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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 Dec 2016, 14:05
  #9861 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Geriaviator (#9858),

Thanks for the detailed instruction: only got a pale blue "IWM", clicked on that, got a black square which did nothing, wandered about a bit and found 'Oral Records', got no joy and retired hurt in full 'Christopher Columbus' mood. He (as you'll recall): "Didn't know where he was going when he set off; didn't know where he was when he got there; and didn't know where he'd been when he got back".

That describes me exactly with any IT problem ! Give up ! I am beyond human aid ! - but thanks for trying, all the same.

Now I must apologise for my #9854, in which I airily refer to the 'Vlad' video without attributing it to you as the first, AFAIK, to bring it to our notice. "I'll look your Post up, and give the reference", I thought. Could I find it again ? - I could not. Tried "Search This Thread" (predictably as much use as a sick headache, although must admit it can find "Amapola" all right). Useless ! (Even Google professed total ignorance).

Now this Thread is "just like old times", isn't it ? - with hares running all over the place and people chipping in with helpful scraps of information. So, one at a time, here is my two cent's worth.


jeffb (#9859) and FED (#9860),

Now the "lanyard" has popped up in the discussion (first time I've heard of them being used for this purpose, but had no experience in Bomber Command). Clearly a good idea (why waste soft iron wire when glorified string will do the job ?). In which case, why not not just get longer bits of string to reach the "cookie" fuses ? (plus added peace of mind to the poor devils sitting on 'em).

Yes, some blast ! I understand that the idea was that the "cookie" would blow all the tiles/slates off for mile around, then the Stirlings would come along with a load of incendiaries for the now roofless buildings and get a good fire going in no time (most incendiaries bounced off our slates). Didn't the Germans use a parachute "Land Mine" on us for the same purpose ? (it was reputed to be the size of a pillar-box; it was a bit of a facer if you took down the blackout in the morning and saw an unexploded one of these sitting in your front garden).
...to operate the jettison bar...... after the bomb aimer had called bombs gone...... This to ensure that there were no hang ups...
Could you be sure? Only if the whole rack plus hung-up bomb was dumped (but that would be terribly expensive ?) Otherwise the thing would still stick to the rack because of the defect which had caused it to hang-up in the first place. Don't know, are there any armourer or bomber heroes (and they were all heroes IMHO) on frequency ?


Chugalug (#9858),
...What comes across most is the incredible modesty of this man...
Kipling said it for all of us:

"Greater the deed, greater the need
Lightly to laugh it away.
Shall be the mark of the English breed
Until the Judgment Day
".

In the (unlikely) case I pop my clogs in the meantime, a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to PPRuNe and all who sail in her !

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 20th Dec 2016 at 14:12. Reason: Spacing !
 
Old 20th Dec 2016, 15:16
  #9862 (permalink)  
 
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In the (unlikely) case I pop my clogs in the meantime
Heaven forfend, Danny, you still have to make post #10000 which is now on the far horizon! I'm sure all readers of this enthralling thread will join in returning your Christmas and New Year wishes.

As to cookies, reclamation work sometime in the early 1960s uncovered a number of metal objects along the Belfast Lough mudflats. Most were happily hauled away by the local scrap men but a couple proved too heavy to move. It dawned on someone that some debris might be German in origin, as the city, its shipyards and Shorts aircraft factory only a mile away had been heavily bombed in 1941 with the loss of more than 900 lives.

The bomb disposal team was summoned from England, for in those happier times Northern Ireland did not need one. The ATO examined a series of corroded oil drums and marine scrap before deciding that one big corroded, weed-encrusted drum was suspect, and that the area should be cleared while he placed a small disruptive charge. There followed a colossal explosion which was heard in Bangor and Carrickfergus 14 miles away, the windows were blown out from Mount Vernon flats over a mile away, and premises half a mile away were showered with stinking mud. This proved that the suspicious object was indeed a Luftwaffe landmine which had slumbered beneath the tides for 22 years.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 16:59
  #9863 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Chugalug,

I must apologise for addressing my Post #9862 to Geriaviator (when it should clearly have been to you), as if #9548 was from him and not from you. We Seniors easily become confused ! Mea Maxima Culpa! (and I haven't had a drop of the hard stuff all day !)

