As it was steered by differential air braking, this made for interesting taxying".

And even more interesting stopping, landing on a short runway on a calm day, I would think !

True story from Old Leeming (I was in the Tower at the time):

Percival Prince lifts off from Catterick, heading South, carrying AOC-in-C of some Command or other home for tea. Gets up to 2,000 ft or so, a pot blows off one Leonides, punches 6" hole high up in both sides of fuselage, but three-star and entourage safely seated below trajectory.
Lands safely on one at Leeming.... End of Story.

Danny.
(This Thread's hotting up nicely, just like the Old Days !)
 
Old 2nd Apr 2015, 07:53
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RE the VV

Danny
your last: "This is much too long. Goodnight"

A post from the man who has first-hand experience combined with vivid recall can never be "much too long" - it's just fascinating!

Thanks
Ian B-B

Last edited by Ian Burgess-Barber; 2nd Apr 2015 at 13:25. Reason: add word
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 17:19
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Danny42C
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JENKINS,

Of course ! PEMBROKE ! (Prince was the civvie version, IIRC).

It's a fair cop, Guv'ner - got me bang to rights !

Your: "but the other five sufficed to get me to maintenance base. Back on line with six the next day". Didn't the Leonides start with nine ? Or have I got it all wrong ?

Unrelated topic: the heartfelt tributes to Air Marshal Lord Garden were/are touching (although I never had the privilege of meeting him), but surely they could have got the name of the Thread right.

Danny.
 

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