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#401 RS2000

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 19:19

That P-40 discovery in the Sahara reminds me of an interesting fact I learned from one volume of pilot's memoirs. Some of these planes were built for the French Air Force, but following the fall of that Country, diverted to the UK and the RAF. The French had specified throttles that went the opposite way to all Allied aircraft, like a car accelerator pedal that had to be depressed to close. This must have caused a few heart-stopping moments for pilots, it would have taken some getting used to, a bit like central accelerators on some early Ferrari and Maserati cars.


I was told (by a south coast official County Council historian) of a Tomahawk (RAF name for early P40s, later marks Kittyhawk in RAF service) found in the Channel with a French language cockpit/instruments that proved to be from a Canadian squadron, early ex-French contract P40s having been issued to Canadian squadrons on the assumption they would understand French. My understanding is that then, as now, any Canadian not from Quebec was probably less likely to speak French than the average RAF pilot.

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#402 johnthebridge

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:24

Sorry, only just seen this thread for the first time, and my mind immediately went back about 47 years. Flying was always my "first love" and, living then in Andover, I used to spend many spare hours mooching around RAF Andover. I should say at this point that I wasn't a completely sad so and so--there was a Group Captain's daughter that I was also mooching around, but that's another story.
Anyhow, I was hanging about the Safety Equipment store on one occasion, when a large Lagonda pulled up. Of course, being also a car nut, I just had to talk to the driver who, after a few minutes of conversation, introduced himself as John Fairey. He quickly perceived my obvious enthusiasm for flying and mentioned that he was about to "go up", and if I drew a 'chute from SE, would I care to take a trip with him?
I can't now remember if he'd already mentioned his aircraft and I'm pretty certain that, at the time, I didn't know that he owned it, but of course, it turned out to be G-AIDN. Reading the very knowledgeable comments posted on here, I'm sure that my feelings on finding out that I was about to have a trip in this aircraft require no further description.
Waddling out from the tower on a grass airfield with a leather helmet, Mk. 7 goggles and a seat 'chute on, to this boyhood vision already connected to her Trolleyac-- of course, it was the last week of August 1940 for me! The fact she was pale blue, had another seat in the rear and was, I think, an ex-Irish Air Force trainer meant nothing.
John got me seated, and gave strict instructions on not getting my feet wrapped up in the flying controls, very clearly visible beneath an open panel in the floor beneath my seat, and then the moment.... The whine of the starter, the seemingly huge prop turning over, couple of coughs, smoke and then, that noise. In reality, in the back seat I had no notion of the Merlin "sound", just a bloody big engine doing it's thing, but....
In the back one could see even less than the pilot when taxying out, and the weaving for a view was quite alarming as the narrow track made her seem quite unstable on the bumpy 'field, but we arrived and turned into wind, accompanied in my mind, by 242 Squadron! Checks, brakes, full chat and off over the Hampshire countryside. John lived near Stockbridge and we buzzed his house, where his wife waved at us, obviously alerted by that sound. Similarly, Stockbridge schoolkids out for lunch, waving at what must have been then still a familiar shape to them.
Back at Andover, taxy in, switch off, silence, apart from the cooling engine.
John asking, "Did you enoy it?"
Of all the dumb questions! I could hardly speak, and even now, as I write this, I have "something in my eye".
He took me on another occasion, just as memorable, out over Thruxton where, some years earlier I'd learnt to drive.
In a way, I feel it's a shame that she later lost her identity, along with her second seat, and became "just" another warbird.

Edited by johnthebridge, 15 May 2012 - 13:38.


#403 kayemod

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:29

Wonderful, just wonderful. I wish it could have been me, as I'm sure does everyone else who's contributed to this thread.

#404 johnthebridge

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 13:34

Wonderful, just wonderful. I wish it could have been me, as I'm sure does everyone else who's contributed to this thread.

Thank you, you're very kind.

#405 Paul Hurdsfield

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 20:52

I've just got back from holiday and I'm getting up to date.
Reading Johns post I keep thinking me! me! me! why couldn't something like that have happened to me?

#406 Mal9444

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:20


Err... did not 242 fly Hurricanes?

But what a wonderful experience and story. Thank you.

Any news on the Group Captain's daughter?

#407 johnthebridge

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 10:05

Err... did not 242 fly Hurricanes?

But what a wonderful experience and story. Thank you.

Any news on the Group Captain's daughter?