So as to to be perfectly clear, I was answering you when I wrote:
...Thanks for the detailed instruction: only got a pale blue "IWM", clicked on that, got a black square which did nothing, wandered about a bit and found 'Oral Records', got no joy and retired hurt in full 'Christopher Columbus' mood. He (as you'll recall): "Didn't know where he was going when he set off; didn't know where he was when he got there; and didn't know where he'd been when he got back".
That describes me exactly with any IT problem ! Give up ! I am beyond human aid ! - but thanks for trying, all the same.
Now I must apologise for my #9854, in which I airily refer to the 'Vlad' video without attributing it to you as the first, AFAIK, to bring it to our notice. "I'll look your Post up, and give the reference", I thought. Could I find it again ? - I could not *. Tried "Search This Thread" (predictably as much use as a sick headache, although must admit it can find "Amapola" all right). Useless ! (Even Google professed total ignorance).
Now this Thread is "just like old times", isn't it ? - with hares running all over the place and people chipping in with helpful scraps of information. So, one at a time, here is my two cent's worth...
I hope you two gentlemen (and anyone else who was puzzled) will forgive me.

Danny.
 
Old 20th Dec 2016, 17:09
  #9864 (permalink)  
 
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Taking but a brief moment to interject on the Christmas aspect ... I wish you all here the very best of the Festive Season, and a safe and healthy 2017.

I have nothing else to add, except my awe-struck reading of the experiences of my elders, who had such amazing experiences. Thank you all for posting. My Service life was incredibly dull.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 17:20
  #9865 (permalink)  
 
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My Service life was incredibly dull by comparison

I would dare to suggest, MPN11.

Jack
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 18:05
  #9866 (permalink)  
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Geriaviator (pp Rupert Parkhouse #9861),
...After about 30 seconds of frantic pulling I concluded that I was not going to get the hood back...
Recalls my experience with a Spitfire at Hawarden:
...My goggles (pushed up on my head) flew off. Held by the band which is buckled to the back of the helmet, they fluttered madly about in the slipstream. I slammed the canopy forward. It shut - with the goggles still outside, but now with the band jammed in the frame, and consequently with me pinned to the top of it by the scruff of the neck! My head was so close to the canopy catch that I couldn't get my hands behind to open it.

Now what? I could see by squinting sideways, and reach the spadegrip at full stretch. I could still fly, but I certainly couldn't land. Not the brightest pebble on the beach, it took me a few seconds to realise what to do. Take your helmet off, idiot! Done, now to retrieve the goggles. It would be a bit of a struggle with the canopy catch as the band was jammed in it...
And in my case, I didn't have a gaggle of Me109s (of whatever nose colour) buzzing round me !

Danny.
 
Old 20th Dec 2016, 19:04
  #9867 (permalink)  
 
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Danny ... ergonomics was never a strong point in those days!
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 11:33
  #9868 (permalink)  
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MPN11 (#9868),

Strangely, the Spitfire cockpit was the most ergonomic one I ever flew in (the result, I suppose, of its having been designed by one man [and he a genius] instead of by a gaggle of know-alls in A.M).

But canopies were always a source of trouble (I well remember the sense of luxury I felt when meeting my first electrically powered one - a P-47 Thunderbolt). What happened when the power failed ? Dunno.

IIRC, the Vampire's canopy frame was locked to the structure by explosive bolts; in extremis you pressed a button somewhere and the whole lot blew off. Or have I just dreamt that ? (Hard to tell these days !)

Supposing that to be true, it is a pity that the Lancaster's enormous "glasshouse" hadn't (AFAIK) a means of jettisoning when 'abandoning ship', as the enormous main spar made it hard for the four occupants of the front office, encumbered by their flying kit and with the aircraft going every which way, to get to the exits in time. But I speak with scant knowledge of this, never having flown in one.

Now my diary tells me "winter begins". Oh, woe !

Danny.
 
Old 21st Dec 2016, 12:38
  #9869 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Looks as though this, the Finest Thread Ever in Military Aviation Forum is to be pipped at the 10,000 Post Point by "F-35 cancelled - then what ?" We must content ourselves with the fact that our Hit:Post ratio (always the best indicator of popularity IMHO) is 240:1 against the rival 170:1.

Even "Caption Competition" (which you would imagine to be a runaway winner) can only muster 140:1.

