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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 6th Jun 2017, 08:30
  #10801 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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DH fan, thanks for explaining what mirror means, which had bypassed me entirely. As you say, it meant that the standard masks were reversed rather than the colours. Intriguingly it was left to the various factories to how to turn out equal numbers of the A and B patterns, most choosing the serial numbers (ending in even or odd numbers) to be the deciding factors. Even when they were told to switch to one pattern only, it was left to them to decide if it be the A or B (most chose A).

The whole point of shadow pattern camouflage was to meld into the surrounding landscape. As aircraft were parked in a greatly and increasingly dispersed manner, any problems of a repeat pattern in a group of such aircraft were therefore remote, which was presumably the reason that the need for two patterns was dropped.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 09:30
  #10802 (permalink)  
 
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I have posted this before so for those that have not read it:

British propellers went clockwise because the propeller was mounted on the front of the engine so clockwise is the normal rotation. Occasionally it was the other way because of a single stage prop-reduction gearbox. Americans attached the propeller to the drive end of the engine where in a car the clutch would be. This meant that the engine flew backwards with the propeller turning the other way.

On the whole British engines had their cylinders numbered from the front of the aeroplane's engine and American cylinders from the back of the airplane's motor.

There is also, of course, exceptions.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 10:39
  #10803 (permalink)  
 
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Danny42C ...
In 1955, SOs and a few VSOs attended a six month Course in the Empire Flying School at Manby, to bring them up to speed in the new, high speed Air Force. Freed from the responsibility of command, some of these old gentlemen happily reverted to being "one of the boys" and relived their early years.
Equally valid in 1965! As a shiny new plt off, it came as something of a surprise to be on friendly terms with gp capt and wg cdr students who were festooned with medal ribbons! And they kindly refilled my glass more often than I reciprocated - some were very deliberate in avoiding me incurring significant expense.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 11:27
  #10804 (permalink)  
 
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megan / Danny that is indeed the one and only Griffon engined Tempest III, all the rest were either Tempest V with the Napier Sabre engine or Tempest II with the Bristol Centaurus. All monsters compared to the Spit!!

Here's an interesting website dedicated to the mighty Tempest The Hawker Tempest Page
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 12:24
  #10805 (permalink)  
 
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Kookabat, thank you for the item on the wonderful Howard Hendrick, sometime of 460 Sqn. I was very interested in this because on our return from India I spent 1948-1952 at Binbrook, 460 Sqn's wartime base. The squadron delivered one of the highest tonnages to the Axis powers but paid dearly with one of the highest casualty rates.

We were told of this history at Binbrook School, and to this day Binbrook Parish Council remembers the scores of young Australians who never returned. The squadron memorial stands at the junction opposite the school. The Marquis of Granby, their pub in the village a mile from the airfield, has long been a private dwelling but their signatures are preserved on the ceiling of what was once the bar.

One of the squadron Lancasters, a Mark I, serial W4783 AR-G, made 90 operational sorties between December 6 1942 and April 20 1944 (when it bombed Cologne) and was subsequently presented to the Australian War Museum.

The following information was prepared by Steve Larkins on the Australian Returned Services League website, to whom we are very grateful. Howard Hendrick was born on 2 October 1923, the son of a soldier settler , Tom Hendrick, and his English war bride who had taken a soldier-settler's fruit block in South Australia's Riverland. At the age of 18 he joined the RAAF with fighter pilot training at Victor Harbor, Parafield and Deniliquin. On posting to England he was retrained as a bomber pilot and posted to 460 Australian Sqn at Binbrook.

Howard completed 30 raids (a tour of ops) with the same crew and became a flying instructor until the end of the war. After further training he become a pilot with British Airways and flew scheduled routes between London and Johannesburg and Sydney. After four years with BA, Howard returned to Australia to take up a Soldier Settler block in Loxton, where he and his family worked and resided for more than 60 years.

