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The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

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The Rotary Nostalgia Thread

Old 4th Aug 2012, 12:39
  #1561 (permalink)  
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Whilst on the subject of S61s, does anyone know the current whereabout of BIH's G-AYOY ?

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Old 4th Aug 2012, 12:46
  #1562 (permalink)  
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The Dark Side Indeed.....

Sorry Savoia, I get it now.

For my sins now flying planks in the desert, but still try and keep the rotary ticket alive from time to time with a bit of AS350 / B206 action. Scariest, coldest, hottest, wettest, happiest, poorest and generally all round best ten years of my professional life!

Plank Cap
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Old 4th Aug 2012, 13:07
  #1563 (permalink)  
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Planemike: AYOY was with British International until last year and then (as with many 61's) was sold back to the US where she became N457ES (Carson Helicopters) and then N476AW (US Dept. of State). I think this time this craft was one of those shipped out to Afghanistan!

Plank: Ah well it happens .. even to the best of us! (Yuh .. right!). Even I was forced to 'walk the plank' in my post-rotary days albeit in consulting and with the airlines but .. also in a hot place with lots of sand. You should post some images of your 'blitterblat' days though!

Wiggy, welcome back. Tell me, what happens at the old Clyde Heliport these days?
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Old 4th Aug 2012, 14:14
  #1564 (permalink)  
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Thanks................. Savoia

Rgds Planemike
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Old 4th Aug 2012, 14:32
  #1565 (permalink)  
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Still the same old things, home of the 'Ra Polis' and the Ambulance EC 135's, not like the old Clyde days of Jet Boxes and the 105 buzzing about..

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Old 5th Aug 2012, 05:59
  #1566 (permalink)  
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Savoian Reminiscences

Michael Vincent O'Brien was an Irish race horse trainer from Churchtown, County Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. In 2003 he was voted the greatest influence in horse racing history and was previously voted the most accomplished trainer of national hunt and flat-racing horses.

He trained six winners of the Epsom Derby, was twice British Champion Trainer, won three Grand Nationals (in succession) and trained the only British Triple Crown winner since World War II - to name but a handful of his many achievements.

Vincent was a wonderful, respectable man who just happened to always carry a paper bag full of chocolate bars whenever he flew and which, as a youngster, greatly endeared me to him! He treated me with kindness (because this was his nature and also because he had great respect for my godfather). On those rare occasions when there were too many passengers for me to join him and the Colonel aboard the Ranger he would tell me to drive his blue BMW (which he would leave at the helipad) back to the main house and to return with it on his arrival .. and this despite the fact that I was well below the legal age for driving. But .. it was always great fun as I did far more flying than I did driving!

He would often go for walks with his two black Labradors (whose names now escape my memory) and, when doing so, would frequently pass by the pilot's house to see if I wanted to accompany him and which offer I never refused. He spoke very little and I remember one time we concluded a lengthy walk after which he said "thank you" and which had been his only words since collecting me! I guess he enjoyed seeing me playing with the dogs along the gallops .. or that he was simply occupied with his thoughts!

I visited Ballydoyle (Vincent O'Brien's home and training stables) during several school holidays over a two year period and it was during that time that my love of flat racing was born (I was already a horse-lover and keen rider at school). Vincent's passion for horses was almost as infectious as my godfather's love of flying and if there is such a thing as a 'horse whisperer' then Vincent was certainly such a one. His ability was that of being able to read the silent communications of each of his horses, their various expressions such as a flick of the tail, a stamp of the foot, the movement of their ears and eyes .. it all meant something to him and the horses for their part seemed to 'sense' they were being 'read' whenever he was about. This connection between man and beast was something I had never before witnessed (and I am obviously discounting pets here) and it fascinated me.

As Vincent was working his magic with the horses I would be spell-bound simply watching him! On more than one occasion when one of his priceless thoroughbreds was misbehaving prior to being taken on a run, Vincent would walk over to the beast (which would have one of the stable jockeys atop) and place his hand on the animal's nose, or .. sometimes .. just look into beast's eyes and the creature would visibly calm down. It was (as least for me as a wee lad) incredible.

