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Most Beautiful Aircraft

Aircrew detachment japes on Tornado F3, downwind over the peri track, reef it round upwind centred on the runway shortest landing to stop wins the beers. Loud and bloody annoying disturbing a midday snooze, I remember yelling crash ya bastard! Then heard pop, bang-bang and parachutes descending.
Pilot pre armed the lift dump which activated once weight on wheels. Unfortunately he popped the lift dump and bounced the aircraft at which point it ceased flying and became a very expensive ballistic lump. Ended up carreering off into the Bondu so they decided to bang out.
The pilot spent the evening drinking with us on the Armourers detachment piss up until dark O'Clock. Then he had an interview without coffee with the Station Commander at 9:00 am with a hangover from hell.
For the life of me I can't work out why that post reminded me of this:

 
Got a photo? It just seems incredulous.
Nope, as I said, they never really flew with them. It was a proposal more than anything. Much the same as the shots of Kuwaiti jets with the JL-100 Matra Fueltank/rocket pod. See here if you know anything about the poster "Orac"on the site

Lightning: internal weapons? - PPRuNe Forums

Thing is, even the outboard pylon bombs/rocket pod was very rare in use. Once the spams flogged KSA the F-5 the Lightning tended to get used for what it was best at.

There was a photie on the Flight archive but can't find it.
 
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Pilots loved them too.

Only at first when “jet” was the thing. It wasn’t called the “meatbox“ for nothing. Huge losses, mainly IIRC due to shite assimetric performanc, an engine failure on takeoff or approach was almost fatal.

From Wiki:

“A total of 890 Meteors were lost in RAF service (145 of these crashes occurring in 1953 alone), resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Contributory factors in the number of crashes were the poor brakes, failure of the landing gear, the high fuel consumption and consequent short flight endurance (less than one hour) causing pilots to run out of fuel, and difficult handling with one engine out due to the widely set engines. The casualty rate was exacerbated by the lack of ejection seats in early series Meteors;[99] the ground-breaking high speed that the aircraft was capable of meant that while baling out pilots were typically subject to high g forces hindering movement and the effect of slipstream winds; there was also a greater likelihood of the pilot striking the horizontal tailplane.[100]Ejection seats were fitted in the later F.8, FR.9, PR.10 and some experimental Meteors.[101][102][Note 10] The difficulty of baling out of the Meteor had been noted by pilots during development, reporting several contributing design factors such as the limited size and relative position of the cockpit to the rest of the aircraft, and difficulty in using the two-lever jettisonable hood mechanism.”
 

FHA

LE
Aircrew detachment japes on Tornado F3, downwind over the peri track, reef it round upwind centred on the runway shortest landing to stop wins the beers. Loud and bloody annoying disturbing a midday snooze, I remember yelling crash ya bastard! Then heard pop, bang-bang and parachutes descending.
Pilot pre armed the lift dump which activated once weight on wheels. Unfortunately he popped the lift dump and bounced the aircraft at which point it ceased flying and became a very expensive ballistic lump. Ended up carreering off into the Bondu so they decided to bang out.
The pilot spent the evening drinking with us on the Armourers detachment piss up until dark O'Clock. Then he had an interview without coffee with the Station Commander at 9:00 am with a hangover from hell.


I think we were the APC that followed you.
(a certain East Anglian F4M squadron.)
The F3 incident had already made legendary status.
Pretty sure there was some mods incorporated by the time I done my GR1 course later. Modded timers in the reversers’ logic circuits would do it.
Two of our young aircrew on that det died in an F3 on APC, about five years later.
Anyway, I digress....


Sent from my iPhone
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
Gloster Meteor. Like a sleeker, jet-powered Mosquito. Highly effective fast fighter. Pilots loved them too.
Pilots didn't love them.

They had WW2 cockpit design with some of the essential dials (fuel gauges for instance) down by the pilot's knee. The cockpit has been (rightly IMHO) described as an "ergonomic slum".

Engine out handling was dire and killed a goodly number of pilots. If an engine packed in suddenly then you could end up in a flat spin which was virtually unrecoverable below 20,000 feet. The engines were slow to spool up and the handling at Mach 0.80 was frightening (severe buffet, aileron reversal etc).

There were high stick forces at high speed and also yaw instabilities. The cockpit wasn't pressurised so pilots ended up with hot top half and freezing lower half. During the spped record attempts one of the pilots almost ended up going into the sea at 600mph due to control issues.

By the time of the Korean war the Meteor was obsolete and would have been well outperformed by MiG 15 and F-86.

I suggest reading Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World by James Hamilton-Paterson.

The Meteor just happened to be faster than any piston engined aircraft and had decent handling within prescribed limits.
 
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Ah! . . . my mistake . . . :( .

View attachment 513759

View attachment 513761
SEPECAT Jaguar - Wikiwand

As an Air Cadet I did an annual camp to Coltishall where the Jags from 41 Sqn (second pic) were based.
One day there was a visit by someone Very Important and one of them was jazzed up to impress, including the overwing AAM.

You could see the confusion and hesitancy in the guys fitting the missile so I’m assuming it wasn’t a regular thing to carry.


