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Cold war - hot jets


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#1 kayemod

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 11:39

I'm surprised that no-one else has mentioned this, but there's a programme on BBC2 tonight about early jet plane developments, and as aviation history is a secondary interest for many of the small and ever-decreasing number of us still participating on TNF, I thought it was worth a mention, or a "Heads-up" as I believe it's termed in modern parlance. This is the first of two programmes on the subject, and if it's as good as two similar ones the BBC did around a year ago on related aviation subjects, it should be really good. Meteors, Lightnings, MiG 15s and F86 Sabre jets zoooming around with probably an expert commentary, I can't wait.



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#2 scags

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 12:51

sounds good. Enjoy!



#3 Mallory Dan

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 13:09

What time's it on? I've been away for some time 'cos I've had to re-register since the changes for some reason. And also because there's very little on here recently that I want to post about...    



#4 kayemod

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 13:20

What time's it on? I've been away for some time 'cos I've had to re-register since the changes for some reason. And also because there's very little on here recently that I want to post about...    

 

9.00 pm.

 

I'll watch it, and I've also set the DVD recorder. Then if it's as good as the last two, I can watch it again and again (to my wife's thinly supressed displeasure).



#5 DogEarred

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 13:37

I'm surprised that no-one else has mentioned this, but there's a programme on BBC2 tonight about early jet plane developments, and as aviation history is a secondary interest for many of the small and ever-decreasing number of us still participating on TNF, I thought it was worth a mention, or a "Heads-up" as I believe it's termed in modern parlance. This is the first of two programmes on the subject, and if it's as good as two similar ones the BBC did around a year ago on related aviation subjects, it should be really good. Meteors, Lightnings, MiG 15s and F86 Sabre jets zoooming around with probably an expert commentary, I can't wait.

 

Thanks for the "Heads-up". I'll do a "Bums-down" at 9.00 to watch it.



#6 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 14:06

Will be watching  :up:

 

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#7 elansprint72

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 14:36

Mustang shoots down Sabre?  :well:



#8 kayemod

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 14:40

Mustang shoots down Sabre?  :well:

 

Well they're Americans, that's "friendly fire" for you...



#9 Bloggsworth

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 14:58

I'm surprised that no-one else has mentioned this, but there's a programme on BBC2 tonight about early jet plane developments, and as aviation history is a secondary interest for many of the small and ever-decreasing number of us still participating on TNF, I thought it was worth a mention, or a "Heads-up" as I believe it's termed in modern parlance. This is the first of two programmes on the subject, and if it's as good as two similar ones the BBC did around a year ago on related aviation subjects, it should be really good. Meteors, Lightnings, MiG 15s and F86 Sabre jets zoooming around with probably an expert commentary, I can't wait.

 

Nothing much good about the Meteor - Unstable gun platform, too slow - And I do know, my father taught pilots to fly and shoot in Meteors (Including the NF11) at RAF Oakington in the early 50s (It's now an asylum centre); he much preferred Vampires which he flew in Amman.


Edited by Bloggsworth, 08 November 2013 - 22:26.


#10 Macca

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 19:11

Ah, the Vampire.....ideal coup d'etat aircraft, as it only had enough range to bomb its own airfield, so they say.

 

Paul M



#11 Bloggsworth

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 20:41

Ah, the Vampire.....ideal coup d'etat aircraft, as it only had enough range to bomb its own airfield, so they say.

 

Paul M

 

Over 1,200 miles @ up to 42,000 feet, not too shabby for the early 50s. Drop-tanks would have increased their range.



#12 elansprint72

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 21:37

Thread-drift alert.... thread drift alert.....   woop, woop, this is not a drill...........

 

 

 

 

Watching the programme now; it is the best-made yet of those mentioned above, imho.

 

Edit: No idea why they dragged the Comet story into this- totally out of place. Still a "good watch".


Edited by elansprint72, 08 November 2013 - 22:00.


