Chieftain MBT - "Smokin'"

Just after the leaping heaps arrived in RAFG we had to start adding something called Santolene-C to the AVTAG. There was no blending equipment available so a highly sophisticated technical procedure was introduced. A 45 gallon drum was filled with AVTAG and a set amount of the Santolene-C was poured from its own container into a graduated Tupperware jug. This was then poured into the 45 gallon drum, the bung was tightened and then the drum was rolled back and forth for precisely ten minutes to ensure the two substances were thoroughly mixed.

The drum was then lifted onto a barrel stand. When a bowser required filling, the tanker was dipped to ascertain the ullage and the required quantity of the Santolene-C/AVTAG mix was calculated from a matrix and the determined amount was decanted from the 45 gallon drum into a graduated bucket. The contents were then poured through the top hatch of the bowser which was then filled.

This procedure was carried out every time a bowser need filling irrespective of whether tthe fuel was destined for a Harrier.





T'weren't AVTAG...........it was....cough ....AVPIN...cough...allegedly. It was all smiles until the kerfeckinbooom!!! moment. Two warrant officers had a hats on/heels together/no coffee interview the following morning with a future MRAF; it was his wife who "lit" the bonfire.
Santolene is a corrosion inhibitor used in small quantities. This from 1974 in my files:

Corrosion inhibitors

Would do the same job in pretty much everything.

AVPIN, talk about playing with fire! USed to start Lightnings and Canberras among others. Flammable, explosive, toxic and corrosive. Last place I saw it used was in Sea Dart and disappeared with the last of the missiles (early 2000s). There used to be a missile defuelly facility at Gosport which was made entirely from stanless steel.
 
I was West Mids, started in Coventry Fire Brigade.
Hi mate! :wave:
Used to deal with WMFS on the M6 a lot in the early 80s from Coleshill. Especially Bickenhill, Erdington and Sheldon , then meet up with the Foleshill crews when I was out of Nuneaton.
Latterly I was in Northants and used to send our recruits to Radford Road and then over to Smethwick when the Trg Centre moved. Happy Days !!
 
T'weren't AVTAG...........it was....cough ....AVPIN...cough...allegedly. It was all smiles until the kerfeckinbooom!!! moment. Two warrant officers had a hats on/heels together/no coffee interview the following morning with a future MRAF; it was his wife who "lit" the bonfire.
What exactly was the reason for the interview? Was it because they failed to get rid of said wife?;)
AVPIN a truly wonderful substance, fortunately I never came close to it. Assuming this bonfire business was in RAFG*, then the only people who used AVPIN were the Lightnings in Gütersloh where they were stationed until 77 ish.

* Many moons ago there appeared an article in Air Clues about the use and misuse of gash aviation fuel to initiate bonfires. That is how I got to learn of the self launching bonfire.
For the benefit of those who do not know about AVPIN, you haven't missed much. It's a mono fuel with very anti social properties, which is why is was kept in small quantities in a small brick building well away from everything else.
 
What exactly was the reason for the interview? Was it because they failed to get rid of said wife?;)...................
I should think Mrs Staish had a few sharp words with her husband after she had changed her undies.

Grown-up answer. I believe the word "Negligence" was involved - being a lowly SAC at the time I wasn't privvy to the exact details of the interview but our WO decided to accept the future MRAF's advice to retire early.

The WO Fireman - I believe he also decided to retire early - had asked for some waste fuel to "help" the bonfire get going and WO POL had chucked him the keys to the POL compound and told him to "help himself to whatever he needed". Unfortunately, the fireman picked up a 5 gallon drum of Avpin - it was a pristine, special-to-type container which was sealed and marked ready for our jets staging through Istres on their way to Deci - instead of some waste fuel/paint thinners which was in rusty old drums marked with a BFO red cross.

The following morning when yours truly and another guy went to get the Deci drum, we couldn't find it. By that time, questions were already being asked in high places as to who/what was responsible for the previous night's excitement, so when I told our WO about the missing drum of the good stuff, he went strangely quiet and phoned OC Supply saying something like "Sir, you will need to know........ I'm on my way, Sir". Things moved very quickly after that.
 
I'll tell you exactly what caused the leak! One of the fans disintegrated and the blades cut through pipes etc. This happened in BATUS about 80m from the dustbowl as we deployed out onto the prairie, circa 1982. I've got another pic somewhere of the comd Capt Andy Chapman (2i/c A Sqn 3RTR) holding one of the blades!
 
