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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

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Global Aviation Magazine : 60 Years of the Hercules

Old 11th May 2015, 08:26
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November4,

Great video, and you are correct. Some familiar faces indeed.

Smudge
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Old 11th May 2015, 13:13
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November 4

A much better all round production of the Airlift Rodeo story a couple of years after my visit there. The engineers or "Maintenance" guys were the only winners even though everybody else seemed to be having a great time. As you say "Lots of familiar faces" but no jeeps got squashed that year.


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Old 11th May 2015, 23:34
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Aahh Doug,

Precision as always. As a follow up to the superb video provided by November4 I wonder if anyone remembers the little "cheat" that Lyneham operated during Volant Rodeo. I'm fairly certain that Max B was top driver on VR whilst I was a GE. I was allocated a route to Pope, and no further, with a week off on arrival at Pope our aircraft was gladly accepted by the line support crew for the VR aircraft, and duly used for the practise days. Unlike my, as I recall, 30 Sqdn crew (Boris was the Nav ISTR), the linies on the VR det insisted that as I was the GE, I should turn up daily to see Max B and crew off in "my" frame, whilst they practised formation ground power plugging/unplugging and polishing "their" frame !! Anything for a quiet life, and, as the Heart of Fayettville was fully booked we were accommodated at another fine establishment. Imagine my surprise on arriving back at our hotel for "happy hour" to find Boris and crew had bought a couple of very efficient water pistols to "tease" the bar staff with. The bar staff reciprocated with iced water, which was a pleasant change to my usual shower. Was our "spare aircraft" ploy a one off, or normal practice ? I must say, I never got sent anywhere to have time off (JACIG excepted) so a bit of a mystery. It has to be said though that I worked every day I was there, usually the beer facilities, hot dogs .........

Smudge
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:13
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Gentlemen ...

I'd like to ask a technical question if I may. I'm not expecting my question to prompt specific stories ... But who knows !

I guess my question is more for our Air Loadmaster contributors ... But not exclusively.

With all these wonderful stories of delivering, dropping and transporting cargos various I'm intrigued as to the Weight and Balance calcs/processes adopted to ensure the Herc remained within CoG Limits. I'm familiar with basic W&B calcs in respect of training aircraft where essentially the only variables are the weight of the crew plus kit along with fuel load/burn rate. So all reasonably straight forward in terms of calculating Moment Arms and CoG movement etc.

Clearly the W&B processes for the Herc have evolved over time ... and I think that might make an interesting topic. I appreciate various W&B/CoG Limits will have been 'prescribed' by Boscombe, but as part of the pre-flight planning I assume all the W&B variables would need to be 'modelled' for the entire mission profile. In the early days I assume this was a manual task ... possibly automated these days. There also being the challenge of doing this under Op conditions with urgency.

Sorry if this is a bit 'anorak' but I'm genuinely interested and the story of how these processes have developed over time could be an important addition to this Thread.

Coff.
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:42
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Coff,
the regs stated that the C of G had to remain within limits at all times, nominally between 15 and 30 per cent of MAC (Mean Aerodynamic Chord) but this did vary with the AUW and whether the externals contained fuel.
For airdrop a concession was allowed on the forward limit of up to 5 per cent to allow for split stick dropping. If the a/c had to land in this configuration then to 'help' the nosewheel it was max use of reverse and min use of brakes.
Plese do not ask about the transient C of G swings during the actual drop.
I once plotted out the variations for a triple ULLA drop and need a long lie down afterwards !
Normal MTOW for the 'K' was 155000 lbs with a landing weight of 135000 lbs.
When half the a/c were stretched this MTOW for the stretch went up to 160000 lbs and the landing weight for both to 135000 lbs.
The tanker when fully fuelled came very close to a TOW 175000 lbs, which Lockheed said was an emergency one off figure. It explains why they would have nothing to do with the fatigue calcs for those a/c.
As the paired internal tanks on the tanker were approx fore and aft of the trim datum it would be very easy to get the a/c out of trim very quickly when txferring fuel up into the wing tanks. I always kept a running plot on a copy of the trim envelope hung on one of the tanks.
I hope this has answered a few of your queries but I am sure someone will complement or even correct my recollections
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Old 12th May 2015, 08:50
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Coff,
will get in early with my inject, then AA62 can correct me (he always was better at numbers than me!) We had clearance to exceed the trim envelope on Para Wedge sorties, while the troops were stood up and kit distributed prior to drop. The drawn trim envelope on the back of the trim sheet used to be covered in plots of trim at various stages, always fun to do! Every AD sortie was the same with regard to multiple plots (apart from double msp), equally as challenging of course was the trim plot on the tanker, using the plumb bob and etched floor plate at the rear of the wheel well to calculate the floor angle so the ALM could read the sight glass on the internal tanks, or as AA62 has previously stated use the broom handle to check the contents.
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Old 12th May 2015, 11:45
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ksimboy,
ah yes Wedge ! When it was first mooted it was claimed it would lighten the very heavy loads the paras carried and do away with door bundles.
In the event it did no such thing.
I once plotted the 'Action Stations' C of G position of a MK 3 (stretch) with full operational paras, door bundles and Wedge before it was relased into service. As ksimboy says it was further aft than it should have been and required the 'clearance' he referred to. Add to this the slow speed of the a/c at the time of drop and you may understand why it was not my favourite form of airdrop.
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Old 12th May 2015, 17:54
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Wedge

As AA62 says.........Ah, Wedge.

