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RAF to retire Tucano

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RAF to retire Tucano

Old 7th Sep 2019, 14:16
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
Tucano saw the end of the 300kts Navex that the JP5 could do with ease. Also, if you wanted 240-270kts in the Tucano on a sunny day you were going to get hot (as the cockpit conditioning needed to be turned off!). Another aircraft procurement thanks to political meddling for truly the wrong aircraft.
Was there an appreciable knock-on effect at AFT or beyond from doing navexes at 240kts instead of 300? Although I have nothing to compare it to, personally I found the Tucano a very good platform on which to learn the ropes of FJ flying. The acid test was the step up to the Hawk, which I remember being no more difficult than the step up from the Bulldog, perhaps even less so. To me there’s nothing obvious that says the FJ cadre of the past 30 years has struggled as a result of Tucano’s selection. It’s impossible to completely decouple politics from public expenditure, so if a politically-expedient choice gets the job done to an acceptable standard then we should consider it a good deal for all concerned.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 14:26
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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I recall when the 300 KIAS LL navex was first introduced. It was hard on pilots and airframe as the ride comfort was far worse than at 240KIAS and the controls were also much heavier. Also a standard 60 deg AoB turn would lose so much speed even with full throttle that it took an age to regain the correct speed. Another point was that the standard method of timing correction (add n knots for n sec late for TAS in nm/min) meant that being anything more than 5 sec late at a turning point would often mean exceeding max continuous rpm....

I didn't really see the point of the 300 KIAS LL navex as it didn't gain that much and really gobbled up fuel.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 14:44
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
I recall when the 300 KIAS LL navex was first introduced. It was hard on pilots and airframe as the ride comfort was far worse than at 240KIAS and the controls were also much heavier. Also a standard 60 deg AoB turn would lose so much speed even with full throttle that it took an age to regain the correct speed. Another point was that the standard method of timing correction (add n knots for n sec late for TAS in nm/min) meant that being anything more than 5 sec late at a turning point would often mean exceeding max continuous rpm....

I didn't really see the point of the 300 KIAS LL navex as it didn't gain that much and really gobbled up fuel.
Funny that, it's not how I remembered it apart from the fuel bit. But then 3 years Nav training probably gave me a different perspective.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 14:50
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Was there an appreciable knock-on effect at AFT or beyond from doing navexes at 240kts instead of 300?
Yes, the maths got harder!!! ​​​​​​​
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 14:59
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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The technical term for individually built it is handmade strange about the comments on the individuality of the Tucano when the wing attachments on the Grimrod could be inches out from each other.

Incidentally you should see some of the bigger Cessna twins, farmers in Witchita would farm during the summer and build aircraft during the winter and it showed, you dreaded getting new skins pre drilled because nothing would ever match, they were built in three sections, front, middle and aft and then riveted together with rivets through rivets, figure of eight rivets and I even saw three rivets all joined up and overlapping in a row.

The Ex RAF Tucano sells well in the USA with a decent Nav fit in it.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 15:48
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post


Incidentally you should see some of the bigger Cessna twins, farmers in Witchita would farm during the summer and build aircraft during the winter and it showed, you dreaded getting new skins pre drilled because nothing would ever match, they were built in three sections, front, middle and aft and then riveted together with rivets through rivets, figure of eight rivets and I even saw three rivets all joined up and overlapping in a row.
I've seen a couple of similar things on Citations, including a brand new one where a mis-routed aileron cable was sawing its way through a wing rib

Ttfn
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 18:22
  #27 (permalink)  
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Meteor T14 low level navex 350
JP5 300
Tucanon 240
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 19:46
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
I also heard that when they lined them up outside, they were of different lengths too.
Completely true! They used to line them up at Cranwell (with often only the first few actually serviceable (we knew this because they used to get us studes to help out as line controllers sometimes)) with the prop spinners lined up to the millimetre, wander to the back of the aircraft and it was a wavy line of rudders all the way down.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 21:58
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Deliverance;10564371]
Perhaps we just get grumpy over time, with the exception of BV who is definitely a glass half full man.
That's the right idea! One optimist is better than two pessimists.

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Old 8th Sep 2019, 04:19
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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🍷

I will take that as a complement. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to one on here I think.

It is too easy to view everything as a negative. We all fear change but change needn’t be a bad thing.

For example, when I joined the choices out of training were Jag, Harrier, GR4, F3 and Sea Harrier (for Navy). Nowadays it’s F35 and Typhoon. That seems like limited choice to some but holy crap. Why would anyone complain when both choices are awesome?

As for JP vs Tucano, I never flew the former. Sure navexes were at 240 knots on Tucano but so what? As a student it felt like a proper set up in training from EFT (tandem seating for instance) and a good lead in to Hawk. Looking back now as an experienced QFI I think the steps are still correct.

Instead of constantly hankering after the past (which will always leave us unsatisfied) I find life is more fulfilling if I just embrace the current and the future. It would appear that this comes across in my posts.

Maybe I’ll change as I get older but I bloody hope not.