I'll tell you exactly what caused the leak! One of the fans disintegrated and the blades cut through pipes etc. This happened in BATUS about 80m from the dustbowl as we deployed out onto the prairie, circa 1982. I've got another pic somewhere of the comd Capt Andy Chapman (2i/c A Sqn 3RTR) holding one of the blades!
Hi Soprano
Good to hear from you mate!
Who'd have thought a Chieftain could have an aircraft jet type accident!!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Hi Soprano
Good to hear from you mate!
Who'd have thought a Chieftain could have an aircraft jet type accident!!
Agreed. I read this:

One of the fans disintegrated and the blades cut through pipes etc

And thought of this:

Crash of Avro Vulan XM610 over County Durham

Of which I missed the final seconds by seconds, seeing a pillar of smoke as I returned to my classroom, while all the incumbents stared open mouthed.
 
Agreed. I read this:

One of the fans disintegrated and the blades cut through pipes etc

And thought of this:

Crash of Avro Vulan XM610 over County Durham

Of which I missed the final seconds by seconds, seeing a pillar of smoke as I returned to my classroom, while all the incumbents stared open mouthed.
Hells teeth! At least with a tank it just stops and the crew get out. Anything with an aircraft is almost certainly death to the crew as a result.
 
when I started my long journey as an A mech, my first posting was 4 Field Workshops at Detmold , for my sins , after a few weeks settling in working in the Unit Repairs Section , They pushed me into the pack section
L60s major pain in the arse , main fault that was coming in (1971-2ish) was right hand fan drives shearing off they tried many bodges , many clutching at straws like , e.g. a one inch block of epoxy resin , with two 1/4 inch brass welding rods as re-inforcement (crap idea, must have been a tiffy or a junior officer who thought of that one ) problem was the very wide (4 inch? maybe three inch ) toothed , very strong drive belts (I think there had been a problem with 2 inch wide belts snapping on that side) there was no free wheel on that side fan , so when the engine was shut down all the shock of a heavy fan that wanted to keep turning and an engine that didn't , and the weak point would be the drive boss, which just sheared off... pack out , new engine , the next quick fix was to drill 4 1/4 inch holes across the width , effectively reducing it to a three inch belt , then we went to 4 inch multi v belts which allowed the fan to turn on a bit and stopping the sudden shock when stopping the engine which really seemed to cure this

Thing is , Chiefy was a really decent system , especially towards the end of its service life , at Bovvy we were trialing a CV 12 800 hp engine , which showed great promise , even had power assist steering, Vickers had a try as selling it (Middle East) as Chieftain 800/900 with a simulated Chobham turret but it arrived far too late , and then , we got Chally 1, which arrived with its own set of mechanical problems to overcome
I remember when we had to remove the fan belts and drill holes in them, I think they started arriving in the stores pre-drilled not long after.
 
I think that's about it.

Shah ordered Shir Iran (Lion of Persia) a few built, then heard about Chobham and changed the order. Shir Iran 2. Built, ready to ship, Ayatollah intervened. We detropicalised Shir Iran 2 ➡ Challenger 1.

All the Shir 1s went to Jordan and most of the CR1. One is called Khalid, the other is named the Hussain or similar for Abdullah's father.

I'm sure I read all this somewhere recently. Maybe a Light Dragoons journal. More likely Wikipedia.

Edit. Maybe here. Khalid (Sword) Main Battle Tank - United Kingdom

And here. Al-Hussein

Having followed the Al-Hussein link I saw the cost per tank as being over $1m each. I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere the government sold all the Chally 1's to Jordan for £1 each.
 
A small anecdotal tale here concerning a Trooper with the 15/19 KRH in Fallingbostel circa 73.

@AlienFTM will probs know more than me. He wasn`t with the Regiment at the time having joined the Regt in 75? in Omagh but folk lore never dies.

A certain trooper was on the ranges at Hohne and managed to get himself shot in the thigh/groin with the .50 ranging machine gun. His nickname was Horace because he resembled a comic character from the 60`s ish.

The story I heard was that the gun had a stoppage and instead of following his 1st/2nd etc IA drills, Horace decided to bypass all the rules and simply bash fook out of the gun resulting in an accidental discharge of the weapon.
I think he was the loader/operator in the tank so he would have been the nearest to the gun as it poked through the turret just in front of where they sat.

Now the fairy tale bit....

The round ricocheted around the turret and eventually lodged itself in his worthless body? Hmm..

Or, it was a glancing flesh wound and soldier on.
I believe there was a 15/19 guy got married to a really hideous thing to escape the block and when the regiment got posted from Fally he "forgot" to tell her the regiment was being posted and just left her in the MQ for the next regiment (17/21L) to deal with, she stayed in Fally and was employed in the Sgts Mess as a cleaner.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Hells teeth! At least with a tank it just stops and the crew get out. Anything with an aircraft is almost certainly death to the crew as a result.
Jinxed crew I reckon. As I recall, the pilot crashed another landing in Malta, and Jim Vinale (see text) was fostered on the designated bomber on Black Buck 1, but a 10p cockpit seal failed as they ascended, so they aborted and XM607 (note XM610, XM607) passed into legend.
 
