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Britten Norman Islander

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Britten Norman Islander

Old 10th Dec 2010, 16:20
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Scotlandshire
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Britten Norman Islander

Hi all
Are these aircraft still being built in the uk? and are they allowed to fly with a single pilot? Anyone know who operates them here and what is the seat cost per mile?
rob39 is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2010, 05:44
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Last I heard BN are still going.

BN2 are certified as a SP aircraft. I know, 'cos I used fly them for Loganair in public transport ops.
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Old 12th Dec 2010, 02:28
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Yes BN are still building Islanders. Check out their website.

Yes they are single pilot.

Seat mile cost, no idea how to work that stuff out.
But for the piston version "120kts @ 120litres/hr" is a pretty good starting point.
Yes they generally do faster than 120kts, but the maths is easier at 120!

And just remember, 65kts! Magic.
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Old 12th Dec 2010, 19:28
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120kts, 120lph, 120dB.

65 for everything else ie vital speeds & days to recover your hearing
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Old 12th Dec 2010, 22:52
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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I searched and found this from a while ago, made me laugh...

Undaunted by aerodynamic reality, the design team at Pilatus/Britten-Norman has announced plans for the BN2-XL (Extra Loud), promising more noise, reduced payload, a lower cruise speed, and increased pilot workload.

We spoke to Mr. Fred Gribble, former British Rail boilermaker and now Chief Project Engineer. Fred was responsible for developing many original and creative design flaws in the service of his former employer, and assures he will be incorporating these in the new BN2-XL technology under a licensing agreement.

Fred reassured BN-2 pilots however that all fundamental design flaws of the original model had been retained. Further good news is that the XL version is available as a retrofit.

Among the new measures is that of locking the ailerons in the central position, following airborne and simulator tests which showed that whilst pilots of average strength were able to achieve up to 30 of control wheel deflection, this produced no appreciable variation in the net flight path of the aircraft.

Thus the removal of costly and unnecessary linkages has been possible, and the rudder has been nominated as the primary directional control. In keeping with this new philosophy, but to retain commonality for crews transitioning to the XL, additional resistance to foot pressure has been built into the rudder pedals to prevent overcontrolling in gusty conditions (defined as those in which wind velocity exceeds 3 knots).

An outstanding feature of Islander technology has always been the adaptation of the 0-540 engine, which mounted in any other aircraft in the free world (except the Trislander) is known for its low vibration levels, so as to cause it to shake and batter the airframe, gradually crystallise the main spar, desynchronise the accompanying engine, and simulate the sound of fifty skeletons fornicating in an aluminium dustbin.

Britten-Norman will not disclose the technology they applied in enhancing this effect in the XL, but Mr. Gribble assures us it will be perpetuated in later models and sees it as a strong selling point; "After all, the Concorde makes a lot of noise," he said, "and look how fast it goes."

However, design documents clandestinely recovered from the Britten-Norman shredder have solved a question that has puzzled aerodynamicists and pilots for many years, disclosing that it is actually noise which causes the BN-2 to fly. The vibration set up by the engines and amplified by the airframe, in turn causes the air molecules above the wing to oscillate at atomic frequency, reducing their density and causing lift. This can be demonstrated by sudden closure of the throttles, which causes the aircraft to fall from the sky. As a result, lift is proportional to noise rather than speed, explaining amongst other things the aircraft's remarkable takeoff performance. In the driver's cab (as Gribble describes it), ergonomic measures will ensure that long-term PBN pilots' deafness does not cause inflight dozing. Orthopaedic surgeons have designed a cockpit layout and seat to maximise backache, enroute insomnia, chronic irritability, and terminal (post-flight) lethargy. Redesigned 'bullworker' elastic aileron cables, now disconnected from the control surfaces, increase pilot workload and fitness.

Special noise retention cabin lining is an innovation on the XL, and it is hoped in later models to develop cabin noise to a level which will enable pilots to relate ear pain directly to engine power, eliminating the need for engine instruments altogether.

We were offered an opportunity to fly the XL at Britten-Normans' developmental facility, adjacent to the Britrail tea rooms at Little Chortling. (The flight was originally to have been conducted at the Pilatus plant, but aircraft of Britten-Norman design are now prohibited from operating in Swiss airspace during the avalanche season).
For our mission profile, the XL was loaded with fossil fuel for a standard 100 nm with Britrail reserves, carrying one pilot and nine passengers to maximise discomfort.

Passenger loading is unchanged, the normal under-wing protrusions inflicting serious lacerations on 71% of boarding passengers, and there was the usual entertaining confusion in selecting a door appropriate to the allocated seat.

The facility for the clothing of embarking passengers to remove oil slicks from engine cowls during loading has also been thoughtfully retained.
Startup is standard, and taxying, as in the BN-2, is accomplished by brute force. Takeoff calculations called for a 250 decibel power setting, and the rotation force for the (neutral) C of G was calculated as 180ft/lbs of back pressure.

