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QRA question

Old 1st Jan 2012, 17:10
  #21 (permalink)  
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We did run if required (or the older types would shuffle rapidly), but if the MC was on the ball, we would be primed to meet a launch time
Didn't need to work it out with the circular computer, the P-time was always 2H 15M.......
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 17:28
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Ahhh QRA Bruggen and the not so mighty Jag, duty cook who kept volunteering to do it due to wanting to become a professional Chef when he left the RAF, he used to practice on us.... Best food on the station...

Christmas and the "decoration budget" blown on films and erm other things... We made a tree out of rolled up newspapers as you did at primary school and stuck that up.....
Staish visits on Christmas Day, not impressed at our home made decorations and that we appeared to have not had our decoration budget and dispatches said ornaments from Officers Mess.... sgt in charge of QRA has to explain post Xmas why we had no decorations etc..... ooops

Watching my Squadron disbandment parade through the fence and finally standing down both us and the last of our Jags a couple of days later off QRA.

We NEVER launched for obvious reasons.

Last edited by NutLoose; 1st Jan 2012 at 17:38.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 17:39
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Courtney, old horseman, one would NEVER pass an incorrect position! All I meant was we'd pass you DD:MM.mm values rather than DD:MM.m!

Spot W/V was also passed, as Take That has said. In degT, of course....

I certainly enjoyed sitting on tanker Q and taking some happy snaps of the opposition. I used to take a copy of the Sun calendar on such trips - there was a picture of the pneumatic Sam Fox against a black background which showed up very well when held against the DV window. The effect on the Sov.s was electrifying - little faces in rubber Ivan hats would appear at every window beckoning us for a look. Little does Sam Fox realise what part her parts played in Glasnost! Although a journo did promise me that he'd tell her.

We also taped 'Colorado ATIS' which was the Bear crews' chat frequency, then sent the tapes off to the spies. Years later one told me that one of the chats was far from operational and concerned the amorous activities of one of the pilots during their Cuba det.

Incidentally, I don't know whether some of the codewords mentioned on this thread are still current, so have used veiled speech instead.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 18:01
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I know BEags, just fooling! The tanker fixes were lifesavers - so was the fuel!! The only thing we had to go on when flying to Ascension and then the Falklands in 82 was the Victors position - from DECCA, am I wrong? As Take That says, up in the Arctic Sea on Q we were out of range of pretty much everything so that was vital, especially in the FG1.

Here's the box of tricks. Feed the hamster, tell it exactly where you were and the wind, etc (I think I recall we could get it from the radar too) and it would invariably tell you which hemisphere you were in!

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Old 1st Jan 2012, 18:05
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from DECCA,
No DECCA down there; probably OMEGA. Decca may have made the kit.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 18:08
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Ah, thanks. Neither was a piece of I ever used (except second-hand). One was a record label, the other a watch. Whatever it was, it probably has a lot to do with me being here today!
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 18:16
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I think I recall we could get it from the radar too
IIRC the expert in the rear seat explained that if the radar was in doppler mode & search, it would look down every couple of minutes or so & calculate a wind which was input to the nav computer. Main problem with the kit was, I think, that its errors increased dramatically at high latitudes; it seemed to work quite well in the Mediterranean, but was less than helpful at 70į N.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 18:41
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Nuther A2, you have it there, regardng radar wind. I do recall a warning in the manual along the lines of 'this very inaccurate and shouldn't be used for navigation'. Less accurate than just guessing the wind, I wonder? And what were we supposed to use it for?
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 18:43
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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QRA North 89/90

QRA North 89/90 Lossiemouth, Shacks holding Q. The Mighty Tombs sharing the pan (bolthole from Leuchars). Hooter goes, Phantom GC bolt for the door, stop in their tracks and seem surprised when there's no movement from the Shackleton GC, hookers in one hand, jock pie in the other, "no rush on our part sonny, the crew will just be off to breakfast". Sure enough the Phantoms got airborne in minutes, landed just as the Magic Roundabout (engines already running courtesy of the GC) got airborne and found the Bear. RS Cooked Breakfast +1. Happy New Year All
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 19:20
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

Then we had the dispersal ex on tin triangles where the reversion system was to change at midnight. True to form we got the RS05 followed sharpley by the RS02. Six of HM's finest were mounted up and taxyed to the end of the runway, at 2345 awakening all and sundry within five miles.

At 0001 the revert to RS15 was given using the old system...

Smart Alecs to the end, it was duly ignored. At 0030 the Staish had had enough of 24 mighty Olympii roaring away and demanded an end to this ex noise nonsense; the dispersal ops team promised they would do their best to convince the Bomber Controller. The conversation with the Bomber Controller was interesting to say the least, ending with him begging us to do a local reversion. It was pointed out to him that they belonged to him and that we were not empowered to revert the team on pain of death. I mean, can you just imagine the furore if the ops team reverted the congo line on their own?

He was begging for us to do it because he had screwed up and forgotten the new codewords. He would now have to call a V. Senior Superior old boy to open the safe to get the codes. Hey ho, life is such a bitch at times and then you....

At 0100 the correct revert was broadcast through clenched teeth, with the thought of a one-way coffee-free with the C-in-C in the morning, not to mention the whotsit coming off the fan courtesy the C-in-C the host command...