BV
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 05:49
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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As much to do with the people as the aeroplane but I loved every second of BFJT at Linton flying the Tucano.
I may be alone in thinking this but I thought the ‘jump’ to Hawk - 240 to 420 - was largely over blown as the cadence of events was very similar, you just went further. Also those lovely people in ATC took you more seriously and other pragmatic reductions such as trimmers no longer insisting on full PATHASATNIE practice pan calls actually made your life easier!
Occasionally ‘stuff’ would filter back from Valley to Linton such as ‘must tighten up circuits’ and other CFS type guff that probably mattered but resulted only in a week long fad for doing your circuits first ‘when you were sharpest’.
I never understood the switch on Tucano that went from ground idle to ‘flight mode’ or similar, but was overridden by throttle being advanced anyway...why was that required? Anyone recall?
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 07:13
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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I may be alone in thinking this but I thought the ‘jump’ to Hawk - 240 to 420 - was largely over blown as the cadence of events was very similar, you just went further. Also those lovely people in ATC took you more seriously and other pragmatic reductions
Agree 100%. In hindsight, Linton is where I learned to be a professional pilot and AFT was effectively a type conversion in preparation for TWU. Maybe it didn’t feel like that at the time, but it shows what a good job 1FTS did. And I agree with others that Linton was an absolute blast: like living in university halls with daily flying and more disposable salary than I have now, especially as flying pay used to kick in 2/3 of the way through. It’s up there as a strong contender for my favourite year of service and sad to see it going
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 07:59
  #33 (permalink)  
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Interesting set of responses. The view I took at MOD(PE) was that, for better or worse, this was the aeroplane that had been ordered and we had to make the best of it. It was quite frustrating that many people in the RAF were willing to judge it on all sorts of potential issues before it had even been delivered, but life is often like that. The fact that it was 2 years late was a simple effect of the mods that were applied to the original Embraer design to meet the ever changing and optimistic specification - engine, canopy, ejection seat, oxygen system, fatigue life requirements, ADR, cockpit layout, etc - it was a major modification to the original and so the delay was hardly surprising. NB I think that Embraer only built the first 2 or 4 fuselages, not 10.

There was also the idea of "Best and Final Offer" whereby each consortium was asked for their BAFO in turn, several times! Politicians had the idea that that you would get a lower cost whilst still getting the same end result, which is just not true. Of course, a company will cut corners as they trim their costs. I'm sure the PC9 family would have been a better aircraft for the RAF, but they (Michael Heseltine) had let politics and finances get in the way. I think the RAF (eventually) had a good aeroplane that, for the cost, had a very successful career.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 08:56
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Considering they served for 30 years I can't remember any great media hoo-ha about them in all teat time . Seems they were bought, did a pretty good job and are abou tto retire -without having created many ripples or fanfares

I don't think there was a single fatality ? And only a few w/o??? Must be a record for the RAF................
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 11:42
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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I never understood the switch on Tucano that went from ground idle to ‘flight mode’ or similar, but was overridden by throttle being advanced anyway...why was that required? Anyone recall?
The switch was for you to tell the EEC what rpm you wanted on the ground; 72% was somewhat quieter than the normal 100%. Provided you'd blipped the switch to 70% pre-start then the engine would start and sit at 72% (the setting of the underspeed governor) When you put the Air Con on it was pushed up to 80% for a tad more bleed air. Runway checks got you to select 100% to re-datum the underspeed governor, but if you forgot then the EEC would respond to a forward throttle movement and do it for you. The latter did cause a slight EGT spike as the increased fuel flow (throttle) exceeded that demanded by the underspend governor. You couldn't therefore try to get airborne before you had 100% rpm. The transition form 72 (or 80) to 100% was fairly rapid anyway.

Inflight the switch did nothing, then after landing you blipped it back to 70 to quieten things down again.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 16:54
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think it is much of a secret that the preferred option at the time was a Swiss-built trainer that has since proved very successful for other air forces. Rumour has it that following the political decision to buy Tucano instead, a meeting was called to discuss the programme and the following conversation ensued:

AVM: "Chaps, we need to come up with a new name for this aircraft. We can't just call it the Tucano, it sounds a bit too foreign."

Sqn Ldr I** Wor***d: "What about calling it the 'PC-9', Sir?"

AVM: "Get out!"
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 17:17
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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That rings a chord! During the competition, some Boscombe mates pitched up in our crew room and the subject of the JP replacement cropped up. So they asked us what we thought...

"The Turbo Firecracker is a piece of junk. Nasty little thing, badly made. But British. The Australian A20 is just paper, so it's either the PC-9 or Tucano. Even if the PC-9 is the best, it'll be the Tucano for political reasons now that the Lear Fan has gone tits-up as the government will be desperate to find employment for Northern Irish workers", was what I said.

"Interesting", replied the Boscombe mate, but it seems I was proved right!

Never did fly one though.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 17:34
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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I’ll always be happy that I was the chap in the Mastermind chair in the ejection seat video and got a flight, as a Plt Off, in the Tincan at CFS prior to me going to CF on the JP!
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 18:33
  #39 (permalink)  
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JP5A LL navex was particularly fuel-hungry if you left the airbrakes out all the way round the LL phase. Demonstrated by a solo stude at Cranwell who, after what must have been a staggeringly arse-puckering recovery, taxied in and shut down thinking he had gone away with it - in every sense. Sadly it seems the linies were required to report how much fuel they put into the jet afterwards - which worked out at shutdown fuel remaining of 29lb. To the credit of the system, the stude graduated.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 19:02
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Out of interest did anyone ever actually have to use one of those ejection seats ?

update - apparently there were several uses and they worked every time.
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