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Vampire rips up runway...

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Vampire rips up runway...

Old 3rd May 2017, 13:18
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Never mind lad - there's plenty more where you came from.

SpazSinbad (#50),
...Photos of Spitfire front instrument panels look very similar to early VAMPIRE single seaters and that flowed onto the many variations of layouts in the dual seat Vamp family ... It has been some 46 years since I've seen a working Vampire cockpit ....
63 years in my case ! During WWII and for a long time afterwards, all the s/e RAF aircraft I flew had the standard "Sperry Panel" of the six flight instruments right in front of you, engine 'clocks' on the right, odds and sods on the left, below, and everywhere else they could find room for them. So it was in the Vampire and Meteor. Only sat in a "Hunter" once, same again, felt: "I reckon I could take this away anytime" (only a pipe-dream, of course).

American aircraft much the same, but not so precise as our arrangement.
...Meanwhile back at NAS Nowra we likely lost a CMDR Air to the dastardly altimeter one night.... the aircraft would fly overhead at 20,000 feet to descend outbound to the east (over coast then water) to turn inbound at 10,000 feet to the airfield and usually picked up by GCA .... Anyway it was thought the CMDR misread the altimeter by 10K to then crash into the dark ocean on probably a dark night...
Ah, the dreaded three-needle altimeter claims yet another victim ! In the early 1950s "slaughter of the innocents" (off the cuff, I think we in lost 900 + Meteors and 400 + pilots in training in 18 months), the major killer was the asymmetric landing accident, but the "Controlled Descent", which you describe, involved a descent at 8,000 ft/min (8,000 rpm, 250 kts with airbrakes out), which had you "standing in your stirrups", with a 180° + turn (usually in cloud in UK) inbound at "Half plus two", claimed a fair share.
The idea, of course, was to get the stude down from 30,000 + into the circuit ASAP, as we were flying 35 minute sorties with 40 minutes fuel in the aircraft, and not a few didn't make it. Poor Bloggs, who'd only had an "Oxford" as a lead in, found 8,000 ft/min down through cloud plus a turn on instruments a bit of a handful - tended to miss the little needle which had gone past "1" and ......

We "old hairies" from WWII, who'd managed to stay in (or who'd wriggled back into) the RAF "under the wire", had well-developed instincts of self-preservation to protect us, and survived as a rule. And my experiences of 25,000 ft/min vertical descents as a dive bomber were a great help to me.

But they were good days .........
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Old 3rd May 2017, 13:19
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A Vampire did a similar thing many years ago at Munster/Osnabruck; caused a bit of a fuss when I got presented with a huge bill for the damage, till I pointed out that although it had RAF markings on it, it wasn't actually an RAF aircraft.

Happy days.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 14:46
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For 'Danny42C' - yes 'half plus 2' sounds right. Had an e-mail stating the CMDR was at 12K so that would have been the turn inbound height. But he was at 2,000 feet over water descending turn into water I guess. And yes the descent was at steady RPM, 250 knots sounds right and very fast.

On previous page this thread 'RetiredBA/BY' enquires about Goblin engine and Vampire types. The quote was from the RAAF Mk.35 & Mk.35A Flight Manual - I would have to check if it was a variant of the T-11 but I guess it was. The RAN had some T-11venses - they were the ones with the instruments in different places along with the dual AH/AIs.

The RAAF manual says the engine is a Goblin Mk35:
"Goblin Modification 1087
7. In an endeavour to eliminate the critical vibration ranges of 7,800-8,650 rpm and 8,800-9,200 rpm in Goblin engines, a modified impellor and diffuser assembly was introduced. This modification 1087 has been incorporated in approximately 90 out of 150 engines.

8. Since the incorporation of this modification, a considerable number of minor defects and three major accidents overseas have led to extensive investigation and the following restrictions, which were necessary because of the impellor vane flutter which resulted in cracking and break-up of the impellor back plate, were imposed:-

(a) Operation in the following rpm ranges is prohibited except when passing through the range when changing power:-
(i) 10,350 to 10,650.
(ii) More than 10,350 above 25,000 feet.

