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Scratch & Sniff

Old 22nd Jan 2012, 13:05
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Scratch & Sniff

Hi all ...

A slight twist on the venerable Caption Competition. Every aircraft type, airframe and cockpit can said to be remembered by a particular olfactory experience (be it pleasant or unpleasant !) … so I thought some PPRuNe’rs might like to join in by offering a few photos and some descriptive prose in the style of a Perfumer or Sommelier in an effort to create a virtual “Scratch & Sniff” thread … all good clean (please !) fun. For those unfortunate enough to undertake cockpit noxious fume drills … this could offer another dimension !

A first offering from me to kick-off …



Eau de DH1

A subtitle fragrance with base notes of avgas and hot leather punctuated by top notes of cordite and a whiff of sweat … and if you were particularly “unfortunate” during the summer … the effluvia from a previous aerobatic session emanating from the “baked deposit” around the rear seat P.11 compass !

Regards …

Coff.
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 13:48
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I think there can only be one possible winner of this highly coveted Scratch 'n Sniff Award..

I give you the evergreen Shackwacs..
The shock on entering the finest ergonomic slum known to aviation was topped only by that memorable first inhalation of the Shack's unique sensory cocktail - composed of oil of fluide hydraulique, AVGAS, fragrant leather seating that had absorbed 30 years or more of tobacco smoke, sweat and vomit, with signature keynotes of Elsan fluid, forgotten offerings from the galley and ancient electric wiring.
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 15:08
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It wasn't just Shacks.

When I took my son and my grandchildren to the Newark Air Museum we were privileged to get into the Varsity that they have there, which was the very first RAF aircraft I flew in (Fam 1 at Topcliffe).

My son's comment on getting in was "Do all RAF aircraft smell the same - this is how I remember the smell of a Nimrod?". (I took him and his sister on one of my trips).

The melange is exactly as described by sidevalve (I spent 7 years on Mk 2 and Mk3 Shacks).

The one element that sidevalve missed is, in training or OCU aircraft, is the smell of fear/stress, the fear of failure. This can be quite marked and once noticed never forgotten. I knew a chap whose wife could tell if there had been an "incident" during a trip, and when quizzed said it was the smell of fear! We've all been there at one time or another, haven't we?

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 19:01
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SV, it took me quite a while to identify that aircraft. Then the penny dropped, no curtains.
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 19:20
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I had occasion in the 1980s to ride in the cabs of some of the locomotives then in use on British Rail. For some intriguing reason they all smelt a) very similar and b) very like a Chipmunk cockpit, albeit without the top note of cordite!

Three of the classes I rode on were more or less contemporary with the Lightning and built by English Electric, so maybe there was a link there
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 19:32
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A variation on Varsity was the odour of recently discharged fire bottles. My one and only trip in the pig was Topcliffe to Wick and back on a night navex. Turning finals No 2 decided it had far too many pistons and chucked half of them over North Yorkshire. An observation was made from the front office, No 1 went through the gate, pull the handles on No 2 and we bounced down the track in a shower of sparks. Once stopped we went smartly down the ladder to be met by the most amazing pong and gallons of foam dripping off the wing.
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 20:31
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Coffmanstarter:

Eau de DH1
At the risk of being a pedant you mean DHC-1. (De Havilland Canada). The DH1 was Geoffery de Havilland's first design for a pusher biplane for AirCo in 1915.
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 21:03
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The damp, stained seat cushion and obvious smell from the back right corner of the C-130K flight deck are a bit of a giveaway.....
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Old 22nd Jan 2012, 21:08
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KS ... my bad ... stood corrected

Coff.
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Old 23rd Jan 2012, 08:29
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Good start chaps !

BEagle ...

Fruity ! So is that "Balm de Herc pour homme" or "Truckers splash on" ... splash being the operative word in the latter !

More contributions welcome

Kind regards ...

