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This is where all the off topic discussion about aeroplanes should go

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ady23/12/2010 01:50:04
612 forum posts
50 photos
So here is a thread where all the off topic aviation discussion can go.
How can aviation be an off-topic?
While those that squeak the loudest are the most readily heard....there is a massive minority who are happy with things the way they are...
ady23/12/2010 01:55:06
612 forum posts
50 photos
I live in a place where the biggest squealers have managed to completely destroy my society.
 It's called Great Britain...or at least it used to be...
John Olsen23/12/2010 04:45:38
1240 forum posts
94 photos
1 articles
Hi Ady, There is at least one Sunderland left, but it is not in flyable condition at the moment, and would be a bit of a problem to get to the nearest suitable water. The Solent is of course a civilian version of the same aircraft, and I beleive I would be correct in saying that MOTAT is the only place in the world where you can see them both together. But MOTAT does not have any runway, or any easy access to the water for these flying boats, not does it have the sort of budget that would permit operating them. There is a big new display hangar going up which will mean that some of the collection that has had to live outside will be under cover soon. (There is more than I have mentioned in the existing display hangar, including a Lancaster and a Vampire...can't remember them all. )
So none of the collection is flyable as far as I know, and although I beleive they do try to restore to original condition, it is not likely that they would be able to transport the aircraft to a suitable location to fly. 
A glued wooden aircraft like the Mosquito is of course a special problem in itself, since both the glue and the wood is likely to deteriorate, especially the glues they had then. I gather that the French workers building the Fieseler Storch for the Germans used to assist this process by peeing in the glue when nobody was watching.
That -4.79 gs....I can just imagine hanging in the straps watching the G meter and making sure it sits on exactly 4.79 and not 4.8!
Howard Jones23/12/2010 05:01:26
70 forum posts
112 photos
john you echo a very common fear but it is a misplaced fear.
the -4.79g you mention is not the failure limit it is the normal operational limit to prevent damage. if the aircraft you mention has a margin of safety of 150% then the structure could be expected to break around -7.2g not -4.79g.
dont be perturbed though. aviation is a specialist engineering environment and many of the fundamental concepts are incorrectly understood by the man in the street.
dont be ofended either. the disciplines of aeronautical engineering are a fascinating study that not many venture into.
John Olsen23/12/2010 08:25:38
1240 forum posts
94 photos
1 articles
Well yes, but margins of safety are because we don't have perfect knowledge of the actual forces or of the ultimate tensile strength of the particular piece of metal.
But what I was mostly poking at is the specification of the limit to 3 significant figures. Practically we don't actually know the structural limits to that degree of precision, if we make a number of samples and test them all to destruction we will find a reasonable spread of actual failure loads. I have seen a range of more than a few percent with simple samples, let alone with complex riveted structures. Then also I doubt if the pilot has the degree of precision of control to enable him to work to that accuracy. So it is meaningless to specify three digits of accuracy.
Ian S C23/12/2010 11:37:52
7468 forum posts
230 photos
   ady, I went to the Wiki site about the Mosquito, found one mistake, it said the RNZAF got 4 aircraft, we actually got 89. eight ex RAAF T-III's, then 80 ex RAF FB_VI's.  The RNZAF flew them out from Britain in 1947/48, four were lost on the ferry flight, and some through falts took a number of months on the trip. Seven were lost in NZ in accidents. Only 22 were put in service, the rest were stored. Number 89 was an Aussie FB40 that was damaged in a landing accident at Ohakea in 1946, the RNZAF repairedit , the Aussies' did'nt want it so the RNZAF bought it for 50 pounds, It was a FB40 converted to a photographic survey aircraft, and of no use so it was scrapped in 1949. there are remains around the country.  Ian S C
   NZ2301-2306,  NZ2320-2396; plus four lost during delivery. In service 1946-1952  
Ian Abbott23/12/2010 17:57:53
279 forum posts
21 photos
I grew up living under the approach flight path to the Rolls Royce test airfield at Hucknall, just outside Nottingham;  that's the place where the Vulcan cartwheeled in during an airshow in the sixties.
Everything flew overhead, saw a lot of the office runabout, the Griphon Spitfire, can't remember which mark, around XVI perhaps, which I think they are still flying.   The Vulcan with a Concord (yes, Concord, that was before the French whined until it became Concorde) engine strapped under one side was impressive.
 The air displays there were always the best, imagine flights for five bob in a Dragon Rapide.  Spitfires beating the airfield up, before the elfins deemed it unsafe for the aeroplanes to fly low at the crowd.  Yeah, I know people got roasted, but that just ads to the thrill.  My kids were brought up blowing holes in the garden with home made explosive, fortunately, we were living out in the wilds on Canada with no neighbours by that time.  The twin Merlins in a Mosquito banking hard in a climbing turn can turn my legs to jelly......
I remember seeing the Princess flying boats when we caught the paddle steamer to Ryde, for holidays in the IoW.   Not many paddle steamers now either.
Speaking of Canada, the quickest way around the West Coast when we lived there, is by air, usually in the old DeHaviland Beavers, none of which is less than fifty years old, but boy what a way to travel.  Float planes with a massive radial strapped to the front are a major rush.
I leaned to fly in the late sixties, then I married my first wife, but that's another story, along with the convertible.  I made up for it by traveling by air and building model aircraft whenever I could.  Can't think of one build that didn't end up in a pile of balsa strewn across a field.  I do still have a package of "Whitewings" paper aircraft on standby in case I need a fix anytime, though kites do act as a sort of Methadone when necessary.
Well, now I need to go and look at a few pictures to slow my pulse down a bit.
Ian Abbott23/12/2010 18:48:10
279 forum posts
21 photos
Just watched the Duxford clip.  The hairs are still standing up on my neck.....
Reminds me, I was flying over Lincolnshire with an RAF instructor one day and we spotted a lot of camouflaged aircraft standing on an unused airfield so we went down to have a look.
My friend in the uniform talked his way past the rent-a-dog, who told us that the collection was (at that time) every flying Spitfire, Hurricane and Me 109 in the world, all wearing the "make up" from the film "Battle of Britain".  We had a great hour or so messing around with priceless machinery.
One problem was that the grass field was waterlogged.... we just made it over the trees at the perimeter.
'Course, that was the one day that I didn't take a camera. 
KWIL23/12/2010 19:06:40
3549 forum posts
70 photos
Neil, If you had worked your butt off as we did for TRS2, you would have been weepy too when it went.
ady23/12/2010 19:54:54
612 forum posts
50 photos
Speaking of low flying, it doesn't get much lower than this...
Richard Marks23/12/2010 21:33:59
211 forum posts
8 photos
Back in 1967-8 my colleague and I were driving along an A road near Radlett aerodrome in an austin morris J2 van on a summers day with the sliding doors open and not a seat belt in sight when this b----y loud noise deafened us, looking up we saw the underside of what we thought was a Vulcan Bomber and then the van was thrown in to the other carriageway by the exhaust, you couldn't see the runway as it had a big fence all around,
I also remember when we were erecting an aerial on a house close to Bovingdon aerodrome, we were both on the roof when we looked up to where a Spitfire was shooting down a Heinkel , this was when they were filming The Battle of Britian and if you want loud just stand within half a mile of an F111 as it takes off, saw this in north devon at an air show in 1989.
ady23/12/2010 23:25:47
612 forum posts
50 photos
There's a one hour tsr2 series on yootube, very interesting.
Apparently the one time it went supersonic it only lit up one engine, and the english electric lightning accompanying the TSR still couldn't keep up with both engines lit.