On STS we did some of the early Wedge flights. As usual, the Loadie (Lloyd B) went to the aircraft before anyone else.
When I got there the Wedge, c/w load, had been installed and the a/c refuelled. The fuel load was very light.
Lloyd was sitting on the Flt Deck doing his paperwork and I asked him if he could show me the new fit.
We walked back in the freight bay and, when we got behind the main wheels, the a/c floor started to bounce - the trim was a long way out of limits.

Lloyd said something like 'this is not a good idea, let's go forward again'

AA 62 will, I'm sure, remember the details but after that the rules changed.

It was like walking across a bouncy castle.
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Old 12th May 2015, 18:45
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Don't even go there Coff, Kilwhang was always a slim chap when I knew him

Smudge
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Old 12th May 2015, 20:01
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Many thanks Gents ...

If I may ... I'd like to summarise to help my basic understanding so far ... Please correct me if I'm wrong. So the Herc's CoG is defined with reference to the MAC. I therefore assume that there must be related Datum(s) from which the Loadmaster can undertake the necessary W&B calcs ... I presume there are both Horizontal and Vertical Datums which will be 'marked up' in the Cargo Hold ?

The first step in the process would then appear to be the toting up of the AUW to ensure TOW doesn't exceed prescribed Limits. Presumably some adjustments will need to made for Load Moments prior to plotting on what I understand is a Trim Graph ... Which graphically confirms (or otherwise) that the CoG remains within the prescribed Envelope ?

I wonder if anyone has an example Load/Tim Sheet they could share ... it would certainly help me.

I can appreciate the importance of actively monitoring Trim movements during Tanking ... and all done manually

AA62 ... I must admit that when we first covered the ULLA technique the prospect of a 'marked' nose up pitch movement crossed my mind

This is truly an interesting topic ... for me at least

Coff.
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Old 12th May 2015, 20:28
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Just a quick input for now: It is not just a case of the keeping the aircraft straight and level. Load forward and aft may do this but the fuselage may bend in the middle.


I really wrestled with an MSP (or double MSP) issue for a good few months. This was over the vertical position of CoG within the platform which had an impact on the bending forces on the skydel beams. - in a nutshell they would have broke in a hard braking condition. The restraint was so close to the margins anyone stood in front may have been crushed. OK how many ALMs went to the flight deck during take off and landing in order to comply with AvP 970. I am not sure if this was read across into OO-970. You will have heard the term grandfather rights.


The good guys at Boscombe had retained the worlds only copy of the Skydel type record. Even the DA did not have a record.


What a difficult job the ALMs or load planners would have had as there were severe changes to the MSP load configurations forward and aft with so many permutations and combinations. I remember preparing tables that went on and on describing the achievable level of restraint at various weights. I think the only one not affected was 105 ammo with no side stores.


(see Dougies picture showing the wooden sheets to which were strapped boxes of ammo to max out the load- this became outlawed out side of an Operational Emergency Clearance)


I printed loads of pictures from what we called Medium Platform Clearances, reduced the pictures and made cardboard cut outs to play the tunes and develop the instruction.


For another similar challenge I made a wooden model in my shed with rubber bands to describe the effect of overturning moments and forces.


I am sure some will have tales over kgs vs lbs.
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Old 13th May 2015, 06:39
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Coff,
we used the Load Distribution and Trim Sheet for all normal calculations.
This rather went out of the window for EROs (Engine Running Onloads) in operational conditions wherby you would load up and catch up with the paperwork later, perhaps ! Then you relied on the weights presented to you (if you were lucky) and your own experience to ensure the a/c was safe. No doubt some of our contributors can give examples.
The first stretched 'K' loading I did the a/c was nose heavy. So I took the very heavy HD cargo winch from FS 245 and tied it down on the ramp.
Perfect ! Anoher lesson learned.
I gave most of my 'K' bits, including a trim sheet to the RAF Museum at Cosford then their 'K' arrived.
Early in the life of the Herc Lockheed did trial an 'automatic' weight and balance system. It did not work very well due to the fact that the a/c had to be on level ground and with little wind. How many airfields could guarantee these benign conditions !
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Old 13th May 2015, 06:47
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dragartist,
ah the fuselage bending moments saga. Better not go there. As regards the vertical C of G of the heavy drop platforms we at the coal face were in blissful ignorance of how marginal these limits were. I only found out from you contributions to this thread ! Mind you I confess to asking the JATE designers how they calculated the vertical C of G of the loads especially the war load 'piggy' backs some of which looked very 'iffy'. I was effectively told that if the load was approved for dropping then ALL variations had been taken into account. Umm !
The Beverley had a vertical C of G load plot on the trim sheet but the Herc did not.
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Old 13th May 2015, 09:46
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Thanks

