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Air Power A place to discuss the implements of War in the Air!

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  #16  
Old 26 Jul 15, 02:25
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The 104 AKA The Lawn Dart!
Anyone flying a military fighter from 1945 to 1970 was pretty much a lab rat.
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  #17  
Old 27 Jul 15, 20:12
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Originally Posted by boomer400 View Post
Hi, PR, a couple more questions and I'll stop bothering you. One, you mentioned the pitchup problem a la Voodoo, did you happen to fly any other Century jets that you felt had particular handling issues? And two, of the Century jets, how many did you get fly and which of them would've been your preference in general to go to combat in? (as a fighter pilot, of course)
Well I only had a chance to fly the CF-104 and CF-101. All of the Century series jets were either designed as fighter/bombers or interceptors. As a result none of them really excelled as pure air superiority fighters. Based on what I have read, the F-100 was probably the best maneuvering of the series but it lacked thrust of the later aircraft.

Iíll end with a little ďwar storyĒ. We flew the CF-101 towards the end of test pilot school and by that time most of the class had time in the F-4. The normal takeoff procedure in the F-4 was to hold the stick full aft until the nose started to rotate and then relax the back pressure to get the proper takeoff attitude. Well one of the pilots in my class decided to do that with the CF-101. Unfortunately there are two issues with that approach. One is that the CF-101 had more powerful Pratt & Whitney J57-P-55 engines with afterburners which extended out of the fuselage by almost 8 ft. (compare the pics below). Secondly, when the tail of the CF-101 became effective it could really rotate the aircraft. As a result this intrepid pilot actually scrapped the afterburners on the runway on takeoff. Fortunately there was no major damage to the engines and I got my chance to fly the aircraft.





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  #18  
Old 22 Aug 15, 13:22
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Just heard on the car radio - A Hawker Hunter at the Shoreham Air Show just crashed onto a busy main road - 7 dead 15 injured
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  #19  
Old 22 Aug 15, 13:48
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Just heard on the car radio - A Hawker Hunter at the Shoreham Air Show just crashed onto a busy main road - 7 dead 15 injured
RIP to the dead, and hopefully a reasonable recovery chance for the injured. May all their loved ones, friends etc. also impacted by the tragedy find consolation and support.


I certainly remember when Hunters were widely used in the RAF. I heard two break the sound barrier in a shallow dive very close to the MQ I was living in at the time in Catterick Camp, circa 1953-4. The first time I ever heard the sonic boom, live.
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Old 22 Aug 15, 16:17
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Originally Posted by Wooden Wonder 2 View Post
RIP to the dead, and hopefully a reasonable recovery chance for the injured. May all their loved ones, friends etc. also impacted by the tragedy find consolation and support.


I certainly remember when Hunters were widely used in the RAF. I heard two break the sound barrier in a shallow dive very close to the MQ I was living in at the time in Catterick Camp, circa 1953-4. The first time I ever heard the sonic boom, live.
Neville Duke being the first man to go Mach 1 in a Hunter I believe. I first heard sonic booms in Preston it was English Electric flying the P! (fore runner of the Lightening ) in the Irish Sea (St George's Channel) at night so no one would notice - it used to wake me up.. P1 first European aircraft to go Mach 1+ in both level flight and climbing
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  #21  
Old 22 Aug 15, 16:35
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There is a classic photo of a P1 going vertically into a ploughed field with the pilot ejecting at the last minute and a tractor driver running for his life. That was close to my primary school and we got the afternoon off - we were all very grateful to the pilot (who survived) for getting us the time off but thinking back perhaps we should have been grateful for more than that.
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  #22  
Old 25 Aug 15, 06:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Neville Duke being the first man to go Mach 1 in a Hunter I believe. I first heard sonic booms in Preston it was English Electric flying the P! (fore runner of the Lightening ) in the Irish Sea (St George's Channel) at night so no one would notice - it used to wake me up.. P1 first European aircraft to go Mach 1+ in both level flight and climbing
The first aerobatic team I ever saw as a young schoolboy was "The Black Arrows ". This was an entire operational squadron- No 111 , "Treble One",who flew Hunter F6s painted black overall.

Unforgettable.
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  #23  
Old 25 Aug 15, 06:24
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Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
The first aerobatic team I ever saw as a young schoolboy was "The Black Arrows ". This was an entire operational squadron- No 111 , "Treble One",who flew Hunter F6s painted black overall.

Unforgettable.
Those were the days when most RAF F6 s still came in the old WW2 grey and green camo (sometimes referred to as "sand and sewage") although I think there was also a display flight in red and blue
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  #24  
Old 25 Aug 15, 13:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Neville Duke being the first man to go Mach 1 in a Hunter I believe. I first heard sonic booms in Preston it was English Electric flying the P! (fore runner of the Lightening ) in the Irish Sea (St George's Channel) at night so no one would notice - it used to wake me up.. P1 first European aircraft to go Mach 1+ in both level flight and climbing
The Lightning was the favourite aircraft of an ex-test pilot I knew who was a fellow member of the Bristol Aerospace Sea Angling Club. He had flown many types of 'Century' and contempory fast jets - including Soviet types. His biggest buzz was when allowed to 'let it go' - pity about lack of endurance and payload he would also reflect.