9. It is emphasized that failure to adhere to these limitations could cause impellor failure in a very short time.

10. The rpm ranges 7,800-8,650 and 8,800-9,200 should be avoided whenever possible. They must never be used for cruising or prolonged descent."
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Old 3rd May 2017, 15:05
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is 800m enough for a Vampire to depart as it looks from the untrained eye to be struggling for climb initially?
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Old 3rd May 2017, 15:10
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Over on previous page this thread 'MPN11' mentions the Pearce parallel runways. Point Cook operated usually on north/south runways also with the main runway being a mix of concrete and macadam with a grass strip either side. Not unusual in my time there to have three Winjeel flying courses at beginner, middle, near the end stages doing touch and goes from the three parallel runways. HEAD on a SWIVEL - WHEELS down and WELDED. IIRC the main runway was used for full stops whilst the grass was for touch and goes only for the tailwheelers (which could be unlocked in flight and needed to be locked for full stops).

Similarly the Pearce circuit was chaotic with Vampires and Macchis mixing it up on that single north souther. Was alright when Instructors learning in Macchis were with us learners in Vampires but then along came the learners in Macchis and boy oh boy.

Then the outlying airfield GinGin became available for Macchi circuits so that eased the pressure until they wanted full stops at Pearce.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 15:16
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'Buster the Bear' I'm missing to what you refer. 800 meters? Off the top of my dome NAS Nowra had 6,250 foot runways which were OK for even A4G ops (NATOPS required 6,000 foot runways as a minimum). However the Nowra runways are in a bowl with the intersection of the cross runways in the middle of that bowl so RW26 (main) 08 went downhill then uphill whilst runway 03 was all uphill so RW21 was all downhill - PHEW.

The length of Pearce runways I would have to look up however the main runway was more than adequate. The second parallel runway was built after the Vampires were no more.

OK I guess you refer to the UK HaPennyGreen runway? 'The struggle to climb' is the Vampire staying low to gain speed in case of an engine failure after take off (see diagrams at start of this thread). Apparently this warbird does not have a functioning ejection seat so even more imperative to gain speed to carry out a turn back (on a cross runway is easier) in case of engine failure. This kind of take off was standard practice for Vampires AFAIK.

Go to page two this thread for 'turn back' details: http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...ml#post9758276
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Old 3rd May 2017, 15:36
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Looking at the two altimeters the top one is in inches and has the altitude warning segment on it. This is the white sector in the six o'clock that starts to appear at about 16,000 ft.. Pilots had misread the third, 10k needle and had speared in thinking they had 10,000 ft. to go.
The lower altimeter is in millibars yet has a blank face which I find surprising as all RAF Vampires had a segment in 1962.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 15:54
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'Fareastdriver' now you see the problem mentioned by others here. The photo of the altimeter is a Mk35 RAAF Vampire (also RAN FAA I presume but geez after all these years and looking at a lot of undescribed Vampire panel photos I'm confused as all heck). I do not recall a warning panel for transition to 10,000 feet so this is our Oz problem - misinterpreting that third needle. BTW which is which? This is what I have trouble remembering as mentioned. What are these two illustrations telling us in altitude please? Tah.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 16:02
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This photo purports to be a RAAF Vampire Mk35 front panel in the Bullsbrook Museum (near RAAF Pearce). Control column was not painted gold and was not this ancient one but one with gun/rocket firing buttons covered on it IIRC. Anyway the purpose is to show the altimeter. Second photo shows single AH/AI setup which made it easy to see for both pilots and one allowed for any errors.




Last edited by SpazSinbad; 3rd May 2017 at 16:11. Reason: + grfx
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Old 3rd May 2017, 16:07
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The closest a young FED got to being a statistic was a training formation detail. There was me, the stude. and two instructors. One was leading, I was solo, and the other instructor was flying as No3 on Staff continuation Training. The SOP was that there would be a pairs take-off with the No 3 following a few seconds later. The SCT, No3, asked to do a vic take-off so this was approved. Normally the runway at Oakington was R/W 27 with 5,250 ft. available but the was a heavy crosswind so we were using R/W 36. I had not flown off that runway before but as the briefing went on there seemed to be nothing untowards with it.

We fired up and then came the long taxi around Cambridgeshire so reach the take off point. On a formation take-off the leader only uses 10,000 rpm so that his No 2 has some power to play with and as we rolled I had no problem maintaining position. Quick flicks of the eyes to make sure I was well on the runway, there were three of us across it and everything was going well; until we crossed the runway intersection with not an awful lot of speed on board.

Approaching R/W27 it is obvious that there is not a lot of real estate to the starboard of the runway which meant that at the intersection the end of R/W36 was pretty close. This was confirm by my leader suddenly accelerating as he wound on full chat. Not expecting this I dropped back slightly as did the No3 with the result that when we got airborne it was more of a swan than a vic.

