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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 26th Aug 2014, 19:27
  #1241 (permalink)  
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With now over 100,000 hits and over 1,200 individual thread contributions ... It just goes to show how popular good old RAF Albert K was during his service life.

My sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed since my original post ... With particular thanks to AA62 and Smudge for their continued support and interest

I'm sure the RAF Albert K story has more to give
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 20:28
  #1242 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
WIDN62,
I remember well the 'air experience landrovers' and other bits of kit.
Air Experience Land Rovers?

Crikey there were Houchins at Lyneham with more flying hours than me!
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 20:47
  #1243 (permalink)  
 
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Coff,

Congratulations on the milestone passed of 1000, thanks for your comment, I'm sure there are many more who have provided more valuable input. As we set off on the next stage I offer a short story of a lad from a Staffordshire farming village, besotted with the magic art of flying.

As I could hardly believe that the Royal Air Force would train me to maintain aircraft (what a risk to take) my posting to Colerne, and employment as a Jnr Tech Airframe Fitter on Albert, was equally astounding. Despite all of Haltons attempts, I could not believe that such a huge chunk of aluminium (not Aluminum) could get airborne. I soon learned to think differently. As I've probably told previously, Colerne was to the C130 fleet in those, early 70s, days that Marshalls of Cambridge later became. We had an Air test crew, some I recall are Sqd Ldr Whelch, the Captain, Bert Poulton, the Flight Engineer, Roy Gaunt, The Loadie. I can't remember the Nav, but I reckon they used to borrow a co pilot as required from a squadron at Lyneham.

As part of a post Base 3 airtest, the crew expected that two of the teams techies attended in person, by experiencing all the worries and concerns one might have when your workmanship is put to the test. I was always one of the first to volunteer to undertake this arduous task, and as a result managed to enjoy many happy hours aloft. Now, at the time, the "airtest" involved an initial departure (I hope the two winged master race can forgive my description), tactical take off, with the Captain making the point on intercom as we rotated " this will see if they put the wing attachment bolts back in properly", I was simply impressed that he knew we had removed them in the first place. A climb to a reasonable altitude, and some playing with engines, ticking the check sheet and we headed back to Colerne, not to land, but to test the pressurisation system. On the way in, MALM Gaunt served up to my co tradesman and myself a very hot coffee and a mouth burning Cornish Pasty. Now, Paddy and I were standing either side of Captain and Co pilot, if you know Albert, you know where, we had no idea what was coming, and with both hands fully occupied, had no way of bracing for what was about to happen. The object of the run in was a high speed pass along the runway followed by a 2G, I believe, pull up and max rate climb abeam the tower. The rate of climb needed to outpace the ability of the outflow valve to control the cabin pressure, allowing the safety valve to function. All I can say is that at some point during the first few thousand feet of climb, I abandoned the coffee and Pasty, and grabbed what I could. Needless to say, our brave Captain ended up wearing them both. Luckily, whilst hot to the mouth, neither were excessively painful to the recipient. To this day I'm convinced that Mr Gaunt had set it up. I was banned from Air tests for three months as a result, and had to clean the flight deck after landing.

I'm sure that if Flight idle still follows these columns "she" will confirm this event, I do know that being able to fly on the air tests from Colerne in those days led to my eventual employment as a C130 Ground Engineer, possibly the pinnacle of a minor, but awesome (or was it woeful) career

Goodnight all, keep the thread going, as Coff says, there really is more out there.

Smudge
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 21:02
  #1244 (permalink)  
 
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I too was at Colerne on Black Team, flew on Base 3 airtest with the same crew Smuj, then applied and went flight engineer.

The rest is personal history . . . (lot of parallels there old chap)
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 21:07
  #1245 (permalink)  
 
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Once carried 3 Sub launched missiles from Prestwick to Navy North , wasn't until I chatted to the guys offloading that I found out they were misfires. Source of great amusement on the flight home imagining the stoppage drills for the sub!
Ksimboy, seem to remember doing the same, or similar myself....

I also remember telling Tonka pilots that I had more hours flying RB199s than they did!!!
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 21:22
  #1246 (permalink)  
 
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Dengue Dude,

There's a coincidence. My next tour, Akrotiri, brought me into the working environment of one Jnr Tech "Kilwhang", who I'm sure you are familiar with? Trust you are well, and wish you the best.

Smudge
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 21:37
  #1247 (permalink)  
 
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Curious Loads

I was once one of two Ground Engineers allocated to a crew tasked to Washington DC, ONS, and return. The aircraft was a clear flat floor, had two teams of "muppets" (apologies to the thinner skinned), two of every crew position and four RAF Police guards. We flew out empty, and returned with a "copy" of the "Little Boy" bomb for loan from the Smithsonian to the IWM. Full credit to the "no loan zone" principle (did you see that?), but, the original self destructed some years before, a little simple research might have revealed the real security requirements. Unfortunately, my photograph sitting astride the beast is located alongside my gunsight shot of Albert in my missing Nav bag, if anyone out there knows where it is Helppppppp

I'm orf for a swing in the hammock now.


Smudge
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Old 26th Aug 2014, 22:44
  #1248 (permalink)  
 
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Gentlemen and hopefully Ladies , Thank you all for an illuminating and entertaining history . Even as a civvie ; I know it’s the people who make a fleet as well as the a/c .
Luckily it’s been a bank holiday washout enabling all 60 odd pages to be read .
If permissible , may I add a few external stories ?
First impressions were as a lad on a flying scholarship at Cambridge ’71, when my instructor Mr Whittaker abandoned my lesson to airtest an Albert . Disappointment was , I could not go with him .

