Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Britain's Greatest Pilot - BBC 2 2100 1 June

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
The chap who worked on the V rocket wasn't a nasty war criminal so was given a job in America and worked on the space programme.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Pic 2 , Single engine roll ? did they sort the asymmetrical issues the Mossie had mainly on landing and take off with the Hornet ?

Yep, the engines were geared so that they turned in opposite directions:

The Hornet used "slimline" Rolls-Royce Merlin engines with engine ancillaries repositioned to minimise frontal area and drag. It was unusual for a British design in having propellers that rotated in opposite directions; the two engine crankshafts rotated the same direction, but the Merlin 131 added an idler gear to reverse its propellor's rotation (to clockwise, viewed from the front).[3] This cancelled the torque effect of two propellers turning in the same direction that had affected earlier designs (such as the Mosquito). [N 1] It also reduced adverse yaw caused by aileron trim corrections and generally provided more stable and predictable behaviour in flight. De Havilland tried props that rotated outward at the tops of their arcs (as in the P-38 Lightning),[6] but this configuration blanketed the fin and reduced rudder effectiveness at low speeds, compromising ground handling; on production Hornets the conventionally rotating Merlin 130 was on the port wing with the Merlin 131 on the starboard.[7]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Hornet

And according to Eric:

"My favourite piston engine (aircraft) is the de Havilland Hornet. For the simple reason it was over-powered. This is an unusual feature in an aircraft, you could do anything on one engine, almost, that you could do on two. It was a 'hot rod Mosquito' really, I always described it as like flying a Ferrari in the sky."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Brown_(pilot)
 
Always get a laugh watching the post-war test pilots jumping into the cockpit wearing a tweed suit. A very British disguise for men with balls of steel.
 

Rod924

LE
Kit Reviewer
Totally in awe of the wee winkle, but surely he should be KBE? And the attack strategies of hitting bombers 'head-on' and 'flipping V2 wings' is simply nails
 

PFGEN

GCM
Totally in awe of the wee winkle, but surely he should be KBE?

One would have thought so. Robbed me thinks. Post war Britain, various labour governments and resentment to spending any money on big aviation projects and to some extent defence may have played a role. But definitely in a league of his own compared to some of the self serving twunts that get knighted these days.
 
Totally in awe of the wee winkle, but surely he should be KBE? And the attack strategies of hitting bombers 'head-on' and 'flipping V2 wings' is simply nails

Couldn't agree more regarding the knighthood.

Head on attacks were first adopted en masse during WWII in the Battle of Britain and there's one particularly vivid description in Geoffrey Wellum's book 'First Light.' Later, the Luftwaffe adopted it as their primary tactic against USAAF formations. This led to gradually increasing forward firing weaponry on B-17s and B-24s.

V-1 'tipping' however was actually considerably safer than having the thing explode a few hundred yards in front of you!

Regards,
MM
 
Don't be stupid. Knighthoods are not for the likes of Eric Brown. I mean, apart from his exemplary war record, post-war service to the nation, multiple aviation firsts and world records, modesty and balls the size of watermelons, what's he actually done? No, knighthoods are reserved for businessmen who bung the party in power enough dosh, sleazy celebrities, public sector bosses who hang around long enough and don't **** up too much, athletes whose success can be manipulated to reflect on the government and politicians who haven't yet been caught thieving.
 
Don't be stupid. Knighthoods are not for the likes of Eric Brown. I mean, apart from his exemplary war record, post-war service to the nation, multiple aviation firsts and world records, modesty and balls the size of watermelons, what's he actually done? No, knighthoods are reserved for businessmen who bung the party in power enough dosh, sleazy celebrities, public sector bosses who hang around long enough and don't **** up too much, athletes whose success can be manipulated to reflect on the government and politicians who haven't yet been caught thieving.