Ramon Wilson23/12/2010 23:32:32
1283 forum posts
367 photos
All this nostalgia is quite infectious.
A lifetime of peripheral interest in full size aviation as opposed to the modelling obsession has left quite a few significant points in time - a sample then ......
The earliest was having a photo taken aged 12 sitting in a Meteor at an airshow at Horsham St Faiths and seeing control line model aircraft with engines there too for the first time - I was hooked
Most unnerving - five years later in the army and my first flight in a Handley Page Hastings and catching a glimpse of the ground crew doing checks as we emplaned moving the tail plane tip (not the elevator) through a vertical movement . Then, ten days or so later leaving it at 800ft for the first time too! Watching the Hawker P1127, prototype Harrier give a display to military chiefs during that training was special too.
Most memorable was watching an English Electric Lightning at a 'Burma Star Association' day in the late sixties. A really hot day with a very low heat haze. I was actually about to leave and sitting on the double decker bus used as car park transport when it was stopped just before crossing the runway - this was not a military airfield but one left over from US bomber bases. A police car was just in front of us and  the driver must have been in gear with his foot on the clutch. From nowhere the Lightning came past at what seemed zero feet - the pressure wave really rocking the bus and the police car leaping forward into a large stone block. Leaping off the bus to see more I can remember the policemen standing looking at the damage like a scene from Last of the Summer wine and hearing the commentator on the tannoy saying that due to the haze the pilot would have to do a low level display which he certainly then did. What sticks in my mind was on his last return pass I was left with no illusion I'm sure that as he pulled back and put his aircraft in a vertical climb to disappear the aircraft was still moving right to left but now in a vertical position before the thrust took over - the surface of the concrete cracking and spitting as the heat hit it . This was literally just yards away - 200 hundred at most. Absolutely deafening and body shaking in the extreme - never seen anything thing like that since - ever.
Most pleasurable was many years later flying from Angola to Cabinda in a Cessna Sky -Lane ? - the twin boom and twin push-pull engined aircraft. Three of us were on board and I was next to the pilot. After settling into the flight he casually asked if I'd like to have a go. Well would you refuse an opportunity like that. It wasn't for long but what a thrill.
Like many others contributing to this thread or just enjoying reading it I'm sure you have many more tales to relate - I know I do 
What a good idea of John Olsen - light relief all round - well done John
Kind Regards - Ramon
Ian S C24/12/2010 02:29:59
7468 forum posts
230 photos
    Ramon, the Cessna was a 337 Skymaster.
    My first flight was in an RNZAF C-3 Hastings, although only 16 at the time,I was impressed by the rearward facing seating.
     John the Solent was a civilian version of the Seaford, a Hercules powered sucsessor to the Sunderland.
     The Sunderland was one of the reasons I joined the RNZAF, apart from the fact that I was unable to complete my training because my health let me down, the Sunderlands were on their way out at the time I would have been qualified as a flight engineer.  Another of our second hand ex RAF aircraft.  Ian S C
Sam Stones24/12/2010 04:14:49
867 forum posts
323 photos

