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Beverley or Hasting tales please

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Beverley or Hasting tales please

Old 19th Aug 2020, 14:29
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Beverley or Hasting tales please

Learned contributors,
Anyone care to share their tales of Blackburn Beverley operations or Handley Page Hastings operations?
Please?
Thanks for your time and trouble.
Be lucky
David
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 14:35
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If you can find a copy, "No Time on the Ground" by the late Ken Fitzroy includes a chapter on flying both, and is an entertaining read too.
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 14:57
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There is, already, a thread on this subject. Search for 'Handley Page Hastings'.
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 15:26
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Here's a piccy, an old faded Agfa, of a Beverly dropping our rations during Confrontation. The scene is the strip at Sepulot, in the middle of Sabah in 1966. In the foreground are 230 Sqn Whirlwing 10s and Gurkhas who manhandle the supplies.

They used to pack the aircraft the preceding evening until they changed to nylon chutes. They uses to stick together with the humidity overnight with predictable results.


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Old 19th Aug 2020, 15:39
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I have a couple of books on the Bev in service, one is by Bill Overton. They are both excellent references and were available on ABE books. I have been trying for years to get a copy of Gerry Hatt's book, Have Spanner-Will Travel, but it eludes me.
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 16:34
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Don't just read about the Beverley - buy one! https://bid.gilbert-baitson.co.uk/au...4-ac0600cb36d7
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 17:53
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One of my UAS instructors had flown Beverleys. He told a tale of delivering one to Halton as they were being retired. The control yoke is on a shaft that goes into the instrument panel (like most light aircraft), and he and the co-pilot devised a plan that after landing they would hacksaw through the shafts and keep the yokes as souvenirs. They told their mates..... After shutting down, they proceeded to carry out the deed - apparently there were a lot of ‘twanging’ noises as the shaft stubs disappeared into the panel. On reaching whatever office it was, to hand over the F700s, they were passed a signal. It said the aircraft was required back urgently and would be handed over to Halton at a future date....,!
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 18:53
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212man, not a unique occurrence. The Hastings fleet went one by one for fire practice (£60 delivered fully serviceable) when the Hercs started arriving. A crew took one to an RAF station in Germany, and had to taxy to a remote part of the airfield as was usual on such deliveries. Much talk of buying duty frees before being swept up by another squadron aircraft, how much time they had to do that, etc etc. In the meantime the woods that lined their route were creeping ever closer to the taxyway. Of course the inevitable happened and a wing tip struck a tree. Not to worry, the aircraft was going to be struck off anyway, so nil further in the F700 and back to base in time for tea (if not medals). Similar signal to yours received at the squadron, and a penitent skipper had to explain all to the Boss. A quick phone call to Group and aircraft retrieval was cancelled. Sighs of relief all round!
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 18:53
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Originally Posted by DeanoP View Post
There is, already, a thread on this subject. Search for 'Handley Page Hastings'.
I have read that thread and sadly the vast majority of the photo links are broken. Nonetheless a truly remarkable read thanks for pointing it out, I’d missed it somehow, pre senile amnesia!
David
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 20:06
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One of my first bosses in the RAF, a lovely bloke called George Smith, told me he flew the last Hastings in the RAF. On trips around the USA ATC Centres kept asking him what a "TING" was on the flight plan and did they always go that slowly. Many tales just wish I could remember them.
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 21:23
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My first encounter with life threatening situations was in a Beverley. As a young SAC I was sent on my first Overseas detachment post B/E training on exercise Sunspot with 50 Sqn (Vulcans) to Malta. To get us there, we were stuck up in the tail boom of a Bev. On take off to the west of Waddo I became aware that instead of climbing Bentley away towards Newark, we appeared to be descending a bit. The descent stopped and the engines continued to scream away as we completed a split ar*ed 180 to starboard. Passing OMQ almost on a level, I looked out and saw the blood wagon and several fire trucks, lights flashing, racing out towards the main runway. ‘Oh!’ I thought ‘someone’s in trouble!’ I noticed Q was passing under our stb wingtip....looking worryingly close. Shortly (very shortly) after, the great wings rolled level and I was aware that by the rumbling of the wheels, we had landed...the fire trucks and blood wagon were now headed our way. On parking up, the flt eng came to talk to us. Apparently one of the engines had gone into ‘auto feather’ or something on lift off we were committed at that point so the skipper used the drop off of the Lincoln edge to gain speed to turn back....

As my flying progressed over the years, and I learned a bit about EFATO, I often wondered why he didn’t just fly straight ahead and flop into Swinderby. Hey ho! We got to Malta eventually and had a great time. (Don’t ask about Straight Street, The G*ppo Queen, and initiation ceremonies for young airmen on their first overseas det)


50 Sqn on Ex Sunspot - I’m there in the ‘0’ somewhere...
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 21:29
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Originally Posted by Chris Kebab View Post
Don't just read about the Beverley - buy one! https://bid.gilbert-baitson.co.uk/au...4-ac0600cb36d7
The last remaining piece of rolling stock (dining car) from the Berlin British Military Train is parked next to it, also for sale.
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 21:32
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And another thing!

The Bev was not the fastest of transports, but I didn’t realise how slow it was until as we were flying down the Rhône valley at not very high height into the teeth of a gale and I noted that cars heading south on the Autoroute de soleil below us were actually overtaking us..