Considering only Threads with 1,000 + Posts (to allow the Law of Large Numbers to take effect), and excluding Stickies, can anyone find a higher ratio than ours ?

Disappointed Danny.
 
Old 21st Dec 2016, 12:50
  #9870 (permalink)  
 
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Now my diary tells me "winter begins". Oh, woe !
Danny,
Looking on the bright side, tomorrow the days start getting longer !
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 12:52
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Danny 42C:-
I must apologise for addressing my Post #9862 to Geriaviator (when it should clearly have been to you), as if #9548 was from him and not from you.
Worry not Danny. The attribution was merely for blatant plagiarising of a Googled YouTube post anyway, and to be confused with Geriaviator is mere flattery!

As to:-
We Seniors easily become confused !
Pull the other one Sir! Your ability to refer back by hundreds of posts on this thread to illustrate a point is well known and, as Geriaviator rightly says, the 10,000th post looms on the horizon and should be rightly reserved for you, the thread Mentor and Senior Pilot of our Cyber Crewroom!

Interesting that you cite the good ergonomics of the Spitfire cockpit. I always understood that, excellent as the aircraft was, its internal arrangements accorded with standard UK practice of "find a space and bolt whatever right there". Could not the U/C and Flap controls be confused in a hurry, being close together, or was that an entirely different aircraft that I'm thinking of?

I remember that on first acquaintance the Hercules layout as being very impressive compared with the seemingly random disposition of radios etc in the Hastings. Was not the Mustang also supposedly impressive in regard to its ergonomics?

Finally many thanks for your Season's Wishes which I return in full by saying a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to you, and to all who share this shabby but extremely warm hearted Crew Room!
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 13:20
  #9872 (permalink)  
 
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Chugalug, you're making me blush
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 13:25
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Slightly off topic, but Danny I am sure you will be in the thoughts of many of us on Christmas Day. I for one will raise a glass....
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 15:07
  #9874 (permalink)  
 
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THE PARKHOUSE MEMOIRS Part 14

The memoirs of Sqn Ldr Rupert Parkhouse, recorded in 1995 Part 14. The first post in this series is #9775 on page 489 of this thread.
I GOT UP from the ditch and was vaguely aware of movement in the surrounding fields. Very soon a company of scruffy French infantrymen came up and covered me with rifles and were distinctly unfriendly, I think they must have taken me as a German pilot and I was relieved that I was not wearing my normal black flying suit.

I always carried a French dictionary and told them 'Je suis aviateur Anglais' but they did not seem very convinced until the corporal approached, saw my wings and said 'RAF' at which they all put down their rifles and embraced me. They said they would take me back to their HQ and when asked they said they had seen two parachutes leave the aeroplane and pointed in the direction of these parachutes.

They had a small Citroen with a very pale wounded man in the back seat, whom they were taking back for medical help, but they agreed to drive past where they had seen the parachutes. We had a bumpy ride across fields with me standing on the running-board for a better view, and to my horror I saw German tanks going along a road but they didn't take any notice of us.

Then I spotted the two parachutes on the side of a little hillock, with a line of footmarks through the greenery which I followed into a cornfield where I saw two figures in RAF blue. I ran after them shouting and we had a very emotional embrace, as they escaped by parachute they had seen our aircraft going down on fire and had thought I was probably killed in the crash.

We boarded the little car and drove unto a metalled road with a sign saying Troyes 13km, and Sgt Morris said 'Why don't we leave these Froggies now and make our way to Troyes on our own?' He had been in France since September 1939 and did not trust the French, but I said it would be a better bet if they took us to their HQ and gave us transport back to Souge. He demurred at that, but in view of what happened I've always regretted that I did not take his advice and take that road to Troyes. But there you are, that's how life pans out.
NEXT POST: At last, Rupert and his crew find the German tanks they had been sent to attack. Unfortunately they no longer have the means to do so, and the result is inevitable ...
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 17:28
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Thanks, Geriaviator, for your on-going efforts. I'm really enjoying the series! Wishing you and everyone else reading this thread a joyous holiday season!
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 19:58
  #9876 (permalink)  
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Chugalug (#9872),

Thank you for the kind words, Sir ! I would hesitate to describe myself as any kind of mentor to this, or any other Thread, but am in no doubt that you were (and are) my first and most revered mentor, who, five long years ago guided my early, faltering steps in this minefield which is the internet .

