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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 21st Dec 2015, 17:23
  #7941 (permalink)  
 
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I have a feeling that Edmondes Trainers are a case of deja-vu all over again, as is this pic from the atlantikwall site of the Link/Edmondes Trainer building at RAF Long Newnton in Wiltshire:-



This link repeats (or is the original info?) ricardian's quote, with pics of a Link Trainer and a Silloth one:-

https://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/useful-information/

Last edited by Chugalug2; 21st Dec 2015 at 18:09. Reason: Adding link to Edmondes/Silloth trainers info
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Old 21st Dec 2015, 18:05
  #7942 (permalink)  
 
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Aiborne compass swings

Ref #7933 and earlier posts on this topic, my creaking memory has just recalled that the tech trade for this task was 'Compass Adjuster' and carried SNCO rank; no doubt they were also qualified for ground swings. Two of them flew with me on different occasions, one a Sgt and the other a F/Sgt.

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Old 21st Dec 2015, 18:52
  #7943 (permalink)  
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Interdiction.

Geriaviator (your #7938),
.... By D-Day the railways which should have carried reinforcements to Normandy were paralysed..
.
I've read somewhere that the panzer divisions which were in the Calais area needed 70 trains a day to reach Normandy quickly enough to drive us back into the sea. They managed only six.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 21st Dec 2015, 20:19
  #7944 (permalink)  
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What Goes Up, Comes Down.

Chugalug (your #7941),

If he had collected a "jagged hot mass of metal", then that would have come from a burst quite close, and he would have been luck to have got only one of them. I think it more likely to have been a case of a shell fragment falling from above; he simply flew into it and the forward speed of the Typhoon plus the rotational speed of the spinner were enough to drive it into the the sheet metal, but no more. As you say, one of the dangers of being on the streets during the 1941 Blitz was being struck by AA fragments coming down. It was for that reason that all the emergency services were issued with tin hats.

That winter I was on Deferred Service, waiting for the RAF to deign to take me in. We lived in Maghull, a village some eight miles North of Liverpool, but I worked in Southport, about 14 miles further out still. Coming home on many winter nights, there would be an air raid on in Liverpool. When that happened the "Ribble" bus driver was under orders to come no closer than ten miles from the city centre while the raid lasted; he simply stopped at that point: his passengers had the option of sitting it out with him, or getting out and walking.

As I had only two more miles to go, I took that option. Liverpool was ringed with AA batteries, and the Luftwaffe seemed to clear away North of the city after bombing along the line of the docks. Consequently, as we trudged along, there would be a son-et-lumière performance more or less overhead, and we could hear the faint whistle of the bits coming down and the clicks as they hit the roofs and pavements. We bowed our heads, shrugged and kept walking. In the morning, boys on their way to school would avidly harvest all the bits they found, much as they collected "conkers" in season. Oddly enough, I never heard of a casualty from this source, I suppose the pieces were pretty well spread out.

Even so, I was glad to reach my front door !

Cheers, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 21st Dec 2015 at 20:25. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 21st Dec 2015, 20:57
  #7945 (permalink)  
 
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Danny, your Sang Froid and eagerness to get home rather than wait it out with the Ribble driver are an example to all we young wimps, though what the advantage of a bowed head served in the presence of falling shrapnel, I'm unclear.

The picture you paint of young Staff's escape is one of him flying so low that the Luftwaffe flak could not get a bead on him and thus had to resort to firing high. I wonder if that was in the vain hope of a hit from the falling shrapnel? Not nearly so vain as one might first think, it would seem. At least they hit him, though fortunately only at the cost of a new spinner it would seem.

harrym, it must have been a fairly frequent requirement (in the FE at least) for an airborne compass swing, if a new trade had to be created of Compass Adjuster. As has been pointed out, the habit of laying PSP in order to quickly create load bearing runways made the provision of a compass base at such an a/f problematic. Still sounds a desperate solution though, and presumably limited to crewed (ie multi-engined?) aircraft only. Even so, the necessary adjustments would have to be made at the compass itself, in the case of the P12 with a miniature radiator key for the four adjusters. Given the usual location of the compass on the aircraft, it would need much, "Excuse me, Sir, oh sorry, it won't take long, well not too long, well...".