Last edited by FJJP; 1st Jan 2012 at 19:37.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 19:54
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Courtney, you old rascal - I should have remembered what a wind-up artist you could be!

You know, we could have offered the QRA interceptors a better service if we'd sat down at Leuchars and talked things through at some point. For example, we could have HF-phonepatched Leuchars Ops for base colour state, aids and recovery state and updated you with a pre-formatted message - plus present position relative to wherever you liked and the spot wind. But nobody thought of such things back then. However, after observing one tanker crew's poor effort to intercept a Bear, the Stn Cdr (not The Scottish Officer ) advised that we should work out some turn keys. So I did - using a BBC Master and a bit of R = TAS squared / g tan AoB. This led to the RV tables which are still in use in ATP-56B today, some 25+ years later!

Vulcan exercises could be amusing! Because I was at Bawtry for my 'captaincy board' (listening to staff officers discussing whether brown or white gloves were appropriate for some event or other before I went in to see The Man... ), our crew wasn't deployed on the Strike Force Dispersal exercise. But I heard a familiar roar-of-four in the distance as, on a normal training trip, they'd wired Finningley, our SFD aerodrome. A voice came on the R/T to advise them that 'Operation Muddy Waters' was in effect - which meant nothing to them....apart from assuming that they were in the deep and smelly!

Now, the person (a Flt Cdr - it had to be!) who'd made this transmission was the same person who'd forgotten to issue the amended HF frequencies for the 'go' message when the stream of Vulcans reached their exercise 'go' point. Hearing nothing, they all went into holding patterns whilst Midland Radar tried to sort out the ensuing chaos....

Having done OK at my captaincy board, I was feeling quite cheeful when I met the rest of the team back at Sunny Scampton. They told me the story, so I advised the captain to say that "Operation Muddy Waters" was an operational term used to alert crews when security has been breached and that under no circumstances should they go beyond the 'go' point. Which is precisely what, when asked, he innocently told the Flt Cdr who'd been responsible for the utter cock-up....

No wonder I never made it beyond Spec Aircrew Sqn Ldr....
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:51
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst all the QRA Gurus are in one place; I would be very grateful if you could cast an eye over an oil painting I have just finished for any errors, as it is not to late to make ammendments. My own 'expertise' is Rotary so I lack inside knowledge on these aircraft.

I consider opening/partially opening the Lightning airbrake suggesting a join or indeed suggesting reheat for a departure and either option remains viable. I do not know if the Victor had dirty or clean engines and so have not included any suggestion of exhaust and would value inside knowledge regarding that. The Victor references I used were late model and hopefully I have demodded certain add-ons to put it back in the early seventies but again errors are possible. Rather then thread drift; PMs would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:55
  #33 (permalink)  
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or indeed suggesting reheat for a departure
Join below, depart above.......
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 21:15
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Cool pic Tiger I paint too... When I get time, but not picked up the hairy sticks in ages, only on model figures... does the far belly strake look to deep? As the tank would mask a portion, and it looks about the same size as the nearest one if that makes sense, Bar that looks superb.

Not in your league, but an early acrylic of a "QRA" Phantom... behind glass and a snatched shot so sorry for the poor picture.


Last edited by NutLoose; 1st Jan 2012 at 21:55.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 21:58
  #35 (permalink)  
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Since we are into 'war stories', I was alongside Ivan in my aluminium death-tube early one morning up near 'the rock' and asked the tanker for my pigeons to KEF whereupon matey in the Bear blister held up a topo and pointed.

Then there was the Leuchars exercise when the stand-down was given to me with my tanker using the wrong authentication code. Tanker mates were good sports and obviously wanted to get rid of fuel, so 65 mins, 'direct orders from Staish' and three more incorrect authents later Buchan gave me my cat's name and I agreed to stop playing..
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 01:05
  #36 (permalink)  
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Many thanks

Gentlemen - many thanks for taking the time to reply.
I was just a lad when much of this was going on.
Very interesting, and many questions answered.
Courtney - thank you espec. for the links etc.
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 13:00
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When the F4 took over that slipped to RS15, mainly, IIRC, because of the time required to align the INAS platform.
I was a 111 Sqn Liney on Phantooms in the mid-eighties and when on Q the Ground Power was always plugged in & on to keep the INAS running. Sometimes a "leaky" jet was also hooked up to a set of nitrogen bottles too!

regards & happy 2012 to you !

Howie
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 13:02
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Howie,

The only toom that didn't leak was an empty one!
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 13:13
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I was a 111 Sqn Liney on Phantooms in the mid-eighties and when on Q the Ground Power was always plugged in & on to keep the INAS running. Sometimes a "leaky" jet was also hooked up to a set of nitrogen bottles too!
It was "sporty" enough just like that, but if you had a GTS wet start/fire you just KNEW it wasn't your day having to pat the smouldering noddy caps out.

Crazy days indeed!!

Best wishes for 2012

GR.
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 14:08
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Tiger Mate, an excellent study.
A comment from a pedant, I donít recall that the gun ports were outlined in red etc (although some gate guardians may be). Indeed, in the early days of Mk 6 guns we used black duct-tape to simulate a guns fit when transiting certain Mid E countries.
Also, I donít see a tail hook.
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