You forgot starting a charidee preferably with a Royal as a patron and/or giving shyster politicians the advice wanted to shaft the bulk of the people working in your public service organization.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
The Sea Hornet didn't seem to get an actual mention unless I missed it, what I did see was a piece about the Mosquito which mysteriously morphed into a Sea Hornet so it could be struck down.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Tonight's story was only a fraction of what he's achieved in his life. He was one of the people who solved the problems associated with supersonic flight. Unfortunately sold out by the government of the time when the UK gave up on its lead in aviation and all our ideas were gifted to the US. I've heard him talk about it a couple of times and, well, its a topic best left alone.

My first job was with FG miles - the company that would have built the Miles M52.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_M.52

They used to have a wind tunnel model on display together with a letter from the Air Ministry instructing Miles to stop work on the project as no pilot would survive the stresses of going through the sound barrier.

I did feel the program missed a major opportunity to have him give his impressions of the comparisons between the different aircraft he flew - for example Spitfire compared to Me 109. They did seem to concentrate on easy viewing, rather than packing as much of his experiences as possible into the 60 minutes.

Wordsmith
 
I went to a lecture he gave. He actually flew the Me 163 a frightening aircraft. We were told we could ask questions, I asked "how many times did you fly the 163?

His answer in a strong Scottish accent, "Once was enough laddie!"

In his book Wings of the Luftwaffe he states that he never flew the Me163 powered, which was a bit confusing as in his other book "wings on my sleeve" he goes into great detail about using his authority as an RAE pilot to comandeer and fly the komet, and the actual flight itself, maybe he was still serving when he co authored the first book and was still worried he'd get in the sh1t for flying it. A very brave man indeed
 
My first job was with FG miles - the company that would have built the Miles M52.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_M.52

They used to have a wind tunnel model on display together with a letter from the Air Ministry instructing Miles to stop work on the project as no pilot would survive the stresses of going through the sound barrier.

I did feel the program missed a major opportunity to have him give his impressions of the comparisons between the different aircraft he flew - for example Spitfire compared to Me 109. They did seem to concentrate on easy viewing, rather than packing as much of his experiences as possible into the 60 minutes.

Wordsmith
I think there's only so much they could fit into an hour. He did mention that in his opinion, the ME262 was the finest aircraft of the war, but this is a man who flew virtually every military aircraft of the Second World War - you'd need half a dozen episodes for him to cover even the well known aircraft. But what a life - first flight at 10 years old sitting on his Dad's knee in the cockpit, witnessing Hitler congratulate Jesse Owens on his four gold medals at the 36 Olympics, active service in the FAA, one of only two survivors from his squadron following the torpedoing of his aircraft carrier, the first pilot to land a twin engined aircraft on a carrier, the first pilot to land a jet aircraft on a carrier, the most carrier landings by any pilot, the most aircraft types flown by any pilot. And he's from Edinburgh. What a legend.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Catch the bit about flipping V bombers over with a wing tip? That's some big balls.
I'd love to have seen him topple a Vulcan with a Tempest.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
I think there's only so much they could fit into an hour.

The interest in 'Winkle' Brown is justifiably due to his unrivaled experience in deck landings and test flying different types of aircraft. I did feel they could have substantially pruned back the part up to and including his sinking on Audacity. Up to that point his career is interesting but not greatly different from many other pilots. After that point his experiences become virtually unique. It would have been good to get more of that into the documentary.

He still seems extremely sharp mentally so I'm sure could have filled 45 - 50 minutes with anecdotes only he could tell...

Wordsmith
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
Bloke is an amateur, Topper used to do it in a Tiger Moth.
And Topper also came up with the whole aircraft carrier doctrine after he landed a Lancaster onto the Mary Rose that was floating in his navel whilst bathing.


He also invented free fall after he flew to close to the sun/
 

Subsunk

War Hero
Book Reviewer
You forgot starting a charidee preferably with a Royal as a patron and/or giving shyster politicians the advice wanted to shaft the bulk of the people working in your public service organization.

If Eric Brown didn't get one, that puts us lot in very good company. He fell foul of being a highly respected aviation professional at a time when the British aviation industry was seen as an embarrassment.

The best thing about guys like this is that there is always more to them - I never knew that he rode a 500cc motorbike in a wall of death aged 17. I'd call bulls### on this claim if it wasn't Eric Brown.
 

Latest Threads

Top