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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 23rd Aug 2018, 14:17
  #12161 (permalink)  
 
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Ha ha, nice one Danny! How about "undercarriage lever a bit stiff was it, Sir?". Better watch out though or we'll be getting a pink frightener from the Captions Comp thread!
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 12:28
  #12162 (permalink)  
 
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Danny, do you recognise any of this radio gear that was fitted into Spitfires?
Spitfire radio spares
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 13:55
  #12163 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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ricardian (#12163),

All I know about radios is the on-off button. In the Spitfires and Hurricanes I flew in 1942, we had a TR9 (HF), but it was not much good and we didn't use it at all. There were far too many aircraft in circuit to attempt any ATC - it was "every man for himself". In the Spitfire it lived in a top fuselage compartment behind my head.

In the postwar Mk.XVIs, we had an eight-button VHF job. Don't know what TR it was.

Danny.
 
Old 24th Aug 2018, 21:11
  #12164 (permalink)  
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Megan,

Thanks for your excerpts from Capt. Brown's "Wings of the Luftwaffe". This is what I have to add to it:
...STUKA! What other acronym that saw common usage in Europe during the first eighteen or so months of World War ll could evoke such terror in the minds of so many? To those countless European refugees jamming the roads in frantic endeavour to escape the advancing Wehrmacht Stuka was synonymous with death and destruction wrought from the sky with terrifying precision...
Refugees were, I believe, often cleared from roads onto the fields (to allow the German armour to get through) by "dummy" dives without bombing or gunfire:
having eight tons or so of screaming Stuka coming down at you (and with sirens (Jericho-Trompete") to make an even more fearsome row) would make the stoutest heart quail.
...it was a mass demoraliser, hurtling vertically earthwards with a banshee-like wail that had a devastating psychological effect...
And blowing holes in roads that you intend to use yourself is not very clever
. ...The service was first and foremost a tool for the direct support of the ground forces and the Stuka was seen as a successor to long-range artillery...
Exactly our experience in Burma. "ASC" ("Army Support, Close") appears time after time in our logs. It was the most satisfying type of operation, for you were precision-bombing Japanese military positions marked exactly (with mortar smoke bombs) by the Army: there was little chance of any "collateral mage", which was in other targets more than likely.
...Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, use of the Stuka presupposed control of the air; a desirable situation that was to be enjoyed increasingly rarely as the conflict progressed. Once control of the air could no longer be guaranteed, the Stuka, in the form of the Ju 87, had become an anachronism... it was also the natural prey of the fighter...
As Wiki puts it: "Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective against ground targets, the Stuka was vulnerable to contemporary fighter aircraft, like many other dive bombers of the war". It had to be made strong, to resist the stresses of the dive and pull-out: strong means heavy, so you end with a thing too clumsy to fight, and too slow to run away.

We were "in the same boat", but only to an extent. The Jap armies in Burma were supported by a small number of "Oscars" (Nakajima Ki-43). These very useful weapons could at any time have been scrambled to intercept our "boxes" of six VVs (the standard tactical formation). We did "Fighter Affiliation" exercises with Hurricanes, to determine the feasibility of our official "stick together and fight them off" defensive policy. But the Hurricane pilots all laughed at our "evasive action": they had no difficulty in keeping their gun sights on us throughout the elephantine turns of a "box" of VVs.

The whole idea was suicidal: a properly handled pair of "Oscars" would easily take out all six VVs (if they stayed together) with their aimed 2x0.50s each versus our rear 2x0.303s each, on held held mountings, used by Navs who'd never fired a shot or AGs who had had no live practice since they left their Blenheim turrets in early '42. Bullets would be sprayed all over the sky, but the only thing we were likely to hit was our own tails, for there was nothing to stop that happening.