Finally retiring aged 86, Howard (now 92) still enjoys a monthly Jabiru solo flight at his local aero club and has had his recollections recorded on ABC Radio, with these oral histories part of the South Australian State Library collection. This history does not seem to be online but if it is I have asked the State Library for permission to transcribe it for series publication in this thread.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 16:03
  #10806 (permalink)  
 
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There are No New Things under the Sun ? - Yes, there are, on this Prince of Threads ! Where to begin ?

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Chugalug (#10800),

The earth/green colour sceme was like that applied to our VVs in Burma. Excellent against a jungle background. We did some "Fighter Affiliation" exercises (without a Fighter - a single VV had to do). I sometimes flew the "Fighter", and quickly learned that I could not take my eyes off our "box-of-six" for a single moment - they'd vanish in the jungle canopy, and I'd to look really hard for a second or two to pick them up again. It was hard work and we didn't learn much.

You may recall that once, alone, I snuggled against a green jungle hillside in Assam to hide from a Lone Ranger (almost certainly an Oscar) who was dogging my footsteps. I'm sure he knew something was there, but he didn't spot me, got fed up and went away.

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megan (#10802),

Another lovely pic ! So that was the one and only Griffon Tempest. Nice, clean lines, should fly very well. But what a weird, "stepped" leading edge. What would be the (aerodynamic) advantage of that, do you suppose ?

Your: "Re prop rotation. In the late 1930's the Society of British Aircraft Constructors established standardization guidelines, including the direction of prop rotation, which was clockwise when viewed from the front".

..."from the front" (so anticlock from the cockpit ?) Surely not - everything I flew, British or US, tried to swing left on takeoff, except the Griffon Spit !

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FED (#10804),

..."Americans attached the propeller to the drive end of the engine where in a car the clutch would be. This meant that the engine flew backwards with the propeller turning the other way" ...

Not sure I'm with quite with you there. Only the Stearman and the TM I flew had the prop splined onto the shaft. Everything else had reduction gearing of some sort.

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MPN11 (#10805),

Nice to hear that your "Air Commodore Byplane-Ffixpitch" and his ilk treated you with such courtesy (as one of the "newbies"); in 1955 most of our CFIs and ATCs would be wearing a row of ribbons, and many "gongs" as well. I've said somewhere that "there wasn't a Control Tower in the land that couldn't field at least one full bomber crew (and sometimes two) at a pinch". These would naturally have far more in common with the old boys than the young gentlemen hot out of Cranwell.

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LowNSlow (and plenty of top rudder on the corners ?) - (#10806),

Thanks for the link - will look it up when I have a spare moment.

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Geriaviator (#10807),

..."their signatures are preserved on the ceiling of what was once the bar"...

(Sometimes footprints !) How did that happen, one asks oneself ?

..."and became a flying instructor until the end of the war"...

Probably on a Heavy Conversion Unit (many people thought that job far more frightening than their 'ops' over Germany).

...At the age of 18 he joined the RAAF with fighter pilot training at Victor Harbor, Parafield and Deniliquin. On posting to England he was retrained as a bomber pilot and posted to 460 Australian Sqn at Binbrook...

The fate of many who trained overseas, when they returned to UK. The Fighter Sqns were not losing many, and required few replacements. In Bomber Command, it was vastly different. Probably have been my "lot" had I not been shipped to India after Fighter OCU.

Do you think there is any chance of luring Howard on here - he'd be as wecome as the Flowers in Spring (or at least tell him about us) ? He's only a sprog at 92 when all's said and done. Plenty of mileage in him yet.

Cheers, Gentlemen, one and all,

Danny.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 16:54
  #10807 (permalink)  
 
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Danny,

Re: the stepped leading edge on the Griffon Tempest - I'm pretty certain it's the radiators.

