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Slingsby Type 31/ Cadet TX Mk.3

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Slingsby Type 31/ Cadet TX Mk.3

Old 9th Mar 2019, 11:35
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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In 1965, both 1166 and 2203 ATC Squadrons attended 616 VGS at RAF Henlow. I soloed in T31 WT910 at Henlow on 22nd Feb 1959, and did the advanced course in 1962, after which I became a staff cadet and eventually an instructor at RAF Halton until I retired in 1997 on the Grob Vigilant powered aircraft.
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 14:09
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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I can probably relate one of the more unusual tales involving a Mk3 at Halton.

Early October with visibility about 2 to 3 miles (so the ridge in sight, but not much beyond. I was to do a hangar flight in WT908 as the sun was setting and just before the launch I noticed that the top of the ridge had cleared and there seemed to be clearer air moving down the ridge, like a very slow waterfall. The launch went as normal (so about 600 ft) taking off towards the compass base with a slight crosswind from the right.

A right hand circuit completed I started the approach from the gunpit towards the compass base in a side slip (WT908 had no spoilers). At about a hundred feet with most of the airfield in front I stopped the side slip and after a few seconds was amazed to find the Mk3 wasn't going down; in fact it seemed to be going up! By the time I got to the end of the airfield I was back at 500 ft. A second circuit produced the same result, except I was ready for it and worked my way up to about 900ft (I had looked up and seen the two Sedberghs at about 1800).

For a while it was quite fun just tootling around over the airfield flying level. It must have been a Saturday with Fred in charge as the Boss might have got very upset. What had happened was that the clear air I had seen descending from the ridge was some sort of katabatic wind caused by the air at the top of the ridge cooling which had met the local wind going in the opposite direction over the airfield and the only way for them to go was up.

After a good few minutes fun it began to occur to me that it was getting dark and I seemed to have no reliable way to get 908 on the ground (no spoilers). In the end I sneaked around the end of the trees along the road (mostly cut down now) and landed towards the ridge; with the main skid on the ground not even the katabatic front could get the Mk3 airborne again.

I never, ever saw that katabatic front happen again.
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 14:26
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rory166 View Post
Thank you for mentioning that. At Swanton Morely the T31s did not have spoilers but the T21 did. I was beginning to doubt my sanity with all the talk of spoilers and the pictures. It did mean landing way up the field. I soloed in the T31 in 1973 at the age of 16, you had to be 16 to solo but had flown air experience since age 13. Due to poor weather I had to return for a second bank holiday weelend of flight training so took abot 33 launches which was a lot in those days, some would have soloed in one weekeknd with 20 odd launches as I recall.
Cadets were taught not to use spoilers on the Mk3 (even if fitted) up to solo standard. They could be vicious and most importantly it sometimes took a few seconds for the wing to start working properly again when they were closed and the ground might intervene.

My personal best as an instructor was on a course when I managed to get a pupil solo after only 16 launches and never getting launched above 600 ft which with the rate a Mk3 came down was probably only just over half an hour's flying. Two of those launches were in a Sedbergh (again to 600 ft) in which we did stalling and spinning!
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 10:48
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by circuitbasher613 View Post
In 1965, both 1166 and 2203 ATC Squadrons attended 616 VGS at RAF Henlow. I soloed in T31 WT910 at Henlow on 22nd Feb 1959, and did the advanced course in 1962, after which I became a staff cadet and eventually an instructor at RAF Halton until I retired in 1997 on the Grob Vigilant powered aircraft.
You have a PM.
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Old 13th Mar 2019, 10:23
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Half a century ago I was a staff cadet at 631 GS Sealand.
Every weekend winch driving and cable towing followed by a couple of solos in a T21b.
Flew the Mk3 but preferred the T21b.
.
One day a student stalled a Mk3 in from a few hundred feet, it broke up comprehensively on impact, but, remarkably, he walked away from it.
What amazed me was that the cable release wire didn't cause him serious harm as it ran vertically between his legs.
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Old 17th May 2019, 22:45
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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This thread sure takes me back to my first glider solo in August 1958 with 616 at Henlow in WT901. I was the first 616-trained cadet to solo there as Peter Bullivant didn't open the school until the July. An advanced course at Halesland in 1959 then a staff cadet and CI with 616 until the end of 1964.

I do recall one instructor who gave a trainee a simulated cable break at about 100 ft. The launch was, maybe, a bit slow and after the instructor 'pulled the bung' nobody seemed to do anything. Eventually the instructor pussed the stick forward, but it was too late. The T31 mushed-in and landed with hard. Fortunately the trainee was unhurt, but the instructor had a back injury which landed him in the RAF Hospital at Halton.

I'm fortunate that I still get to fly a T21b regularly but would love another 'go' in a T31.
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Old 26th May 2019, 14:09
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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I can't resist extending this thread. My experience was typical: I went solo in a Kirby Cadet Mk 3 with 615 VGS at RAF Kenley in the summer of 1984 - 700ft launch followed by 3 min circuit.