#13 DogEarred

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:26

Very imformative & well made. Those recon flights deep into Soviet territory! Amazing & news to me!

 

Non of that purile, repetition before & after adbreaks with over dramamtic music that you seem to get on Channel 4 & 5 - as if you might forget what you are watiching over the course of yet another meerkat adventure advert...

 

The BBC might be creeking but....



#14 mariner

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 08:38

I was less impressed than DogEarred due to the historical inaccuracies. Part one closed by implying the V bomber force wasa development that happened after 1960 when the U2 was shot down. Strange, I thought the V bombers were ordered in the early 1950's!

 

There was also a rather odd theme that everything the USSR did was purely a reaction to US " hawks" being determined to attack the USSR whch is a point of view the scriptwriter can hold but is not the normal view of the Cold War.

 

Also there was little explanation of the vital importance of the swept back wing to high transonic performance. The MIG 15 which , it was explained, out performed any UN jet in Korea, probably owed its performance as much to the swept wings copied from Germany as the engine copied from Rolls Royce.



#15 Bloggsworth

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:25

I was interested in the bit about asymmetric flying in the Meteor, something my father had to teach, and which, as we saw, occasionally went wrong. He was up one day doing exactly that and turned off the fuel to the port engine to start the drill. On instructing the pupil to "Proceed with flame-out drill", the trainee pilot, mixing up his left and right, turned off the starboard engine. At this point my father said "You'd better get out now..." He managed to glide back to an airfield, pancaked on the field, and after sliding across the grass, came to rest on a railway line. The following morning he was called in to see the CO; expecting to be congratulated, he was surprised to have a strip torn off; it appears that the Queen was due to go to Sandringham that afternoon and he had stopped the trains running - Pointing out that he had returned a very expensive aeroplane 90% intact carried no weight at all.



#16 DogEarred

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:00

The good Mariner has pointed out, with the details he has mentioned, the risk we all take by absorbing knowledge given to us & taking it at face value.

If, like me, you find this an interesting subject but have read or studied little about it, then you tend to accept what comes out from an 'authority' like the BBC.

I wouldn't give it as much creedance if it was produced for Channel 5.

Compressing this subject into 2 hours, will of course omit or distort much information & is just one man's interpretation on things, probably.

If one is that interested then you have to do your own research.

 

It's a start though & looking forward to next week's programme.



#17 Cirrus

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:26

Mallory Dan lent me the book "Empire of the Clouds". It's well worth a read and goes into a lot more detail than would be possible in two hours of TV documentary time.

 

http://www.amazon.co...d/dp/0571247954



#18 RS2000

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 20:04

Bit of a scoop to track down RB45 RAF participants and get them to talk - although the story is now fairly well known. (See PPrune Military Aircrew section for far more detail). A somewhat misleading summary of RAF crewing on deep penetration flights (mostly RAF flown U2s and the odd CIA pilot was the impression conveyed!) - and no mention of the RAF Canberra flights to Kasputin Yar etc. (or of Curt LeMay's unauthorised flight tasking that cost RB47 lives).

#19 Allan Lupton

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 10:16

Just watched it on iplayer and I'm afraid there was the expected lack of rigour in the historical sequence. You would be forgiven for thinking the Jet Provost was contemporary with the Meteor and Vampire, and as mentioned by Mariner, the V-Bombers were earlier than implied by the script.

There was no mention of the (US) F-86 (Sabre) and they seemed to believe that Korea was a fight between "our" Meteors and "their" MiG 15s. Again Mariner is right that swept wings, which the F-86 had, were important.

There was also the expected dwelling on (and over-use of footage of) disasters such as the John Derry DH110 break-up at Farnborough. Oh and a lot about the DH106 Comet that really had no place in the tale.

And who is the James Holland who presented it? Not the one who posts on here, I trust!



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#20 RCH

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 12:56

I think the Comet has a place in the programme, I don't think, despite the title, that it was intended to be merely military jets and the Comet has its place in the history of British jet engine usage during that period. Also the political angle was being emphasised.

