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Alan Mann Helicopters (Nostalgia thread)

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Alan Mann Helicopters (Nostalgia thread)

Old 21st Jan 2012, 08:25
  #221 (permalink)  
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1980's Alan Mann Ad
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Old 21st Jan 2012, 13:34
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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The logo on the hangar 'Alan Mann Helicopters' visible in some of the preceding photos was painted out some weeks ago along with the logo for the engineering arm of AMG and the airport name on the larger hangar next door.
We don't know what is to replace it.
There are still some smaller signs extant both airside and car park side referring to Alan Mann Helicopters but I dare say they will go soon.
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Old 21st Jan 2012, 14:01
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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GAMA are there in charge it seems to me. It'll all be replaced in due course, I'm sure. Probably a MUCH better outcome than the invidious deliberations of BBCC, wouldn't you agree? Lots of activity down at Hangar adjacent to the old police hangar too VFR
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Old 21st Jan 2012, 22:32
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Wink

Increasing activity near the old police hangar - I couldn't possibly comment.
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Old 25th Jan 2012, 14:44
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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Some Alan Mann adverts from the 80's









Wiggy
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 13:28
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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G-XXIV

I think the helicopter landing in 50m of fog was a new dark grey B206 flown by a certain Doctor Death....
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Old 1st Feb 2012, 15:05
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed - about par for the course (PPL) - VFR
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Old 2nd Feb 2012, 09:04
  #228 (permalink)  
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I think the helicopter landing in 50m of fog was a new dark grey B206 flown by a certain Doctor Death ..
Perhaps the wx has drifted down to Northern Italy because I haven't the foggiest what Hookie is talking about!

G-NOEL

We've looked at 'NOEL' on Nostalgia but she belongs of course here, on the Mann Thread, and today with the addition of a new image from one of our Mann Thread photographic contributors - Wingnut:


G-NOEL on the ramp at Fairoaks c. June 1980 (Photo: Courtesy of Wingnut)

TRC wrote: I had the 'pleasure' of conducting the 1200hr inspection that turned 'WN into 'EL. Complete with painting the instrument panel and circuit breaker panel a light beige to match the new interior (and having all the edge-lit and breaker panels re-engraved) what a nightmare.

G-NOEL (as BCWN) prior to her refit


Agusta-Bell 206B G-RODS at Brands Hatch on 8th October 1985 (Photo: Keith Sowter)

'NOEL' (flying as RODS) after TRC's handiwork including new interior, colour-coded pop-outs, wire strike protection kit and of the course the painted instrument panel!
.


'Wingnut' (the man behind the lens of several of our best Manfred Mann images) has today advised me that we are soon to be treated to some more shots from an 80's Fairoaks!
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 13:36
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I would love to see a photo of said panel or similar so I can work out what took so much work...
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Old 5th Feb 2012, 17:33
  #230 (permalink)  
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Brilliant; as luck would have it I do happen to have a shot of G-NOEL's overhead panel (see below):



Now in all fairness to TRC this was a non-standard 206 ceiling panel (which I think TRC ordered specially from Agusta) and was the result of the additional options which Noel wanted to be fitted to his craft. As a result the repainting and re-etching must, one imagines, have been a time consuming affair.

However, to put the challenge of this job into its true perspective it is necessary to understand the 'hangar antics' developed by VFR and TRC during their time at the Mannstead.

Umm, how can I put this .. well, I'm not sure but here's short clip which might help explain:




You know that I love you really TRC!
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Old 7th Feb 2012, 10:24
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Thanks Savoia. That is indeed a raaaaaaather large panel.
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Old 16th Feb 2012, 12:17
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Rumours about that AMH may yet do the 'phoenix' trick under another name/owner/operator for training.
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Old 16th Feb 2012, 22:57
  #233 (permalink)  
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What a great thread this is.

I worked for Alan Mann Avionics from 1973 to 1976.
I then changed career.
I admit this was a money driven decision.... But look back on my Fairoaks years as the most interesting part of my career.

In those days Fairoaks control twr (130.45Mhz) was a large "greenhouse" located up a bit from the Helicopter Hanger/Offices.

A few of my memories.-

There was a Blue Brantley that was brought out of the hanger for occasional engine runs. I don't think it was ever flown.

G-Axay I remember when the accident happened... Inkpen Ridge.
I saw the radio remains being investigated... Looking to see if it was powered up ie were the panel lights filaments stretched... and what frequency was it set on comms and nav. This was in the days of old fashioned dials with a number appearing in a small window.... No Leds.
G-Axay yellow tail was dumped behind the car park for a long time.

I remember in the Helicopter offices there was a large air to air picture of an English Electric Lightning climbing vertically and was told the pilot was Bob Baff.

There was an arrival of a Black B206 that had a small bullet hole in it's chin window. I was told the helicopter had been imported from the USA and may have flown Frank Sinatra.

For a few days an AMH helicopter was flying around the airfield with a radio controlled model helicopter flying alongside.
This was in preparation for an advertising stunt on behalf of the model maker. The model was to cross the channel controlled from the full size helicopter flying alongside/nearby.

