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RAF Stanley

Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:59
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RAF Stanley

Hi everyone, first post

I have just finished a couple of posts on the operational flexibility of the Harrier in 1982

Atlantic Conveyor
The Atlantic Conveyor #Falklands30 | Think Defence

San Carlos FOB
Harrier Forward Operating Base

The last in the mini series is a look at the very early days of RAF Stanley, before the Phantoms arrived.

It is not that well covered, obviously, but an important part of the story and I like looking at things outside the popular subjects.

So this is an appeal to PPRuNe members, can anyone point me to any online or printed resources other than the usual suspects like the IWM, RAF Websites etc for background research?

Would really like any feedback on the posts above as well, I have tried to get them as accurate as possible but there are always errors to correct.

Thanks in advance

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Old 26th Apr 2012, 17:07
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I have read the conveyor thread and thought it was very good, If I remember correctly what I was told at the time, some of the containers either side of the deck held Civgas and Avtur, though I believe they ruptured on the way south.
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 19:23
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Bag tanks inside the containers located just forward of the bridge ISTR, chafed due to the ships movement allowing AVTAG fuel to leak out on to the deck and into generator compartments as we transited the Bay of Biscay on the second evening of our voyage south. It was definately squeaky bum time as the MARTSU guys and ourselves (18 Sqn) foamed the deck area whilst the ship was steered round in circles heeling the ship over to assist in washing the tons of fuel over the side.
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 19:48
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Yup what RB told me after he got back from his swim..
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 20:00
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What happened to all the matting etc from the first Harrier strip? Did some of it go to repairing Mart Withers handiwork?
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Old 27th Apr 2012, 17:57
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Hello TD, very interesting and informative posts, well researched and with plenty of pics. Bravo Zulu!
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Old 27th Apr 2012, 20:26
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An interesting read and far be it for me to gossip but.....

Fuel was always a problem even though after MOGAS (motor gasoline) for the Rapier units, AVGAS for the FOB was a top priority. At its peak the FOB dispensed over 50,000 litres of fuel per and supported nearly 120 aircraft movements per day.
That is an awful lot of petrol... I know our RAF pilots like to take their sports cars with them whenever they deploy but 50,000litres of petrol per day

In my day AVGAS = petrol

A great thread and PLEASE accept my attempt at humour for what it is... You are probably correct and I am just confused

Last edited by glojo; 28th Apr 2012 at 08:16. Reason: Thread turned into bread, now rectified back to thread :)
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 08:09
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Try 3(F) Sqn at Coningsby. They certainly had a diary covering their stint down there in the history cabinet. Lots of photo's and banter in what looked like very primative conditions.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 11:07
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Thanks everyone for your kind words.

On the AVGAS thing, yes, does seem strange on reflection. I took that snippet of information from an Inst of Civil Engineering paper written in 1983 by three Royal Engineer officers.

The Rapiers definitely needed petrol for their generators and I understand they were top priority, a Sea King flight each day was allocated just for their fuel.

Am I correct in thinking AVGAS is for piston engined aircraft and therefore not a great deal of use for the Harriers and numerous helicopters that the refueling equipment at the FOB used.

Perhaps it was a mistake that I have repeated but I can definatily believe 50,000L per day across all aircraft, not just Harriers, that used it.

One of the questions I had was about the matting used, there are a number of sources out there that say different things. Having looked at a number of different photos I think the vertical landing spot and main runway was AM2 but the small taxi way was not, maybe PSP, trackway or helicopter matting off one of the ships.

As I said though, am working on the last one in the series about the very early days of RAF Stanley when the Royal Engineers built up the facilities and repaired the bomb damage so any information would be gratefully received.

At least to me, this shows the tremendous flexibility of the STOVL model and something we might consider in the F35B F35C debate
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 11:22
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Yes you are correct AVGAS is High Octane petrol for Piston Engines, where as Turbine engines use AVTUR FSII, AVCAT and AVTAG or when uplifting from civil airports normally Jet A1.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 12:38
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Hi Think Defence,
Thank you for taking my post in the spirit it was meant, I for one hate criticising folks when they have worked hard on a project but in this instance you did state:

Would really like any feedback on the posts above as well, I have tried to get them as accurate as possible but there are always errors to correct.
So your wish was my command. I am surprised to hear the RAF use petrol generators but being ex Royal Navy I know absolutely NOTHING about those issues, we tend to treat petrol with the greatest of respect and very rarely use it aboard a ship (outboard motors being the exception that might make the rule)

I loved reading your diary extracts and thanks once more for the posts
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 15:53
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Thanks Bomber

PSP for the whole thing or just sections.

