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-   -   Tracey Curtis-Taylor (Merged threads) (https://www.pprune.org/private-flying/579030-tracey-curtis-taylor-merged-threads.html)

Parson 2nd Jun 2016 10:31

I'm sure most of us would have a bash (and succeed) if we had the time and the money/sponsorship.

I am much more impressed by Dave Sykes.

Crash one 2nd Jun 2016 10:55

Flying a Stearman over 400nm of water is ballsy yes, sitting in the back behind the owner, builder, instructor is not quite so ballsy. Who put it on the ground? Who poled it all the way there for 4/5 hours?
If I were him and given the choice of what to carry in front of a soppy tart that had already chewed up an aircraft while taxiing, it would be me.
Looks like the biggest ego trip since the rise of Stegosaurus.

pulse1 2nd Jun 2016 11:24

p84, You say:

but flying the 90 MPH Steaman across 400 miles of open sea is pretty ballsy
Yes it is and, judging from some of your posts on this site, I think that some of your flying is pretty ballsy too. But from my own pathetic XC experience I know that it is much easier and less stressfull to do it when accompanied by an experienced pilot with whom you can chat about things that come up even though you are the agreed PIC. To me the essential requirement of being SOLO is being ALONE.

S-Works 2nd Jun 2016 11:33

Not really sure why some are so worked up about this. So she is full of shit, no different from most flying club bars. Methinks a bit of green eyed monster in some cases.

It really does not make one iota of difference to any of our lives, it does give oxygen to her publicity nothing more!!

Such is life..... :)

Jetblu 2nd Jun 2016 11:55

I just cannot believe that a high profile sponsor would have knowingly gone along with this stunt, I really can't.

As for the awards, with what we have now seen, I now suspect that they did know, but just turned a blind eye, otherwise we would have seen some statement by now stating the award/s have been retracted, awaiting for a genuine candidate to come along.

yellowtriumph 2nd Jun 2016 12:10

Can I ask why the pilot flying this aircraft always seems to be sitting in the rear cockpit rather than the front?

I can see that the forward view and towards the ground is quite obscured in either position, but I might have expected the pilot actually flying the plane to be sat in the front seat.

I'm sure there's a reasonable answer.

S-Works 2nd Jun 2016 12:20


Can I ask why the pilot flying this aircraft always seems to be sitting in the rear cockpit rather than the front?

I can see that the forward view and towards the ground is quite obscured in either position, but I might have expected the pilot actually flying the plane to be sat in the front seat.

I'm sure there's a reasonable answer.
Its normal for this aircraft. Its actually a lot easier to fly or more specifically taxi from the rear seat as you are sat further back so when you fish tail it you get a wider and lower view. They are a lovely aircraft to fly, I have a few hours ferrying them around and they always put a smile on my face!!!

S-Works 2nd Jun 2016 12:23


As for the awards, with what we have now seen, I now suspect that they did know, but just turned a blind eye, otherwise we would have seen some statement by now stating the award/s have been retracted, awaiting for a genuine candidate to come along.
Quite right I suspect, lets face it, the publicity machine generated far more positive publicity for the sponsers than a few wingers on a flying forum!!!

We get hoodwinked all the time by the media these days, this is nothing new. Its only the fact that it grates on a few people on a forum that its got any life. The argument that its had loads of responses and views is irrelevant, its actually a small group of posters making comments and the views are just the normal refresh as mostly the same people check in and see whats going out of a bit voyeurism!!

yellowtriumph 2nd Jun 2016 12:32


Originally Posted by bose-x (Post 9396258)
Its normal for this aircraft. Its actually a lot easier to fly or more specifically taxi from the rear seat as you are sat further back so when you fish tail it you get a wider and lower view. They are a lovely aircraft to fly, I have a few hours ferrying them around and they always put a smile on my face!!!

Thank you.

Genghis the Engineer 2nd Jun 2016 13:43

Also with tandem aeroplanes it's most usual to put the pilot in the seat furthest from the permitted CG range - then the aircraft can be set up for that, and occupancy of the seat closest to the CG range makes little difference to handling.

