Vampire, plus aviation motherlode site link

#3
The photos are nice but, as always, the captioning is dire...
 
#5
The photos are nice but, as always, the captioning is dire...
The DM hasn't said that they're pictures of a squadron of tanks has it?
 
#6
I was hoping there would be a 'RAB-C' drunkenly flying about in a string vest
 
#7
Wonderful article full of great photographs with informative captions.
Such as:
"A group of RAF pilots can be seen posing for a photo opportunity in front of a fleet of the FB 5 models. The smiling pilots are captured in their flying overalls and clutching their white helmets."

Who writes this dreck?

A visit to the comments section is worth a look if you want a thoroughly melancholic experience.


 
#8
Wonderful article full of great photographs with informative captions.
Such as:
"A group of RAF pilots can be seen posing for a photo opportunity in front of a fleet of the FB 5 models. The smiling pilots are captured in their flying overalls and clutching their white helmets."

Who writes this dreck?

A visit to the comments section is worth a look if you want a thoroughly melancholic experience.
C'mon Taff, there is one ray of sunshine - the link on my post #4 is pure aviation fappery!
 
#9
Wonderful article full of great photographs with informative captions.
Such as:
"A group of RAF pilots can be seen posing for a photo opportunity in front of a fleet of the FB 5 models. The smiling pilots are captured in their flying overalls and clutching their white helmets."

Who writes this dreck?

A visit to the comments section is worth a look if you want a thoroughly melancholic experience.
I would have written "clutching their helmets".
 
#11
Wonderful article full of great photographs with informative captions.
Such as:
"A group of RAF pilots can be seen posing for a photo opportunity in front of a fleet of the FB 5 models. The smiling pilots are captured in their flying overalls and clutching their white helmets."

Who writes this dreck?
The Daily Mail website claims to be the biggest in the world. That's how it does it - by using 10 words where 2 would do.
 
#13
Would have given the Luftwaffe a very exciting time if WWII had gone on a bit longer.
Something the - if it had lasted until 1946 - the new German wonder weapons would have made mincemeat out of Spitfires / mustangs / Shermans always forget** - They would have been facing off against Vampires - meteors centurions - which the allies would have got into wide spread service quicker.

**That and what exactly are they using for fuel
 

W21A

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#15
Wonderful article full of great photographs with informative captions.
Such as:
"A group of RAF pilots can be seen posing for a photo opportunity in front of a fleet of the FB 5 models. The smiling pilots are captured in their flying overalls and clutching their white helmets."

Who writes this dreck?

A visit to the comments section is worth a look if you want a thoroughly melancholic experience.
With the DM's reputation for accuracy I was expecting a picture of a pusher biplane!
 
#20
Some of the Old Man's reminiscences of Vampires (which he loved; Venoms he hated):

"Going on to Vampires rather than Meteors seemed another good omen to XXX and I, as we had seen the prototype (The Squirt) flying around Hatfield during the war and, like the rest of the townsfolk, had endured the interminable noise of the un-silenced engine-testing that went on – no noise restrictions during wartime.

Getting aboard the early Vampire T.11’s was very difficult. No ejection seats were fitted and, at that time, it was only possible to adjust the parachute straps prior to strapping it on. Each pilot was issued with his own parachute (he adjusted this to his size prior to use) which he carried out with him to the aircraft. As Valley was adjacent to the Irish Sea it was also necessary to wear a Mae West and carry a dinghy, the dinghy being fitted between the seat-type ‘chute and the backside. This eight-stone weakling would don his flying suit, put on his Mae West, haul the combined parachute and dinghy onto his shoulder, pick up his wartime style helmet and stagger out to the aircraft. At the aircraft, the whole lot was dumped on the tarmac while the pre-flight external check was completed. Returning to the heap, one positioned the ‘chute on the ground with the dinghy atop, sat on it and did up the harness, fixing three lanyards from the dinghy to the Mae West, struggled upright, climbed the ladder, entered the aircraft through the top hatch, fitted the seat harness, put on the helmet, plugged it into the radio socket and finally connected the oxygen mask tube to the supply socket.