If you look at the images on the post the runway surface looks smooth which screams AM2 not PSP.

Were you there?

Glojo, seriously, I don't anyone being critical because it is only through that mechanism that the accuracy of the post can be improved.

I am going to amend the AVGAS section for definite now so thank you.
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Old 28th Apr 2012, 16:25
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The RE's, by the way, are an outstanding bunch of folk, who rarely, IMHO, ever get their due recognition. Their tea is the best ever!! And always available, no matter where or when!!
IIRC there's a quote in "Don't Cry for Me Sergeant Major" where a party of RM storm a hill in the Falklands only to find a Sapper comfortably ensconced offering them 'a wet'!!!

The original 'can do' section of the UK Armed Forces
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 10:22
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I am surprised to hear the RAF use petrol generators
Glojo, when I joined in 1976, there was a good mix of petrol and diesel engined equipment. By the time I left in 1985, our ground equipment was almost entirely run on diesel engines. My memory is a little faded, but I seem to remember towing around 2 bowsers on Ascension to refuel the ground equipment so one must have been petrol, (there was no diesel, so 1/99 motor oil/avtur was an excellent substitute). The Regiment had their own ground equipment guys and from what I remember the screamer generators they used were petrol, but a lot of l4nd rov3rs were still had petrol engines so perhaps not such a big issue back then. I would think that now, the Armed Forces use diesel to fuel all their engine run equipment, with only a few exceptions. All the ground equipment I used since then, when working abroad, has been diesel engined.

One garage owner told me that in 2001 when Agfannystan kicked off, the rise in diesel prices was attributable to the sudden increase in demand from the military.

Last edited by Dan Gerous; 29th Apr 2012 at 10:25. Reason: some naked ladies appeared?
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 12:04
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Single Fuel Concept

I think it was about 1999 the single fuel concept can into being. This called for all machinery to be able to run on a single fuel type - Kerosene / avaiation fuel. This was certainly the case in Gulf War II although I had difficulty trying to explain to a few peopel that avaiation fuel was very similar to diesel.
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Old 15th May 2012, 02:22
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Hello, to you all, Greetings from Argentina!

IŽve read this article of yours about FOB San Carlos. Finally threŽs something clearly written on this topic.

IŽve been trying to come up with a single text on the very same topics youŽre trying to cover (FOB San Carlos & RAF Stanley - the early days) and have only been able to get no more than 3,000 words on all that.

IŽll gladly share the sources I got to with you just in case you need them.

By for now
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Old 15th May 2012, 07:11
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In 85, Rapier Dets around Stanley had petrol-driven generators. We got to drop one from a Gazelle, and so I can confirm their fragility. We weren't invited back.
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Old 15th May 2012, 07:33
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Think defence

I read your linked articles and was really impressed, actually brought a little bit of a lump to the throat - how ridiculous of me.

Anyway, having spent about 18 months in total on the Falklands I remember that there was alot of photographs and info at MPA/in Stanley on the subject you are requesting information about.

Any thoughts on touching base with the station commander down there and seeing if he or his appointed minion can point you in the right direction?
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Old 20th Jan 2013, 21:16
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Runway At Port Stanley


Just noticed your thread and joined to reply hope you are still interested. I went to the Falklands in July 82, VC10 to Ascension few hours later Herc to Port Stanley all 14 hours of it.
I was in MT and delivered the matting for the runway at Port Stanley, which i believe we were fetching from a ship in the harbour, if memory serves me correct it was AM 2, and i vividly remember delivering direct to the runway which was closed at the time and it being laid by Ghurkas in fact they could lay a lorry load before i could return with the next load. The runway was closed for about 4 weeks the RE,s did all the engineering work. If I can be of any more help feel free to contact me.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 21:18
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Trucker, just checked back into this thread and noticed your offer.

Cheers for that.

Have just completed a three parter on the runway at Port Stanley. It started out as a look at the post conflict aspects but quickly developed into something much broader including putting my head into the lions mouth that is Black Buck


That Famous Runway at Port Stanley


That Famous Runway at Port Stanley


That Famous Runway at Stanley

As with the first post on this thread, always interested in views and corrections

Last edited by Think Defence; 28th Feb 2013 at 22:09.
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