Prop rotation brings up another query of which way does the engine rotate?
By the late thirties most if not all higher powered aero engines were geared.
Generally, inline engines had spur reduction gearing which usually reversed rotation and radials had epicyclic gearing which didn't...
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 17:01
  #10808 (permalink)  
 
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Danny re yr. 10808:

"Another lovely pic ! So that was the one and only Griffon Tempest. Nice, clean lines, should fly very well. But what a weird, "stepped" leading edge. What would be the (aerodynamic) advantage of that, do you suppose "?

I think that it is a wing mounted oil cooler (in the closed position) as the Napier engine versions all had a huge air intake up front under the engine which this Griffon prototype does not. I think that the (Bristol)? radial engined Tempests also utilised this feature

All the best
Ian BB
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 17:39
  #10809 (permalink)  
 
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There may be an oil cooler there too, but having now looked it up in Hawker Aircraft since 1920, they are the radiators.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 20:08
  #10810 (permalink)  
 
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As a guess, judging by the cooler in the leading edge of the Griffon Tempest's wing, they had overcome the drag effect of the bearded radiator on the Tempest V. Again from Pierre Closterman's book the description of belly landing a Tempest with a bearded radiator is described pretty graphically so it must have been an experience to remember.

Throwing a quick oar in I would have though that the radiators on the inner wing would have upset yaw control especially at high angles of attack. Combat in the 1940s was both hands on the stick and shove it around and to the Hell with aerodynamics. (Wot's that?)

The Centaurus Tempest used what was probably the most powerful piston engine ever produced in the UK. The Napier Sabre was a close second and to appreciate British aero engineering at it's peak one should go to Duxford and view the dissected Sabre engine.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 20:16
  #10811 (permalink)  
 
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In one of the Wannabes forums bloke is asking for CPL NUGGETS to help in his training . My advice to him ran so -


Your own pre-take off brief (whenever single pilot ops) is crucial. The day you go into the take-off, fat, dumb and happy, is the day the fickle finger of fate is waiting to ensnare you. Many are the pilots who did not take the time to consider their actions in the event of engine failure, before having plenty of height in hand. (And a good many of those paid the ultimate price. And not infrequently, included have been those innocents who happened to be along for the ride. A King Air departing Melbourne for King Island last year, is a case in point . ) So tell yourself exactly what you will do if left with no power or in the case of a twin, down to one. The more you have rehearsed your actions beforehand, the better will be the outcome. Sounds obvious, but sometimes, for some pilots, the lesson is hard learned.

The time will come when you can be attentively relaxed and enjoy the benefits that ensure from becoming an increasingly experienced pilot. Two of the best books ever written on the subject of what wings can enable, in terms of an enlightenment, are by the late Harald Penrose, who, following his retirement after years as a test-pilot with the Westland Company at Yeovil, took to flying round southern England in his diminutive single-seat biplane (A Currie Wot). His refections on what this experience brought for him in later life are, in part, an airman's glorious denouement . The books are 'Airymouse' and 'Cloud Cuckooland'. All this is tangential to the thread starter's purpose, but nonetheless, the question remains, why fly? For the view, a lot of the time.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 20:17
  #10812 (permalink)  
 
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As a guess, judging by the cooler in the leading edge of the Griffon Tempest's wing, they had overcome the drag effect of the bearded radiator on the Tempest V. Again from Pierre Closterman's book the description of belly landing a Tempest with a bearded radiator is described pretty graphically so it must have been an experience to remember.

Throwing a quick oar in I would have thought that the radiators on the inner wing would have upset yaw control especially at high angles of attack. Combat in the 1940s was both hands on the stick and shove it around and to the Hell with aerodynamics. (Wot's that?)

The Centaurus Tempest used what was probably the most powerful piston engine ever produced in the UK. The Napier Sabre was a close second and to appreciate British aero engineering at it's peak one should go to Duxford and view the dissected Sabre engine.
Attached Images

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 6th Jun 2017 at 20:48.
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Old 6th Jun 2017, 23:59
  #10813 (permalink)  
 
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I'll have to refer to the book(s) to be certain but IIRC the Sabre-powered Typhoon, Tempest or both initially had a radiator under the centre-section and there were unexpected consequences, either regarding cooling or aerodynamically.
Moving it forwards to the familiar chin position cured the problem.

