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HIFR - HMS OCEAN

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HIFR - HMS OCEAN

Old 16th May 2015, 02:17
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HIFR - HMS OCEAN

Judge Tudor Owen
I realise many people in this forum will have seen all this many times in real life but I hope the pictures will be of interest to some.

HMS OCEAN 10-13 May: A fascinating and valuable insight into the operation of the dedicated helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship designed to deliver troops to the centre of the action by air or landing craft.


Sea King Mk 7 SKASaC 'Baggers' of 849 NAS in flight refuelling from HMS OCEAN.


From FlyCo












Attaching the hose



From the Bridge



(Apologies for the quality of the pics - iPhone through windows)


Sea King Mk7 'Baggers' of 849 Naval Air Squadron (RNAS Culdrose), parent unit of the Navy's Airborne Surveillance and Control.
The distinctive inflatable black bag contains Searchwater 2000 radar for detection of surface and air targets.

HMS OCEAN, helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship and, until the Queen Elizabeth class carriers arrive, the Royal Navy’s biggest warship.
A little more difficult to find our way around than HMS Illustrious (no '25 HELPS' to help) but we soon learnt.


HMS OCEAN can carry 12 Sea King and 6 Lynx helicopters.
RAF Chinooks are normally carried as an integral part of the ship's air group.


Honourable Company of Air Pilots

Our very grateful thanks to Captain Tim Henry RN, Cdr Steve Deacon RN (Commander Air) and to all the ship's company for their warm welcome, willingness to explain and demonstrate their various roles - and patiently answering our many questions.


Tudor Owen
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Old 16th May 2015, 02:30
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You seem to get some great jollies about the world FL, who is your travel agent? Always come up with great snaps as well, sideline profession? Always look forward to your posts, irrespective of subject.
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Old 16th May 2015, 08:25
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It would never pump at that height, the mighty queen would be burning more than the ship could pump. You would need to be below the gunwales!
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Old 16th May 2015, 10:09
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What is the point of this evolution ?


I can understand the rationale for in flight refuelling with a helicopter in forward flight, behind a fixed wing tanker but this I don't understand.


Why not just land and take on more fuel than you're burning ?
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Old 16th May 2015, 10:15
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Hmmm...in-flight refuelling from the deck of an aircraft carrier (of sorts).

Very clever, even if, as cyclic mentioned, a net increase in quantity aboard might take some time.

But, why would anyone want/need to do that? Why not land on deck, cup of coffee while they fill 'er up, go away again. Or refuel on deck with the rotor turning? Or is that not possible? Is a Sea King too big for the deck? My limited experience of 6 months as an embarked troop in the previous HMS Bulwark (Ahhh.... the Wessex) does not provide me with any answers.

Edit: Sorry, Stilton got in while I was composing!

Edit 2: just looked at the pics of Sea kings on the deck! Scrub the "too big" then.
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Old 16th May 2015, 11:04
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Capot,

HIFR was something that came about back in the 70s (IIRC) when fleet requirements deemed that bigger stuff such as the Sea King may need to refuel from frigates or similar with decks too small to land upon. Very tricky for the poor GIB who had to lean over the side of the SK to plug in the nozzle, before the adaptor was introduced to ease things a tad. ISTR that the RAN had a refuel control point or gauges put on the bulkhead aft of the sliding door to accommodate this very problem.

Flying Lawyer's photos are of practice evolutions from the carrier deck, but even then there is a practical application should the deck be full and a refuel be required. Other reasons for HIFR are when weather puts a deck out of limits for a landing, battle damage, etc.

Why, even the crabs are allowed to use the technique: whatever next






ps and was this trip an early present, Flying Lawyer? Happy birthday
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Old 16th May 2015, 11:26
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Cyclic,

To meet the STANAG for HIFR you (used to in my days etc..) need to be able to deliver 50 gallons a minute at 50 PSI, 50 feet above the flight deck.

It certainly would fill up a Seaking at a reasonable rate and was ahndy capability for something like a Leander or T42 nearer the ASW action than Mum.

N
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Old 16th May 2015, 11:51
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Bengo and John, many thanks, that all makes perfect sense!
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Old 16th May 2015, 14:23
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Now that's the way to refuel a helicopter in the air.

Google Image Result for http://www.sikorsky.com/Publishingimages/products/Military/CH-53/mil_CH53_leg_CH53E_lrg.jpg
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Old 16th May 2015, 15:24
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HIFR has certainly saved a few airframes over the years, and no matter what the STANAG says Bengo, T42 were notorious for flow rates very similar to burn rates......