I echo Ramon’s closing remarks too. Well done Mr Olsen.

Two years in the RAF as a ground wireless mechanic brought me many interesting experiences. But first :-

Hi Len,

That clip (the guy losing a wing) was doing the rounds a few months ago, and a friend in my email circuit suggested it was a model. I don’t believe that myself, but would there really be enough lift from the fuselage, or was it mainly engine grunt?

Geoff Theasby's mention of the Shackleton. In Cyprus mid 50's, the RAF used them for coastal patrol. The three hour round trip at 1000' was most pleasant for invited (RAF) guests, as were the fifteen minutes lying full length on the slotted mattress with one’s head and shoulders poking out through the rear tail blister. Hardly surprising to see the aircrew smiling to each other. Don’t ask!!!

Around about the same time, I had the pleasure of being flown to Aden in an RAF Hastings. In those aircraft, it was a two day trip with an overnight stop in hot, sticky, sweaty Bahrain, where a broken-down Pepsi Cola machine could only deliver tepid drinks. The return flight was in a DC3. Speaking of noise, there was hardly any damping in the fuselage of either aircraft.

Under canvas alongside the east/west runway of RAF Nicosia, perhaps the most impressive experience was having fourteen Bristol Beverlies arrive overnight. Then to watch them take off a few days later with virtually no load. They climbed looking more like fighter aircraft but rather slower. Just sort of hanging there.

From this same vantage point we could see aircraft like the Canberra, the Hunter, the Venom, the Meteor, the Gannet (I saw one land on its bomb-doors when the nose-wheel failed to lock down). Then we had the Comet, the Britannia, the Viscount, and other commercial aircraft coming and going. There was even a mock dog-fight between two Hunters and three Venoms. The tighter turning circle of the Venoms allowed them to get in behind the Hunters.

Here’s part of an email from an engineering friend who lived in the same Lancashire town in which I grew up.
He wrote :- 

While at De-Havs at Hatfield I worked in the vibration section for a period and was involved in the testing and research to find the problems that brought and virtually killed off the Comet 1 and 2. We had a duplicate Comet fuselage in a water tank and carried out similar tests to those at the British Aircraft establishment at Farnborough. The Comet 4 airframe is still in service and known as the Nimrod and looks awesome and very menacing. It can now defend itself for it carries a formidable range of weaponry. The Americans were given all the reasons and the data surrounding the metal fatigue problems. Without that info their 707 would have suffered the same fate.

The stress of test flying began to take its toll which resulted in leaving De-Havilland’s to return home to a place I vowed never to visit or live in again. I began to have nightmares and cold sweats that left me in the morning rather exhausted.

The final incident was taking off from Hatfield in our Comet on a lovely summers day. The ground crew always stood at the departure point to wave us on our way. We received take off clearance and with all engines at full power set off down the runway. The first smell of trouble was the pilot saying to the co pilot "is that an aircraft coming into land" The pilot then politely requested a little more forcefully that the control tower should get that F@#$# aircraft out of the way. The tower did not respond.