 

Speaking as someone with not a lot of knowledge on the subject I was surprised by the premise that British aircraft development was well ahead of American at the time.



#21 Allan Lupton

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 13:35

Speaking as someone with not a lot of knowledge on the subject I was surprised by the premise that British aircraft development was well ahead of American at the time.

Yes that was perhaps a bit overstated but the Miles M 52 would have justified that premise, had it continued.

Remember too that the trade in British jet engine know-how was with the USofA before it was with the USSR


Edited by Allan Lupton, 10 November 2013 - 13:36.


#22 john aston

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 17:31

Shock horror- 1 hour documentary intended for for general viewing is not perfect/ lacking rigour/ containing the odd minor error/ providing a platform to  share one's own erudition etc. I thought it was great- and I grew up in the era, as well as having rather more than a layman's knowledge of the subject. 



#23 kayemod

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 17:43

Shock horror- 1 hour documentary intended for for general viewing is not perfect/ lacking rigour/ containing the odd minor error/ providing a platform to  share one's own erudition etc. I thought it was great- and I grew up in the era, as well as having rather more than a layman's knowledge of the subject. 

 

Well put John, I thought they'd done a pretty good job given that it had to appeal to a non-expert audience. No real howlers, and about as much as it's possible to squeeze into one hour, I certainly enjoyed it.



#24 Bloggsworth

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 17:47

Shock horror- 1 hour documentary intended for for general viewing is not perfect/ lacking rigour/ containing the odd minor error/ providing a platform to  share one's own erudition etc. I thought it was great- and I grew up in the era, as well as having rather more than a layman's knowledge of the subject.


Seconded. And Britain's lead was not exaggerated, during the 50s British aircraft held the World Air Speed Record many times, and there was a lot of radical ideas coming from British aircraft companies; the Saunders Roe fighter seaplane, the P1154 which became the Harrier, the Flying Bedstead, Barnes Wallis' Swallow swing-wing aircraft, the Fairey Delta II, the TSR2, etc., etc.

#25 Mallory Dan

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 13:13

Is part 2 on tonight?



#26 kayemod

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 13:57

Is part 2 on tonight?

 

Yes, 9.00pm on BBC2, according to last week's trailer it's mainly about the V-Bombers.

 

Three of them, Very late, Very expensive and Very vulnerable, ideal for a suicide mission. Our nuclear deterrent, but did they actually deter anyone?


Edited by kayemod, 15 November 2013 - 14:20.


#27 DogEarred

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 14:34

Yes, 9.00pm on BBC2, according to last week's trailer it's mainly about the V-Bombers.

 

Three of them, Very late, Very expensive and Very vulnerable, ideal for a suicide mission. Our nuclear deterrent, but did they actually deter anyone?

 

They certainly deterred me. After once standing underneath a low, slow flying Vulcan, with it's bomb doors open, I vowed never to attack this country.

 

But I might have to rescind that vow if the place keeps going downhill....



#28 johnthebridge

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:36

I thought the second programme was pretty good, all things considered. The presenter seems to be a proper enthusiast, and isn't too frenetic, like some of them can be. Good effort. Like others, I did wonder what the lovely Comet was doing last week in a series titled "Cold war....".

I know the Vulcan's usually considered to be the poster-boy of that period, but I'd forgotten what a good-looking aircraft the the Victor was, especially in anti-flash white with the bomb aimer's canopy still in position (later removed, I think, when it became a tanker?). Downright menacing on the ground, especially when seen from head on, and yet utterly graceful in the air.

My goodness, mourn for the loss of the British aircraft industry, both military and civilian. All that talent. 



#29 john aston

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 08:07

Yes . mourn the loss of the industry , but not the political climate which triggered it. Anybody with imagination could terrify themselves during the cold war and the Cuban missile crisis brought us right to the brink.



