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Old Lockheed "Starfighter" story

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Old Lockheed "Starfighter" story

Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:33
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
And the fact that most of them ended up in the North Sea rather than a farmer’s field.....


The RAAF Mirage 111 loss rate was >40% yet Spain lost no Starfighters!
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:34
  #42 (permalink)  

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One 104 landed at Gutersloh reportedly landed at around 230 kts. It cut through the upwind barrier and ended up well beyond in a field.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:46
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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First time I heard a Starfighter take off and heard that howl, I thought the gates of hell had opened and the hounds were coming for me.

Late 70's and stationed at Lossie, we shared a hanger with VASS and just about anything visiting was handily placed just outside for a budding David Bailey, with my Kodak Instamatic 110. One day 2 German 104's turned up and I asked the pilot for permission to take some pics. When I finished the pilot asked if I'd like some pics of me in it. Even with the canopy open, it still felt pretty cramped, and not being an aircraft trade, I kept clear of anything coloured yellow/black. Still got the pics somewhere.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 13:18
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PaulH1 View Post
Or the Irish sea. An Irish friend of mine had an undercarriage anomaly which required an automatic ejection over the sea in the Lightning. As he was in the North Wales training area at the time he elected to bang out over Llanbedr heading West. While he sorted himself out he decided to engage the autopilot - and then forgot to disengage it prior to ejection. So there was this Lightning heading towards Dublin with no pilot! A couple of aircraft were scrambled to attempt to shoot it down before it reached the Irish coast, but luckily it ran out of fuel before it got there! I remember the stick that he took in the bar that night - trying to take his country folk out!
The only RAF service loss of one in the Irish Sea I believe, as the other 3 or 4 that ended up in the Irish Sea were all being flown by EE/BAC TP's during the early development days IIRC.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 01:43
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 08:38
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by airspace alpha View Post
Reminds me of the comment, IIRC, from “Roger Bacon” the esteemed Flight International contributor. The F104 in GAF service had a pretty dire safety record, so his comment was.,. “ how do you start a scrap metal business? Buy a field in Germany and wait”

Or in the early 70's buy a field adjacent to RAF Wildenrath and await the Harrier metal.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 08:59
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Buccaneer's over Spade and Otterburn when Mallet Blow was active could always give us a decent "WTF was that".
As I was a real cabbage back in the days I was always angling for the dets out to Otterburn.
And of course being RAF we were on Rate 1's, unlike the PBI that had to put up tents in the field behind the pub.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 10:33
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
The only RAF service loss of one in the Irish Sea I believe, as the other 3 or 4 that ended up in the Irish Sea were all being flown by EE/BAC TP's during the early development days IIRC.
Including, what I believe was the first Lightning loss, XL628 (a prototype T4). John Squier ejected at an indicated m1.6 at between 30.000 and 40,000 feet. He was presumed dead when searchers failed to find him, he came ashore in his dinghy 28 hours later. I remember reading his account as a youth - probably in Roland Beaumont's Lightning Book.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 14:34
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Remember the Belgian Slivers display team in their F104's?

Low, fast and noisy. Always impressive.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 14:49
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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During training (at night) for Operation Chastise a Lancaster had just settled down at the 60 foot drop height over water when the crew saw a second Lancaster pass under them.

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Old 19th Oct 2020, 15:51
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
Remember the Belgian Slivers display team in their F104's?

Low, fast and noisy. Always impressive.
I saw a Canadian quintet team at Coventry one year 4 with tip tanks and leader/solo sans tanks showed a very vigorous roll rate! I assume they transited from an to a UK base as I doubt a Star without tip tanks could get from Lahr to Coventry direct?
I think it was the same year the Meteor and Vampire (?) were in a mid air collision.
Be lucky
David

Last edited by The AvgasDinosaur; 19th Oct 2020 at 16:24.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 16:32
  #52 (permalink)  
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Would now be a good time to mention the two that flew at low level down the Mersey valley, over Stockport, heading East a few years ago.....one of those "temporarily uncertain of our position " events I recall....entertaining to watch, and listen to.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 17:47
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Pull up a sandbag………

Background. RAF Leeming when it was an FTS in the late 70s/Early 80s. To the north, just off the end of the MATZ stub lay the fabled Low Flying System’s ‘Leeming/Teesside Gap’ (long before Teesside got Controlled Airspace) with its north-west/south-easterly flow arrow; from memory the Low Flying Handbook’s rules were that you could transit The Gap in the direction of the flow arrow ‘not above 1,000ft MSD’ WITHOUT calling Leeming.

(Presumably, someone thought that we Air Traffickers, with no SSR in those days, would be allowed to ignore fast moving returns on that track as ‘sort of’ 500ft separation would exist against instrument pattern traffic at 1,500ft QFE………. Yeah, right! ).

The rules also stated that if you were transitting The Gap in any direction above 1000ft MSD you had to call Leeming. It was a common occurrence for traffic to transit The Gap, against the flow arrow, at 2000ft (various pressures!). The scene is set.


Action. DM-L is sitting on Zone (aka LARS) dealing with the wonted 10/12 tracks (this is the Vale of York Area of Intense Aerial Activity remember, when the airspace designation was entirely appropriate) under various types of service when the following routine exchange took place:

“Warthog, check.”

“Two.”

“Leeming this is Warthog 12 Flight, 2 A-10s, for the Leeming Gap, 2000ft on the Barnsley, south east, north west for low-level north west of the Catterick ranges. Any Traffic?”

