Most Beautiful Aircraft

The engine then had the misfortune to be put in the Seamew - the aircraft for which the line 'access to the cockpit is difficult: it should be made impossible' line was most probably written, because it was an utter b*****d to fly, and only the Shorts test pilot could manage it (until it killed him) - and when that was cancelled, there wasn't another aircraft for it. In Double Mamba form, of course, it powered the Fairey Gannet...
I just read Geoff Higg's book, where he mentioned the Sea mew - hence me posting the pic in 'ugly aircraft!'
"She was a little old lady with no vices. Sluggish and ponderous"
 
It’s a weird looking thing, inboard engines have 4 bladed props, outboard have 3. What was the thinking behind that. The tail looks a bit “French”

RP.
Don't know, trying to optomise the available engine power perhaps? I've seen pictures with four three bladed, two three and two four bladed and four four bladed props.
 
Spot the ISR expert at work...

The Mamba was once described as 'a good engine in search of a good aeroplane'; the Apollo was a cracking demonstration of the adage that a new engine shouldn't be chosen to power a brand new aircraft. Various teething troubles with the Mamba's high pressure stages led to it being down on power; redesigned it and created an engine which worked as planned, but the Apollo programme had gone west by that point. The engine then had the misfortune to be put in the Seamew - the aircraft for which the line 'access to the cockpit is difficult: it should be made impossible' line was most probably written, because it was an utter b*****d to fly, and only the Shorts test pilot could manage it (until it killed him) - and when that was cancelled, there wasn't another aircraft for it. In Double Mamba form, of course, it powered the Fairey Gannet...
Thanks for the info on the Mamba, appreciated.
 
I just read Geoff Higg's book, where he mentioned the Sea mew - hence me posting the pic in 'ugly aircraft!'
"She was a little old lady with no vices. Sluggish and ponderous"
I've always wondered about his assessment - the flight engineer, Maurice Rosemeyer (or Rose'Meyer in some sources) wasn't particularly complementary about it in his memoirs, saying that it became clear very quickly that the lateral stability wasn't good enough, and roll response was poor. After six months of sorting this out, they then had to try to sort out the longitudinal stability (another 4 months) and then the directional stability as a whole took another four months to sort out.

I suspect that by the time Geoff Higgs got his hands on it, the beast was deemed adequate for government work - they'd also realised that the exhaust vented into the bomb bay when the doors were open and could burn the observer's feet (no mention to the weapons...) - and the contention by Arthur Pearcy that only Wally Runciman could get the best out of it seems to be widely accepted. Runciman was killed in a Seamew MR2 at an air display - the nose dropped during a roll and he was unable to recover.
 
I've always wondered about his assessment - the flight engineer, Maurice Rosemeyer (or Rose'Meyer in some sources) wasn't particularly complementary about it in his memoirs, saying that it became clear very quickly that the lateral stability wasn't good enough, and roll response was poor. After six months of sorting this out, they then had to try to sort out the longitudinal stability (another 4 months) and then the directional stability as a whole took another four months to sort out.

I suspect that by the time Geoff Higgs got his hands on it, the beast was deemed adequate for government work - they'd also realised that the exhaust vented into the bomb bay when the doors were open and could burn the observer's feet (no mention to the weapons...) - and the contention by Arthur Pearcy that only Wally Runciman could get the best out of it seems to be widely accepted. Runciman was killed in a Seamew MR2 at an air display - the nose dropped during a roll and he was unable to recover.
One has to wonder who thought rolling a Seamew was a "good idea"...
 
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Question about the downward ejection seats. Would they operate with the same spine-crushing force as an upward operating seat or would it be more like a harsh shove to get them clear of the aircraft and then let gravity do the rest?.
 
Question about the downward ejection seats. Would they operate with the same spine-crushing force as an upward operating seat or would it be more like a harsh shove to get them clear of the aircraft and then let gravity do the rest?.
That's an excellent question and, tbh, I have no idea.

However, I would assume that the ejection was certainly less forceful than an upwards exit due to the danger of limbs flailing (even allowing for leg and arm restraints). Two of the B-52's 4 x WSOs still use (and early F-104s also had) downward bang seats.

Regards,
MM
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
Ok, I'm going to take incoming, but even as a small child, I had a thing for the 109. It was a vicious looking aircraft.
the 410 is a tasty looking machine as well.
 

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