I thought it rather odd to see all our ground grew running as though in a hurry. My next reflection was how green the grass looked and then with barely enough flying speed the shuddering Comet virtually standing on its wing, 90 degrees to the ground roared across the airfield and over the boundary fence terrifying all the residence and the draughtsmen on the second floor of their building as it passed by.

And that was the end of my brush with fame and I realised at that moment that I was not made of "the right stuff"

He ended his email to me with this comment

"It was however a chance to get drunk and tell extravagant tales."

However, the warmest feeling I have for an aircraft was c1942, and being buzzed by a Spitfire. I was standing on the flat roof of an air-raid shelter, which happened to be one of those places kids could climb onto. The experience lasted about three seconds as it zipped over our heads. I still have an image of the structural detail underneath. From my child’s eye, I’d guess he was less than 100'.

This is a wonderful age we live in, and this seems the right time of the year to reflect.

Compliments of the Season to you all,


Edited By Sam Stones on 24/12/2010 04:21:45

Ian S C24/12/2010 11:05:19
7468 forum posts
230 photos
I can remember as a kid, dad telling of how he was one of the wireless mechanics that fitted ASV radar that they had designed,and built to a Vickers Vilderbeeste. By 1941 these were large, ancient biplane, with either a 660hp, Pegasus, or 825hp Perseus engine,these aircraft along with the similar Vincents were our coastal defence until the arrival of the Lockheed Hudsons. Toward the end of their opperational life they were restricted to no more than gliding distance from the coast. Ian S C
Stub Mandrel24/12/2010 19:34:08
4315 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles
The Lightning ... compare its performance figures with some modern fighter planes and be surprised!
Andrew Johnston24/12/2010 20:28:13
6574 forum posts
701 photos
Being a pedant (who me?) the Lightning was designed as an interceptor, not a fighter. I agree that it's performance is incredible, even now. It was designed for speed, acceleration and minimum time to height. On the downside it's endurance was dreadful.
I've sat in a Lightning (at ETPS) but the b*ggers wouldn't let me fly it; spoilsports. They wouldn't let me fly the MRCA (forerunner to the Tornado) either, even though I was working on it.
When I was a kid I used to visit RAE Bedford regularly for their 'families' days. One of the aircraft there in the early 60's was the SB5, built to test the low speed performance of the radical sweptback wing arrangement of the Lightning, and whether a high or low tailplane was best.
Andrew Johnston24/12/2010 23:22:13
6574 forum posts
701 photos

To elaborate on some of the previous comments in this thread here is a short note on glues for wooden aircraft.

Early wooden gliders were built using casein glue, based on the protein found in milk. There have been some problems with glue failures in early gliders built with casein glue, in the UK, but other, similar, gliders are completely unaffected. This appears to be related to the susceptibility of casein glue to dampness and micro-organisms.

I believe that the early Mosquitos were built using casein glue. After a number of unexplained structural failures in the tropics it was found that casein glue was unsatisfactory for use in hot, high humidity environments. Hence a synthetic replacement was identified. This was based on urea formaldehyde. The great advantage was resistance to micro-organism attack and the ability to withstand water. Later Mosquitos were built using these urea formaldehyde glues. Further developments include resorcinol resin glues which have high dry and wet strength, and high temperature resistance.

Both urea formaldehyde and resorcinol resin glues are currently available for use as aircraft glues. The most common urea formaldehyde glue is Aerolite 306, and the most common resorcinol resin glue is Aerodux 500.

Aerolite is a whitish powder that is mixed with water to form a paste before use. This is applied to one side of the joint and a liquid hardener (usually formic acid) is applied to the other side of the joint. When the parts are brought together the chemical setting reaction begins.

Aerodux consists of a dark reddish-brown resin and a liquid hardener. In use the two parts are mixed together and applied to both of the parts to be joined. Like araldite the setting reaction starts as soon as the two parts are mixed.

Over the years I’ve used both Aerolite and Aerodux for glider and light aircraft repair and rebuilds. Generally I prefer Aerodux, as it has a longer working time and, since both sides of the joint are spread with the same mixture, there is less uncertainty about coverage.



ady25/12/2010 01:55:50
612 forum posts
50 photos
Solar plane stays aloft for 336 hours.
Maybe one day satellites will become obsolete as UAV technology progresses.
A sat launch costs 50 million plus and is usually 100 million plus for the orbiting hardware, plus any repairs are a bit awkward once it's up there...

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