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Britten Norman Islanders [Love em or Hate em?]

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Britten Norman Islanders [Love em or Hate em?]

Old 8th May 2011, 00:45
  #21 (permalink)  
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Love Em Always!

I was lucky enough to have a go in a few different Bongo's and thoroughly loved them. Found the B model to be my prefered option. Still love them and always go up and have a look at one if I see it! By far it was the aircraft I had the most fun in!

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Old 8th May 2011, 01:25
  #22 (permalink)  
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1300 hrs in the Bongo all up.

As someone has already said, I probably miss the interesting places the old bucket could get me into and out of, rather than the actual aircraft itself, very fun flying!

That said, it has got me out of some tight corners on occasion, so I guess I have a bit of a soft spot for it...just don't make me fly one ever again...please.
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Old 8th May 2011, 01:25
  #23 (permalink)  
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CAC Sabre - that was brilliant... brought tears to my ears...
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Old 8th May 2011, 04:21
  #24 (permalink)  
Man Bilong Balus long PNG
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Just over 800 hours in the flamin' things, all logged cruising about various parts of PNG.

Got me into and out of an assortment of goat tracks, ex WW11 strips and several 'Ohhh Sheeeeett' moments. Managed to get a 260hp version up to 17,000' once.

Carried SLF, the odd coffin (occupied), bags of coffee (the aroma was ), on one occasion some curiously smelling black rubbish bags of which I thought it would be very wise of me if I asked no questions, freshly slaughtered pigs and once a souvenired 50cal BMG, minus the action.

Wouldn't have missed the experiences for the world! Even if I am now half deaf!

Last edited by Pinky the pilot; 8th May 2011 at 04:32.
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Old 8th May 2011, 10:25
  #25 (permalink)  
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Love them!
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Old 8th May 2011, 11:28
  #26 (permalink)  
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The best part of the Islander was the Lycoming 540s
not bad engines hey!
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Old 8th May 2011, 12:14
  #27 (permalink)  

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If you love flying Islanders you haven't flown them enough - best part of 2000hrs...in both seats. It garners a level of respect....but LOVE?

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Old 8th May 2011, 13:25
  #28 (permalink)  
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Yeah, I've got something around 800+ BN-2 time across 1/2-doz different airframes, 2 of which had the Row 3 additional window mod. That certainly made a difference from a pax PoV.

I've used the BN-2 from the beaches to the mountains and everywhere in-between, in NZ. I'll always have something of a soft-spot for the (IMO maligned) Islander. I reckon they're a tremendous wee airframe. As others have mentioned already, the biggest issue with an Islander these days is corrosion and of course SB190.

I had to laugh (quietly) one day not long after arriving in the West Island... I was at a cafe in Port Hedland not completely intentionally eavesdropping the next table, where a couple of likely lads complete with uniform shirts, wings, bars & large watches were (loudly) regaling one-another with stories of their heroics in the BN-2... one mentioned to the other that he had recently "put her down and got her off again in just under 600m"!!! Sounded pretty hair-raising

I left before it was necessary to point out we regularly operated off strips sub-600m at gross weight, regularly requiring less than 1/2 the available length, without any drama... and was considered so absolutely routine to be not worthy of mention

So yeah, I reckon they're a bloody marvellous wee machine. Not many out there that'll get into tight, unlikely spots with a good load and get out with a good load too.

I too have a soft-spot for the 540's -bloody things just don't know when to quit! Damn fine mills.
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Old 8th May 2011, 13:33
  #29 (permalink)  
bob johns
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I first flew an.Islander.in 1971 .VH ISA and since that first flight I have flown them .in excess of 3500 hrs in Papua New .Guinea and NW Australia We had all sorts of nicknames for him ie .BROOM BROOOOM Thames Trader Rumble Guts ETC I .bloody well love them all 36 different aircraft The most interesting cargo was a 4 metre live crocidile in PNG and the only fright apart from every day flying in PNG was when some boof head did nt remove the aileron lock before take off . .in Port HEDLAND WA..Dont try this at home but you can get eneough rudder to get away with it the boof head of course me no ribbon on the lock last bloke put lock.inboard of aileron time running out jet departing jet on mid final ATC asks to expedite no bloody .excuse THE BN2 is my favourite Balus.No geat stakes in the glamour glitz but .in the .real world of practical bush operations in my day you could nt beat him
Old 8th May 2011, 13:59
  #30 (permalink)  
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Rabbit. That was a fairly normal attitude for a Trislander - especially if the crew alighted first! At one time the Islander and Trislander were a common type endorsement in Australia.

