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why no australian electra crashes

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why no australian electra crashes

Old 27th Mar 2010, 21:38
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why no australian electra crashes

hopefully I wont get banned for asking too many questions, but we had electras being flown in australia at the time when they were crashing in the USA from wings breaking off.

were they flown slower here? according to 1 version the sympathetic vibration could be sensed or felt by the pilots and all the australian pilots instinctively slowed until the vibration stopped

I remember the news of the crashes being well managed in the australian media, no mention of broken wings at all
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 22:51
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hopefully I wont get banned for asking too many questions, but we had electras being flown in australia at the time when they were crashing in the USA from wings breaking off.

were they flown slower here? according to 1 version the sympathetic vibration could be sensed or felt by the pilots and all the australian pilots instinctively slowed until the vibration stopped

I remember the news of the crashes being well managed in the australian media, no mention of broken wings at all
Because the Electra's wing problem was fixed before Ansett got their first Electra!
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 08:08
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The Electra's wing problem was identified after the Australian aircraft had been delivered and all 10 aircraft went back to Lockheed for wing and engine mount mods under what was known as LEAP (Lockheed Electra Action Program). In the interim they were subject to speed restrictions.

Full details here

Regards
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 08:29
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Although whirl mode was catastrophic, you weren't going to enter whirl mode every time you went flying above a certain speed, otherwise it would have never got out of flight test. It was (like all accidents) a combination of factors. That combination never occurred in oz before the speed restrictions were introduced.

Had whirl mode not been understood following the US crashes it would have remained a hazard for the Australian (and other) Electras and eventually you may have seen one succumb to it.
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 11:17
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You kind of make it sound like they were raining down out of the sky over here in the US when in fact there were only accidents attributed to the whirl mode, Braniff and Northwest. Not that two is not to many.
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 12:19
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Ahh...the dreaded whirl mode. Unfortunately the book " The Electra Story" is long out of print and was one of the most fascinating investigations I've come across.
The problem arose when a certain combination of speed and turbulence was encountered. Keeping the speed below 400 mph ensured all stayed well.
I remember before the engine mounts were stiffened the engines used to nod up n down noticeably in turbulence .

The Lockheed test pilots were certainly made of the right stuff...when Lockheed reckoned they had fixed the problem they went out looking for turbulence trying to create the whirl mode.

When they were satisfied, as a final test they loosened the prop attach bolts on one eng and flew the a/c over the Sierra Nevadas at VNE in the severest turbulence they could find.

End of problem!

It was a magnificent a/c to fly..I am sure you will never find any pilot with a bad word to say about it.
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 14:38
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There were the two Electra breakups in mid-air, but there were several mishandling on approach accidents which happened to the Electra fleet in its early years, and one of these did happen to a unit of the Antipodean fleet.

Lockheed always regarded the four Antipodean (Qantas/TAA/Ansett/TEAL) Electra fleets as a common one, and they were negotiated all together in a single extended sales negotiation, and shared some resources. TEAL, the New Zealand overseas airline of the period, was partially owned by Qantas, and lost an Electra at Auckland in a training landing accident (fortunately the crew walked away from it). Although a different cause than the Whirl Mode breakups, the wings did indeed break off on touchdown, to get back to the original question.

There were, of course, only a few aircraft in each of these down-under fleets, less in total than any one of the main US fleets.

In recent times there was a video on YouTube of a Lockheed Hercules adapted for firefighting duties having its wings detach and fold upwards during the drop, and immediately crashing. My first thought on seeing this was that the Hercules is fundamentally an Electra, same powerplants, same design team, just a differently shaped fuselage .....
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 19:10
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emeritus:

It was a magnificent a/c to fly..I am sure you will never find any pilot with a bad word to say about it.
There might be a few Braniff and Northwest pilots who disagree. Or did you mean post-modification?
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 20:04
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Less of the past tense, it's still magnificent to fly!
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 21:27
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WHBM

Don't think the Electra and C130 were designed by the same team.

Electra was by Lockheed Burbank and C130 was by Lockheed Georgia.

When I did my Electra course I was told to forget anything I knew about the C130 as they were very different airplanes, just similar powerplants. (Didn't know much about the C130 anyway)

Great aircraft though, once the whirl mode was fixed..
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Old 28th Mar 2010, 21:28
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It also had the best air conditioning system ever fitted to an aircraft. Not to mention that great circular aft lounge often occupied by positioning crew.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 05:31
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Folks,
I
n the interim they were subject to speed restrictions.
And in QF, at least, hand flown, as there was some concern that AP runaways could have been the problem, until the real problem was discovered.

Hand flying Perth, Cocos to Mauritius was a long night's work.

Tootle pip!!
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