But the feared attack never happened - and to this day we don't know why. It would seem that the "Oscars" had been supplied for ineffective "hit and run" attacks on our camps, roads and airstrips - and nothing else. What the Oscars thought (when they saw us sailing overhead) is not recorded. And of course the possibility hung over our heads as a "Sword of Damocles" on every take-off: ("is this going to be the day ?") Fighter escorts ? Very rarely had them, and in any case Hurricanes would've had their work cut out defending themselves, never mind us !
...The check list for preparing the Ju 87D to enter the dive was as follows:

Landing flaps at cruise position
Elevator trim at cruise position
Rudder trim at cruise position
Airscrew pitch set at cruise
Contact altimeter switched on
Contact altimeter set to release altitude
Supercharger set at automatic
Throttle pulled right back *
Cooler flaps closed
Dive brakes opened...

Here is th
e comparable checklist for a VV:

...All Trims Neutral
___Bomb doors Open
___[6] Bomb switches On
___All tank pumps On
___Mixture full Rich
___"Blower" Low
___Throttle 1/3 Open *
___2300 rpm on Prop
___Gills Shut
___Harness Tight
___Canopy Closed...

Note *: To avoid our (aircooled) radial engines suffering "Thermal Shock" in descent. The Stuka's liquid cooled Junkers Jumo would not be affected. As the VV always reached terminal velocity in the dive (ca 300 mph), it did not matter how much power was left on (and it was a good idea to have a nice warm engine to rely on when departing the scene of the crime !)
...This last action made the aircraft nose over into the dive under the influence of the pull-out mechanism which was actuated by the opening of the dive brakes which also actuated the safety pilot control...
What exactly was this "pull-out mechanism.....safety pilot control ?
...The most difficult thing in dive bombing training is overestimating the dive angle which invariably feels much steeper than it actually is. Every dive bomber of WW ll vintage featured some form of synthetic aid to judging dive angle...
The VV didn't.
...and in the lu 87 this consisted simply of a series of lines of inclination marked on the starboard front side screen of the cockpit.
These marks, when aligned with the horizon, gave dive angles of 30 degrees to 90 degrees. Now a dive angle of 90 degrees is a pretty palpitating experience...
Not really, you keep busy, holding the nose on target and keeping a hawk-like eye on your altimeter, and it's only for 20 seconds or so
...For some indefinable reason the Ju 87D felt right standing on its nose...
So did the VV
...and the acceleration to 540km/h (335mph) was reached in about 1,370m (4,500ft). Speed thereafter crept slowly up to the absolute permitted limit of 600km/h (373mph) so that the feeling of being on a runaway roller-coaster experienced with most other dive bombers was missing...
A VV always felt (and was) under perfect control in the dive, as the big dive brakes held it in position like a vice.
...As speed built up, the nose of the Ju 87 was used as the aiming mark...
We had a one-inch yellow line painted from top of cowling back to mid-point of base of screen.
...Any alterations in azimuth to keep the aiming mark on the target could be made accurately by use of the ailerons...

[See #12161]

...During the dive it was necessary to watch the signal light on the contact altimeter, and when it came on, the knob on the control column was depressed to initiate the automatic pull-out at 6’g’, a 450-m (1,475-ft) height margin being required to complete the manoeuvre. The automatic pull-out mechanism had a high reputation for reliability, but in the event of failure the pull-out could be effected with a full-blooded pull on the control column, aided by judicious operation of the elevator trimmer to override the safety pilot control...

Refer to Wiki "Stuka" ("Diving Procedure"). But how did this "automatic pull-out" actually work ? ("The automatic pull-out was not liked by all pilots"). Not surprised ! (don't like the idea much myself).

Reminds me that somewhere on Thread is an "Oh, dear !" tale from a few days before the 1939 invasion of Poland. Seems the Luftwaffe had laid on a "Stuka" air display (to soften up the Poles ?) 20 Stukas were to make a mass attack on target. But at the last moment some low cloud had drifted in to cover it.

The Show Must Go On - In defiance of the dive-bombing "must" that: "the dog must see the rabbit", they bombed regardless .... The score was: 13 Stukas and 26 crew written off. What Goering (and later Hitler) said about it when they heard is not recorded. The Poles were much amused.