Sorry to interrupt the intellectual discussion but I just wanted to post a big thank you to November 4 for the video; it brought back some good memories. Strange to think that of the two crew members you see most, one became an Equerry to the Queen whilst the other spent time at her Majesty's Pleasure. That's probably part of the reason why the video has gained internet dust and I certainly haven't seen it for 20 years plus. My children have never seen it and will give them a good giggle so thanks.

As a light hearted reminisce Smudge was quite right about there being a "spare" so that the main aircraft wouldn't be sullied by flying before the competition itself. We spent nearly 2 weeks there with another week in Pope the month before. At the end of it all, as I recall it, Boggy had bought himself a bike and a set of golf clubs and suddenly had a pang of guilt on the penultimate day. He ought to buy his wife something - he came back from the BX proudly with a set of saucepans!

Regards,

Blakey

Last edited by Blakey; 13th May 2015 at 18:05. Reason: Spell Chocking
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Old 13th May 2015, 13:04
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ULLA trim change

Never dropped triple ULLA but double ULLA trim change was no problem during extraction. A short 2-3 inch forward stick movement for a couple of seconds as it moved to maintain level, then back to neutral as it cleared the aircraft. Although at only about 10 feet you weren't pushing into the ground as the aircraft climbed having lost the weight.
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Old 13th May 2015, 17:16
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Blakey,

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I remember having a conversation with a Nav from a competing Canadian team the year I was GE on "the spare", he was quite put out that, despite there being no rules to prevent it, it did give an advantage, even if only by saving the groundcrew the cleaning that everyone else underwent. After a couple more beers, he agreed that the RAF team was only guilty of making life easier for themselves, and not improving their chances of winning. That was down to pure skill.

Smudge
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Old 13th May 2015, 19:29
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Talking Rodeo (Spare)

The competing teams from the States had (spare) airframes available for the flying phase of Rodeo. Because there were no alternate flying days there was no chance of calling in an Ascot route aircraft to "fill in" on the day so we used to park and aircraft at Charleston for a week during the flying phase, with an MSP stowed in the back. I don't recall it being in inspection condition for the Concourse D'Elegance but it worked. The crew were all tac qualified in case of sickness in the competition crew.
I do recall that each morning we would report to the captain's suite of rooms on the waterfront as he called the Detco in Pope.
When the airframe and crew had taxyed out we then changed into party kit.
A suggestion that a crew Tshirt logo should read "I had a fag and a shag in Charleston was rejected. (the local dance was a shag, honest)
Much more fun than Rodeo and a lot less stress. Charleston is SO much nicer than Fayetnam.
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Old 13th May 2015, 23:37
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Doug,

Charleston, I should be so lucky. And of course we take your word for the translation of the local dance. For me, I will always remember the Heart of Fayetteville https://www.cardcow.com/295384/heart...orth-carolina/ and "the Blue rinsers". Always a good night out on the way to somewhere. Only time Pope was a destination for me was as described previously. Now, after all those years of flying my hammock, loadies are alarming me with "bending moments" etc. I have to say, that once the AA was consumed in the climb, the transit to the ACC was usually noisy, but somnambulant. It's a pity you aircrew missed out on some of the "all night" mending the aircraft stints though. But then, we all had to earn our corn occasionally. But only occasionally. Did I tell you about my only ever visit to California ? A sidewinder of a route with a sting in the tail ?

Smudge
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Old 14th May 2015, 08:15
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Many thanks AA62 and Ksimboy ... I'll come back shortly ... SWMBO has me otherwise tasked today
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Old 14th May 2015, 09:27
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Overwhelming memory of the "Heart of Fayetteville" was the "blues & twos" arrival of the sheriff and his posse of deputies - 4 car loads if memory serves - when a load of fireworks were set off near the end of a rather boisterous party - that had already involved the sqn cdr and his "guest of honour" ending up in the pool .... It seems the border between North and South Carolina was also a border for the legal/illegal purchase/use of fireworks ... the purchase on one side and the igniting on the other being highly frowned upon.. somewhere in the attic are, I think, some photos .. I'll attempt to track them down ...
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