Sea Fury T20 Crash at Duxford

Hmm, no, rather simplistic. If you lost an engine on take-off, the Mosquito couldn’t climb out until the undercarriage was raised - too much drag from the big oleos and fat tyres. If you could get the undercart up before clearing the trees (say) then it would climb.

In normal flight, no problem.

Landing on one engine, you declared finals at 800’ and lowered the undercarriage - you were committed to landing - go-around was nigh-on impossible unless you could get the undercart back up before 300’.

Mosquito pilots practised these procedures as part of training.

This is not say that accidents (and bad judgement) didn’t happen.

The Hornet could climb out without difficulty on one engine.

How do I know this? Just spoken to the Old Man.

Well yes, height makes things different, but getting off the ground was the badger, and just to be helpful, the controls were not arranged to assist a tyro pilot deal with a swinging Mosquito on take off - less than optimum you had to use the rudder pedals to do a spot of differential braking and the rudder work - or getting the wheels up in a hurry.

Like so many wartime planes - the finer details were left a bit rough in the pursuit off production. Pilots were expendable, production was king.
 
The USN could not use it initially, the big engine blocking out the view of the landing decking, so they gave it to the FAA who devised a turning approach and descent so the landing signal officer and the deck are in view until the final hundred or so yards, or so I was told.
And a good few to their Marines ISTR
 
The USN could not use it initially, the big engine blocking out the view of the landing decking, so they gave it to the FAA who devised a turning approach and descent so the landing signal officer and the deck are in view until the final hundred or so yards, or so I was told.
FWI, most of the Corsairs we received were built by Brewster, so badly, the USN refused to use them after things like wings started coming off, less than ideal. Tales of deliberate sabotage, tools and crap left in the planes. It was so bad, finished planes at the Brewsterplant were put on a shaking rig to shake stuff out.
 
Robby Coltrane did a series on engines many moons ago and noted air travel only became a safe and practical option with the advent of the jet engine.
we went from engines with many hundreds of moving parts, any of which if it failed could bring down a plane, to one.
Aptly exampled by Ernest K. Gann in 'Fate is the Hunter', from dope and string barnstormers to post WW2 turboprop airliners. Businessmen were contractually forbidden from air travel post WW1. Later, senior managers would use separate aircraft for the board to arrive for important meetings.

Fate is the Hunter
Fate is the Hunter - Ernest K. Gann .jpg
 
Last edited:
Aptly exampled by Ernest K. Gann in 'Fate is the Hunter', from dope and string barnstormers to post WW2 turboprop airliners. Businessmen were contractually forbidden from air travel post WW1. Later, senior managers would use separate aircraft for the board to arrive for important meetings.

Fate is the HunterView attachment 495393
The same thing was going on in Seffrica in the late '80s. Board meetings at the Estcourt plant, one charter brought 2 directors, a second brought the other 2.

Flying over the Valley of a Thousand Hills could be a bit crimp-making too, in those days.
 

Wooden Wonder

War Hero
Hmm, no, rather simplistic. If you lost an engine on take-off, the Mosquito couldn’t climb out until the undercarriage was raised - too much drag from the big oleos and fat tyres. If you could get the undercart up before clearing the trees (say) then it would climb.

In normal flight, no problem.

Landing on one engine, you declared finals at 800’ and lowered the undercarriage - you were committed to landing - go-around was nigh-on impossible unless you could get the undercart back up before 300’.

Mosquito pilots practised these procedures as part of training.

This is not say that accidents (and bad judgement) didn’t happen.

The Hornet could climb out without difficulty on one engine.

How do I know this? Just spoken to the Old Man.
As an addendum to this, Dave Collins told me of a Hornet pilot who lost an engine in flight - and by ‘lost’ I mean it fell off - and he managed to land it safely. You can imagine the pilot’s post-flight briefing with the engineering chief ...
 