Initial warning of an engine failure during takeoff is provided by a reduction in flight instrument panel vibration. Complete seizure of one engine is indicated by the momentary illusion that the engines have suddenly and inexplicably become synchronised. Otherwise, identification of the failed engine is achieved by comparing the vibration levels of the windows on either side of the cabin. (Relative passenger pallor has been found to be an unreliable guide on many BN-2 routes because of ethnic considerations).

Shortly after takeoff the XL's chief test pilot, Capt. "Muscles" Mulligan, demonstrated the extent to which modem aeronautical design has left the BN-2 untouched; he simulated pilot incapacitation by slumping forward onto the control column, simultaneously applying full right rudder and bleeding from the ears. The XL, like its predecessor, demonstrated total control rigidity and continued undisturbed.

Power was then reduced to 249 decibels for cruise, and we carried out some comparisons of actual flight performance with graph predictions.
At 5000' and ISA, we achieved a vibration amplitude of 500 CPS and 240 decibels, for a fuel flow of 210 lb/hr, making the BN-2 XL the most efficient converter of fuel to noise since the Titan rocket.

Exploring the constant noise-variable speed and constant speed-variable noise concepts, we found that in a VNE dive, vibration reached its design maximum at 1000 CPS, at which point the limiting factor is the emulsification of human tissue. The catatonic condition of long term BN-2 pilots is attributed to this syndrome, which commences in the cerebral cortex and spreads outwards.

We asked Capt. Mulligan what he considered the outstanding features of the XL. He cupped his hand behind his car and shouted. "Whazzat?"
We returned to Britten-Norman field convinced that the XL model retains the marque's most memorable features, while showing some significant and worthwhile regressions.

Pilatus/Britten-Norman are however not resting on their laurels. Plans are already advanced for the three-engined Trislander XL, and noise tunnel testing has commenced. The basis of preliminary design and performance specifications is that lift increases as the square of noise, and as the principle of acoustic lift is further developed, a later five-engined vertical takeoff model is another possibility.
SolentFlyer is offline  
Old 13th Dec 2010, 10:28
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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I must be mad, looking to do a multi license and fancy doing it in an Islander. Does anybody know where I can go to do this.

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Old 13th Dec 2010, 11:42
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assuming 8 passengers then it works out at about 60p per mile per passenger based on a charter cost of 550 per hour!
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 14:38
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Solent... Love it; who said Britain was finished as a pioneering nation !!?
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Old 13th Dec 2010, 21:40
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BN's joke wears a bit thin for engineers. It's about time the company dusted the cobwebs off and dragged itself out of fifties technology. Exposed flying control rod bearings that need to be greased up on every check... Mickey Mouse cockpit entrance door 'Open' catch that chews up the weather seal... a weak elevator trim tab design that's had a repetetive Service Bulletin (49) for the past thirty years... ridiculous and redundant flying control attachment and locking methods... crew seats with no height adjustment and a pathetic installation arrangement that almost lets them rock...pax lifejackets that fall out of their stowages if you even look at them... a scabbed-panel wing upper surface that probably knocks 5 knots off the cruising speed... extortionate price of spares... lukewarm customer service... haphazard maintenance manuals... nut/bolt assemblies with different spanner sizes... oh, I can't be bothered to go on.
It would be interesting to see what kind of aeroplane Cessna/Piper/Beech could make out of this.
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Old 15th Dec 2010, 20:43
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Also Islanders were made in Romania and sold as UK made.
Lotetu is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2010, 21:58
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hampshire
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You have a pm.

Anyone else needing to hire or train in this magnificent aircraft, drop me a line...

BTW, credit is due to one of Flight International's writers (I forget which one) for the funny-but-true piece copied above.
Kerling-Approsh KG is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2010, 22:01
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hampshire
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When you've built a better aircraft, I'll look forward to flying it.

The Islander has MANY faults, but even more unique abilities, and despite its shocking handling, it has a fond place in my heart.
Kerling-Approsh KG is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2010, 23:16
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The Islander has MANY faults, but even more unique abilities, and despite its shocking handling, it has a fond place in my heart.
I had a girlfriend like that once.
I'm sure that if I went into BN's design office and hammered numerous operator's/maintainer's valid suggestions into their heads with a 2lb lump hammer, they still wouldn't change anything. Why they can't tackle their shortcomings and revamp the bl**dy thing. No wonder the British aircraft manufacturing industry went down the plughole.
I've worked on a wide range of of older UK-built aircraft and admit to generally having a liking for them but can see why there aren't any living offspring...
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Old 16th Dec 2010, 21:42
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hampshire
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Oh dear, did you pass her on to me or did I go first..?

The design folk at B-N are nice guys, and whilst there are certainly things you could do to improve on the original design (flush rivets not being one; it cost performance), I suspect that over-complicated regulation which made life difficult for small manufacturers was at least equally to blame.

One thing about the Islander: it won't ever let you down, nor frighten you. More than can be said for high-tech European aircraft...
Kerling-Approsh KG is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2010, 00:36
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Yes they generally do faster than 120kts
Not much!

I must be mad, looking to do a multi license and fancy doing it in an Islander. Does anybody know where I can go to do this.
Somewhere where they have LOTS of earplugs!
Atlas Shrugged is offline  

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