You were in. The instructor then trampled all over you as he made his entrance and got himself firmly attached to the aircraft.


Normally, about 45 minutes later, the whole procedure was reversed. The easy bit had been completed between these two operations.

My first flight in a Vampire T.11, WZ.561, with Fg. Off. XXXXX was on Oct. 22nd 1953 and lasted 25 minutes. I remember it well and it was a real eye-opener. Gentle but smooth acceleration that just went on and on; a high rate of climb compared with previous experience; aerobatics on the climb; heights and sights totally new to me; high rates of descent and g pulled in the circuit to achieve the pattern. All done with a very comfortable noise level and little physical effort. Wonderful, brilliant – I thought I might get to like it.


On Nov.5th I was sent off in Vampire F.B.5 VZ.829 for my first sortie ever in a single-seat aircraft – even though disarmed, it had once been an operational squadron fighter. I can only remember one thing about the trip – unlike the T.11 it was difficult to keep it dead straight down the runway, not swinging like the Harvard but meandering from side to side of the centre line. It took me several trips before I mastered the rudder footwork to prevent this.

The 5 was easy to get in and out of on the ground, that was one thing. Inside the cockpit was quite roomy but the cockpit bubble was small. It was very easy to aerobat and fun to fly. There were, however, two very poor handling characteristics common to both the 5 and 11. The first being a marked nose-up change of trim when the flaps were lowered so that on finals with full flap the control column was fairly well forward. If an overshoot or roller landing was done then the additional and normal nose-up trim from the increase to maximum power meant that the control column was almost fully forward to maintain a safe angle of climb. As the flaps were retracted, then the reverse happened and much use was made of the elevator trimmer. All this became automatic with practice.

The second thing that had to be mastered was that changes of pitch occurred up and down as the airbrakes were extended and retracted. As this happened quickly, it was no real problem but always meant some interesting bobbing up and down when “Airbrakes, airbrakes, go!” was called by the formation leader.

Once again I am unable to match the memories to any particular flight in the logbook, with one exception. On 9th Feb. 1954, in Vampire 5 VZ.829 I did a long-range navigation exercise, with two 100 gal underwing drop-tanks. I staggered into the air at Valley en route to Merrifield in Devon by way of Linton on Ouse in Yorkshire. There was eight-eighths cloud which I climbed through and left way below as I made my way slowly up to (probably) 35,000ft. I was unable to contact Linton by radio, so had to turn south on a D.R. (dead reckoning) position and head for Merrifield. There was a total cover of level, white cloud way below and 100% dark blue above. I could see no other aircraft or contrails and for about half an hour I felt totally alone and isolated; so much so that when I called Merrifield with about ten minutes to go and received no reply, I had a sudden surge of panic. I never had that feeling again, even though I did many similar sorties over the years; just that once. After several calls and many long minutes later, Merrifield came up, apologised for the delay due to some radio problems and gave me a controlled descent through cloud (QGH) to the airfield and a landing after 1 hour 10 minutes – a long, long time. The return trip to Valley, under exactly the same conditions, gave no repeat of my panic attack but the memory of it has stuck with me all that time.

The move to the O.C.U at Pembrey meant that for the first time we were flying fully operational fighters. The gunsight (G.G.S) sat full in the face and very close. It was normally surmounted by the G.G.S. recorder, an eight millimetre cine camera that recorded the sight graticule and the target. This combo filled the whole front screen.

We learned battle formation, bomber attack methods, fighter-on-fighter dogfights and air-to-air firing against towed targets. I cannot relate any memories to particular flights except the last two. We had a bit of spare time at the end of the course so they sent us down to Pembroke Dock for some jollies in the Sunderlands. I did two trips: one for 5hr. 25mins, and the other for 4hr. 20mins."
 

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