Winged Heroes

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 07 Feb 2017, 11:10

I've reached 1960 now and am surprised to find that Brown was made Britain's naval attache to Germany and was also responsible for establishing Germany's new naval air arm, the Marinefliege, equivalent to our Fleet Air Arm. He trained the pilots himself and records how strange it was to have half of them new, young fliers and the other half ex-WW2 Luftwaffe pilots. They got on well because he was fluent in German, had spent a lot of time there just after the war and they respected him as a great pilot. The navy men were excited too because this gave them their own navy air force again. In the 1930s Goering had disbanded the German naval air arm and sent all the pilots to the Luftwaffe.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 08 Feb 2017, 05:16

They were different days Tiz and everyone was trying to think outside the box of old attitudes engendered by the war. We saw a brave new world in prospect. We were wrong!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 09 Feb 2017, 11:32

I've now finished Eric Brown's book and it comes to an abrupt end. After the naval attache job in Germany he returned to the UK in the late 1960s as deputy director of naval air warfare at the Admiralty. Then he became station commander for the Fleet Air Arm's base at Lossiemouth, probably the largest with 7 squadrons and various other functions and about 8000 personnel. He still managed to fit in some flying, especially helicopters which he used to get about on his duties outside the base. Then at the end of the 1960s he was told he would be sent to the US as naval attache in Washington DC. It all fell apart at this point and he was `retired' from the service. Secretary of State for Defence Dennis Healey scrapped aircraft carriers and aborted work on new aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm felt this was the end and they were no longer wanted. For his leaving party Brown flew from the south of England back to Lossiemouth in a Sea Vampire jet. After leaving the navy he worked for a helicopter firm.

`Wings on My Sleeve' by Captain Eric `Winkle' Brown is an excellent book and I recommend it strongly for anyone interested in aircraft or who simply enjoys reading the exploits of a test pilot. It's a good read and full of interesting and unusual facts. The RRP is £12.99 but Mrs Tiz bought mine as a Christmas present from an outlet of The Works bookshop for a fraction of the price. On The Works web site it's available new at £3 with a £3 delivery charge but you can pick it up at one of the shops for £3 such as the one in Burnley or Blackburn. LINK

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 10 Feb 2017, 04:03

You're tempting me Tiz but I am hard up at the moment so I'll be strong!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 27 Feb 2017, 16:17

I thought this was an interesting photo. It's a book cover I saw on the web. Imagine being lined up on those wings for a photo shoot - and they look like they're all sitting on chairs!

EdwardsAirForceBase.jpg
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 28 Feb 2017, 05:22

That's a B36 isn't it. There were some based in Warwickshire at Gaydon when I was farm manning there. They used to come over us when they took off and if you were in the Dutch barn the roof used to rattle with the noise!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 28 Feb 2017, 10:21

Yes, the largest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft ever built, the Convair B-36 Peacemaker (an ironic choice of name). It was introduced with 6 piston engines and later had 4 jet engines added to help it get off the ground. Our V-bomber pilots always said `it only got airborne due to the curvature of the Earth'. This web page has a good photo showing the layout of the engines and has a list of `believe-it-or-not' facts put out by Convair. It also has another photo of people standing on the wing. LINK Below is a photo of the arrival of the first B-36A at Carswell AFB, Ft. Worth, Texas, June 1948 and it's shown next to a B-29 Superfortress....

B29_B36_1948.jpg
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 01 Mar 2017, 04:35

I think the ones that were flying over us in 1953 had the jet engines as well. They certainly got our attention!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2017, 05:25

The B36 reminded me of this...... (click to enlarge)
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 22 Mar 2017, 09:38

`London-Paris electric flight 'in decade'' LINK
"A new start-up says that it intends to offer an electric-powered commercial flight from London to Paris in 10 years. Its plane, yet to go into development, would carry 150 people on journeys of less than 300 miles. Wright Electric said by removing the need for jet fuel, the price of travel could drop dramatically...."

I've also noticed that some small aircraft are now using diesel engines for reasons of economy. I don't know if the engines are as bad for emission of particulates as diesel car engines.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 01 Apr 2017, 14:51

Have a look at THIS for an amazing 1/20 scale model of the Spruce Goose and then look at some of the associated videos.....
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 02 Apr 2017, 10:02

I love that Spruce Goose model, better than a drone any day! :smile: I also watched old film about the EE Lightning and it brought back memories of my childhood when from our back garden in Blackburn we could see the Lightning test flights and again when we went to St Annes we'd see them flying out from Warton over the sea and hear the sonic booms.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 03 Apr 2017, 04:09

It's pretty damn good isn't it.... The hours that went into those models! The Spruce Goose performed beautifully, Hughes had his design right!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 01 May 2017, 05:30

At 5:55 this morning a large twin engined monoplane flew over Barlick at about 1500 feet on a southerly course. I am almost certain it was a Dakota......
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 01 May 2017, 08:41

Nothing on the BBMF website for ZA947 currently repainted to represent the Canadian Dakota FZ692 ‘Kwicherbichen’ and sporting D Day stripes. The display season doesn't start until 14th May and her first appearance this year will be at Plymouth Armed Forces Day on 24th June.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 02 May 2017, 02:24

All I can say is that it looked and sounded like a Dakota..... Too high to see anything but the silhouette.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 02 May 2017, 11:41

Indeed Stanley. BBMF Dakota is the one most regularly seen but I don't know how many are still in regular service. I do know that the air haulage firm our Dan used to work for (Atlantic Air) still maintained and used one.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 04 May 2017, 04:19

The shape was right and the engines sounded like radials...... A softer note than in line engines....
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 06 May 2017, 04:18

Not sure if this belongs here but more and more reports are appearing about the way funding and procurement in the MOD is even more chaotic than usual. In terms of recruitment, maintenance spend and overall funding the armed forces seem to be in a bit of a mess. If you want to be depressed read 'Squarebasher' in PE. He or she seems to be quite well informed and his latest news about the Type 45 frigates is shocking. Then there is the small matter of the lack of planes for our super carriers.....
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 06 May 2017, 09:21

Stanley wrote:
04 May 2017, 04:19
The shape was right and the engines sounded like radials...... A softer note than in line engines....
There was another twin radial engined aircraft over Barlick yesterday. It was a very low banking pass over Brogden. Sally saw it, I heard it but it was away by the time I had got outside. I wonder it it was a commercial? That would not explain the low pass though.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 07 May 2017, 03:17

Could it be Theresa's air force?
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 07 May 2017, 09:10

Ordnance survey use a twin-engined prop aircraft but it's quite different from a Dakota: LINK

There's a plain white, twin-engined prop plane that flies low over here often but I don't know it's identity. It's modern and has a high tailplane, at the top of the rudder.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 08 May 2017, 04:41

The one I saw had the rounded wing tips typical of the Dakota and the right engine note. It also gave the impression of being the right size. The proportions looked right.....
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 09 May 2017, 08:10

There are many Dakotas still flying in the UK: LINK

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 10 May 2017, 03:49

Interesting link Tiz. I remember my mate John Robinson telling me about a trip he had made to Africa and at one point he found himself being ferried in an old Dakota. He said that it was 'interesting', he could see the sun shining through holes in the fuselage where rivets had dropped out. He also told me about watching a native mechanic servicing an engine outside a hut. Part of the service was straightening bent push rods by hammering them after heating in a charcoal furnace and making springs for the valve gear.
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