Winged Heroes

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 05 Jun 2019, 08:36

The commercial airfreight firm our Dan used to work for at Coventry used to maintain two and still used them for UK wide freight operations.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 06 Jun 2019, 03:27

While reading about the Barnes Wallis bombs I was reminded of the Avro Lincoln bomber which came into service late in the war but was never used in WW2. Here's a LINK to a Wikipedia entry.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Wendyf » 06 Jun 2019, 16:26

Nice low flypast this afternoon as i was muck collecting in the field. 2 planes about 5 minutes apart flying in a north easterly direction. Not sure about the first one, though it could have been a Dakota, the second was possibly a Hurricane. :smile:

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2019, 02:11

That's a captivating image. The peasant working in the fields at a job that is as old as the hills and modern technology catching the attention..... (Nowt wrong with being a peasant Wendy!)
I saw a single engined plane with an eggbeater on the front passing over Barlick two days ago heading SW. It had a fixed tricycle undercarriage so may have been modern....
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 19 Jun 2019, 15:33

I came across a small local history book I bought when we were up in the NE last year on our bucket and spade holiday with the grandchildren that I hadn't got round to reading. "Spitfires Over Northumberland", it chronicles the roles of the numerous RAF bases up in the area during WWII. I learnt something new about Spitfire operations that I wasn't aware of before. Some of the bases were used for training as well as the operational defensive bases.

They trained aircrew, both pilots and other ranks (bomber crews) over usually 16 week courses before transferring them to operational squadrons in other parts of the country. The main thrust was fighter pilot training culminating in the handling and flying of the Spitfire and Hurricane. Although the Spitfire was an excellent aircraft in the main it did have some disadvantages. The undercarriage was quite narrow which made it quite unstable on taxiing and landing. Another was it's long sleek nose that gave no forward vision until the tail wheel came off the ground , not easy for taxiing, take off or landing as all these manoeuvres are predominantly nose up. The fix for taxiing was to weave from side to side. Once centred on the runway and power up the take off was not that bad.

Landing was a different matter entirely and it's this aspect of the handling that was something I learnt. Pilots were taught to use a curved approach to the runway, this allowed them to have some sight of the target. Effectively they had to approach from the side and simultaneously execute a controlled curved descent, levelling out just before final touchdown. To assist this approach they used what was called the Drew lighting system (developed at Drew in Scotland) ground lights that gave the pilots a curved approach corridor to the runway. The training bases had quite a high attrition rate of both men and machines, on average one pilot per month was killed during training, take off with wrongly pitched propellers, misjudged landings and mid air collisions all took their toll.

One of the aircraft transferred and used at Eshott a Mk. IIa Spitfire P7350 is still flown by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and is the oldest flying example of this type and the only Spitfire still surviving that flew in The Battle of Britain. It was the 14th of the 12,129 Spitfires produced by the Castle Bromwich works throughout the war. It was also used in the 1968 film Battle of Britain. An interesting little book.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 19 Jun 2019, 16:03

That's good information, Ian, thanks for posting it. Until recently we lived a couple of miles from the site of Westonzoyland airfield. It was used by RAF then, later in WW2, US aircraft especially for training and it too had a terrible high attrition rate. There's a row of airmen's graves in the small cemetery at Westonzoyland village.

The undercarriage problem with the Spitfire, due to the wheels lifting up outwards and therefore narrow, was why the few we had couldn't be used much in France during the phoney war - the airfields were grass and too bumpy. But at least it prompted the RAF to lay concrete runways quickly at home! The forward vision was a particular problem when they started putting Spitfires/Seafires onto the navy's carriers and the weaving trick had to be used by FAA pilots too.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2019, 02:51

:good:
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 09 Jul 2019, 09:14

`Patrouille Suisse: Fighter jet display team fly-by misses town' LINK
This is shocking. It sounds funny - displaying by mistake over a yodelling festival - but it's a big lapse in safety. I'd like to think it would never happen with the Red Arrows. They have a man on the site in constant contact with the lead pilot and I'm sure their planes have GPS - which the Swiss planes didn't!

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