Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

V Force - Radiation risk - Yellow Sun

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

V Force - Radiation risk - Yellow Sun

Old 30th Sep 2020, 18:07
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: 26000 to 28,000 lightyears from the galatic centre
Age: 75
Posts: 193
V Force - Radiation risk - Yellow Sun

Any body still around from V Force days. What was the radiation risk to ground crew from being in proximity to the Yellow Sun Mk 1 / 2 nuclear bombs with either ''Green Grass" or "Red Snow" warheads used on QRA - Victor B1 /1a Aircraft in the early 1960s? In 1963/4, I was ground crew on the Cottesmore QRA ( weekend Fri - Mon and mid week Mon - Fri ). On several occasions I was carrying out daily servicing while the Armorers had the Bomb Bays doors open for servicing the weapon. Scary view for an 18 year old ARM.
***
orionsbelt is offline  
Old 30th Sep 2020, 20:00
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 1,228
Originally Posted by orionsbelt View Post
Any body still around from V Force days. What was the radiation risk to ground crew from being in proximity to the Yellow Sun Mk 1 / 2 nuclear bombs with either ''Green Grass" or "Red Snow" warheads used on QRA - Victor B1 /1a Aircraft in the early 1960s? In 1963/4, I was ground crew on the Cottesmore QRA ( weekend Fri - Mon and mid week Mon - Fri ). On several occasions I was carrying out daily servicing while the Armorers had the Bomb Bays doors open for servicing the weapon. Scary view for an 18 year old ARM.
***
Offhand the risk should have been minimal. The radioactivity from the ingredients is mostly alpha and beta particles, which are confined by the bomb package.
Note that the late Joe Stalin, when given a lump of plutonium which was a bomb core, was immediately suspicious as there was nothing obviously nuclear happening to that lump.
Fortunately the physicist who brought out the specimen was sufficiently unintimidated that he told the dictator 'feel it, it is warm', courtesy of ongoing radioactive decay.
etudiant is online now  
Old 30th Sep 2020, 20:09
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cambs
Posts: 131
Spent plenty of time upclose with YS. Still here!
Slow Biker is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2020, 09:22
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane Australia
Age: 80
Posts: 46
I was a member of a bombing up team at Cottesmore and I'm still here too. I would have thought that the greatest risk was to the the RAF Policeman and his dog who were the security detail.








ozleckie is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2020, 14:50
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 330
Suspect the aircrews detailed for post test radiation sniffing would have had significant exposure to airborne particles.
57mm is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2020, 18:03
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: France
Posts: 25
Cool

Originally Posted by 57mm View Post
Suspect the aircrews detailed for post test radiation sniffing would have had significant exposure to airborne particles.
And lived Happily Ever After!
VictorSR is offline  
Old 1st Oct 2020, 18:45
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Under a recently defunct flight path.
Age: 75
Posts: 1,273
I would have thought a bigger risk to ground crew would come from being assigned to the Aircraft Wash Team!
Lyneham Lad is online now  
Old 2nd Oct 2020, 09:10
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London
Age: 77
Posts: 487
Still around , in excellent health and still flying, 76 tomorrow. Lots of yellow suns at Marham when I was on Valiants, 207 Sqn., and trained on LML.
RetiredBA/BY is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 09:58
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 80
Posts: 165
Radiation risk

I have done my fair share of QRA's at Honington, but was also a member of a six man "Special Safety Team" that were on standby in case a weapon was involved in a crash. It would not trigger a nuclear explosion, but would more than likely set off the HE element & fracture the "physics package" on an A-Bomb that would contain enriched uranium & on a H-Bomb, that would contain plutonium. We were issued with hermaticlt sealed plastic suits, similar to the ones seen at the Novochok attack in Salsbury. We knew that we would be irradiated, but if we could get in there quick enough& do our job Then get out, we might just survive. The good thing was that the suits stopped us from inhaling radioactive particles which would cause a very nasty death within days. Luckily, we were never called out.
VIProds is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 10:14
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 540
Originally Posted by RetiredBA/BY View Post
Still around , in excellent health and still flying, 76 tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, I thought I was pretty young for Valiants -Iím 77 next month- you must have been very young indeed !
NRU74 is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2020, 14:42
  #11 (permalink)  
t7a
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: nr Bury St Edmunds
Posts: 116
Slightly off topic but I seem to remember that the core was delivered to the crew to insert in the warhead. Prior to insertion the ball bearings which stopped the space for the core collapsing had to be drained into a container. I can remember watching a practice load when the thousands of ball bearings missed the container and ended up all over the apron!
t7a is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2020, 16:37
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: East Sussex
Age: 84
Posts: 277
Believe it or not, the nav rad then had to count the ball bearings to make sure they had all fallen out. Apparently just one remaining in the beast would cause it to fail. Bit of a pantomine in practice!
pontifex is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2020, 10:50
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Threshold 06
Posts: 452
Smile

IIRC, B1a s from Waddo often carried out high altitude radiation level sampling around the world and were put into the shed on their return. Now, changing the Brake Chute every 28days was an OOP task so if the jet didnít stream on its return, we had to go and change it in situ. Ergo, I spent many an hour straddled over the brake chute compartment in the ECM bulge at the back. I donít think I noticed it glowing at any point, but in later life the results of a routine sperm count did give me some concerns....The Doc at the time said we would be unlikely ever to have kids...🤭

However, 50 plus years on we have two strapping lads and three lovely grandchildren, and I still have all my hair...


Continual use of solvents in maintenance activity is another matter.


oldmansquipper is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.