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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 18th Jun 2015, 08:30
  #3241 (permalink)  
 
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I think the 'misunderstanding' between our two learned Air Engineers rather proves the point of my #3224.
Perhaps we can move on on and hope for more tales about the fuel gauges or indeed any other technical peccadiloes of the 'K'.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 09:58
  #3242 (permalink)  
 
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Back on topic then AA62,

And a query from a techie. I was informed, long ago, and probably in a bar somewhere down route, that the autopilot fit on the K was actually obtained from the Vulcan fleet, and not an original Lockheed fit at all. Anyone know the truth of this, or indeed what changes were required to accommodate changes in operating speed range etc, must have been a big difference between the "Tin Triangle" and Albert.

Smudge
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 10:12
  #3243 (permalink)  
 
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Smudge,
the Smiths autopilot on the 'K' was one of the many UK supplied items of kit. From whence it came I know not but for a good time in the early days of the 'K' it was not cleared for use ! Hence on the longer routes we all took turns at 'poling' the beast. I recall being shown ADF sets with BOAC Speedbird stickers so that kit at least was secondhand. The i/c system was UK sourced also. I am sure that the learned posters on this thread can supply more details.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 10:13
  #3244 (permalink)  
 
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For AA then .. quick tale regarding fuel gauges .... when the fleet was "metricised" (?) and we went from those simple "lbs"(where we all knew the numbers by instinct) to those weird "kgs" things ... a day was set aside as "metric day" .. a Sunday I recall .. idea being no flying from Thursday PM until Monday AM to give the lines time to do their work.

Late Saturday morning .. 6B call out to take a frame to Washington as a high priority load carrier had gone U/S. Arrive at the line to be told the metrication was just being finished .. phone the front end in planning to tell them to get all the metric pages out and not the "normal" ones... they don't have them ....so Captain draws keys to the squadron and we all meet there to ensure we all have the new paperwork to hand. Eventually get to the frame and start the preflight. Get to the fuel part and I CANNOT reconcile the fuel .. no matter what I do it will not add up correctly to what we want/need in kgs... call out the line and they also cannot get it to add up, although the maths on the F725 appeared correct ... lots of head scratching as there was obviously an error that none of us could see........

Now, for those that don't know.. the actual "mod" simply involved sticking some transparent circles (transfers) with the new markings/quantities over the old gauges ... proper gauges were a very long way away!! .... It was then decided by the SEngO that the only way to sort this problem, and avoid further delay, was to rip off all the "new" transfers, get the fuel load right using "lbs" .. then put a new set of transfers on. So that's what we did.. and half way through realised the problem .... whoever had done the first set had put the auxiliary tank transfers on the external tank gauges and vice-versa .. no wonder it didn't add up !! New set of transfers and off we went !! I believe "questions were asked" about the supervision of the "mod" installation after that!

As an extra ... (and for some stupid reason I think Fergie might have been involved ??) ... the shock and horror of the crew in Washington when they found out they were operating a "metric" Herk home was a sight to see ... we all did a quick swap of documents .. as we would now be taking the "non-metric" frame home once fixed.

I hated the metric numbers.. they never made sense to me and I never managed to memorise them like I had the old "lbs" ... which even after several years I can still recall instantly..
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 10:54
  #3245 (permalink)  
 
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Fuel in kgs

Why on earth did they change to kgs?
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 11:11
  #3246 (permalink)  
 
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Omega, I was in washington doing the Prop change on that U/S frame - once we changed the prop during the ground runs the FCU gave up the ghost a 2 day trip turned into a week.

Nothing better than doing ground runs at the end of the runway at Dullas International all i could see behind the frame was a line of landing lights from the aircraft on approach.

I do believe that frame was the last one to 'go metric'.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 11:26
  #3247 (permalink)  
 
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Omega,

What fun that must have been, and thankfully, I was well gone by the time Albert was metricised. I have, on refuels down route had to convert US Gallons, Kgs and Ltrs to lbs after a refuel, and seldom had much trouble, but being an old school Englishman I reckon I would have bother with the set up you describe. Perhaps it shows my age when I still ask the butcher for weights in Lbs and Ounces !! Who said Dinosaur?