...The sequence of events on selecting the dive brakes was most interesting. On extension of the brakes, red indicators protruded from each wing upper surface. This action automatically brought into play the safety pilot control and the dive recovery mechanism. The object of the latter was to return the elevator trimmer flaps to their normal position after release of the bomb, thus initiating pull-out from the dive which had been started by the elevator trim being brought into action to nose the aircraft over. The safety pilot control was a restriction introduced into the control column movement whereby this was limited by means of hydraulic pressure to a pull of only 5 degrees from the neutral position, thus obviating excessive g loads in pulling-out. In an emergency this restriction could be overridden to give a 13 degrees movement. Once the aircraft had its nose safely pointed above the horizon from the pull-out, the dive brakes were retracted, the airscrew pitch set to take-off/climb and the throttle opened up to 1.15 atas of boost, although in conditions of enemy flak it was recommended that the full 1.35 atas be used. The radiator flaps were then opened...
"Interesting" is not the word for it !" Our procedure was much simpler: when your altimeter needle passes 3,500 ft agl (3,000 ft true as altimeter lags in dive), press bomb release button (on throttle knob) and pull like Hell ! Pulling to "grey-out" should see you level at 1,000 ft - but of course, over any defended target, you'll be right down in the treetops ASAP. 1,000 ft sounds a fairly comfortable margin. but as you were coming down at 400 ft/sec (= 300 mph), you had 2 secs "wriggle room". Not a lot ! [Full description of a VV dive in Page 133 #2058 this Thread]
...When I finally turned for Schleswig, to where 1 was supposed to deliver the Ju 87D-3, I must confess that I had had a more enjoyable hour's dive bombing practice than I had ever experienced with any other aircraft of this specialist type. Somehow the Ju 87D did not appear to find its natural element until it was diving steeply. it seemed quite normal to stand this aircraft on its nose in a vertical dive because its acceleration had none of that uncontrollable runaway feeling associated with a 90 degree inclination in an aircraft like the Skua. Obviously, the fixed undercarriage and the large-span dive brakes of the Junkers were a highly effective drag combination...
The dive brakes of the VV did the same job fine.
...Duly warned, I set about the simple preparations for landing at Schleswig which were to reduce speed to about 200km/h (125mph), select flaps down on the crosswind leg at approximately 180km/h (112mph), lock tailwheel...
We didn't bother, left it unlocked all the time, lock not needed.
...set airscrew pitch to fully fine and approach at 150km/h (93mph), progressively reducing to 120km/h (75mph) at hold-off. View for landing was excellent, the brakes proved powerful and could be applied almost immediately after a three-pointer, and the landing run was very short indeed. The Ju 87D could, I understand, be landed with full bombload or, in an emergency, with the dive brakes extended...
Not a VV ! With dive brakes out in the air it went into "brick" mode !
...although to three-point the aircraft in the latter circumstances apparently required a 27-kg (60-lb) pull on the control column to overcome the safety pilot control...
Here's this "safety pilot control" again. What was it ?

As I noted for the VV: "It did the State some service - and they know't". And that's all, folks. (The last surviving (non-flying) VV is in the Camden Museum, Narellan, Sydney). Unregarded at the time, and completely forgotten now.

Thanks, megan, for giving me this to chew on.

Danny.
 
Old 24th Aug 2018, 21:15
  #12165 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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These look nicer, Chugalug: [WIKI}

Danny,
 
Old 25th Aug 2018, 00:40
  #12166 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed they do, Danny. It looks as though they've cleared those many deferred defects from the F700! Can't say I've ever thought of the Stuka as anything other than the epitome of Nazi nastiness. Its use against undefended civilians be they in Warsaw or fleeing ahead of the Wehrmacht in Belgium or France does not lend itself to much admiration. Admittedly it's military utility in Russia proved of some use in that doomed adventure. It was perhaps though most useful as a propaganda tool for the good Doctor in his countless newsreels, with its Jericho trumpets shrieking loudly. Ironic that after the early successes of Blitzkrieg it still carried on until the bitter end. One has to admire the courage of its crews in doing so given its sitting duck vulnerability.