Regarding his helicopter; Vincent had a Bell JetRanger, the first Mk III in the Republic, EI-BFK. BFK began life as N50005, one of the first JetRanger III's off Bell's production line. In 1978 she was shipped-off to Russia where she contributed as part of the US team in the World Helicopter Championships which were held in Vitebsk in July of that year. After the championships she was flown to the UK where, in August, CSE swapped-out her 'shorts' for 'pop-outs'. She then attended Farnborough in September and was, to the best of my knowledge, the first Bell (as opposed to Agusta-Bell) 206B III in the UK.

Prior to Farnborough Irish Helicopters had contacted CSE declaring their interest in acquiring a new JetRanger on behalf of their client (Vincent O'Brien). Immediately after Farnborough (and still wearing her 'stars and stripes' livery from the WHC) N50005 was flown to Dublin where she was promptly re-registered as EI-BFK and her American flag and 'USA' livery sprayed-over. (However .. every time you opened the boot you could see where the 'stars and stripes' had once been .. lol!).

Vincent O'Brien, Ballydole and Tipperary shall forever retain a special place in my heart.

The late great Vincent O'Brien (1917-2009) at Ballydoyle Stables near Cashel in Co. Tipperary

Approaching Ballydoyle with the southern gallops and water tower in view

A youthful Savoia dismounts Vincent O'Briens Bell 206B JetRanger III EI-BFK at Ballydoyle Stables in 1980. We are clearly back from the races (most likely The Curragh or Leopardstown) as I am still wearing the racing badge
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Old 5th Aug 2012, 06:16
  #1567 (permalink)  
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I have fond memories of flying in and out of Ballydoyle in a B222 and 430 to pick up his son-in-law on many occasions, another real gentleman and pretty talented trainer as well

I have spent hours there and Coolmore totally transfixed by the scenery and those beautiful animals.... Very happy days
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Old 8th Aug 2012, 07:13
  #1568 (permalink)  
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Vincent kept the colours on his subsequent aircraft. EI-BFK was replaced by EI-BNO AS350, this later became G-JRBI in 1983 and was replaced by EI-BOR a Bell 222. The 222 is still in Ireland as N222WX but mothballed at present.

I like Savoia spent many a happy day running around Ballydoyle and later went on to fly there for a number of years in the 222. I also spent many a day after that on the pads of Tipperary with young Griffo....Good Times
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Old 8th Aug 2012, 10:27
  #1569 (permalink)  
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Griff/CVR: How wonderful to have these experiences in common with you! As you say, delightful times which have left great memories.
Vincent kept the colours on his subsequent aircraft.
Yes, I recall someone contacting the Colonel and mentioning that the Ranger had been swapped-out for an Ecureuil and that instructions had been received from Ballydoyle to paint her up in the same livery.

I suspect that Vincent might not have been aware from where the colours on his aircraft were derived. Only a handful of guys at Irish Helicopters would have been in-the-know as it were.

Here .. BFK when she was N50005:

Bell 206B III N50005, Stateside in 1978, prior to being shipped to the World Helicopter Championships in Vitebsk, Russia

On finals to Ballydoyle. The pad was between the red and white gallop observation tower and the circular training ring

BFK on the pad at Ballydoyle. Easter 1980
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Old 8th Aug 2012, 14:47
  #1570 (permalink)  
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Hi Savoia,

Thats a rare pic of the USA team's mount, as I've only got b/w photos in Dancing Rotors book by the late Harry 'Ned' Gililand. And the only colour other colour pic in existent was from HAI Rotor magazine interview with 'Ned' in 2004? But the pic of him in the USA team jacket and tie and standing by the cargo compartment of the 206 so no full aircraft shot.

There's also a Bell 206L Longranger used by the USA team , again b/w photo in the book, have you got a colour pic of that please?

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Old 15th Aug 2012, 10:08
  #1571 (permalink)  
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Chopper: Sadly I don't have the USA Team LongRanger but, if you do source a copy, I'd love to see it!

