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Britain's Greatest Pilot - BBC 2 2100 1 June

A DH Hornet was featured taking a header on a deck landing!

That was the Short Sturgeon prototype and not a Sea Hornet

bbciplayershot.jpg
. Another obscure beast in the great man's logbook.
 

pongo6863

RIP
RIP

slick

LE
One of those extremely rare television programmes which had me on the edge of my seat listening to every word. As others have mentioned, I too could have watched at least another couple of hours about the chap. An extraordinary man with an extraordinary life.
 
V2 had a ballistic trajectory profile whereas the V1 flew an aerodynamic profile.

As the V1 Doodlebug had wings and flew basically flat then the pilots could tip the wings and upset the compass gyros and it would crash.The V2 was fired high,the rocket burnt out and fell as a dead weight onto the target,you couldn´t hear it coming let alone attempt to stop it.I doubt very much that a pilot however good or brave could stop a V2?

Still a great pilot though.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
The V2 was fired high,the rocket burnt out and fell as a dead weight onto the target,you couldn´t hear it coming let alone attempt to stop it.I doubt very much that a pilot however good or brave could stop a V2?

One or two fighter pilots over Holland had a pop at a V2 just after it was fired and on the way up. I don't think they hit any. As you say there was no practical defense once if it was on the way.

Both Bomber Command and the Americans threw a big tonnage of bombs at the storage sights and supply chain to restrict the launch rate.

Wordsmith
 

pongo6863

RIP
RIP
Simply put, a V1 was a crude, cruise missile whereas the V2 was ballistic missile.
 
Bloody hell. I texted a good friend last night, an old Phantom driver, to ask if he'd seen the documentary.

The reply was, "Went down to see Eric just last month. He only lives in <PLACE>."

Not too far from me - I pass where he lives every day.

I've volunteered to be a wingman if there's a next time.


If you do, could you ask him if we considered piggy-backing fighters on bombers to enable protection over Germany?. Given other developments it's not that silly an idea - even if some 'mothers' would carry fewer/no bombs.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
If you do, could you ask him if we considered piggy-backing fighters on bombers to enable protection over Germany?. Given other developments it's not that silly an idea - even if some 'mothers' would carry fewer/no bombs.

The Germans tried it.

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

It was impractical for the night offensive. The fighter could not carry AI (airborne radar) and would have had range and navigational difficulties. The best answer the UK came up with was a Serrate equipped Mosquito that homed in on German AI transmissions.

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

But Bomber Command only operated with impunity at night when the German defenses collapsed in the Winter of 1944. And even then the Luftwaffe occasionally inflicted heavy losses.

Wordsmith
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
One or two fighter pilots over Holland had a pop at a V2 just after it was fired and on the way up. I don't think they hit any. As you say there was no practical defense once if it was on the way.

Raymond Baxter , Spitfire pilot, rally driver and tv presenter was involved in one such chance sighting:

SOURCE (well worth a look for V2 history)

On February 14 (1945) , several R.A.F. Spitfire aircraft had just finished a bombing run over Wassenaar when a V2 was fired from the forest. One of the aircraft tried to attack the fast moving rocket, but was unable to hit the target from 600 meters.

R.A.F. pilot Raymond Baxter remembers

“…I read in my log book that we attacked a target just North above The Hague on 14 February 1945. I must have been in a very aggressive mood because I read in my logbook that after a dive attack of 6000 feet, I ordered the boys to return to attack the anti-aircraft defense, which was trying to make it difficult for us. After we dropped the bombs I saw to my surprise at a distance of 600 meters a V2 out of the forest, that we just had bombed, rising into the air, very slowly. Right in front of us. It was an incredible sight and it was so unexpected that I couldn't do anything about it. But my number three, a Scotchman called Cupid Love, responded very fast and shot at the V2 that was rising slowly. It must have been one of the most optimistic shots of the entire war. So far as I know this was the only time in history of the war that a dive-bomber attacked a rocket in the air. Fortunately, he didn’t hit the rocket. I say fortunately, because if he had hit the rocket, the war would have been ended for me quite abruptly.”


Every day a college day - I never knew Spits were configured for a fighter-bomber role over post D-Day Yurp.

 
Last edited:

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Raymond Baxter , Spitfire pilot, rally driver and tv presenter was involved in one such chance sighting:

SOURCE (well worth a look for V2 history)

On February 14 (1945) , several R.A.F. Spitfire aircraft had just finished a bombing run over Wassenaar when a V2 was fired from the forest. One of the aircraft tried to attack the fast moving rocket, but was unable to hit the target from 600 meters.

R.A.F. pilot Raymond Baxter remembers

“…I read in my log book that we attacked a target just North above The Hague on 14 February 1945. I must have been in a very aggressive mood because I read in my logbook that after a dive attack of 6000 feet, I ordered the boys to return to attack the anti-aircraft defense, which was trying to make it difficult for us. After we dropped the bombs I saw to my surprise at a distance of 600 meters a V2 out of the forest, that we just had bombed, rising into the air, very slowly. Right in front of us. It was an incredible sight and it was so unexpected that I couldn't do anything about it. But my number three, a Scotchman called Cupid Love, responded very fast and shot at the V2 that was rising slowly. It must have been one of the most optimistic shots of the entire war. So far as I know this was the only time in history of the war that a dive-bomber attacked a rocket in the air. Fortunately, he didn’t hit the rocket. I say fortunately, because if he had hit the rocket, the war would have been ended for me quite abruptly.”


Every day a college day - I never knew Spits were configured for a fighter-bomber role over post D-Day Yurp.


Here's one for you then, if you didn't already know it:

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/fea...ringing-beer-kegs-to-the-men-in-normandy.html
 
Simply put, a V1 was a crude, cruise missile whereas the V2 was ballistic missile.[/QUOTE

The Germans realised that Tempest and Spit pilots were "tipping" V1's and put a device on the wings of them to explode them should this happen .....we lost too many good pilots before this was realised.....also it was found that just putting the wing over the wing of the V1 would disrupt the airflow and cause it to roll to destruction, shooting them down with cannons was also fraught with danger as the debris field you flew through contained some large parts that could puncture rad's and such like , not to mention a lot of flame and fire.
As a lad I well remember the cowshed still having a row of holes in the roof caused by the cannon shells from a Spit as he shot down a V1 some 30 years after the event.
 

MightyGem

Old-Salt
There's a Podcast of his recent lecture to the Royal Aeronautical Society in the iTunes Store. Very good, just a shame the camera operator didn't pan across to the projector screen when he was talking about his slides.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Sad news this evening that he has passed away
 
RIP Captain EM Brown CBE DSC AFC RN

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air… .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr
 

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