Is that how you remember it Harry?
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Old 21st Dec 2015, 20:59
  #7946 (permalink)  
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ricardian (your #7942) and Chugalug (your #7943),

Thank you for the detailed 'gen' on the Edmunds Trainer, but for me it is another case of the "Carlstrom Syndrome" (Chugalug knows what I mean): ie, I know I did 3x30 minutes on them, and I have a full description of what I must've done, but still have not the slightest trace of memory of them. From what I can see, all it did was to give practice in ranging only, whereas what a fighter pilot needs is training in deflection - but how this rig could be adapted for that purpose is simply beyond me.

Chugalug, one look at that building and 70+ years melt away. (Eheu, fugaces.....)

EDIT: It wasn't sang-froid so much as hunger - Mum would have a good hot meal waiting for me ! And it wasn't a bowed head so much as a craven cringe.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 21st Dec 2015 at 21:19. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 21st Dec 2015, 21:14
  #7947 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
ricardian (your #7942) and Chugalug (your #7943),

Thank you for the detailed 'gen' on the Edmunds Trainer, but for me it is another case of the "Carlstrom Syndrome" (Chugalug knows what I mean): ie, I know I did 3x30 minutes on them, and I have a full description of what I must've done, but still have not the slightest trace of memory of them. From what I can see, all it did was to give practice in ranging only, whereas what a fighter pilot needs is training in deflection - but how this rig could be adapted for that purpose is simply beyond me.

Chugalug, one look at that building and 70+ years melt away. (Eheu, fugaces.....)

Danny.
Danny, every time you use a Latin phrase I have to go look it up. Quite an education you're giving me. Or should I say "revealing the education I didn't have"
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Old 21st Dec 2015, 23:22
  #7948 (permalink)  
 
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Danny:-
From what I can see, all it did was to give practice in ranging only, whereas what a fighter pilot needs is training in deflection - but how this rig could be adapted for that purpose is simply beyond me.
From reading the blurb it seems there was an attempt to account for the deflection required. When the trainee pressed his trigger, a light would shine onto a deflection graph on the wall and thus showed the error (if any) resulting. I'm sure it was all rather primitive, driven no doubt like the link by pneumatics, but it would have enabled the gradual appreciation of the different lead required for the varying speed, range, and heading differences. It says that a report:-
described it as very effective and extremely simple to construct, though it required a fair amount of floor space.
Danny, I've just been looking on Google maps at Colerne where I was based 1966/68. Rather like Carlstrom for you, it seems to have changed shape somewhat since I was there, but I very much doubt it.
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Old 22nd Dec 2015, 01:52
  #7949 (permalink)  
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Adeste, Fideles......

Smudge,

Inspired by your seasonal picture (it'll bring a lump to Chugalug's throat - and to others......),
and after considering all other possibilities, cannot improve on last year's effort:

(drum roll.....)

Now, in my capacity as Old Man in The Corner,

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our PPRuNers and Readers....


with a Special Thanks to our Moderators, for leaving us alone to play


From Danny and Family.
 
Old 22nd Dec 2015, 11:31
  #7950 (permalink)  
 
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And in response to Danny42C's last input ...

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Old 22nd Dec 2015, 17:12
  #7951 (permalink)  
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...the chain that is round us now...

MPN11,

Your colourful entry will lift all our spirits ! (Bags I the persona of the Court Fool - back left, with my cap and bells)......

GlobalNav (your 7949),
...Danny, every time you use a Latin phrase I have to go look it up. Quite an education you're giving me. Or should I say "revealing the education I didn't have"...
Now, no more of that sort of talk here ! It was merely my fate, as a snotty little boy of the left-footed persuasion, to be sent to a Roman Catholic boarding school, where for seven years I had Latin beaten into me (and some of it has stuck). Otherwise, I would wager that my education was no better than yours, and in any case it doesn't matter here - we all take our places in this our Cybercrewroom on equal terms.

That said, a Merry Christmas, Danny.
 
Old 22nd Dec 2015, 17:19
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Old 22nd Dec 2015, 21:59
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Angel Season' Greetings

Merry Christmas and A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all who participate in this wonderful thread.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 07:18
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Danny 42C

Yes Danny, I did mean it. I liked the Link Trainer.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 08:00
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Old Comrades

We had fun, too, on our off-duty days, which mostly concerned "the pictures", shown in the recreation hangar, concert parties provided by E.N.S.A., the professional organisation set up to cater for the Services all over the country and overseas, and which produced many embryo actors who later became famous in post-war years. Of course, we also downed prodigious quantities of beer and other alcohol in the Sergeants' Mess! One of our more hilarious adventures occurred during very bad weather, early in 1942. I think it may have been late January or early February. Anyway, the snow lay thick on the runways, as it had for many days, in spite of all the "clearing parties" sent out with shovels, brooms, barrows and other tools. I hasten to add that the "parties" included ourselves! We ha d to make way on the ground for our own air training.