I showed a young mate with a mechanical bent the sectioned Sabre at Duxford a couple of years ago. It made his head hurt.
We're going again sometime this year. I'll show him the innards of a radial...
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 01:17
  #10814 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
Do you think there is any chance of luring Howard on here
Fair to middling, I'd say. He's certainly keen to chat. I have a postal address and will send him a letter later this week; I'll make sure to ask if he's online.

Originally Posted by Geriaviator
One of the squadron Lancasters, a Mark I, serial W4783 AR-G, made 90 operational sorties between December 6 1942 and April 20 1944 (when it bombed Cologne) and was subsequently presented to the Australian War Museum.
The War Memorial hosted the weekend, and I was one of about 300 people (38 veterans!) who enjoyed lunch in the shadows of its wings on Sunday:



Now that's something you don't get to do every day!

Adam
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 02:47
  #10815 (permalink)  
 
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Wonderful shot there Adam.


*Just slipping in the final answer to the photograph a few pages back.


At the Battle of Britain 70th anniversary dinner on September 15th 2010 at the London Guildhall. Various things were auctioned off for RAFBF etc. Among the things I ended up with was a piston from an early Merlin engine, mounted on a stand with explanatory plaque from the Rolls Royce factory! My wife prefers that I keep it in the attic, but occasionally I bring it down to quietly admire.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 04:05
  #10816 (permalink)  
 
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But what a weird, "stepped" leading edge. What would be the (aerodynamic) advantage of that, do you suppose?
Aerodynamically I would suggest it's perhaps to take advantage of the stagnated airflow (high pressure) in front of the airfoil, Mosquito, certain models of the Fairey Firefly used a similar configuration. The F4U Corsair used the same position for engine supercharger intake, intercooler and oil cooler air.

Some light reading.

http://naca.central.cranfield.ac.uk/...report-743.pdf
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 05:56
  #10817 (permalink)  
 
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Brilliant Adam . .. . what a shot . .. what a photograph (the couple in the foreground could not possibly be Second World War vets. ? ) Howard not long ago received The Order of Légion d'Honneur when the frogs finally formerly acknowledged in individual tributes the role of the allies and the Brits helping secure an end to their years of occupation.
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Old 7th Jun 2017, 19:51
  #10818 (permalink)  
 
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..."And stoop to build it up again with worn-out tools"

Having no end of laptop trouble today, gremlin having a field day, but: "if you don't at first succeed, try, try again !"

What a drove of hares we've set running today ! First:

Let me thank all those who have put forward suggestions and explanations for the odd "step" in the Tempest leading edge. Seems it's not an aerodynamic feature at all, but rather a case of Making a Virtue out of Necessity, in that when you've got to find space for a coolant radiator, an intercooler, an air intake and an oil cooler, something's got to go up on the roofrack (in this case the leading edge wing roots).

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FED (#10812),

..."belly landing a Tempest with a bearded radiator is described pretty graphically, so it must have been an experience to remember"...

Read a story once about an original Typhoon in Malta. Chap had to belly-land it, they were doing fine until the Sabre broke out. Then it went bounding along beside him like a playful ton-weight dog. Looked like joining him in the cockpit, but fortunately bounced off into the middle distance. As you say, experiences to remember !

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Fantome (#10813),

...So tell yourself exactly what you will do if left with no power or in the case of a twin, down to one. The more you have rehearsed your actions beforehand, the better will be the outcome...

I told much the same to the new young Controllers who came to us at Leeming from Shawbury from the late '60s onwards:

"When it's quiet, focus on some item of your equipment, and work out your fall-back position if it suddenly fails. Example:

A careless bogtrotter puts his pick through a cable. Your mains radio goes out. All right, go over to the standbys. The batteries are flat, what now ?