Bader was my hero, so it had to be 242, and I still think "Reach for the Sky" was the best film ever made!
As a lad, I was a drummer in the local ATC band (Andover 1213 Sq!) and we did a band competition at Netley, where DB was one of the judges. I was on a solo and dropped a stick. I couldn't pick it up, so remained at attention and continued to beat the rhythym out with the remaining one. After the competition had finished, DB was awarding the prizes out over the PA system and gave us (I think) third prize, but in doing so said that he had been "particularly impressed" with the drummer who had remained at his post etc. etc. When he came round to inspect us afterwards, he shook my hand. His grip was like iron, and I'm afraid I've never washed my hand since!
So far as pursuit of the Groupie's daughter is concerned, I'm sorry to have to tell you that my advances were rebuffed. The silly woman was in love with a bloke at Cranwell who subsequently became a Red Arrows jockey. I mean, how shallow can you get?

#408 Mal9444

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:47

Bader was my hero, so it had to be 242, and I still think "Reach for the Sky" was the best film ever made!
As a lad, I was a drummer in the local ATC band (Andover 1213 Sq!) and we did a band competition at Netley, where DB was one of the judges. I was on a solo and dropped a stick. I couldn't pick it up, so remained at attention and continued to beat the rhythym out with the remaining one. After the competition had finished, DB was awarding the prizes out over the PA system and gave us (I think) third prize, but in doing so said that he had been "particularly impressed" with the drummer who had remained at his post etc. etc. When he came round to inspect us afterwards, he shook my hand. His grip was like iron, and I'm afraid I've never washed my hand since!
So far as pursuit of the Groupie's daughter is concerned, I'm sorry to have to tell you that my advances were rebuffed. The silly woman was in love with a bloke at Cranwell who subsequently became a Red Arrows jockey. I mean, how shallow can you get?


We share at least one hero, and if you have heard of Stirling Moss we probably share both.

As for the girl - well, I gues it was either the Brylcreem or the moustache and possibly both.

(Upon re-reading I should emphasis that I assume the Brylcreem and the moustache to have been on the RAF type, not the girl!)



#409 johnthebridge

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 12:47

We share at least one hero, and if you have heard of Stirling Moss we probably share both.

As for the girl - well, I gues it was either the Brylcreem or the moustache and possibly both.

(Upon re-reading I should emphasis that I assume the Brylcreem and the moustache to have been on the RAF type, not the girl!)


Although I had huge respect for Stirling, he somehow never achieved "hero" status with me. Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins were more to my liking. As with DB, I suppose I perceived them as more "rebellious" and outspoken. Against the odds etc. Dunno what that says about me! Of course, that's not in any way meant to denigrate Stirling.
Brylcreem and moustache? Dear boy, that's so very '50s! We are talking the swinging '60s here you know. Mind you, I think the bugger wore cavalry twill trousers and a tweed jacket!

#410 RogerFrench

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 16:43

Reach for the Sky is pretty damned inspiring, but does anyone else remember Angels One-Five? I still like watching it, though it shows its age it's basic simplicity is still appealing to me.

#411 Tony Matthews

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 16:46

Brylcreem on the moustache is a very good way of getting beer froth to slide back into your tankard.

#412 johnthebridge

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 17:27

Brylcreem on the moustache is a very good way of getting beer froth to slide back into your tankard.


Do you speak from personal experience?

#413 johnthebridge

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 17:49

Reach for the Sky is pretty damned inspiring, but does anyone else remember Angels One-Five? I still like watching it, though it shows its age it's basic simplicity is still appealing to me.


I agree but, for me, there really isn't anyone who can invoke the spirit of "England up against it" better than Kenneth More. Think of his Beachmaster in "The Longest Day". Michael Denison and Jack Hawkins were a bit too "stuffed shirt" for me, not to say a little too old for the period. I know it's mostly hokum, but the scene where 242 is hanging around, sitting in deckchairs etc. when suddenly the 'phone rings and Bader shouts, "Squadron, scramble!" still gets me! And as for the drive out to The Pantiles in the Bentley (3 litre?), well....

#414 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 22:20

On the day which saw our now rarefied Air Force flying a superb formation tribute to HMQ, this nostalgic memory of her Coronation air review in 1953 is...umm...well... nostalgic...

http://daveg4otu.tripod.com/nos10.html

DCN


#415 johnthebridge

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:36

On the day which saw our now rarefied Air Force flying a superb formation tribute to HMQ, this nostalgic memory of her Coronation air review in 1953 is...umm...well... nostalgic...

http://daveg4otu.tripod.com/nos10.html

DCN


Thanks Doug,
All those types. Where did we go wrong?
I'd forgotten about the Washington (B29). I have a vague childhood memory of my father taking me to an RAF station in (I think) East Anglia in the early '50s and seeing these. They stood out because of the nosewheel undercart, still almost unkown on British heavy types at that time. I think they must have been such, as I don't think any serviceable American B29s would have been still around in the UK by that time would they? Not sure there would be any in the US either-wouldn't they have been obsolete by then, even for secondary duties? And while we're Stateside, wasn't the F86 in the photos a little sweetie?
Idle musings, sorry.
Thanks again anyway,
John.