Three or four of us felt we had had quite enough of the unpleasant weather. It was not only snowing, or threatening to snow, but there was a fairly thick fog. It was certain that we would do no flying that day. It was reasonably certain that we would not be missed, there being no specific ground training scheduled for our Course. We were reasonably sure that we would be put on to some kind of tedious work if we stayed around - either snow shovelling, cleaning hangars or other manual labour.

We finished our breakfasts and craftily slunk away from the busy part of the aerodrome buildings, making our way circuitously to the far side of the airfield (quite a long walk, incidentally). Way, way over the back, we came to the perimeter fence, a simple wire arrangement that wasn't meant to do much more than keep the neighbouring farmer's sheep from trespassing onto the airfield, to the danger and detriment of both the sheep and the trainee aircrew. Youth and fitness saw us in a rosy state, but getting fairly wet from the combined effects of the snow around our feet, and the dampness of the fog clinging to our clothes.

We climbed over the fence, with one small mishap by Harry, who twisted his ankle and limped for the rest of the day. Trudging along the country road towards Tadcaster, we were fortunately placed to stop the local bus that came along after about 20 minutes, moving very cautiously through the thick ridges of snow and ice.

"Hop on, lads", called the driver encouragingly, and we wasted no time. However, the next mishap occurred very quickly. We hadn't travelled more than a quarter of a mile, when in spite of the driver's care the bus slid sideways into the ditch at the side of the road. He was quite able to look after his own affairs, nobody was hurt, and we soon started off on foot along the road. It was a long way to Tadcaster railway station, but at last we arrived and eventually caught a train to York, where we were deposited just before lunchtime. Not a profitable morning, so far!

Seeing the sights of York meant visiting several of the pubs, playing darts against the locals, having pies and sandwiches for lunch, and going to the cinema. It was a very cold day I remember, but nice to be away from Air Force duty for a change, although we all felt a little guilty about being absent without leave.

The journey back to Base was very tedious. Cancelled and delayed trains meant that we did not leave York until late in the evening, and we had a slow crawl back to Tadcaster, mainly due to air raids not far away. I can't remember the final part of the journey to Church Fenton - we may have scrounged a lift on an Air Force truck, I think. We went through the main gate just about midnight, and were glad to sink into our "cots" shortly afterwards.

The next morning, we were mortified to learn that, shortly after our illicit departure from the Mess, a "Tannoy" announcement had been made to the effect that due to the adverse weather conditions, all aircrew had been given leave for the day! We could have walked off the Base, taken regular transport into York, and saved ourselves much trouble and effort.

Last edited by Walter603; 23rd Dec 2015 at 08:04. Reason: Line spacing wrong
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 10:52
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Thanks so much for all these wonderful memories. I have learn a huge amount and stand in awe of our predecessors.


A Happy Christmas and a peaceful 2016 to all
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 11:25
  #7957 (permalink)  
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NOW they tell us !

Walter,
...Yes Danny, I did mean it. I liked the Link Trainer...
Ah well, no accounting for taste, I suppose. Each to his own !
and
......The next morning, we were mortified to learn that, shortly after our illicit departure from the Mess, a "Tannoy" announcement had been made to the effect that due to the adverse weather conditions, all aircrew had been given leave for the day! We could have walked off the Base, taken regular transport into York, and saved ourselves much trouble and effort...
Could there be a more perfect example of 'Sod's Law' in practice ?

All the compliments of the season, Danny.
 
Old 23rd Dec 2015, 15:35
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Airborne compass swings

Yes Chugalug there were many PSP airfields in SE Asia at that time (indeed Changi's runway was not replaced by tarmac until 1950/51), so there was plenty of employment for the trade of compass adjuster. As for how & when the actual adjustments were carried out, I'm afraid my memory is a blank.

The Dak's main compass was mounted in the 'V' of the windscreens being either an E2 or an upended variant of the standard RAF P type viewed through an adjustable mirror. Looking at the (liberated) E type in front of me now, there are two small holes at the top through which triangular corrector keys could be inserted, but with what degree of finesse is debateable; for it was carried in a thee-cornered cradle of short bungee cords, which would perhaps have introduced errors of their own? As a somewhat off-topic point of interest, the E type was a great survivor; it was the VC10's standby compass, and for all I know is still performing the same task elsewhere.

