Winged Heroes

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 21 Jan 2018, 11:14

The pilot could not see over the nose either on the Spitfire and had to weave when taxiing. I count 13 young women on that Hurricane, all over it like a rash, fabulous picture.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by plaques » 21 Jan 2018, 11:44

PanBiker wrote:
21 Jan 2018, 11:14
I count 13 young women on that Hurricane,
The last supper for the pilot?

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 21 Jan 2018, 12:11

That difference in undercarriage was why Spitfires needed smooth, hard runways whereas the Hurricanes could take off from bumpy grass fields. Most of the airfields in France at the beginning of the war were rough grass strips. It also contributes to why the Hurricane could be used earlier on aircraft carriers - the first instance being in May 1940 when 18 were embarked by crane on HMS Glorious bound for Norway and managed to take off when the carrier got to 30 knots speed. The Norwegian airfields were also bad, so much so that the Hurricanes had to stay aboard Glorious on her return journey to Scapa while work was done to improve the landing strips, then went out again to Norway. Some days later the Hurricane squadron had to be hastily evacuated by flying them back to HMS Glorious. Sandbags were stowed in their tails to allow full braking on landing. This was the first time a high performance monoplane had landed on a carrier without a tail hook. A risky business!

The story has a sad ending. Glorious, with an escort of two destroyers, was engaged by two German battle cruisers and all three British ships were sunk. The aircraft on Glorious were not able to be ready for action. While this battle took place the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire sailed by at a distance of about 40 miles and at full speed ahead. Vice-Admiral John Cunningham was under orders to sail directly to Britain and maintain radio silence - he was carrying the Norwegian Royal Family.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 22 Jan 2018, 04:26

:good:
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 22 Jan 2018, 11:16

Following Bob's post regarding Willa Brown I had a session on Pinterest browsing information on female aviators. This of course covered Tuskegee of which I already knew a little about and then onto the ATA girls who flew point to point with nothing other than altimeter, map, compass and stopwatch, those young women were trained to fly over 30 different types of aircraft but once assigned to a pool had to fly whatever they were assigned. Anything from biplanes to four engined bombers. One of their number Mary Wilkins Ellis once flew a new Wellington bomber to it's designated base and after landing and exiting the aircraft the 5' 2" blonde just turned 20 asked the ground crew to take her to the control tower, they told her they would take her when the pilot exited the plane and actually searched the aircraft when she told them that she had flown it on her own! She also delivered the first operational Gloucester Meteor jet to its operating base and after signing the chit for the aircraft was told "you have 35 minutes of fuel so you had better be back on the ground by then", she had never flown a jet before. Mary turned 100 last year, I think she is still alive and definitely a winged hero although she would be the last to say so.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 22 Jan 2018, 16:47

Even the fighter pilots had trouble switching to the Meteor, so it makes her yet more of a hero. The first Meteors passed through RAF Culmhead, not very far from where I'm writing now and then some of them were operational from Westonzoyland, also nearby. Many pilots died in this locality while getting to know the Meteor.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by PanBiker » 22 Jan 2018, 18:00

If you think about it Tiz, by that time Mary had delivered over a thousand aircraft of all types. She flew 76 different types and was probably more like a test pilot than your standard operational pilot of the time who may only have flown a few different types. Jacqueline "Jackie" Cochran who came over from the USA to join the ATA, trained with them then returned to the USA and was instrumental in founding the WASP's (Women Airforce Service Pilots) back in the States. Another interesting fact is that the ATA women were the first to achieve equal pay with their male counterparts of the same rank.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 23 Jan 2018, 03:34

"Even the fighter pilots had trouble switching to the Meteor" Indeed. I saw one crash and kill the pilot at an air display in Cheshire. We identified the accident on the old site.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 24 Jan 2018, 10:10

Something heavy, prop driven and multiple piston engined has just flown low over Barlick from South to North at low altitude but higher than the overcast so it couldn't be seen. Not Merlins, sounded to be a more modern engine sound.
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 09 Feb 2018, 04:04

Thinking about the Condor we mentioned recently I was reminded of the Messerschmitt Gigant transport. (LINK) The largest airplane used in WW2.

Image
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 01 Mar 2018, 11:02

Have a look at this pic then see my note below it...

Image

The photo accompanied a book review in The Times on Saturday, 24th February. The book is called `The birth of the RAF, 1918' by Richard Overy. It's a lovely photo but what caught my attention was the caption: `The RAF in formation over Salisbury for Empire Day in the early 1920s'. My immediate reaction was that there's no way those aircraft were flying in the 1920s - far too sleek and advanced. They looked very obviously a Sydney Camm design for Hawker and I guessed one of the Hawker Hart Family (Hind, Hart, Audax etc) which were 1930s planes, not 20s. This was confirmed after much furtling when I found K2011 and K3081 listed as Hawker Audax, which first flew in late December 1931. Either Getty Images, the provider of the photo, have the wrong year in their caption or it was a error at The Times. I've written to them and we'll see if I get a reply. There's more info on the Audax here: LINK

As so often happens, this search led me to another interesting bit of history. You can tell these Audax are 1930s planes by imagining them without the upper wing and fixed undercarriage, and with a cockpit canopy added. Anyone familiar with WW2 aircraft would shout `Hurricane!', another Camm design. While researching the Audax I saw a suggestion that there had been a Hurricane biplane. With further research I found this web article with lots of pictures. Fascinating stuff! The bi-Hurricane pics start about two-thirds of the way down the page under the title `The Hillson FH.40 Slip Wing Hawker Hurricane'. LINK

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2018, 03:34

Image

That reminded me of the front cover of the Ommissi book on Air Power in the 1930s. Harts over the Himalayas
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 02 Mar 2018, 11:52

Rose Wild, editor of the Feedback column in The Times has replied to my message about the Audax:
`Thanks for getting in touch. Now I look at at the photo, you're quite right
that those planes look distinctly too modern for the 1920s. Getty's caption
to the picture says: "late 1910s or early 1920s". I'm going to alert the
picture desk, so that they can let Getty know that they might have it wrong.
With best wishes, and thanks for sharing your expert knowledge.'