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If you mean what I’ve zoomed into I think it is the ‘cover’ from the undercarriage which hasn’t quite closed yet at the moment the photo was taken.

This would also match what another commentator has said about the photo.

It’s random questions like this that lead to brilliant, informative and fun bits of thread drift - once again demonstrating that there has only ever been one stupid question.



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There were designed-in problems with the Meteor too. I read somewhere that the undercarriage deployed one main wheel slightly before the other, meaning that it hit the slipstream in a way that put a sudden yaw on the a/c. Given that this usually happened during the final phase of the approach at slow speed and close to the ground, it caught a number of unsuspecting pilots out big style.
I'll see if I can find the reference.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
There were designed-in problems with the Meteor too. I read somewhere that the undercarriage deployed one main wheel slightly before the other, meaning that it hit the slipstream in a way that put a sudden yaw on the a/c. Given that this usually happened during the final phase of the approach at slow speed and close to the ground, it caught a number of unsuspecting pilots out big style.
I'll see if I can find the reference.
Same book, Empire of the Clouds

Several pilots did indeed get killed and injured by this "design feature".
 

tiv

LE
If I understand what is being referred to it's simply a detachable panel in a different finish to the rest of the aircraft, a common sight towards the end of it's lifetime where bits were swapped around.

Lightning Panel.jpg
 
Same book, Empire of the Clouds

Several pilots did indeed get killed and injured by this "design feature".
Well, there you go! Good to know the old cranial hard drive hasn't stopped spinning.

Yet.

:)
 
There were designed-in problems with the Meteor too. I read somewhere that the undercarriage deployed one main wheel slightly before the other, meaning that it hit the slipstream in a way that put a sudden yaw on the a/c. Given that this usually happened during the final phase of the approach at slow speed and close to the ground, it caught a number of unsuspecting pilots out big style.
I'll see if I can find the reference.
I did mention that in a thread last year.
i was told about that nasty little trait by a bloke who converted onto them at Weston Zoyland.
Whilst he was there they lost 3 pilots in one night when they ran out of fuel before getting down . Eek.
 

HCL

Old-Salt
I did mention that in a thread last year.
i was told about that nasty little trait by a bloke who converted onto them at Weston Zoyland.
Whilst he was there they lost 3 pilots in one night when they ran out of fuel before getting down . Eek.

Puts the Germans' problems with the Starfighter into the shade with losing nearly 900.
 

Wooden Wonder

War Hero
Only at first when “jet” was the thing. It wasn’t called the “meatbox“ for nothing. Huge losses, mainly IIRC due to shite assimetric performanc, an engine failure on takeoff or approach was almost fatal.

From Wiki:

“A total of 890 Meteors were lost in RAF service (145 of these crashes occurring in 1953 alone), resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Contributory factors in the number of crashes were the poor brakes, failure of the landing gear, the high fuel consumption and consequent short flight endurance (less than one hour) causing pilots to run out of fuel, and difficult handling with one engine out due to the widely set engines. The casualty rate was exacerbated by the lack of ejection seats in early series Meteors;[99] the ground-breaking high speed that the aircraft was capable of meant that while baling out pilots were typically subject to high g forces hindering movement and the effect of slipstream winds; there was also a greater likelihood of the pilot striking the horizontal tailplane.[100]Ejection seats were fitted in the later F.8, FR.9, PR.10 and some experimental Meteors.[101][102][Note 10] The difficulty of baling out of the Meteor had been noted by pilots during development, reporting several contributing design factors such as the limited size and relative position of the cockpit to the rest of the aircraft, and difficulty in using the two-lever jettisonable hood mechanism.”
The Old Man loved flying the Meteor - ‘Queen of the skies’ - and he flew various marques of Vampire, Venom, Mosquito and Hornet. He says the F8 was the nicest plane to fly, despite his favourite being the Hornet. He was lucky, and/or incredibly skilled, in that he flew these beasts from ‘52 to ‘64 without a single incident, whilst several of his colleagues met with a sad ending.
 
Whilst he was there they lost 3 pilots in one night when they ran out of fuel before getting down . Eek.
I think it was more than 3. If we're talking about the same incident I understand it was an OCU and the entire course was night flying, but very few of them had been taught to fly on instruments (and, as previously mentioned, the instrument panel was an ergonomic nightmare). Sure enough the cloud base was much lower than forecast and most of them flew into cloud and became disorientated, subsequently losing control and crashing. I think it was the RAF's worst peacetime loss in once incident.

However, I was told this by an old RAF Lightning pilot, so it's only anecdotal.
 