Smudge
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 12:14
  #3248 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by smujsmith View Post
Back on topic then AA62,

And a query from a techie. I was informed, long ago, and probably in a bar somewhere down route, that the autopilot fit on the K was actually obtained from the Vulcan fleet, and not an original Lockheed fit at all.
Smudge
I don't know from where the Smiths autopilot was sourced Smuj, but I can say that we had exactly the same bit of kit in the Dominie as well.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 12:15
  #3249 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by kilwhang View Post
Why on earth did they change to kgs?
When did they change to Kgs?

(Stupid French measurement.)
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:12
  #3250 (permalink)  
 
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ExAscoteer, thanks for the info on the Dom. Having a look around the web, the only info I can come up with is this, from Hansard circa 1965, when the government was asked what British equipment they were intending to fit to the new aircraft;


The list of British equipment to be installed in the C.130K is as follows:

Equipment Manufacturer
Clock Mk.5 B Smiths Aviation Division
Indicator, Airspeed Mk.l5 C Smiths Aviation Division
Radio Set, P.T.R. 175 The Plessey Company Ltd.
Command radio set, AD. 160 Marconi Company Ltd.
Intercommunication equipment UA.60 Ultra Electronics Ltd.
Cabin address system, UA.578 Ultra Electronics Ltd.
Radio compass, AD.360 Marconi Company Ltd.
Marker beacon receiver, AD.260 Marconi Company Ltd.
Glide-slope receiver, AD.260 Marconi Company Ltd.
Navigation system, AD.260 Marconi Company Ltd.
Doppler 62 M Decca Navigator Co. Ltd.
Computer navigational, 9476 Decca Navigator Co. Ltd.
Roller map Mk.4 C, display head Type 9275 Decca Navigator Co. Ltd.
Weather radar, E.290 Ecko Electronics Ltd.
Decca Navigator Mk.1 (Air) with Flight Log Decca Navigator Co. Ltd.
Radio Altimeter STR 54 B Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd.
Periscopic sextant Mk.2 A Smiths Aviation Division
Radar set IFF, Mk.10 Cossor Ltd.
Autopilot, Mk.10 A Smiths Aviation Division
Side guidance equipment, Mk.2(b) Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd.
Aperture covers H. K. Porter Ltd.

Now there's a list of stuff to be reckoned with. As for the autopilot, the Smiths Mk10a was certainly fitted to the Vulcan and Victor, as well as the Mk10b. I wonder if the 10a's were replaced on the V bombers with b's to release the a's for Albert. Someone will know.

Smudge
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:28
  #3251 (permalink)  
 
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Metric stuff!

Having departed the "mob" to join British Airways, in 1988, I had left behind me a Fat Albert Fleet with four vertical arrays of engine instruments and fuel gauges that measured lbs. Twenty years later, and retired from commercial flying (due to the lack of FE positions), I succeeded an interview process to return to Trials Flying (with QinetiQ) at Boscombe Down as a civilian Heavy Aircraft Flight Engineer. To my delight, I was sent to Lyneham for a Ground School refresher course and several flight sims to get mw back into "on speed pressure up" with Fat Albert. To my horror I found everything had gone metric and those four vertical arrays of analogue engine instruments had been replaced with very small digital gauges that I could barely read.


For the hell of me I just couldn't get the metric numbers ingrained into my head, however, everything else came flooding back "in spades". Pete Fryer was still running the groundshool and, as far as I'm aware, I was the very last FE to be taught within that establishment. In the sim, it was Pete Harker who mentored me through my refresher training. All went well, except for those b*&&%y engine instruments... and not getting out of the habit of no longer talking to the engine during start-up... Fuel flow, Ignition, Oil Pressure, blah, blah! Anyway, it was a great pleasure to get back out onto the flightline to pre-flight an aeroplane, except, what's with all of this additional electronic malarkey? The flight deck looked more like the backend of a Vulcan... with extra boxes and knobs that I'd never seen before! Three weeks later... with the wheels firmly tucked away, I'm heading west across the pond for Newfie-land, Bangor, and then down to Florida to have some turrets fitted to the rear end of the aeroplane. Six weeks later, return to Florida (courtesy of BA) to pick up the aeroplane and fly it back to Boscombe to complete some performance testing; then back to the Gulf of Mexico to find some still-air for the real flight trial... No.4 shut-down and carrying out several performance climbs over the Gulf. Thank you Aunty Betty for allowing me back to fly Fat Albert again... and the TriStar; but that subject is for a different thread!