Edited by johnthebridge, 20 May 2012 - 07:27.


#416 Sharman

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:34

I agree but, for me, there really isn't anyone who can invoke the spirit of "England up against it" better than Kenneth More. Think of his Beachmaster in "The Longest Day". Michael Denison and Jack Hawkins were a bit too "stuffed shirt" for me, not to say a little too old for the period. I know it's mostly hokum, but the scene where 242 is hanging around, sitting in deckchairs etc. when suddenly the 'phone rings and Bader shouts, "Squadron, scramble!" still gets me! And as for the drive out to The Pantiles in the Bentley (3 litre?), well....

Haven't got the book handy but I think liberties were taken in introducing a Bentley, wasn't it an MG?

#417 Allan Lupton

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:38

I'd forgotten about the Washington (B29).

I, too, had forgotten that the B29 Superfortresses on loan from the USAF to the RAF (1950-4) were called "Washington B1s" by the RAF and that's not a name you come across much now.

#418 johnthebridge

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:03

Haven't got the book handy but I think liberties were taken in introducing a Bentley, wasn't it an MG?


In the book it's "an old Humber". Perhaps not glamourous enough for the movie men?

#419 kayemod

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:54

I, too, had forgotten that the B29 Superfortresses on loan from the USAF to the RAF (1950-4) were called "Washington B1s" by the RAF and that's not a name you come across much now.


As a small child, sometime in the mid 50s, I remember being taken to an RAF flying display on the outskirts of Sheffield. It was at a facility called 'RAF Norton' to the south of the city, I think there were runways, much too small for anything like a B29, but one of these did several low flypasts. It was the biggest plane I'd ever seen in my life at that time, it seemed to block out the sky. I'd seen occasional Avro Lincolns and DC4s, but nothing that big, I didn't know that planes could be as large as that.


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#420 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 13:09

I remember the flypast formations in '53 just about filling the sky. I was seven years old, in short trousers, at 'the rec' flanking the woods behind our house, on my own, and I remember initially being quite alarmed by the approaching noise...and then they came, literally hundreds of them, in perfect vees and lines abreast and astern, almost from horizon to horizon between the elms and oaks and ash. I remember then being absolutely thrilled to bits, and positively fit to burst with pride. They were 'ours'. That's what we were schooled to think...and in retrospect that wasn't a bad outlook.

Back home I was full of what I had seen. But my father put it in perspective when he said, "Aaah, you should have seen 'em on D-Day. Ten times as many, boy". That's the trouble with adults. Always pouring cold water. I try to remember to avoid that with my grandchildren today.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 20 May 2012 - 13:13.


#421 kayemod

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 13:28

...and then they came, literally hundreds of them, in perfect vees and lines abreast and astern, almost from horizon to horizon.


I remember my grannie telling me about similar visions, but the planes she saw had crosses on the wings. Everyone who was around back then told the same story, they could always identify the Heinkels and Dorniers because of the uneven thrum of their engines, apparently Allied planes didn't sound the same. Were the engines in the German twins deliberately unsynchronised, or was it a characteristic of the engines themselves?


#422 David Birchall

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 14:28

I remember the flypast formations in '53 just about filling the sky. I was seven years old, in short trousers, at 'the rec' flanking the woods behind our house, on my own, and I remember initially being quite alarmed by the approaching noise...and then they came, literally hundreds of them, in perfect vees and lines abreast and astern, almost from horizon to horizon between the elms and oaks and ash. I remember then being absolutely thrilled to bits, and positively fit to burst with pride. They were 'ours'. That's what we were schooled to think...and in retrospect that wasn't a bad outlook.

Back home I was full of what I had seen. But my father put it in perspective when he said, "Aaah, you should have seen 'em on D-Day. Ten times as many, boy". That's the trouble with adults. Always pouring cold water. I try to remember to avoid that with my grandchildren today.

DCN


I remember this flypast--I must have been only a few miles away from you in Cranleigh--I had begun to think lately that I had imagined it. The sky was full from horizon to horizon, which blew my five year old mind :eek:

#423 arttidesco

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 15:45

Thought I was hallucinating as I left the house an hour ago, when I heard the distinctive roar of a 27 litre V12 bouncing off the walls here in Central Bristol, until I caught a glimpse of a Spitfire low on the horizon seriously buzzing what looked like a venue in Clifton :love:

Edited by arttidesco, 20 May 2012 - 15:45.


#424 RS2000

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 20:46

I'd forgotten about the Washington (B29). I have a vague childhood memory of my father taking me to an RAF station in (I think) East Anglia in the early '50s and seeing these. They stood out because of the nosewheel undercart, still almost unkown on British heavy types at that time. I think they must have been such, as I don't think any serviceable American B29s would have been still around in the UK by that time would they? Not sure there would be any in the US either-wouldn't they have been obsolete by then, even for secondary duties?