OGFB puts the world right once again! :smile:

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 03 Mar 2018, 03:28

And this time they have listened to us thanks to you taking the trouble.......
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 09 Mar 2018, 11:24

Have a look at this video of the Sea Vixen's wheels-up landing at RNAS Yeovilton...
`Cold War jet's emergency landing forced by mechanical fault' LINK

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 10 Mar 2018, 05:17

"The trust said the twin-turbojet fighter was now in a "period of suspended maintenance" while a "viable recovery plan" was developed."
I'll bet!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 24 Mar 2018, 10:28

Have a look at the video and photos in this article about the Avro Vulcan...
`Vulcan bomber celebrated at Leicestershire airfield' LINK
Then consider how that wonderful machine might never have existed had it not been for Sir Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe (1877-1958) who survived many setbacks to set up his Avro aeroplane company. Born in Manchester, he went to Canada to explore for silver but a slump forced him to return to the UK where he then served an apprenticeship with the L&Y Railway. Then he tried to join the RN to train in marine engineering but failed tests so he did a stint of dockyard work until he got a job as engineer on a merchant ship doing the Royal Mail run to West Africa followed by service as third engineer on other ships.

While at sea he watched albatrosses and became interested in flight. Back in the UK he applied for a job at the Royal Aero Club, supported by Charles Rolls who recognised his interest and enthusiasm but Roe was soon side-tracked into an aviation enterprise in America. This ran into trouble so he came back to Britain and started building model aeroplanes, winning a Daily Mail prize for one of his designs. He used the money and stables at his brother's house to build a full size biplane which he flew at Brooklands but was forced to move elsewhere and ended up working under a railway arch at Walthamstow. He persisted in building aircraft, achieved his first successful flight in 1909 and his `Avroplane' (a triplane) is now in the Science Museum, London. With is brother he founded the A.V. Roe Aircraft Company in 1910 (later to become Avro Aircraft) at Brownsfield Mill, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester. His popular Avro 504 sold more than 8000 to the Royal Flying Corps and later to the Royal Air Force. In 1928 he sold his shares and bought S.E. Saunders Company, and formed Saunders-Roe. More about the Avro company history is shown on this BAe web page:

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 25 Mar 2018, 04:31

They worked out of Woodford aerodrome at Stockport for many years..... LINK
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 25 Mar 2018, 09:45

Thanks for the link. I'm pleased to see the museum has a Canberra - NASA still flies three modified versions for scientific studies: LINK

Tonight: `RAF at 100' with Colin and Ewan McGregor, BBC1 at 8.30pm. There's a brief promo video here: RAF at 100

That took me on to this BBC Magazine article `America's iconic war machine' about the B-52 bomber which has served for about 60 years: B-52

On a more peaceful note: `Australia-UK: First non-stop flight arrives in London from Perth' LINK
`The first scheduled non-stop flight between Australia and the UK has touched down in London's Heathrow Airport. Qantas Flight QF9 completed its 14,498km (9,009-mile) journey from Perth in just over 17 hours. The airline is using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is twice as fuel-efficient as the Boeing 747....'

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 26 Mar 2018, 04:06

I flew from Perth to LA a couple of times on my round the world trips. 6 hours Perth to Sydney, then after an hour across the Pacific non-stop to LAX. I arrived in LA an hour before I left Perth on the same day...... Don't bother explaining it to me but that was a long flight by anyone's standards!
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 28 Mar 2018, 08:47

A 2-minute video on the BBC site...
`Taking to the skies in an RAF Tornado' LINK
`For nearly 40 years, the supersonic Tornado attack bomber has been at the heart of the RAF’s operations, from the Cold War to current missions over Iraq and Syria. The jet is due to come out of service next year and as the RAF celebrates its centenary, the Today programme's Sarah Montague was taken for a flight by Wing Commander James Heeps.'

The full length video is here on YouTube: LINK

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 29 Mar 2018, 03:30

I heard Sarah talking about the flight and I've just watched the full length video..... Very good and I envy her the experience. I liked her reaction when he put the brakes on......
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 01 Apr 2018, 08:53

`The forgotten Scot who was the RAF's founding father' LINK
About Lt-Gen Sir David Henderson. Also a painting of a WW1 dogfight by `Prof Dugald Cameron, of Glasgow School of Art, an expert in Scottish aviation'.

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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Stanley » 02 Apr 2018, 03:35

:good:
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Re: Winged Heroes

Post by Tizer » 06 Apr 2018, 08:03

Airbus is building an even bigger cargo aircraft for ferrying its plane parts...
`Meet the gargantuan air freighter that looks like a whale' LINK

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