Me: “Warthog 12 Flight, no known traffic to affect in your area, the 16 pattern is not active, the Tyne if required is XY.AB inches. Flight Information Service. Report changing en-route.” (Radar shows 2 tracks in wide battle [blip–blip–blip–blip–blip] in the appropriate place…)

WH: “Wilco.”
A Short Time later…..

“Belgian 1234, check.”

“Tu”, “tree”, fur”

“Leemin’, zis iss Belgian Hir For 1234, 4 F-104s, 2000ft, zouth east, nor west, cross your centreline.” (Radar shows 4 fast moving tracks [blip – blip – blip – blip – blip] in the appropriate place…)

Me: “BAF 1234, the runway 16 pattern is not active. Flight Information Service. Two x A10s, same altitude, same track ahead of you for low-level to the north west. Report changing en-route."

BAF1234: “AHHH – Roooger!! Belgian Hir For 1234 – tactical, tactical – GO!” (Radar shows the 4 fast moving tracks accelerating like crazy! [blip - mega space - blip – mega space - blip – mega space - blip – mega space - blip].
Me: Ooo- err!

"Warthog 12 Flight, 4 x F104s behind you, same altitude, same track – now going VERY fast…”

WH: “Warthog 12 – stud 16, stud 16 – GO!
There then ensued a wonderous dogfight over Barnard Castle with the F-104s clearly fighting in the vertical (intermittent returns showing, with virtually no track history, but getting stronger, then diminishing…) and the A-10s fighting in the horizonal – no returns at all) as evidenced by:

“Belgian 1234, check.”

“Tu”, “tree”, fur”

“Leemin’, zis iss Belgian Hir For 1234, 4 F-104s, climbing FL240, passin’ FL 150, requesting FL 330 direct to Coltishall – tank you fur zee great intercept”
Me: (Nooooooooooo! Don’t say that!)

“BAF 1234, continue VFR, not above FL240 initially, free call Border Radar (pass ICF) – GOODDAY.”
Then:
“Warthog 12 Flight, check?”

“Two”.

“Where are you?”

“I’ma flying around a tree in the grounds of the Big Castle – ya’ll see me?”

“Yeah, gotcha – join on my left. Leeming, Warthog 12 Flight going en-route – and thanks”
Me: (Nooooooooooooo!)

“Warthog 12 Flt, roger, the Tyne remains XY.AB inches.”
“SUPERVISOR! Pass the logbook, please – and there’s something you’re gonna want to know!”

Epilogue. About 6 months later, in SATCO’s office:

“Ah, DM-L, do you know anything about 4 x F-104s around Barnard Castle a few months back? If you do, these nice gentlemen from Provost & Security Services would like a word with you………”

“Well, Sir – it was like this, see…….”



Last edited by Downwind.Maddl-Land; 19th Oct 2020 at 19:44.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 21:54
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Would now be a good time to mention the two that flew at low level down the Mersey valley, over Stockport, heading East a few years ago.....one of those "temporarily uncertain of our position " events I recall....entertaining to watch, and listen to.
Very memorable for the then teenaged JG (May - June '82??) - track would've been NE by the time they overflew Woodley, very low and rather fast. My English teacher (Miss. Brown - swoon) told us the following day that she thought we were under Argentine attack!

Never did find out who or where from / to.
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Old 19th Oct 2020, 23:05
  #55 (permalink)  
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Downwind.Maddl-Land is hereby awarded the PPRuNe Best Dit of the Month
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 10:33
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Senior Pilot View Post
Downwind.Maddl-Land is hereby awarded the PPRuNe Best Dit of the Month
As a fellow ATCO, I concur completely!
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 10:50
  #57 (permalink)  
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Reminds me of the interviews after an F-3 chased an F-111 down Amble High Street at about 100ft - unfortunately at about 700kts......

One of the things I remember being taught as a young controller back at Neatishead in 1975 was to keep out of the way of the Dutch F-104s when the crossed the FIR when doing high level supersonic intercepts.

“Why should I get out of their way?”, I complained, “It’s our airspace”.

“Because they can’t”, came the reply.

They didn’t so much turn, as do cross-countries - as I recall the 180 turning circle was about 38nm.

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Old 20th Oct 2020, 11:22
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I remember the two F104's at the Odiham families day in the late 70's, they were lower than anything I'd seen before at a show, really low and the first one past almost right in front of the crowd line, the wingman was over head the crowd line...lots of screaming and crying kids I seem to remember.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 13:34
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Would now be a good time to mention the two that flew at low level down the Mersey valley, over Stockport, heading East a few years ago.....one of those "temporarily uncertain of our position " events I recall....entertaining to watch, and listen to.
KnC - As a former local, I would love to have more details.

KG54 - Keeping low to maintain separation from those on approach to EGCC's rwy 24 (as it then was) perhaps? Which reminds me of the story a controller told me of when (sometime in the '70s) he realised a pilot was mistaking the lights of the M56 for those of the 24 approach, obviously a crew also being "temporarily uncertain of our position ". I recall the local WX being a contributory factor.

My recollections are seeing displays by 'Hooters' as a teenager. These being alternating intense and unmistakeable noise and waiting for them to complete their turns. I always thought the poor turn rate and stall characteristics would count against it in combat, if the opponent had time to react. Its mixed perfomance in actual combat seems to bear it out.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 13:47
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I always thought the poor turn rate and stall characteristics would count against it in combat, if the opponent had time to react
An old mate who flew Javelins told me they used to have fun in RAFG with 104s. High level (relatively) they would wait for the intercepting 104 to get close, and then turn hard. Much giggles as they watched the 104 try to follow and then ... depart! I doubt the 104 was designed to be a close-in dogfighter - just a high-speed mx transporter!

As Bader claimed, you can’t lose with a big wing. 😉
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