G

Flyingmac 2nd Jun 2016 18:03

Editorís note (June 1, 2016): An earlier version of this story suggested this was a solo flight. It has now been updated to clarify Ms Curtis-Taylor was the only pilot to fly the vintage bi-plane, but she had a support team of engineers travelling with her in a separate aircraft, as well as a camera crew, who would sometimes sit in with her
.That's cleared it all up then. Move along.

Jetblu 2nd Jun 2016 18:34

That statement is contrary to the factual evidence seen and heard here, isn't it.

The only thing I can evidently see moving along are the cover-ups to the whole debacle, but that just may be another figment of my imagination. :)

Danny42C 2nd Jun 2016 21:28

Genghis the Engineer (your #232),

...Also with tandem aeroplanes it's most usual to put the pilot in the seat furthest from the permitted CG range - then the aircraft can be set up for that, and occupancy of the seat closest to the CG range makes little difference to handling...
Did 60 hours on them in 1941 at Primary School with the US Army Air Corps in Florida. As you say, the instructor was always in front, the stude behind (dual and solo) for the reason you give.

There was no ASI in the back - we were taught to fly by "attitude" and feel. As hardly any of us studes had been off the ground before, we felt no pain (what you've never had, you never miss). Did us a power of good.

Somewhere recently I asked Stanwell if the (original) Continental radial engine had been replaced by a Wasp Junior with a two-speed prop (looks like the power plant from a Vultee BT-13 trainer). Can you throw any light ?

Danny.

Genghis the Engineer 2nd Jun 2016 23:14

Not a clue I'm afraid - my knowledge here is more general about taildraggers of that era, than specific about the Stearman, which I've never had anything to do with.

G

Stanwell 2nd Jun 2016 23:35

Yes, Danny.
The P&W R985 400-odd hp, 9cyl Wasp Junior has been a common and approved retro-fit .. replacing the original 220hp 7cyl Continental.
A photo on TCT's website shows the Stearman in question wearing what appears to be a Wasp Junior* fitted with a two-speed prop.

We've a Continental-powered Stearman which operates locally down here.
I'd been for a flip in it (just as front-seat pax, I regret to add). The front cockpit in that particular one had just basic instrumentation.
The rear was comprehensively equipped.
ISTR we cruised at around 2500ft at a bit under 90kts.
I took a photo of the respective panels at the time. .. Now, .. it's around here somewhere...
Anyway, I want one!


*EDIT: Just looking at that pic again, I wonder if it could be a Lycoming R-680. Is anybody able to give a steer on that one?
.

India Four Two 3rd Jun 2016 01:54


Anyway, I want one!
Me too!. I've done about five hours in a Continental-powered Stearman in NZ. Lovely aircraft - like a Tiger Moth on steroids, but with better ailerons and the luxury of brakes!

Regardless of the controversy surrounding TCT's claims, I have to admire anyone who does seriously long flights in one, particularly in the rear-cockpit, which is subjected to the full downwash of the top wing.

megan 3rd Jun 2016 03:32

On its registration certificate it gives the engine as a W670 series built by Continental.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_R-670

Single engine over water? Many an aviator spends/spent thousands of hours over water, single engine, supporting commercial endeavours. My case off shore oil, and often wondered how good Mr. Lycoming had done his job when looking down as wave tops were whipped into spume by winds at times 60 knots plus.

Stanwell 3rd Jun 2016 04:58

Thanks for your trouble, megan.
The engine pictured on the Stearman on the TCT website isn't a Continental R-670.

At a quick look, I'd originally assumed it to be a Wasp Junior, that being the most common retro-fit.
Looking at the relatively small pic on the website a little more closely, though, it now looks to me to be more like a Lycoming.
The pushrod-tube mounts at the crankcase end would be the clue there, I think.

Anyway, just an interesting diversion. :ok:


BTW, it'd be interesting to hear of your over-water jobs relying on just one of Mr Lycoming's products.
.

megan 3rd Jun 2016 05:53

The accident report from her crash into the R44 says Lycoming R680 piston engine.

it'd be interesting to hear of your over-water jobs relying on just one of Mr Lycoming's products
1,500 hours in Bass Strait in Bell 205 (UH-1H to military types) plus assorted time, probably 600 hours or so, in Westland Scout, OH-58 and Bell 206.

Flying Lawyer 3rd Jun 2016 08:08

It's a 300hp Lycoming 680 radial.


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