Spring ’83 , middle of a 16 day BDA – Caribbean shuttle trip . Met up with an Albert crew . Not sure if it was your grobags or Dark ‘n Stormies in BDA police club , or the fact you were young fit 20 some things …… but a Jumbo crew of gurls cheered up immensely !
Date is in my log book ………………
Moving on into my retirement and last impressions of a K …
2 Summers ago on a Dorset hilltop a/d , another washout , studes sent home . Walking across ramp from putting a/c to bed . Looked up to an hum in the East . There in the rain between the trees , all lights blazing , wipers going like the blazes …… this song sprang to mind

‘Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained,
It rode us all the way to New Orleans.
I pulled my harp from and my dirty red bandanna,
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.
Windshield wipers slapping time,

Me and Bobby McGee , Kris Kristofferson 1971..

Not sure if you guys had to work as hard as us ex Highland and Island Parrot [ Budgies big brother , ATP ] drivers [ no hydraulics ] ; but it sure looked as if you were pedalling hard to get the wings rocking as much as they were . As you went past [ not over ] , there was the Loadie doing a star jump in LH para door , could read his name tag … Thanks guys was much appreciated , not least by our gorgeous gurls in Ops . ………….Did you pull up into the clag and go ?
……………………………………………………………………………………….

Nooo , a decent push disappeared you from the 800’ amsl runway down into the Blackmore Vale at 200’ amsl .
Earlier tale mentioned the J is not as capable ….. from an outside perspective ; we agree... The K , would give notice of his coming . The J does not tell us when she’s coming round the mountain [ well hill really ] , and down our chimney pot . Most disappointing as we seem to live on the low level route , to and from the Poole Harbour drop zone . One day I’ll read the notams AND have the camera ready , might even be on top of the hill ; but not at 2300.

Brgds and keep em coming ,

condor
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 07:07
  #1249 (permalink)  
 
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Coffman,
my how your baby has grown. It is nice to hear from those not directly associated with the 'K' but who have seen it or flown in it.



This pic could almost be another caption competition, as it looks like it will not fit. As always there is an explanation. As the CONDEC loaders aged they became ever more difficult for the very skilful drivers to control. Sometimes the only way to adjust it was to take it up to max height and carefully lower it. Which is what is happening here as they load a low frame training MSP.
The ALM was always responsible for airdrop loading whatever method was used and damage to your a/c could severely damage your career.
I used to brief the CONDEC driver to watch me at all times and if I signaled STOP that's what he was to do ASAP. Any of the loading time could call stop, but only I could initiate proceedings. In all my time on the 'K' this system ensured that I never did have a loader smite the a/c.
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 07:43
  #1250 (permalink)  
 
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Thought I might have had some comments about the building in pic on post 1239 !
If the walls could but speak.
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 08:20
  #1251 (permalink)  
 
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Smuj

When I lived in Crudwell, '70-72, there was a nav' in the village who was apparently on the Colerne crew - I think his first name was Noel, he was a bit of an unsociable chap ( confirmed by my old mate J** O******d, who had been on the OCU with him ) so we never saw him in The Plough.


I guess he was ex-Hastings or Bevs.
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 08:25
  #1252 (permalink)  
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Good morning AA62 ...

Looking at the CONDEC pic ... I'm guessing it must have been taken in the early 70's before all airfield equipment got dawbed in green paint ... and then adorned with a yellow band so people could see it/not collide with it

Presumably visual cueing became a little more challenging during loading then ?

I even remember seeing dustbins "toned down" ... including the yellow band !
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 10:48
  #1253 (permalink)  
 
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Thought I might have had some comments about the building in pic on post 1239
In my day we always seemed to stay in Block 100/101/102 each room with French Doors and a urinal (OK it was a sink . . .)

Happy days, Masirah detachments shuttling between there and Akrotiri (Masirah closed behind us and Akrotiri was closed in front of us, also having to go into the hold because AKR refused to open before published time (yes the Fire Crews were available, we asked))!!
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 12:31
  #1254 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes Block 101.

And when they built the brand new Transit Block for AT crews behind the Officers' Mess what happened?

Oh yes, the bloody scribbblies, stackers and schoolteachers moved in forcing the crews to continue using crappy accomodation.

Plus ca change...
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 14:12
  #1255 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed, the Permanent Staff did move into decent accom, but only after Block 99 was eaten by termites. For you transitory types the accom was good enough :-) From all the tales you tell you weren't using the blocks to sleep in anyway......
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 14:14
  #1256 (permalink)  
 
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ExA,

No initiative - you should have shacked up with a schoolie!
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 16:21
  #1257 (permalink)  
 
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Coffman,
yes my CONDEC (Consolidated Diesel Electic Co -a division of GM if I recall) pic was taken in the early 70's as you can just see the custard colour scheme. I think it was taken at Boscombe on one of the Heavy Drop Courses.
The chaps in the red berets are from 16 HD Company who rigged the loads in those days. Tech support was from REME. Later on as the Para Brigade contracted and 16 HD disbanded the rigging was done by Air Despatchers of 47 AD Squadron.
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 16:25
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Brian,
I can see the Nav you refer to in my mind's eye, not very sociable.
I see you lived in Crudwell. I lived in Hankerton !
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 16:26
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Recall sending off to Lockheed for a 1000 hrs badge for one of the RB199 s carried during GW1, worst bit was they sent it to the Sqn!
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Old 27th Aug 2014, 16:31
  #1260 (permalink)  
 
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Looking at my pic of the CONDEC again you get a good view of the 'ducksbill' that featured in my story of the MSP hitting the a/c as it departed.
I was told that the 'ducksbill was where the Aircraft Data Recorder was supposed to have been fitted but never was. Would have really aided the investigation of the early crashes at least. I assume it was cost again.
Does the 'J' have one ?
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