Coff.
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Old 23rd Jan 2012, 09:31
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I can well remember being shown round and sitting in the cockpit of a Firefly at HMS Gannet at Eglinton and the smell of oil, rubber, sweat, for the life of me I don't know how to describe it but everything about the aircraft, pilots and their life (in the mid 50s) I found fascinating.
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Old 23rd Jan 2012, 10:25
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After several years of flying the C130J, which doesn't really smell of anything, not even the plastic the flightdeck is mostly made of (think Mk 3 Ford Escort), I went back on a C130K & was immediately hit by the aroma that you only seem to get with an old aircraft........or maybe one of the crew's colostomy bags had leaked.....
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Old 23rd Jan 2012, 10:40
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I always remember that smell of 'arse' one would get from sitting on the faux sheepskin seat covers in a Wessex/Seaking. Overtones of processed Baked Bean, tobacco and stale fart, scented with notes of sweat..yumm!
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Old 23rd Jan 2012, 11:27
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The smell of the Canberra I found very distinctive, sort of warm electronics among others.
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Old 24th Jan 2012, 11:54
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An ex-airlanding chap of 1942 vintage once told me that being live load in a GAL Hotspur glider was somewhat fragrant.

"It smelt like an overwarm rabbit hutch filled with fear, or if we were doing long x-countries, tinged with spilt p*ss from the stupid rubber relief bags."

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Old 24th Jan 2012, 12:52
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Awsome Aromas

T-21 "Barge" Kingsfield Dhekelia 1969 - Cellulose & warm plywood
T-21 "Barge" UK Anytime - Cellulose and damp plywood

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Old 24th Jan 2012, 13:01
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Awsome Aroma II

Sat in the last starboard side seat in the row, at the back of a Hastings....

Looking uphill towards the cockpit as the aircraft settles onto its tailwheel....and the awful anticipation of smell to come as the rivulettes of vomit, left by departed paras, slides inexorabley downhill towards your feet....

lovely!
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Old 24th Jan 2012, 14:21
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ACW599 ...

I'm no train buff ... but if you refer to the Class 37 Loco (aka EE Type 3), built around the late 50's, as one of those cabs you rode in ... then the similarities with the Chipmunk may have been more than just the "aroma" ?

Found the pic below where there is more than a passing resemblance between the Chipmunk instrument panel and that of the Loco ! Also the Loco VNE of 90 MPH isn't that far off the Chipmunk's VC of 90 KTS.

As to a possible Lightning connection ... if only BR had used a couple of AB Avon's it would have made my experience of "commuting" much more fun



Kind regards ...

Coff.
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Old 24th Jan 2012, 14:58
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>I'm no train buff ... but if you refer to the Class 37 Loco (aka EE Type 3), built around the late 50's, as one of those cabs you rode in ... then the similarities with the Chipmunk may have been more than just the "aroma" ?<

Oh dear -- we shall be arrested by the thread police if we persist with this...

I was actually thinking of the Class 55 (Deltic) and Class 40 diesels and the Class 86 electric, on all of which I had trips. I never rode on a Class 37 officially but have had short trips on them. The base notes of all are hot oil, hot coolant and stale railway tea. The heart notes are warm metal, warm black paint and something akin to chip fat, which seems to be a constituent of the fuel. The top notes are leather, stale tobacco and railway coffee! The Class 86 had an additional top note of hot electrics, presumably the transformer and rectifier. In fact I'm reliably informed that the Class 86 cab smells extremely similar to a Vulcan cockpit.

>Found the pic below where there is more than a passing resemblance between the Chipmunk instrument panel and that of the Loco ! Also the Loco VNE of 90 MPH isn't that far off the Chipmunk's VC of 90 KTS.<

I was once overtaken by a Deltic-hauled train whilst on a navex in a Chipmunk and couldn't catch the blighter even at max chat. The Deltic would have been doing 100MPH and the Chippie about 105kts but into a headwind...

Yes, I know it's a military aircraft forum...
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Old 24th Jan 2012, 16:21
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Nuff said.......



Bit off jiggery pokery on my behalf there with about 15 photos to make that shot up, ohh and that's the Small view !!

Oh and it smells exactly as you imagine it would
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