#30 johnthebridge

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:03

Yes . mourn the loss of the industry , but not the political climate which triggered it. Anybody with imagination could terrify themselves during the cold war and the Cuban missile crisis brought us right to the brink.

You're right of course, it was a deadly period which I would never wish too see repeated. As one ages, nostalgia can perhaps blind one to the realities of that, but I still feel that those aircraft, despite their grim purpose, did have a beauty that was surely derived from a now vanished talent. Is it perhaps immoral of me to think of them like that? I don't know. The pilots who appeared in the programme hadn't lost their appreciation of those fine aircraft, but I really can't imagine that, in 50 years time, anyone will be mourning the loss of today's equivalent, pilotless drones.  

Aahh, nostalgia! It ain't what it used to be!



#31 elansprint72

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:36

I think one of the best features of the two programmes was the absence of "actors" being spliced in to do so-called "recreations".

No doubt some crusty rivet-counter will be able to find fault but they would do that what ever was shown in the two hours.



#32 Bloggsworth

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 12:49

I remember standing near the end of the runway at RAF Wattisham and watching a Lightning take off and climb vertically into the clouds - Very impressive.



#33 Allan Lupton

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 14:00

I remember standing near the end of the runway at RAF Wattisham and watching a Lightning take off and climb vertically into the clouds - Very impressive.

Yes if that were possible it would indeed have been impressive as it would have needed three engines to do it.



#34 RCH

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 15:14

Yes if that were possible it would indeed have been impressive as it would have needed three engines to do it.

 

Came pretty damn close though apparently....



#35 Tim Murray

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 15:47

I've seen it done, and even if not actually vertical it was extremely impressive (although I did wonder how much fuel it got through doing it).

#36 DogEarred

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 16:10

I saw it do that very thing at the 1968 British GP at Brands Hatch, I believe.

 

It came overhead the 'bowl' area then swept upward on re-heat as near to vertical as makes no difference & disappeared into the cloud, leaving the ground shaking beneath us. Better than the racing even!

 

Hopefully it had enough fuel left to get back to base.



#37 kayemod

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 16:15

I remember standing near the end of the runway at RAF Wattisham and watching a Lightning take off and climb vertically into the clouds - Very impressive.

 

I saw much the same thing at an air show back then, impressive indeed, and there's a pic somewhere on TNF of another Lightning doing the exact opposite, descending vertically out of the clouds with the pilot accompanying the plane on a parachute.



#38 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 16:42

I saw it do that very thing at the 1968 British GP at Brands Hatch, I believe.

 

It came overhead the 'bowl' area then swept upward on re-heat as near to vertical as makes no difference & disappeared into the cloud, leaving the ground shaking beneath us. Better than the racing even!

 

Hopefully it had enough fuel left to get back to base.

Yes it definitely  did go straight up.  I was flagging at South Bank, and the pilot was commentating through the PA system.  We just stood being shaken by the reverberations from the exhaust.



#39 elansprint72

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 17:27

4559077684_feac177e90_z.jpg

 

This was at Woodford but we used to watch them go vertical off the deck at Warton all the time. It was not unknown for the trainee Saudi pilots to go supersonic in the climb, at least once with the wheels still down! After assembly at Samlesbury they always got a gentle 5 minute flight over to Warton; they never (I'd better change that to seldom, given which forum this is!  ;) )  landed at Samlesbury again.


Edited by elansprint72, 16 November 2013 - 17:29.


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#40 Bloggsworth

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 17:50

Yes if that were possible it would indeed have been impressive as it would have needed three engines to do it.

 

It happened, and I can summon up witnesses to prove it, there were about a dozen of us there.



#41 elansprint72

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 18:34

I suspect nit-picking pedantry is afoot... the Lightning could not take off vertically, as in the VTOL Harrier but it could and did,  take off conventionally and immediately go vertical, as my photo shows and no end of period footage showed too; if you look carefully you can see the gear is still down.

I went to a talk by Roly Beamont where he told the story about the supersonic gear-down vertical Saudi.