We certainly used to expect to fly lower than deck height to help out.
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Old 16th May 2015, 16:35
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Originally Posted by John Eacott View Post
HIFR was something that came about back in the 70s (IIRC)
Even earlier - it was first fitted to the Wessex HAS3's of 700(H) Intensive Flying Trials Unit when we commissioned back in January 1967 although I don't recall it ever being used whilst on that Squadron. The HIFR point was just forward of the cabin sliding door.


Last edited by CharlieOneSix; 16th May 2015 at 19:11. Reason: photo added
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Old 16th May 2015, 17:58
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HIFR

As TO Wx3 back in 1974 I took part in the operational inspection of a Tribal class frigate, one that had no flight deck but just a space for winching. Their ops spec called for a HIFR capability day and night. I drew the short straw and found myself doing the night section.

All was well until we gave the sign that fuel was flowing whereupon the ship was released from the requirement to maintain course and speed and it resumed its rapid and regular changes of both designed to prevent enemy submarines gaining a resolution good enough to launch a torpedo. What followed was a harrowing fifteen minutes of being towed around like a dog on a lead that severely tested my skill and the aircraft's capabilities.

The concept was born out of the Wx3's low fuel endurance, just 1.30 on task. This meant the helicopter would spend a lot of time flying back and forth between its mother ship and its screening sector. At that time Russian subs were getting to be a threat at quite long range so the screen had to be further out exacerbating the problem of low fuel. The outer screen was the responsibility of the ASW helicopter but the inner screen was made up of ASW frigates so with HIFR the need to return to 'Mum' was removed.

Sore arses were the likely result. Luckily I never had to do it in an operational environment. HIFR was a feature of Sea King ops too and with that beast you started with a five hour plus mission length so that really would give you a sore bum.

G.

Just done a little homework on the Tribal class frigates and clearly they did all have a small helideck - for the WASP. From my perspective (Wessex and Sea King driver) what looked like a neat spot for a Wasp was clearly mis-identified as something too small to accommodate anything !! Tribal flight commanders clearly lived a challenging life!

Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 17th May 2015 at 18:51. Reason: Update
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Old 16th May 2015, 19:13
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I'm sure most of you have seen this delightful 12 seconds of a CH53e refule problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAdpKpppZiA
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Old 16th May 2015, 20:58
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Also see -


http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/5614...ye-needle.html
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Old 16th May 2015, 22:59
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Originally Posted by Geoffersincornwall View Post
Sore arses were the likely result. Luckily I never had to do it in an operational environment. HIFR was a feature of Sea King ops too and with that beast you started with a five hour plus mission length so that really would give you a sore bum.

G.
Geoffers, 5 hours in a HAS1 would have been close to sucking air. I only did it once and it was close to chicken on recovery; but then we called chicken with 12 minutes in the Wessex HAS3 and I never worked out how we expected such accuracy from the gauges! Then again, the SK had the P Tube vented to atmosphere: a very important improvement on those 4 hour CASEXs

After your dit I'm even more happy that I declined that Wx3 appointment in 1973 and stayed with the Sea King
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Old 17th May 2015, 10:42
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I see from my logbook that as First Pilot I flew a night in-flight refuelling sortie in our ship's Wessex 3 and took fuel from "our" DLG in March 1972. I heartily agree that it was not a nice experience as the ship's manoeuvring resulted in a constantly shifting relative wind and resulting turbulence. One of those sorties which sticks in the mind!

Was the idea of HIFR designed into the Wessex 3 then? If so I would have thought that the IFTU would have tried it and that it would have been part of conversion training. I never connected the positioning of the the pressure refuelling point with that intention .... perhaps someone had tried and rejected the idea before .... and then some bright spark made us try it again in the 70's!
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Old 17th May 2015, 15:31
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John E.

Now you mention it I may be confusing the total fuel with the S61 but anyway the normal 4-hour mission was based on us having about 30 minutes of reserve. I have no doubt that the wartime profile would have been right up to the limit.

G
PS. Have you read THE MARK yet?
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Old 17th May 2015, 15:54
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Tourist,

I didn't say the T42's complied with the STANAG! IIRC it was only the post Lynx conversion Leanders, maybe the T21's and the T22's onward that did. Anything else was, as you say, fly close to the water and hope you were winning.

N
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Old 17th May 2015, 16:21
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Thank you all, for the photos and the amazing explanations/yarns. Love it.
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Old 19th May 2015, 06:33
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Not my photo, but 824NAS Sea King HIFR from RFA Olwen, October 1978

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