It seems amazing now that the cream of the Luftwaffe flight schools did not go to the 109 but to the Stuka, for it was a vital part of the triumvirate that was Blitzkrieg, along with the Panzer and the Radio net. If he'd come as he'd promised us he would then he could have won his war and his lebensraum, but Blitzkrieg stumbled at the Channel coast and the Stuka met its nemesis.

Not a nice aeroplane and not a nice concept in my view, with all due respect to Captain Brown. In contrast the VV was bought in a hurry and their Airships regretted it immediately. Banished to India along with all the other obsolete kit, it found its natural hunting ground in Burma. As Danny says, it should have been allowed to go on doing its excellent work there until the drawing of stumps, but their Airships acted in haste again. One wonders sometimes how we ever prevailed!
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 02:32
  #12167 (permalink)  
 
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Here's this "safety pilot control" again. What was it ?
Might answer your question Danny.
We approached our target at an altitude of 5000 meters, extended the hydraulic speed brakes shortly before the target, then making the target move into the bottom window in the cockpit below our feet. When it disappeared at the back edge, we turned the plane down at a dive angle of 70 degrees. With the gas shut off, the plane quickly gained speed by its own weight, whilst the diving brakes kept it at a steady pace of 450 kms/hr. We aimed through a reflector sight keeping the whole plane in the center of the target and allowing for velocity and direction of the wind, with the aid of the right lead angles. A continuously adjustable red marking arrow was mounted on the altimeter, set to local altitude above mean sea level, whereby the required bomb releasing altitude could be set. When passing that altitude in the dive, a loud and clear horn signal was sounded, warning the pilot to press the bomb releasing button on the control stick and to pull out the plane. By pressing the releasing button, we also automatically actuated the hydraulic recovery device which aided the pilot, under the heavy G-load encountered in steep dive recoveries, in pulling out of the dive. The normal bomb releasing altitude was close to 700 meters. Experienced pilots would also venture down to 500 meters in order to increase the bombing accuracy. This, however, was the absolute minimum pulling out radius to clear the ground in time. Below that there was no hope left as shown by the sadly remembered Stuka disaster of Neuhammer where a practically complete JU-87 Staffel crashed into the ground because of late recovery.
Conversations with a Stuka Pilot Paul-Werner Hozzel
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 12:04
  #12168 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
Megan,

Thanks, megan, for giving me this to chew on.

Danny.
"Chew" as in "taste, savour, chew 30 times, reflect on taste, and digest" I'd say, judging by your incredibly detailed response and recollection!

Jack
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 13:37
  #12169 (permalink)  
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megan (#12168),

How many more rabbits are you going to pull out of the hat ? What a Link ! - What a find ! Now we have our own live (?) Stuka pilot to give us all the gen. Thanks a million, megan - and so say all of us.

Needless to say immediately downloaded (is that right word?) the lot onto a NotePad file and my Flash Drive to savour at my leisure. Would think I am not the only one to do so.

EDIT: Sadly Brig-Gen Hozzel died 1997 [Wikipedia]

Last edited by Danny42C; 25th Aug 2018 at 14:22. Reason: Addition
 
Old 25th Aug 2018, 14:25
  #12170 (permalink)  
 
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A few items gleaned from "Flight"magazines.
The Ju 87 can be fitted with a pull-out device which is housed in the tailplane and works in conjunction with the dive-brakes as part of the hydraulic system. When the dive-brakes are operated a tab on the elevator is deflected so that the aircraft automatically goes into a dive and the pilot is relieved of the forces which would otherwise have to be applied to keep the nose down. The bombs are released by pressing a button on the control column; the same operation returns the tab to its normal position and the aircraft tends to ease out of the dive. Thus, even if the dive is vertical, the aircraft will not touch the bomb.