Reverting to the Dak, I would (again) recommend anyone to the excellent Haynes manual on the old bird. From its pictures the interior has changed little over the years; some of the flight instruments have been anglicised, and there is one blooper describing the parking brake knob as the tail wheel lock, but overall it is a great product.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 15:42
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Intercepting the flying bombs

Post no. 15 from the memoirs of Tempest pilot Flt Lt Jack Stafford, DFC, RNZAF

IN APRIL 1944 I rejoined the squadron at Newchurch, an advanced landing ground about 15 miles south-west of Dover. Three months earlier they had re-equipped with the wonderful Hawker Tempest, one of the very few aircraft fast enough to catch the new-fangled V1 flying bombs.

Flying the Tempest was not easy at first, for you could never take it for granted. It choked you with exhaust fumes unless you donned your oxygen mask before startup, it roared, it spat and it snarled, it swung violently on takeoff, it stalled without warning and it was almost impossible to recover from an established spin. But once you became competent you came to appreciate its outstanding qualities, and when you became expert you loved it, for it was a dream. At low level nothing could touch it, it responded like an angel to the slightest pressure on the controls at high speed, it zoomed like a rocket and it dived like a falcon on a duck. Its four cannon gave it devastating firepower and ground targets disintegrated in a well-aimed burst. We could not ask for a better machine to tackle the flying bomb.

My first flying bomb interception took place on June 16, 1944, and was a total disaster. I caught up to the bomb but while shooting my cannons jammed. I was almost shot down by our own flak, which was totally disorganised, firing constantly and badly, endangering our own fighters. On June 19 I shot down my first flying bomb and between June 16 and July 31, I shot down eight, while recording 56 patrols. Between July 31 to August 26 I shot down one further bomb while recording a further 30 patrols. During this period I also carried out intruder attacks in France on ground targets and fighter sweeps.

This was not a notable score. On our squadron Ginger Eagleson, Jim McCaw and Ray Cammock had scores around the 20 mark. Ginger had joined 486 Sqn with me, Jim was our flight commander and Ray had done a tour of duty in Africa before joining 486. Three Squadron had several pilots who scored around 30. Several Mosquito pilots flying at night scored around 50.

From the advent of the flying bomb the British defence forces moved quickly. Anti-aircraft guns were concentrated on the south coast and a balloon barrage was erected across Southern London to give protection. This concentrated flak was very effective and the balloons played their part. The area between the flak and the balloon barrage was left to the fighter aircraft. We were free to make our interceptions and engage the bombs without being subjected to interference. We patrolled a couple of thousand feet higher than the anticipated height of the intruding bombs and control kept us well informed of their imminent arrival. We would be vectored to the expected position where the bomb would cross the coast and were given a perfect countdown on the arrival of the enemy. Control was always totally accurate and we would see the flak barrage that met the bomb and heralded its position.

As soon as any of the missiles cleared the flak we would make our attack, starting with a long diving turn at full revs and boost to bring us into the best position to engage. The speed of our targets would vary at times but usually they would cross the channel at around 350mph and by using up their fuel and so lightened would attain around 400mph when we met them. In our diving attack we would reach a speed of between 400 and 450mph. This gave us two or three minutes to catch them before they reached London.

It should be remembered that the V1 flying bomb carried a warhead of 2000 lb of high explosive. At 430mph the Tempest was travelling some 170 yards per second. You don’t need to be Einstein to calculate that in the event of a bomb exploding the pilot had between one and two seconds to evade the blast, depending on the distance at which he opened fire. Consider also that the blast will move in all directions, back towards the pursuing aircraft as well as up and down. No wonder there were so many scorched Tempests sitting around the airfield at times.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 17:14
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What Courage.......

Geriaviator/ Jack Stafford

"No wonder there were so many scorched Tempests sitting around the airfield at times."

I say again, What courage - that is breathtaking - I did not realise that they blew them up! I had thought that they tipped them out of level flight by putting their wingtip under the wing of the V1 YLSNED

Seasons Greetings to all from a very windy Ireland (just had a gust of 84 mph on the Atlantic coast) - Fasten your seat belts everyone - it's going to be a bumpy night

Ian BB
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