Westland WG-13 Lynx XX907 at Widdle Wallop on 27th July 1973 (Photo: Mike Freer)

The Lynx was one of three types of aircraft (Puma, Gazelle and Lynx) covered by the Anglo-French helicopter agreement first proposed in February 1967 and confirmed on 2nd April 1968. On 1st December 1972 a long-term agreement was signed between Westland Helicopters and Aerospatiale to formalize and strengthen the existing collaboration programme. Westland had design leadership in the Lynx, which was a medium sized helicopter intended to fulfill general-purpose, naval and civil transport roles. It was the first British aircraft to be designed entirely on a metric basis.

Five basic aircraft were being used by Westland to prove the fundamental design parameters. Following flight testing using two Scout helicopters fitted with scaled-down versions of the Lynx rotor system, the first Lynx prototype (XW835) flew for the first time on 21st March 1971 and was followed by XW837, the third prototype (second Lynx to fly), on 28th September 1971. Third to fly was the Lynx (XW838, on 9th March 1972), the first to have the monobloc rotor head designed for production aircraft.

Then followed, on 24th March 1972, the first flight of XW836, which had previously been used for ground vibration testing. The fifth Lynx to fly (XX153, on 12th April 1972) was a development aircraft for the British Army, the AH.Mk.1 version.

In addition to these five aircraft, a sixth Lynx (XX907 [above], first flight 20th May 1973) was allocated to Rolls-Royce for engine development.

Further airframes were built for static, fatigue and electrical testing.

On 20th and 22nd June 1972, Roy Moxam flying XX153 set up Class E1e international speed records of 199.92 mph (321.74 kmh) over a 9.3/15.5 mls (15/25 km) straight course and 197.909 mph (318.504 kmh) over a 62.1 (100 km) closed circuit. During the flight test program the Lynx rolled at more than 100° per second, dived at 230 mph (370 kmh), and flew backwards at 80 mph (130 kmh).
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Old 15th Aug 2012, 12:42
  #1572 (permalink)  
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FAA Sikorsky NCH-53A

Hi Savoia

Thanks for your reply

Btw Scanned this from an old copy of World Airpower Journal Vol 4 Winter 90/91 and nice to see rare photo of even rarer helicopters used by the FAA.

According the WAP, this was previously used by NASA, I wonder if anyone can shed any more light on this particular airframe or its uses and better still, any more photos of FAA helicopters. Has anyone got photo of NASA NCH-53?

Maybe we could start a dedication to the legendary S-65/C/MH-53 on here and Savoia please could you create a logo for this as I have plenty of pics of MH-53H/M and MH-53E to share on here?

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Old 18th Aug 2012, 04:27
  #1573 (permalink)  
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Acft mechanics taking lunch by my 58 back in 91 at Ft. Hood.

History in one picture:

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Old 19th Aug 2012, 07:33
  #1574 (permalink)  
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Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV (S-65A) of the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils' over the UK on 13th September 2007 (Photo: Neil Jones)

Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV (S-65A) "Knife 51" of the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils' in front of the White Cliffs of Dover on 13th September 2007 (Photo: Neil Jones)

Two CH-53E Super Stallions receive fuel from a C-130 Hercules while carrying two High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles during an aerial refueling exercise. The helicopters belong to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 772, a reserve squadron from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania currently attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in support of the war against terrorism. (Photo Cpl. Paula Fitzgerald USMC)
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Old 19th Aug 2012, 15:50
  #1575 (permalink)  
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What's the minimum speed (Herc) they can refuel at?

I understand it is a stable external load but even then there is a limit on that.

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Old 19th Aug 2012, 17:09
  #1576 (permalink)  
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Fijdor: My understanding is that the KC-130J (the tanker in the photo above - taken, I should have added, over the Gulf of Aden) has an inflight refuelling speed envelope which ranges from 100 to 270kts. Each refuelling pod is capable of offloading 1,100 litres per minute.

Chopper2004: You've not picked an easy one that's for sure but .. word is that your FAA 'Stallion' is serial no. 153299 and here is some of her history:

Serial No. 153299 was accepted into service on 1st March 1966 and saw a variety of assignments. It flew with the US Navy, US Marine Corps, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and back to the Navy to end its service. While with NASA, alterations and modifications were made to the helicopter such that it could not be returned to its original mission capability. That is why it carries the prefix N for permanent special test in its designator NCH-53A.

It was last painted at the Naval Air Depot, Pensacola, Florida in November 1988. Under the paint, on the right side sponson, a decal/logo with NADC was visible.