Now the Spitfire could not have had the u/c and flap controls more widely apart. High on the LH panel, there was a smart, chrome plated, key-shaped lever, hinged at the top. Normally it was in the up position (and may even have had the word "Up" engraved on it).

When you needed it for landing, you swung this little lever over to 'down', there was a sharp hiss of compressed air (which we said came from the "flap gremlin" who lived behind the panel) - and the flaps came down with a rush, and you had your full 60 in a second or so.

If reasonably level, there would be a sharp nose-up change of trim, but if you were doing a "Spitfire Approach", you would be half-way round the corner with your Spit "on its left ear", and the result was most gratifying, your aircraft spun round on its left wingtip like an old black cab in a narrow street and stopped in an easy position to make a curving round out and a nice at three-pointer TM fashion !

There was no intermediate flap position, but if part-flap were essential for take off (eg for a carrier take-off to land in Malta), the flaps were first lowered, then a suitable block of wood held against the wing space, then the flaps raised again, but this time with the block trapped in the middle. So you now had 20 (say) for take off, over the sea you lowered, the block fell out, and you lifted the flaps again.

The undercarriage (hydraulic) handle was low down on the RH side, it was conventional, the nice little white porcelain grip familiar from the 'smallest room' in most homes.

The flight instruments were the standard "Sperry panel" and the arrangement of engine and auxiliary dials on the RH side no worse than most other service aircraft.

What made the Spitfire so nice to fly was that the positioning of the throttle quadrant, the (articulated) stick with its spade grip, the two-level rudder foot "stirrups" and the seat, were such that everything came easily to hand, and you felt "at one" with the thing at once. It was said that you got in or onto most aircraft, but you 'put a Spitfire on like an old glove'.

Many other types (the Master, for one), used hydraulics for both wheels and flaps, the controls were side by side, and raising the u/c in mistake for the flaps a constant danger.

Enough to be going on with - Season's Greetings to all of Good Will,

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 22nd Dec 2016 at 13:20. Reason: Spacing.
 
Old 21st Dec 2016, 22:28
  #9877 (permalink)  
 
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And Season's Greetings to All from the Southern Antipodes.

I have been an avid follower of this thread since clifffnemo first put finger to keypad. Its personal reflections have fleshed out the many, many stories of military flying that I pored over as a child (and later ) .

Over the past six years, I have also followed, in parallel with this thread, my youngest son's journey towards becoming a modern day air force pilot.

While the equipment and tactics may have changed over time, there appears to be much commonality between the past and present in attitude and focus.

This Christmas, he is en route to his first operational fighter squadron.

At this time where we reflect on thoughts of Peace and Goodwill, my hope is that his story will not come to be entitled "Gaining an RAAF Pilots Brevet In Time For WW III."
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 06:48
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the Finest Thread Ever in Military Aviation Forum is to be pipped at the 10,000 Post Point by "F-35 cancelled - then what ?"

But, surely, none cover such a myriad of topics that come from the congenial/affable members of our 'crewroom' ... and for that we must be grateful to our Mods.


May I wish each and every one of you a Happy Christmas and a good New Year.
FZ
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 06:52
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Cooda - good luck to your son
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 10:44
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Danny, I apologise for even suggesting that the Spitfire internals could be any less well done than the universally acknowledged externals. Porcelain handles? How very upmarket! Obviously it was the single exception to the default UK response of "We don't do ergonomics, mate!". Though not having been a single engined member of the two wing master race myself, I can appreciate that such attention to detail could be the difference between success and failure, triumph or defeat.

Your description of the simple yet effective means by which Spitfires (as against Seafires) could be launched from our carriers, in order to reinforce Malta during its siege, is an excellent example of the historical value of this thread. I now know that the Spitfire's flaps had but two positions, 0 and 60 degrees, but that military ingenuity provided for any once off intermediate position for Take Off merely by whittling wood blocks to the desired amount. Now a lot of people didn't know that (self included!), but they do now. Thanks Danny!

PS. CS, may I too echo Wander00's best wishes for your son's RAAF career. May it be long and very fulfilling!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 22nd Dec 2016 at 10:51. Reason: PS
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