When the control tower moved to it's present location I installed the radio, and also installed a Narco (I think) in the new yellow Crash Truck.

Finally I was working on a bell 47G (Intermittent headphone sockets Nato type I think)... and Peter Faulkes opened the door on the other side, and asked me how it was going and would it be ready for the afternoon.
He was such a nice friendly person, always used/knew first name.
Later that day I was given the bad news of the crash of G-BBKP.
Attached is a scan from the Daily Express Friday March 21st 1975.

If anyone has the contact details for John Birchell a colleague I used to work with at Mann Avionics would they let me know in a PM. Thanks.

PC

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Old 17th Feb 2012, 05:31
  #234 (permalink)  
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PC: A very warm welcome to the Mann Thread. Great to have another ex-Alan Manner with us and to be briefed on some of the details you have provided.

Unfortunately (maybe its just my set-up) but I am unable to view the article you posted and which I have to say is often the case with either Photobucket or Imageshack. I think Flickr is the preferred photo hosting site by PPRuNe (there are some technical reasons apparently) although nearly all my material is on Picasa (due to their image editing software).


PPRuNe does not have any preferred image hosting site.

Any viewing issue is likely to be with individual computers or networks, although Google/Picasa can be difficult due to the security aspect of their hosting

Splot



Well, I shall be relying of VFR, TRC, Geoffers and others to help fill-in the gaps .. especially about the blue Brantly and the black bullet-ridden 206!

Brgds

Sav
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Old 17th Feb 2012, 14:11
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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pc: I remember the 'old' tower from my first visit to Fairoaks many years ago. The 'new' one is still in use but the frequency has changed to 123.425; main radio is now an Icom with a Narco 120 as backup.
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Old 23rd Feb 2012, 12:05
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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your request for JB info

Hi PC, i do have contact details for John Burchell but I am a little reluctant to supply these freely. Maybe you could contact me outside PPRuNe and introduce yourself. Not wanting to appear to be fussy but disclosing other peoples contact details is something i think should be handled with due consideration. Look forward to your reply. TTFN. Exdesigner.

Sorry guys. Being a bit of a numpty I didnt understand what the PM bit in pc's message meant but with some help I have worked it out. I have now sent a Personal Message to him so things should be getting sorted.

Last edited by exdesigner; 23rd Feb 2012 at 20:09.
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Old 23rd Feb 2012, 21:36
  #237 (permalink)  
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Thank you for replying.

I have sent an email to the address you've given... please look out as it may be diverted to your junk mail. It starts with my Amateur Ham call sign G4P**

I included some memories John may recognise to prove "I'm genuine".

I wonder if any staff remember the BBQ Alan Mann put on one summers evening down at the bottom of the airfield.
There was a big bonfire and a raffle with some incredible prizes.... It was a lovely summers evening/night.

Another memory...... of the Goodyear Airship Europa arriving... We saw it in the distance.... then about an hour later it was still coming in!!!!! Bit of a strong headwind.
It was good fun assisting with the lines.

Such great memories of a great place to work.

Apologies for drifting off the helicopter subject.
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Old 23rd Feb 2012, 21:49
  #238 (permalink)  
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I remember the BBQs at the blister hangar on the south side. Good times.

Fairoaks in the seventies and early eighties was a great place to work - good social life, helicopter div dining club, cricket team, a good bar on Friday nights.

Then we were woken up.
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Old 24th Feb 2012, 15:35
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Hi.

Just catching up on this thread, most interesting.

Savoia...re the picture of G-BEKH of Barrett's on 29 dec 2011, the pilot was Martin Burgin who also flew the 1st Agusta 109 delivered to a UK owner.

MB was also famed for the TV advert for Barrett's showing him flying the Jetranger through a brick wall, ( polystyreen )
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Old 26th Feb 2012, 06:56
  #240 (permalink)  
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PC mentioned a blue Brantly in Mann's hangar which hardly ever flew and was brought out for engine runs - does anyone remember this craft?

Similarly PC mentions a black 206 which had a bullet hole in the chin perspex and that the same craft may have flown 'Old Blue Eyes' .. any recollections? Of Sinatra, he did fly with Ferranti of that I am certain.

Hatters: Thank you for the information on BEKH - one would love to see again the ad you refer to, I remember it well. I've never heard of Martin Burgin though - would be interested to learn a little more about him.



As promised, some additional shots from Fairoaks photographer Wingnut:


Agusta-Bell 206B III G-LOCK at the Mannstead c.1980

We have discussed G-TPTR on previous pages but .. she did of course begin life as G-LOCK, owned by Lovaux of Bracknell in Berkshire who bought her in October of 1979.


Bell 206B III G-NEWS at the Mannstead c.1980 (G-BGGX in the background)

Whether this was the black 206 to which PC refers I do not know. She was imported from the US however (being of Bell and not Agusta manufacture). NEWS was bought by Peter Press of Wallingford, Oxfordshire in November 1978.


Bell 206L N18097 at the Mannstead c.1980

I have tried to obtain some background on this craft but have failed to do so. I initially thought this may have been G-HBUS but it is not. Furthermore, her US registration seems to be attributed to more than one serial number and which is obviously confusing.
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