(a) if you have one of the old "truck" GCAs on the field, it'll be self- powered and has a radio set in it. Talkdown is always Approach qualified; tell your local traffic to look after itself (Dad and Grandad managed it with far busier circuits than yours, if they could do it, so can you).

(b) No truck radar ?; outside on the Flight Line you've a row of radios looking like JPs, your Duty Instructor in the room with you will roust out the QFIs and stoods from their crewroom; you've got a loud hailer, go out on the balcony and use it. One QFI in nearest JP in cockpit, a stod on the near wing to shout back at you (a VV on the line was "Cannanore Tower" for me).

There's always a way ! (but it helps to have thought about it first).

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FED (#10814) and DHfan (#10815),

Nice pic of a wonderful engine (but would've made my head hurt, too !)

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kookabat/Adam (#10816),

..."I'll make sure to ask if he's online"... If he isn't, give him some dual on your laptop. When he sees what he's missing, he'll be down at the IT shop like a Great Hairy Dog. Tell him to get a touchscreen laptop, it's worth the extra money and saves a lot of time. Warn his daughter to expect a lot of profanity that she's never heard before !

..."you don't get to do every day!" .... No, you don't dine with a cookie" (hope it's a dummy) behind you, and the great corvine bulk of the Luckiest Lanc of All looming over you. Did they take it off 'ops' as there was no more room to paint any more "bomblets ?"

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megan (#10818),

..."Some light reading"... (made my head hurt even more !)

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Fantome (#10819),

..."the Brits helping secure an end to their years of occupation"...

One of the most moving newsreel clips after "VE Day", was that of Winston and Le Grand Charles walking together, unaccompanied, down the Champs Élysées in the spring sunshine (even though an exasperated Churchill, on one occasion in WWII, remarked that "the greatest cross he had to bear was the Cross of Lorraine !")

Danny.
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 01:20
  #10819 (permalink)  
 
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Re my #10815 - I was nearly right.

It was the Tornado (effectively a RR Vulture powered Typhoon - only one production and a few prototypes built) that had the centre-section radiator and it caused problems with compressibility. Moving it to the familiar chin position was the solution.
Initially the Sabre was even more problematical than the Vulture so I guess that by the time one was ready to test they went straight for a chin radiator.

Megan's #10818
The earlier marks of Firefly had chin radiators (one is on long-term restoration to flight at Duxford) but later ones had them on the wing leading edges.

Presumably there's an excellent reason but it's far beyond my knowledge and probably understanding.

Re Fareastdrivers comments on the Centaurus and Sabre. According to Wiki, and I'm pretty sure I've previously read it elsewhere, an experimental Sabre produced 5,500 hp on test. That's spectacular from 37 litres.

There's a sound file of a Sabre on Lownslow's link which I must listen to one day. I believe they revved to around 4,000 which is also impressive for such a large engine.
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 08:56
  #10820 (permalink)  
 
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I'd just like to thank all those who have explained a lot of the known unknowns (for me at least), be it camouflage schemes or radiator positions for in line engines. The aggressive looking radiator of the Typhoon was a really in your face aspect of an aircraft that could never be termed pretty and was in reality the beast that it appeared to be.

Was not the Sabre in reality two 12 cylinder engines with their twin crankshafts connected at the gearbox? Evidently it had a propensity to catch fire on startup if the priming was not just right (and "right" varied from engine to engine!), and as many fire extinguisher equipped ground crew as possible attended every start up. Thus you kept the canopy open and your straps undone until all 24 cylinders were firing in perfect harmony, ready to shut down and get out pronto if the ground crew indicated that might be a very good idea.

I also seem to remember that mass production of this state of the art power unit posed almost insuperable problems, in particular that of the sleeve valves. Bristol had both the technique and tooling to do so, and had to be ordered to release some of that capability to enable Napiers to ensure any production whatsoever. In the event it was the Bristol radials that reigned supreme, being the last in service UK military high powered piston engines before the ubiquitous jet turbines replaced them all.
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