Should the pilot override the safety device, which limits the movement of the control column, a force of about 65 lb. would be required and an acceleration of 6g might be attained, with a pull-out radius of about 1,500ft.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 16:15
  #12171 (permalink)  
 
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My father did dive bomber trials over Malta with a captured Ju 88.
There was a similar mechanism in which dive pull out was initiated by activating the bomb release . As he put it:
" Otherwise you had the option of going in with your bombs"
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 21:00
  #12172 (permalink)  
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megan and Haraka,

Unnecessary complication, I would think. Admittedly the VV (Mks. I-III) had a zero Angle of Incidence on the wing, so the nose did not ride up with increased speed in the dive, but if it did (and would in the Mk.IV), a handful of nose-down trim should be enough to counteract it.

Pull-out ? !'ll decide when and how hard to pull, if you don't mind !

"Spearing in" after a dive was the "normal" VV accident (at least at the Peshawar OCU). The Squadron pilots were less prone to it.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 25th Aug 2018 at 21:10. Reason: ADDITION/
 
Old 26th Aug 2018, 17:47
  #12173 (permalink)  
 
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One of the main targets of the Ju 87 in Poland was to spread terror. Panicked civilians jammed roads, making movement of the Polish army impossible. Wehrmacht had no problem with that...
Danny, I do not want to steal the Vengeance thread, could we contact off board re Polish airmen in the post-war RAF?
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 18:36
  #12174 (permalink)  
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Franek Grabowski,

Welcome aboard !
If there is nothing sensitive about your request, suggest you put it on Open Post - you will not be "stealing the Vengeance Thread" (there is no such thing !) There is only the "Pilot's Brevet" Thread, and our Moderators (bless them) allow us "old hairies" very wide scope on it.

And by throwing it open, you may well attract replies from all over the world from people who know far more than I about what you want to know.

If I do not see anything on this Thread from you by 2359 BST 30/8/18, I will PM you about a private contact.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 26th Aug 2018 at 18:38. Reason: Duplication !
 
Old 26th Aug 2018, 19:23
  #12175 (permalink)  
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Franke, there are quite a few of us here who flew with them.
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Old 26th Aug 2018, 20:49
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Oh, it is nothing sensitive, I just thought it could be more convenient. Though of course it is a good idea to make a post. I think History and Nostalgia forum is most appropriate. Will post there in a minute.
Thank you
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 09:52
  #12177 (permalink)  
 
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When I was at BCBS Lindholme 1954-56 we had a significant number of former Lancaster Polish NCO pilots on the permanent staff, flying the Lincolns.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 13:52
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Originally Posted by ian16th
When I was at BCBS Lindholme 1954-56 we had a significant number of former Lancaster Polish NCO pilots on the permanent staff, flying the Lincolns.
Ian, there was indeed a number of Polish pilots flying Lancasters and Lincolns in the RAF, several of them former fighter pilots. Most interested to hear more details. I have started separate threads here and on History and Nostalgia.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 16:19
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Originally Posted by lasernigel
Just a note about those brave Polish flyers. I was in the ATC in Blackpool, the school Sqn was 2454, though the band was 2354 based in a building in the roughest council estate in Blackpool, Grange Park.
The OC was a ex Polish RAF guy called Wing Commander Tuarek(sp). He flew Hurricanes and Spitfires during the war and Meteors and Javelin post war. His son wanted to be a fighter pilot like him, but unfortunately at 6ft 7in had to settle for Transports. What was the height limit on jet fighters with a bone dome?
Sorry if I am off thread.
This man was Tadeusz Turek, no Oz connection.
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Old 27th Aug 2018, 18:05
  #12180 (permalink)  
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Franek,

Nooo ! stay with us as well (can you do that ?). Btw, was flown, with all my kit, from Binbrook to Driffield in 1950 by a Master Pilot Kalinowski in a Lincoln (courtesy of 101 C,O. Wg Cdr Hamish Mahaddie, one of nature's gentlemen).

On 20 Sqn (1950) we had a Master Pilot "Joe" Halkiew.

ATC at Leeming had a Flt Lt "Jack" Blocki (think he had the "Virtute Militari").

Ref #12180, there is a very posh suburb of Melbourne called Toorak.
 

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