My question is - when was the last ATC T31 first solo? Vikings were already being introduced in '84 and I think 615 converted the following year.
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Old 26th May 2019, 20:05
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bag Carrier View Post

My question is - when was the last ATC T31 first solo? Vikings were already being introduced in '84 and I think 615 converted the following year.
My last winch launch was with 613 VGS Halton on 21 Oct 79 in Sedburgh XN 150; my next flight in an Air Cadet glider was from Benson with 612 VGS on 1 Aug 81 in Venture ZA654, so assuming conversions to Venture and Viking/Vanguard took place at similar times it could have been as early as 1981.
After 1979, my next flight from Halton wasn't until 26 May 1991 in Cyclone AX3 59EE, but that's not important here apart from the fact I used to do 'Mk 3' type circuits in the AX3 at Halton ie base leg 300ft descending and turn final at 150ft.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 18:31
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Yes I did too, on an ATC gliding course in about 1963 and I still remember the first time I had to react to a cable break on a winch launch! My enamel wings badge made me feel very proud and I went on to get my proper wings but have never forgotten the start the ATC gave me towards a service career and I am very pleased that they continue to do so. Bloodaxe
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 19:15
  #190 (permalink)  
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An unusual Keith Wilson image of me on tow in WT900 behind the BGC's EuroFox.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 21:48
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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Very nice photo Dave. Quite rare to see T31s on aerotow.
I recall doing an aerotow into wave in aT31 at Aboyne, many years ago. The handling in wave turbulence was 'exciting'.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 11:22
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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Can't make it out on my 11" screen but I hope the correct hook was used.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 13:17
  #193 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by biscuit74 View Post
Very nice photo Dave. Quite rare to see T31s on aerotow.
I recall doing an aerotow into wave in aT31 at Aboyne, many years ago. The handling in wave turbulence was 'exciting'.
Yep, it can get a bit "entertaining and exciting ".....however, it does beg a question here. ......and this is not a "catch you out " query I assure you, far from it.

As you were heading for the delights of wave flying, erm, did you wear a parachute and carry that useful stuff called oxygen ?...only if you did, it would have been a rather tight fit .........and keeping warm (ish )
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 13:47
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Can't make it out on my 11" screen but I hope the correct hook was used.
Did the T31 have a nose hook? Ours didn't, and I was always towed using the belly hook quite satisfactorily.

And we never wore 'chutes in the T31 in my club. When we eventually got a Capstan 'chutes were worn, and what fun we had getting passengers into them, and then explaining the exit procedure, ending with 'If I say 'jump' do not say 'pardon' as I will have gone already'.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 14:13
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Yep, it can get a bit "entertaining and exciting ".....however, it does beg a question here. ......and this is not a "catch you out " query I assure you, far from it.

As you were heading for the delights of wave flying, erm, did you wear a parachute and carry that useful stuff called oxygen ?...only if you did, it would have been a rather tight fit .........and keeping warm (ish )
No, we didn't in those days, either in the T31 or T21. Most of our flying then was by winch, so little benefit in either. We did move to routine wearing of parachutes and, soon after, oxygen when we got a Capstan and started to do some seriously high wave flying. It was a new phenomenon to us at Aboyne then!

I think out T31 had a nose hook, and that was the last wave flight we did in it I believe - the whole structure seemed to be twisting at times in the turbulence - much rougher than we'd found before. The T21 fared much better in wave turbulence, though sometime needed all hands on the control column to try to keep it level! Adding closed canopies helped for higher wave work in NE Scottish autumns..

I agree, the T31 would have been tight for parachutes. I have a memory that the T21 had a removable seat back section, with a moulded recess behind to allow room for a ;chute. The Capstan canvas seats were made for parachute wearing and were awkward without them. Happy days, when we were exploring the area.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 15:34
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Olympia463 View Post
Did the T31 have a nose hook? Ours didn't, and I was always towed using the belly hook quite satisfactorily.
All the Air Cadet Mk 3s in my era had nose hooks as well as a belly hook.
I lost count of the number of times I heard a 'take up slack' and on looking shouting 'STOP, release the cable' even when you took great care to brief AEG cadets not to use it.
We did use the nose hook a couple of times too though, when ferrying gliders to/from Bovingdon on detachment using the Halton Chipmunk tug.

Last edited by chevvron; 20th Jun 2019 at 19:02.
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Old 20th Jun 2019, 16:52
  #197 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by biscuit74 View Post
No, we didn't in those days, either in the T31 or T21. Most of our flying then was by winch, so little benefit in either. We did move to routine wearing of parachutes and, soon after, oxygen when we got a Capstan and started to do some seriously high wave flying. It was a new phenomenon to us at Aboyne then!

I think out T31 had a nose hook, and that was the last wave flight we did in it I believe - the whole structure seemed to be twisting at times in the turbulence - much rougher than we'd found before. The T21 fared much better in wave turbulence, though sometime needed all hands on the control column to try to keep it level! Adding closed canopies helped for higher wave work in NE Scottish autumns..

I agree, the T31 would have been tight for parachutes. I have a memory that the T21 had a removable seat back section, with a moulded recess behind to allow room for a ;chute. The Capstan canvas seats were made for parachute wearing and were awkward without them. Happy days, when we were exploring the area.
Thanks for the reply Nothing like rotor to negate the "gliding is fun ! " maxim when you encounter it. Sooner you than me I have to say with your intrepid adventures in that era.
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Old 24th Jun 2019, 19:42
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Thanks for the reply Nothing like rotor to negate the "gliding is fun ! " maxim when you encounter it. Sooner you than me I have to say with your intrepid adventures in that era.
Yep, I'd agree. Serious rotor definitely reduces the 'gliding is fun' bit.
As a tug pilot it used to really get tedious - we just have battled our way up into the nice smooooth stuff and then the darn glider pilot releases, so I have to dive down through that washing machine spin cycle again! Still, these days, better tugs, better sailplanes - and a bit more understanding of what is happening and why.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 14:41
  #199 (permalink)  
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I always thought the rotor was like a washing machine too! In Easterly wave at Talgarth climb rates of almost 2,000ft/min have been recorded by gliders, with sink and rotor to match. It could be brutal........
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 14:47
  #200 (permalink)  
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I know some of you have enjoyed the A2A's of WT900, as pictures of T.31s in flight are quite rare. So here's another great Keith Wilson pic!
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