No I know about that one, this was nav ex that used fuel past bingo and all 3 crashed in the circuit I think.
Richards telling of the U/C gremlin was.
The undercarriage hydraulic circuit would occasionally fob the oil, introducing air. The system would self purge this when cycled but the leg with the compressible air in would be lazy in unlocking.
Prior to the meteor pilots were taught glide approaches before power tomfoolery. The meteor with its slow spooling up derwents needed a newish skill, lots of power all the way down finals ( relatively speaking) and drag from the flaps and U/C to get the shallow decent.
The grim reaper would put in an appearance in the following circumstances.
Dark night no horizon.
Finals at 300 ish , a little high so full flaps selected on about 35% power
pilot selects U/C down, eye not on the slip ball.
Port leg unlocks first and is well on the way down before stbd starts its journey.
Ac smoothly yaws to port.( at this stage the pilot has his only chance to retrieve the situation with an instantaneous but positive tread on the ball to stop and then reverse the yaw)
If he didn't the turbulent airflow off the port flaps rolled over the rear fuselage which was starting to blank half the elevator anyway, and caused a huge loss of elevator downforce.
The rapid nose down combined with the yaw caused a roll to port which with power on morphed into a spiral dive ( a subject on its own to study). Which on finals could only have one outcome.
 
I think it was more than 3. If we're talking about the same incident I understand it was an OCU and the entire course was night flying, but very few of them had been taught to fly on instruments (and, as previously mentioned, the instrument panel was an ergonomic nightmare). Sure enough the cloud base was much lower than forecast and most of them flew into cloud and became disorientated, subsequently losing control and crashing. I think it was the RAF's worst peacetime loss in once incident.

However, I was told this by an old RAF Lightning pilot, so it's only anecdotal.
There have been a couple of threads on pprune about it. One has 4, this "at least" 3

Meteor Accident Statistics - PPRuNe Forums
 
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Published by: David Behrens, The YORKSHIRE POST, on Wednesday 21 October 2020.

Take-off for appeal to finally bring Vulcan bomber out of the cold.

They were the vital component of Britain’s nuclear deterrent during the Cold War, and the manifestation of a brief but remarkable period of post-war innovation that made British aviation technology the envy of the world.

The RAF’s delta-winged Vulcan bombers have not been flown in anger since the Falklands War of nearly 40 years ago. But in Doncaster, one final challenge awaits the last of the line.

Some five years after it flew for the last time, The Spirit of Great Britain has become once more the centre of attention with the launch of Operation Safeguard, a campaign to give it a permanent home in a hangar that will be open to all. Volunteers and enthusiasts are hoping to raise £4m to build a visitor centre around the aircraft – officially XH558 – to preserve its legacy as the last of the Vulcans in military service and the last to have been airworthy. The charity behind the initiative is the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which in 2007 gave the plane a new, eight-year lease of life at public events and air displays. It is unlikely ever to fly again but since its retirement the organisation has maintained it in taxiable condition at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

However it will announce today that it is negotiating a mortgage of up to £2.4m towards the cost of a new hangar. A public fundraising campaign, corporate donations and sponsorship will aim to raise the remaining £1.6m. Dr Robert Pleming, an aviation enthusiast who leads the charity, said the installation of XH558 as a visitor attraction would make the airport “a destination in its own right”, rather than just a terminus from which to arrive and depart. He said: “From the earliest days of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust’s work, the charity has always had two guiding principles, to honour those who served us in the past and to inspire future generations to make meaningful change in the world.”

The permanent hangar would not only give XH558 a weatherproof home but would incorporate an education centre that would extend to the next generation of aircraft design, he said. “We have always aimed to inspire youngsters to pursue careers in aerospace and engineering. The innovative 1950s technology of the Vulcan is relatively easy to understand and her awesome power and beauty generates a huge following. We need to inspire youngsters to become the engineers who will devise the required technical solutions to the global climate challenge,” Dr Pleming said. “Aircraft and air travel using today’s technologies will become unsustainable and if the world is to retain global connectivity, new technical ideas are needed. Some are already on the drawing board.”

XH558 made its first test flight on May 25, 1960, at Woodford Aerodrome, not far from Manchester Airport, and since leaving service has been the subject of several preservation appeals. Some £6.5m in public donations and lottery funding saw it restored in flight 13 years ago, for as long as the life expectancy of crucial parts would allow.

Over the next eight display seasons, it was seen by an estimated 20 million people. Last year, a fundraising drive anticipated the aircraft’s 60th anniversary by offering donors the chance to have their names etched in vinyl on a commemorative plaque beneath the wings. The public fundraising drive being launched today asks supporters to donate £50 or £30 each, in return for seeing their names on exhibits in the new exhibition centre, which is scheduled to be ready for the summer of 2022.

Dr Pleming said the facility, which would be “financially viable”, was “a fantastic way to leave a real legacy for the next generation and to help to honour the past, the present and the future”. Developed in tandem with Britain’s atomic weapons programme, the revolutionary design of the Vulcan bomber made it the last great symbol of British military history and led directly to Concorde and the Space Shuttle.

The Vulcan fleet, which numbered just 136 including prototypes, carried Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War, and the example in Doncaster is one of the few converted for maritime reconnaissance. In 1982, it was pressed into service as an air-to-air refuelling tanker. Two years later, the last Vulcan squadron was disbanded, leaving only a display Team to briefly fly on.

For the last three years, XH558 has been parked outside Doncaster Sheffield Airport, at the mercy of the weather.

The appeal website is at Vulcan to the Sky -

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[photos: Artist's impressions of the Vulcan on display].


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