I believe there was a 15/19 guy got married to a really hideous thing to escape the block and when the regiment got posted from Fally he "forgot" to tell her the regiment was being posted and just left her in the MQ for the next regiment (17/21L) to deal with, she stayed in Fally and was employed in the Sgts Mess as a cleaner.
That is hilarious,I really hope its a true story.
A chap in my old mob(support company'W',I think)was married to a real nightmare.He used to volunteer for guard so he could eat in the cookhouse.She went back to the emerald isle to see her folks,and he handed over the pad.Divorce followed.
Back to tanks.
 
I believe there was a 15/19 guy got married to a really hideous thing to escape the block and when the regiment got posted from Fally he "forgot" to tell her the regiment was being posted and just left her in the MQ for the next regiment (17/21L) to deal with, she stayed in Fally and was employed in the Sgts Mess as a cleaner.

That rings a distant bell. I was with the 15/19th and stayed in Fally when the boneheads took over.
The Army was feckin ace back then.
 
Fair enough. It throws light on the issue.

Personally I’d have though that a few Alvis Stawlarts with tanks on the back would sped things up.

But I suppose in an environment where you’re looking at 48 hours hard fighting in a defensive position and falling back rather than advancing Jerry cans may have been a slightly better approach for flexibility if not inefficient.
We certainly had Stallys with 'pods'. Bolt on, bolt off interchangeable system. Try replening a MBT with jerry cans, did it once, no thanks ...

Digression .. The fuel was kept in bags inside the fuel tanks. They would gather water around the outside and every so often we had to let the water out. One poor sod undid one where the bag had burst ... 300 gals of diesel, whoosh! All over the sod, we of course just pissed ourselves.
 
That rings a distant bell. I was with the 15/19th and stayed in Fally when the boneheads took over.
The Army was feckin ace back then.
Wasn't it! Squadron bars, booze on every exercise, beer in the ammo bins, cherry brandy for when on radio stag, squadron smokers at EndEx, cheap booze from the NAAFI and SQMS (notice the common point!!), barbecues in the block washrooms -naughty trips to naughty places ;) - aaah memories,
 
We certainly had Stallys with 'pods'. Bolt on, bolt off interchangeable system. Try replening a MBT with jerry cans, did it once, no thanks ...

Digression .. The fuel was kept in bags inside the fuel tanks. They would gather water around the outside and every so often we had to let the water out. One poor sod undid one where the bag had burst ... 300 gals of diesel, whoosh! All over the sod, we of course just pissed ourselves.
As I remember, going back over forty years now, the correct designation for the Alvis Stalwart was Truck, High Mobility Load Carrier (HMLC), 5 ton 6 x 6. I think we had six in our Tank Regiment, all of which were used to carry Jerricans in the field, but were notorious for poor braking. All were Mk 1s with single exhaust pipes, which were upgraded to Mk 2 status in the LAD by the simple addition of fitting twin exhaust pipes.

Whenever we were due for the annual Periodic REME Examination (PRE) by 6 Field Workshop, or whichever Workshop was nominated, we had to load the cargo bay completely with full Jerricans as this was the only way we could get them to pass the braking test. At least that is what our ASM told us, and he should have known. I can't remember, however, if the Jerricans were full of Benz or Water!
 
The Stollys used to come with 2 pods. The idea mounting it on Stalwarts was because in theory the cross-country capability of it could match a tracked vehicle charging across the Plains!
In theory i think the Stalwart matched the serviceability of the Chieftain more than anything.
I remember when the Stalwart was being phased out, the 5th Skins did a load of driver courses on it before they disappeared.

Few years later DERA (old QINETIQ) had the idea of a similar looking vehicle for resupply. I saw this at Longcross at the time it was being trailled but apart from the protoypes nothing came of it i dont think.

Funny enough, the same time on the test track, Mclaren were testing their new supercar which was yet to be released......the F1.
 
Warwick County Fire Brigade had them in their trucks and had no end of overheating and blow ups. After extensive investigation the problem was found to be... overheating. No end of cooling system upgrades cured it, the cause was down to the truck fitting did not have the direct airflow over the block that was present in the car installations.
I remember the trucks in the bottom garages at Nuneaton. Used for weddings etc in the 90's. What became of them?
 
They certainly did! I used to crew one at Coleshill Fire Station from 81-83 before I moved to Nuneaton Fire Station. They were Bedford TK built by HCB Angus. Massive 2250 lpm pump just for Kingsbury Oil Terminal (God forbid!) Cracking engine. I don't recall any serious problems with the engine but maybe as it was '81 they'd been sorted? Used to go like a bat out of hell down Packington Bank on the M6.

Anyway, back to thread...…...
I remember them in the bottom garages at Nuneaton in 90s, looked after by Tony and Alan Mol.
 

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