Happy days😁
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 22:28
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Posted onto Bevs for my second ops tour after a first one in Aden on 'pigs'. What a change! Everything enormous - particularly the flight deck. The RAF's first Perf A aircraft and spectacular v2 climbs for air displays. Initially, 5 crew , Capt, Co , Nav, Sig and AQM - no .FE. Mainly electrics with the 'Hammond Organ' as the flight deck centre piece. The BTH units at the bottom of the HO usually needed 'impact servicing' on start-up, so the lower panels took on toe-cap outlines. The cover of the battery box on the flight deck made a 'morning after' recovery area and shielded the vast Nife cells. STR18 instead of 1154/55 meant we could actually make, and maintain, radio contact. 2300, ECB in the cruise gave around 165kts at 8-10,000. The Centaurii were oil thirsty and needed regular in-flight replenishment via the 'dog-kennel' transfer pump - a 'diet' of 20-a-day Woodbines didn't help! Para-drops could be made from the freight bay or the boom - apparently the boom was favoured --"like riding down a kid's slide". Initial trials of combined freight and paras was disconcerting - the paras (dummies) disappeared and were 'found' in the freight bay. This lead to the fitting of 'Elephant ears' either side externally. The ability to reverse on the ground was useful but, as discovered at Dishforth, needed the correct sequence of prop-interruptor switches (anti-ice) to avoid being stuck in reverse! They also discovered that applying the brakes in this condition was 'not a good thing'!! Started on 30 at Dishforth, went to 53 at Abingdon when 30 went to Eastleigh. One particular tragedy, but hugely enjoyed for many reasons, aeronautical and otherwise. Regrets? - it was almost never used for its design purpose and the Mk 2 ( 4 Tynes and pressurised) was turned down and would have given Fat Albert a run for its money! "Clear to join airways, level Fl 70 at Compton" A lifetime's experience in 2 and a half years!
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Old 20th Aug 2020, 09:20
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My very first flight was in ''U'' a 47 Sqn Beverley at Abingdon in 1964. I was 11 years old and on Scout Camp at Youlbury near Oxford. We were visiting the station and totally unexpectedly were offered a flight doing circuits. It got me hooked on what turned out to be my career. If anyone has a long forgotten photo of the 47 Sqn ''U'' I really would appreciate a copy.

Some years later but still before I became aircrew I was an Ops Clerk in the Group Ops Room at Upavon. Flt Lt Arthur Hyland was a flow controller and used to regale us on nights with old Beverley tales. The one that sicks in my memory was that he got airborne fro El Adam enroute to UK and 2 1/2 hours later was still in the overhead as the head winds were so strong.

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Old 20th Aug 2020, 10:28
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huge72 - Your mention of Arthur Hyland stirred up a host of memories! I flew with Arthur on 'Pigs', when he was a Flt Sgt pilot and, then later, on Bevs when he was commissioned. We were involved in unusual incidents in both aircraft and, in one case, he was responsible for my/our 'survival'; in the other, we agreed an unorthodox, but commonsense plan, which nearly 'turned to worms', but Lady Luck intervened!! The flight was post-route Customs check at Abingdon back to Dishforth, and he may well not have included it in the night-time "Bev tales he regaled you with"!!. Like so many ex-nco pilots, he was a superb 'stick and rudder' man and an all-round 'good bloke'.
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Old 20th Aug 2020, 11:40
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OP, you bemoaned the lack of pics surviving on the old Hastings thread so maybe you'd be interested in these (previously posted on the WWII Brevet thread). It was an impromptu formation fly past HQFEAF of all five aircraft present on the 48 Squadron line at Changi. The Boss had unwisely risen to the bait at a FEAF Guest Night and said they were all serviceable and that he could have them all airborne the following morning. The C in C thought that an excellent idea and looked forward to seeing them then. Hence when we turned up reporting bleary-eyed at 0900 (?) at the squadron, we were hurriedly briefed, transported to Western Dispersal, and flying past in formation within the hour.

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Old 20th Aug 2020, 16:55
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By going to Google Earth and searching for Long Pasia, Sabah, you wil find the villiage of Long Pasir. A few hundred metres to the west just before the river one can see the outline of the old airstrip that was used during Confrontation in the 1960s. This airstrip was originally built buy the RE and it needed a fair amount of earth moved to complete it. The answer to this was an Air Portable Grader, of which the only example was in Singapore. This was asked for and it was flown to Labuan complete with specialist dispatch crew.

Local knowledge was not required so they prepared the grader for dropping the next day. The Beverley took off, positioned for the run in to Long Pasir and at precisely the right moment the grader slid out of the back.

I have mentioned nylon parachutes before.

Returning to Google Earth if you look at there southern end the is a irregularly shaped hole filled with water. It would have been deeper but the Gurkhas just filled it in over the top.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 23rd Aug 2020 at 10:22.
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Old 20th Aug 2020, 18:09
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FED- Not always tropical humidity causing unchecked arrivals from the Bev. My first experience was dropping out of Abingdon on detachment from Dishforth. The load was a Land Rover on pallet. The load left and shortly afterwards, we got a call from the DZ controller " Your load took 7 seconds to leave the aircraft and 5 seconds to hit the ground". A swift 360 to the overhead and, there was our LR, still on its pallet but distinctly vertically challenged! 'Meat bombing' had its moments too!!
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Old 21st Aug 2020, 09:42
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A (flight) engineer once told me....

He'd been a ground engineer on the Beverly. Based in Bahrain, it was tedious and uncomfortable when servicing the engines and working on the top of the aeroplane's wing, to wear the harness with a rope attached to a lug on the top of the wing. The idea being that if you fell from the great height of the Beverly wing, you would not hit the ground, but have your fall broken and be suspended above the ground. Hence, though officially required, it was never done.

Then, one day, with an inspection pending their "chiefie" decided that they would go and find the harnesses, plus the ropes, attach them to the top of the wings and leave them there. Should the inspection take place whilst they were working they would diligently wear them.

Having laid them out, they went off for a break. On returning, a gust of wind had blown the harnesses off the top. The harnesses, were all lying on the ground. The officially prescribed rope was too long!

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