It gave me a buzz to see at the last Binbrook Airshow, the last [at very low level because of cloud] - 'Diamond Nine' performed, very tightly and with impressive precision. "Eat your hearts out Red Arrows" was the announcer's comment.

[ps. Have you read or listened to those intregueing accounts of USAF exchange pilot Captain William Schaffner who reported seeing while flying a Lightning off the Humber estuary, a 'strange' object uncomfortably close to him - the RAF radar tracking him had also picked up on the reported aircraft, and there was an exchange between Schaffner and the radar operator. The radar appeared to have recorded the two 'blips' merging, at a few thousand feet [4,000 ?] height, then go off the screen. The aircraft was later recovered with pilot gone and canopy in the closed position. -And guess what - the Ministry of Defence appear to have 'shredded' the records. It was recorded on the BBC news at the time, but since then there has been a bit of a 'black hole'. An elaborate hoax, UFO, or what? Very strange.]

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  #25  
Old 25 Aug 15, 13:18
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I was told by a Rolls Royce test pilot that the space in the Lightning cockpit was poor so that a tall pilot was in danger of loosing his knee caps on the edge of the instrument panel if he had to eject.
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  #26  
Old 25 Aug 15, 13:29
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
I was told by a Rolls Royce test pilot that the space in the Lightning cockpit was poor so that a tall pilot was in danger of loosing his knee caps on the edge of the instrument panel if he had to eject.
This guy I knew was under 6ft., so I reckon that wouldn't have been a personal issue. He loved the accelaration, "Like sh*t off a shovel", he once commented, "a real thoroughbred".
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Old 28 Aug 15, 18:12
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There is a classic photo of a P1 going vertically into a ploughed field with the pilot ejecting at the last minute and a tractor driver running for his life. That was close to my primary school and we got the afternoon off - we were all very grateful to the pilot (who survived) for getting us the time off but thinking back perhaps we should have been grateful for more than that.
I got that picture somewhere from years and years ago; my copy came, IIRC, out of Flight or Flying Review from way back when. Used to drag that one out to freak out my friends when I would explain how zero-zero worked. IIRC, though, the tractor driver was sitting on his beast looking over his shoulder at the Lightning. Pilot was just ejected with the canopy still in frame. Hell of a shot!
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Old 29 Aug 15, 18:09
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Here you go guys.

Quote:
"The story behind a famous photograph of an ejection from a Lightning. - The photograph opposite was taken by Jim Meads on 13 September 1962. It was published in newspapers all around the world at the time and, as it was so widely seen, it naturally caught the attention of manufacturer Martin-Baker.

At the time Jim lived next door to de Havilland test pilot Bob Sowray in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and on this day both of their wives had gone clothes shopping in London. Bob had mentioned that he was due to fly a Lightning that day, and later Jimís children asked if they could go to watch the flight. Although Jim was a photographer, he wouldnít usually take his camera on an outing like this. However, on this occasion he decided he would get a picture of his neighbour flying. The camera he took had just two exposures on it.

The spectators found a good vantage point close to the threshold of de Havillandís Hatfield airfield, and waited for the Lightning to return. As XG332 came in on final approach, at around 200ft high its nose pitched up and the pilot ejected. The Lightning had become uncontrollable after an engine fire had weakened a tailplane actuator.

Jim took one photo soon after the ejection, and as can be seen caught the pilot inverted with his parachute still unopened and the Lightning plummeting earthwards close to him. The tractor driver heard the bang of the ejection seat and is seen after quickly turning around to look at what was going on, no doubt very relieved he wasnít working further over in the field. Jimís one remaining picture recorded the subsequent plume of thick black smoke after the jet had crashed.

Fortunately the pilot survived after coming down in a greenhouse full of tomatoes. He suffered multiple breaks of his limbs and cuts from the shower of glass that rained down on him after going through the roof of the greenhouse. However, it hadnít been Bob Sowray at the controls; he had decided to let fellow test pilot George Aird carry out the flight.
LINK


During the early1970s, while stationed at RAF Lakenheath flying Phantoms, I got the opportunity for one flight in the Lightning at RAF Coltshall. This was of course a two seat version and unfortunately I donít remember the assigned squadron. The thing I remember most was the excellent handling qualities of the aircraft compared to the Phantom especially in pitch. A very shot legged aircraft, however, and it seemed like we were out of gas just after we got airborne. This led to the reputation that Coltshall had among our Lakenheath pilots as a great place to divert to when the weather was really nasty as the GCA lads there were outstanding in their craft. We assumed that was because the Lightnings were always short on fuel and couldnít make very many missed approaches.
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