I saw his wheels stop so I dropped my hand onto the u/c lever and cranked it up and at the same time he pulled his engine back to 10,000 so I was rapidly catching up. Something in my brain shouted "THAT'S THE HP COCK" so I moved my hand to the throttle and pulled off the power just as a tree went between me and the leader because R/W 36 was only 4,600 ft. long.

The was a bit of a post mortem. Both instructors had only been qualified for a few months and neither had read that R/W 36 was not to be used for formation T/Os.

The No3 eventually led the Red Arrows.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 16:21
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Heheh - glad you survived. New instructors eh. Below are the engine limitations again from RAAF Vampire Mk35/35A flight manual. Somewhere if I dig deep in external backup media I have that little blue book of pilot notes in PDF format for the T-11. I may get to it later.....

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Old 3rd May 2017, 17:05
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Old 3rd May 2017, 17:38
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What about grass runways? I recall seeing a 504 Squadron Vampire lighting up a grass turning circle at Hucknall/Watnall in the early 1950's
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Old 3rd May 2017, 17:52
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The cockpit photo on page two this thread is of a T11 (did not have that recorded earlier) so I'll repost it here and add a ZOOM of the altimeter. Found my old interpretation of the three needled altimeter issue and can post a PDF about the loss of CMDR AIR at Nowra however it is only my guess work (from remembered limited info given to me at Nowra when I first arrived back in 1969). And I note different Vampire altimeters had different sized needles particularly width (never mind the quality feel the width). 2 page PDF attached now.
“The first needle (much shorter) showed the increments of 10,000 feet, while the second showed 1,000 feet and the third (longest needle) showed 100 foot numbered increments on the dial.”


Attached Files

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 3rd May 2017 at 18:08.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 22:23
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Post 72 just made an old man cry. Pearce Vampires were my joy as a schoolboy. However, 18 months after leaving Pearce I was flying Jet Provosts in the RAF
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Old 4th May 2017, 01:52
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Some eye watering stuff for us oldies....

Vampire Dual Seater Formation Fast Low FlyBy Cockpit View

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Old 4th May 2017, 02:49
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In that Temora footage - as it taxis in, it's striking how Mosquito like the T11 nose and canopy profile are from the front.
Am I right in recalling that the cockpit profile was loosely based on that of the Mossie?
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Old 4th May 2017, 05:05
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It wasn't just the Vampire altimeter that could be mis-read. In the next iteration, the Macchi, ("Fanta-can", "orange and white dog-whistle") a coursemate was under the hood in the back seat carrying out an NDB approach at GinGin, descending from 20,000' to the MDA of 1100'. He had done the outbound descent, was making the inbound turn when he realised that the MDA was approaching rapidly, so he levelled off and continued inbound.

Once overhead, the instructor took over, and rolled inverted and started to pull through. Backseat student thinks "You can't do this from 1100'!!" and reaches for the ejection handle. But then he pauses, and has a better look at the altimeter, and realises he had been at 11,000'.

It could have been really embarassing for the instructor to return to base without his student, and it may have ruined the student's chances of reaching his eventual rank of Air Vice Marshal.
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Old 4th May 2017, 06:24
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Do not know any more details other than what is stated here:
"Crashed 19/11/70, 3 nm south of RAAF Pearce, WA. Crew; CDTAC R. Ellis, was killed after misreading altimeter after a night take off. Ellis ejected outside the design parameters of the seat." ADF Serials - Macchi MB-326H
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Old 4th May 2017, 06:37
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page 193 of this PDF (4.5Mb) has this quote from a long ago Pearce Vampire trainee:
Group Captain Mick Haxell, DFC – Pilot [No.57 Pilot Course c.1964]
"...first solo night flying in the Vampire, which was being carried out following a very recent fatal accident involving a student from the course ahead who had misread his altimeter and flown into a hill in the Pearce circuit area at night. On walking out to get into our aircraft on a very dark night, I recall all of us being in a high state of trepidation. Suffice to say that the crosschecking of altitude against altimeters that night received a lot of attention." http://www.radschool.org.au/Books/Wo...years%20on.pdf
Found an old funny story here: http://warships1discussionboards.yuk...e#.WQrNmOS1uZ8

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 4th May 2017 at 06:48.
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