The helicopter’s last assignment being with the Naval Air Development Center, Research Development, Test and Evaluation, Warminister, Pennsylvania. The helicopter was recovered from Naval Air Engineering Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, in July 1999, where it had been stored in a World War II blimp hangar.

June 1966: Naval Air Test Center – Service Tests, Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, (Lexington Park) Maryland

June 1967: Naval Plant Representative Officer (NPRO), Research and Technology, Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, Connecticut

July 1967: NATC – Service Tests, NAS Patuxent River

July 1968: US Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron HMH 461, “Sea Stallions,” Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, (Jacksonville) North Carolina

July 1968: US Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron HMH 361, “Flying Tigers,” MCAS New River, NC

February 1969: HMH 361, MCAS Santa Ana, California

July 1969: HMH 461, MCAS New River, NC

June 1971: Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment (MARTD), NAS Willow Grove, (Willow Grove/Horsham) Pennsylvania

February 1973: NPRO Sikorsky Aircraft, Stratford, CT

July 1973: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia as 543

December 1975: Modified to NCH-53A with NASA

May 1978: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Atlantic City, New Jersey

May 1981: FAA, Washington, D.C.

October 1983: Naval Air Rework Facility, NAS Pensacola, Florida

June 1984: Naval Air Development Center, Research Development, Test and Evaluation, Warminister, Pennsylvania

November 1988: Naval Air Depot, Pensacola, FL

Date unknown: Naval Air Engineering Station (NAES), Lakehurst, New Jersey

July 1999: Combat Air Museum

While with the Federal Aviation Administration she seems to have acomplished the following:

"A series of flight tests were conducted to investigate the use of long range navigation (LORAN)-C as a helicopter navigation system in the offshore New Jersey Baltimore Canyon oil exploration area. Tests were flown aboard the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) Technical Center's CH-53A using a Teledyne Systems TDL-711 LORAN Micro-Navigator. The purpose of the tests was to determine the accuracy and operational usability of LORAN-C for offshore en route navigation and nonprecision approaches. The total system accuracy met or exceeded the requirements of Advisory Circular (AC) 90-45A 'Accuracy Requirements of Area Navigation Systems' for terminal and en route phases of flight, provided the proper LORAN triads were selected. The LORAN-C System did not meet AC 90-45A nonprecision approach accuracy criteria."

Not in your FAA colours Chopper but .. as far as my research suggests .. the same craft:

NCH-53A Serial No. 153299 landing at NASA's Langley Research Centre in Virginia in 1975
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Old 22nd Aug 2012, 13:14
  #1577 (permalink)  
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HC-4 at Mildenhall Air Fete 95

Hi Savoia,

Mnay thanks for the detailed info and pic of NASA NH-53A, very much appreciated and here's my contribution. The guys out of Sigonella were very kind to bring their MH-53E Sea Dragon to Mildenhall 1995 Air Fete and I think it was the first time the Navy brought thier MH-53E to airshow in UK. As with Bush's visit several years ago, the HC4 when it was at Siognella, brought over their Sea Dragons to support his visit where they were sighted at Newcastle and other airports in the UK. Plus a visit in 2004 to RAF Northolt to support a delegation of congressmen and senators visiting the UK. I sighted a pair of these Sea Dragons over the Cambs countryside from my office on an airfield where I previously worked. By coincidence it turns out my one of my best mates in the RAF who was based at Northolt was on board said pair accompanying the US delegation!

Anyhow please find my scans on here (didnt enter the digital age till nearly a decade later from this!!!! )


Last edited by chopper2004; 22nd Aug 2012 at 13:23.
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Old 22nd Aug 2012, 13:27
  #1578 (permalink)  
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21st SOS - Mildenhall Air Fete 1995

And also on that nice day in May, heres the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils' MH-53H

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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 01:25
  #1579 (permalink)  
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Some real nostalgia: Mechanix Illustrated from November 1941

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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 15:01
  #1580 (permalink)  
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Trilby Titfer

It would appear that the 'safety trilby ' was de rigeur in those days. I cannot see a chin strap so I assume the downwash kept it on! You think you must have seen it all and then something like this appears. Wonderful!
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