 

No wonder folks are leaving this forum in droves. :well:



#42 Allan Lupton

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 18:36

It happened, and I can summon up witnesses to prove it, there were about a dozen of us there.

To climb vertically from take-off there would be no excess airspeed so the thrust has to equal the weight plus the drag. In round figures a Lightning F6 would weigh 38,000 lb., drag say 6,000 lb at 350 kt and each reheated Avon was good for 16,000 lbf.

Most display pilots could do a vertical climb after a high speed approach with the speed dropping during the climb - more spectacular of course, but not sustainable for long.

Sorry if this seems like nitpicking pedantry but, as we are dealing with machines, I prefer the engineering to be right at least to an order of magnitude.

I'm afraid Pete's photo does not show the aeroplane to be climbing vertically as a still photo gives us no indication of the direction of travel.

In the same way the photo that Kayemod refers to in post 37 does not show the Lightning descending vertically from the clouds as it was tumbling (as explained in the thread where the photo was last used) and happened to be nose-down when the photo was taken.


Edited by Allan Lupton, 16 November 2013 - 18:49.


#43 mfd

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 19:17

Sorry if this seems like nitpicking pedantry

As someone started it, the prototype of the Harrier was the P1127. Slip of the wrist, I'm sure you know the P1154 was the planned supersonic VTOL



#44 Tim Murray

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 19:24

That was Bloggsy's error, not Allan's



#45 RS2000

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 21:46

At least one pilot and aircraft were lost practicing a "rotation take off" (74 Sqn at Tengah) and being too ambitious because it was being privately filmed.

As to the last programme, there was an appalling disconnect between the story/commentary and the film clips. Eg. a Canberra suddenly appearing in the Berlin Airlift. A B36 when the commentary was "jet bombers". The B47 being painted out of history entirely. Film of a B17 being destroyed in WW2 against commentary of the Linclon cold war shoot down. Etc.

Edited by RS2000, 16 November 2013 - 21:49.


#46 Bloggsworth

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 22:12

As someone started it, the prototype of the Harrier was the P1127. Slip of the wrist, I'm sure you know the P1154 was the planned supersonic VTOL

 

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa - Apart from that, I have trouble remembering numbers...



#47 kayemod

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 23:27

The B47 being painted out of history entirely.

 

Surely an even more significant omission was leaving the F86 sabre out of the first programme, if you'd swallowed the whole thing, you'd have got the impression that Korea was fought between MiG 15s and Meteors.



#48 mfd

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 23:48

That was Bloggsy's error, not Allan's

I know Tim, it was just the phrasing Allan used about pedantry that I tagged the comment to.

 

That apart I enjoyed part two perhaps more than the first, not least because of some good moving images of the V Bombers.

 

James Holland is an author probably better known for his Battle of Britain book also was done as a documentary of sorts. It's the only one I've read but I believe he's covered Gibson & the Dam Busters as well.


Edited by mfd, 16 November 2013 - 23:49.


#49 Charlieman

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 14:56

After assembly at Samlesbury they always got a gentle 5 minute flight over to Warton; they never (I'd better change that to seldom, given which forum this is!  ;) )  landed at Samlesbury again.

 

One never knows. An aunt and uncle lived down the road from Samlesbury (in the distinctive bungalow on Whalley Road, opposite the pig farm and Nelly's tea shop). I recall one visit in the 1970s when the adjacent field was full of clapped out Canberras flown from South America for refurbishment.



#50 elansprint72

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 16:32

One never knows. An aunt and uncle lived down the road from Samlesbury (in the distinctive bungalow on Whalley Road, opposite the pig farm and Nelly's tea shop). I recall one visit in the 1970s when the adjacent field was full of clapped out Canberras flown from South America for refurbishment.

One Canberra and a Lightning are still there (or they were a couple of years ago), they are still visible on the Bird's-Eye view on Bing Maps. There were loads of Saudi Canberras there at one time.