Jaba. Cost and reliability wise, the Lycoming 540 series engines were the best and certainly superior to comparable Continental engines. Lycoming 540s installed in Islanders were rigidly mounted, ensuring all vibration is successfully transferred to the airframe, thus keeping thousands of rivets vibrating in unison! Unfortunately, that also leads to engine mount fatigue cracks....

I believe the Lycoming IO720 (11.8 liters, 400 HP) series are also great engines (there is no O720 engine) - perhaps the Trislander should have two 720s, total 800 HP, rather than 3 x O540s for 780 HP? Two Allison B250s would also be better than three 540s.

There was one long nose Islander in Australia which was unique. Also, the last new Trislander airframes were also shipped to Australia with a view to installing two light weight V8s, but that was some years ago and I don't know where they ended up, maybe converted to pots, pans and beer cans?

I think we operated 23 or 24 Islanders in PNG, 260 and 300 HP models, at one time the world's largest operator of the type. They had a hard life but well maintained and most would have been rather second hand by the time Chuck got to fly them!

They did the job well but were maintenance intensive and no one ever knew who buckled the wings... SB190 did not exist in the Talair days, but subsequently incresed the type operating costs; for some reason the aluminium used in Islanders appears more prone to corrosion than US aircraft aluminium, particularly in the lower wing skin laminates. There is over 300 Service Bulletins on Islanders, far more than comparable US built aircraft.

The Islander was built (or assembled) in the UK, Romania and the Philippines.

Last edited by Torres; 8th May 2011 at 14:17.
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Old 8th May 2011, 14:18
  #31 (permalink)  
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Flown both piston and turbine dropping parachutists. In the turbine I could T/O get up to 10,000', drop the free fall idiots and be back on the ground before them all in 15 mins. Great aircraft.
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Old 8th May 2011, 16:20
  #32 (permalink)  
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Ah yes, acoustic lift technology..50 skeletons fornicating in an aluminium dustbin...More like 100 of them I'd say.

Put me off flying twins for life, it did!
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Old 8th May 2011, 19:07
  #33 (permalink)  
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Did about 40 hrs in the BN-2T in the UK dropping meat bombs..great beasty..for doing that.
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Old 9th May 2011, 01:51
  #34 (permalink)  
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They did a good job in PNG...
I skillfully avoided having to fly one...
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Old 9th May 2011, 02:02
  #35 (permalink)  
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I did 800 hours in them in Shetland.
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Old 9th May 2011, 10:38
  #36 (permalink)  
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I flew in a Trislander once. We climbed for 2 hours and then we landed...
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Old 10th May 2011, 02:48
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Did umpteen hours in them as a passenger... nearly ran into the Wall between Tabubil and Telefomin once in one. Beautiful day it was too... so good that the pilot said "I should be paying Junior today" (I kid you not) until we hit that down draft!!!
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Old 10th May 2011, 07:00
  #38 (permalink)  
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Young pilot once took off with both aileron and elevator locks in place (no flags, rusty locks, in a hurry etc) and barely survived. The BN2 pitched up vertical and stalled, he had trimmed forward so it recovered just above the runway, real drama. He flew it back onto the runway using rudder and asy power, very skillful I thought. On the runway he shut down the left engine, jumped out and removed the locks, started up and took off again. He had 9 passengers. None got out when they had the chance. Must have thought it was normal.
The airplane is tough.
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Old 10th May 2011, 07:17
  #39 (permalink)  
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after nearly 700hours flying jumpers in one I still look back with have fond memories of the old girl who has since been pressed back into service island hopping with tourists
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Old 10th May 2011, 09:29
  #40 (permalink)  
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My first twin VH-AIA. Like a fella's first girlfriend,solo flight or car,the first twin is always a great joy. I was told VH-AIA was the first BN2 in Australia.

After a while the company traded it in for another,VH-SQS

I was like a dog with two tails. Further along the career path,I scored a job with Bushies flying the Trislander....initially I thought,the islander was SO much fun,the Trislander being 50% bigger would be 50% more fun....OH.HOW.WRONG.I.WAS.
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