Thank you to everyone for your input to this fabulous thread... keep it up! However, let's have less of the "exchange of small quantities of liquid"... that was in Glander I think!


TCF
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:36
  #3252 (permalink)  
 
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I am reliably informed that all 'K' Autopilots were supplied with their own tube of Superglue
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:37
  #3253 (permalink)  
 
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Why did they change to kgs ? Who knows but it was probably someone in MOD who decided as a 'pet' project. I too had left before the change. During the build up to GW1 (a busy time for all) MOD scored the own goal of insisting that all cargo etc for the 'K' was to be in kgs. This caused the inevitable problems as well as adding to an already overburdened system.
I phoned the chap in MOD who was responsible for this. He said it had been planned for a long time. I suggested that this sort of nonsense was not what we needed at this time and a postponement might be in order. Not a chance was the reply.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:53
  #3254 (permalink)  
 
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Ex-Ascoteer... If memory serves it was around 1999 that the change to metric took place ..... could be wrong .. the change to full digital gauges came some time later ...
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 14:18
  #3255 (permalink)  
 
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I spent a short time at Lyneham from 1978 to 1979, where I was told the Smiths Autopilot had come from the Valiants.

As for the fuel question, at Brüggen (76-78) the Jaguars were a metric aircraft but the fuel bowser meters were a mixture of lbs, kg, gallons and litres, Murphy had a field day, so some form of standardisation was needed.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 14:21
  #3256 (permalink)  
 
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Old Dials

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Old 18th Jun 2015, 14:24
  #3257 (permalink)  
 
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New Dials

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Old 18th Jun 2015, 14:26
  #3258 (permalink)  
 
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Fuel Checks

Request for post metric fuel check was "Read the totaliser"
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 15:19
  #3259 (permalink)  
 
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Doppler

It is Jun '81 and I am positioning to Akrotiri with a 70 Sqn crew. We had just crossed the Northern French coast, at around FL250, when there was a loud bang. I felt a pressure surge in my ears and the freight bay filled with water vapour mist.
I realised that we'd had a rapid depressurisation (thank you North Luffenham), climbed down from the freight stack and strapped in. The crew carried out the drills and we turned back at FL80. The Loadie told me what had happened and, together, we checked around to see if we could find the problem. There was nothing apparent, the a/c was handling satisfactorily, so we continued to LYN. On landing, we found out that the Doppler di-electric panel had failed. This was situated underneath the a/c, forward of the para doors.

As per Smudge's list, the Doppler was a British fit for the 'K'. It turned out that there had been no separate servicing inspection added for the panel, even though it formed part of the pressure hull. Of course, the panel was nowhere near as robust as the metal skin and, being underneath, was vulnerable to damage - especially during strip landings.
The whole fleet was checked and, if my memory serves, a few were changed.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 15:22
  #3260 (permalink)  
 
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Metrification caused no end of problems. Simple figures became complicated - a 10,000 lbs net became a 4544kg net. The 3k net became the 1364kg net etc.

The Army was still using lbs. So a pallet of frieght was built using lbs, check weighed in lbs and then converted to Kgs before being loaded. We weren't meant to use the simple divide by 2.2 to get the kgs weight but multiply by 0.4545 as that was more accurate or something.

The other danger was that the VC10 and IIRC TriStar were still using lbs when Albert became metric. So transferring loads from aircraft types was a recipe for disater. There is the incident with Albert in Bahrain in GW1 where the load was taken off one type and put onto Albert, the load was thought to be in lbs, converted to Kgs......yes it was already in kgs but the original paperwork showed it to be in lbs.

Nothing to do with me I hasten to add....I was in Riyadh!
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