We have a local group who want to get a Typhoon airborne again with a sabre engine......can't see that flying for long before the inevitable ...
After having had a long conversation with an ex napiers man ( and admired his retirement present. A sabre and it’s huge prop)
I can only concurr. They were at the ragged edge of what materiels and metals could provide in 44/45, and it is no coincidence that even given a taxi rank of rebuilt engines coming from napiers to swap every 30 to 50 hours in France post DDay. Post the Rhine crossings they all got parked up and all but his and one or two others at napiers got dumped in the skip.
it will end in tears I fear.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
After having had a long conversation with an ex napiers man ( and admired his retirement present. A sabre and it’s huge prop)
I can only concurr. They were at the ragged edge of what materiels and metals could provide in 44/45, and it is no coincidence that even given a taxi rank of rebuilt engines coming from napiers to swap every 30 to 50 hours in France post DDay. Post the Rhine crossings they all got parked up and all but his and one or two others at napiers got dumped in the skip.
it will end in tears I fear.
Given the life of many fighters was only about 60 hours before they were lost in combat, too badly damaged to repair or total write offs from crashes, it was probably better to have a high performance but unreliable engine than a more reliable lower performance one. By the latter stages of the war, most allied fighters were 30 - 50 mph faster than their piston engined German equivalents. Which mean that allied fighter pilots could overhaul Luftwaffe pilots in a stern chase - or run for it if they wished.

That said, the Napier was a sleeve engine - and Napier were late into the sleeve engine building game. Bristols took many years to get their design right.

Wordsmith
 
After having had a long conversation with an ex napiers man ( and admired his retirement present. A sabre and it’s huge prop)
I can only concurr. They were at the ragged edge of what materiels and metals could provide in 44/45, and it is no coincidence that even given a taxi rank of rebuilt engines coming from napiers to swap every 30 to 50 hours in France post DDay. Post the Rhine crossings they all got parked up and all but his and one or two others at napiers got dumped in the skip.
it will end in tears I fear.
I thought Typhoons all got parked up pretty much after VE day because the tails still fell off occasionally but the Tempest with the sabre carried on for a fair while post WW2 ...then became the 2 with the radial .
 

tiv

LE
I thought Typhoons all got parked up pretty much after VE day because the tails still fell off occasionally but the Tempest with the sabre carried on for a fair while post WW2 ...then became the 2 with the radial .
Just check my 1953 Military Aircraft Recognition which has a photo of a Tempest TT5 and notes that the Tempest FB2 is no longer in service.
 
I was told the contract for refurbish sabres was cancelled shortly after the Rhine crossings.
the tempest v with the Centaurus had a longer life. ( as probably did it’s pilots).
 
Given the life of many fighters was only about 60 hours before they were lost in combat, too badly damaged to repair or total write offs from crashes, it was probably better to have a high performance but unreliable engine than a more reliable lower performance one. By the latter stages of the war, most allied fighters were 30 - 50 mph faster than their piston engined German equivalents. Which mean that allied fighter pilots could overhaul Luftwaffe pilots in a stern chase - or run for it if they wished.

That said, the Napier was a sleeve engine - and Napier were late into the sleeve engine building game. Bristols took many years to get their design right.

Wordsmith
Mr McKerrow, who taught woodwork and gardening at Dedworth Secondary, Windsor in the 60s and early 70s, was one of a number of WW2 veterans found in classrooms when I was growing up. (Mr Addison (?), a Canadian, was the art teacher at the same school, started the war as a cabin boy, torpedoed, ended up in Liverpool, lied about his age to join the army and finished it as a captain in the army commandos.) Mr McKerrow first flew Typhoons, doodlebug busting, then the Tempest. Reticent in the classroom about his war service because boys would prefer those to actual schoolwork but he was also at my ATC squadron, 459. He would say that he was luckier than most of his squadron, who groundfire took down and being CAS were often below minimum bailout height. He said that both Typhoon and Tempest were crude tools fit only for the short term and needs of the day. He did enjoy the respite when Napiers went on strike for more pay as the aircraft quickly became u/s.

Pierre Clostermann flew the Tempest in the later half of his war. No mention of airframe failures, does mention the strike in The Big Show, (and in the last edition he added how Free French pilots came to despise the USAF as even French farm workers were 'legitimate targets' and the rest seemingly 'collateral damage' although that term is not used.)
 
I half expected to see James Garner and Donald Pleasance climbing out of there?

Wasn't Donald Pleasance a navigator in bomber command? bailed out and tortured by the gestapo trying to get technical secrets? His bum eye and scar are attributed to the interrogations.
(James Garner was a Korean War veteran and WIA)
 

Latest Threads

Top