Not sure when US B29s last rotated through UK (probably later than the Washington leaving RAF service - the Lincoln then held the fort again until the V force!) but I think USAF KB50s (of essentially the same appearance) could be seen at Brize Norton etc. into the 60s.

#425 Ted Walker

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:23

All 8 of those Merlins flying over the "Palace" on Sat are built and maintained By Retro Track & Air here in Dursley.

#426 Cargo

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:19

The recovery of the buried Burma Spits get the go-ahead! :clap: there's 60 of them ... :love:


http://www.brisbanet...1018-27seg.html



the Spitfires are rare Mark XIV fighters, equipped not with the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine but the more powerful Griffon type. Although more than 20,000 Spitfires were built in Britain during the World War II, only 2,042 later models were powered with Griffon engines and just a handful are still flying. Mr Cundall, 62, spent 16 years and more than £130,000 of his own money scouring former RAF airfields in Burma for the planes, after receiving a tip-off that they were buried at the end of a runway in August 1945. It is thought the aircraft were abandoned in Burma before they ever took to the air because they were no longer needed with so many Spitfires then flying and the war ending.

According to the Burmese press, Mr Cundall and Mr Zaw signed the deal to excavate the planes on Tuesday in Rangoon with Tin Naing Tun, Burma's director-general of civil aviation.



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#427 Sharman

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 20:41

That'll knock the bottom out of the market :rolleyes:

#428 Doug Nye

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 22:43

Look on the bright side - then we could all have one.

But realistically the chance of anything worthwhile being recovered beyond constructor's plates - providing in effect a licence to build a 100 per cent replica and call it the real deal - is microscopic. I spent some time today with a hugely experienced trio of historic aircraft people - an owner, a pilot and an outstanding historian and researcher. The concensus was that we all believe the basic proposition to be hooey, complete moonshine, BUT we would each be delighted to be proved wrong.

The basic scenario just seems immensely unlikely. If a service unit wanted to dispose of redundant aircraft immediately postwar, they would have burned, crushed or scrapped them. They would not have invested the manpower, time, trouble and expense of crating CKD aircraft sets, then excavating holes big enough to accommodate them, then to make good and level the site. And in the vanishingly remote possibility that they ever did commit such effort, Burmese flatlands tend to be distinctly soggy, and time interred would surely do all-metal aeroplane parts absolutely no good at all.

It would be really nice to be proved totally wrong. Incorrigible optimists have proved right before. But in this case few people in the know seem prepared to bet upon a happy outcome...

DCN

#429 Bob Riebe

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 22:45

Maybe one will eventually show up at the Reno races in competive form.

#430 arttidesco

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 22:46

The recovery of the buried Burma Spits get the go-ahead! :clap: there's 60 of them ... :love:


The headline in the Times, of London, said twenty :confused:

I guess nobody knows exactly what they are going to find.

I can't see the market being greatly affected, if these are Griffon powered, the Merlins will still be the most sort after, I imagine some of these new found ones will find their way to the US racing scene.

#431 Macca

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:14

The son of the discoverer said on the radio yesterday that there are 14, and he is a pilot himself and sounded quite enthusiastic.

Paul M

#432 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:25

I can't see the market being greatly affected, if these are Griffon powered, the Merlins will still be the most sort after, I imagine some of these new found ones will find their way to the US racing scene.

Whilst we who remember them would regard the Merlin-powered marks as the most sought after, a large number of aeroplanes flying are the later Griffon-powered jobs. Different noise, but the same general look as they fly past you.
The rather oddly named Battle of Britain Memorial Flight has three late examples which have Griffons.

#433 kayemod

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:33

Griffon-powered jobs. Different noise, but the same general look as they fly past you.


They all sound wonderful to me, but could you give us some clues regarding the difference?


#434 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:56

They all sound wonderful to me, but could you give us some clues regarding the difference?

It is generally put down to the different firing order, but the Grffon's valve timing was less racey than the Merlin which would also have had an effect on the sound.

I don't know but I am told that the firing orders are:

Merlin: 1A-6B-4A-3B-2A-5B-6A-1B-3A-4B-5A-2B
Griffon:1A-4B-3A-2B-5A-1B-6A-3B-4A-5B-2A-6B

These are the V12 (and reversed) equivalent of the two normal six-cylinder orders of 1-5-3-6-2-4 and 1-2-4-6-5-3 - the latter is unpopular as a six as it fires a couple of adjacent cylinders without another in between which has crank stress and inlet gasflow disadvantages.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 19 October 2012 - 08:59.


#435 Macca

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:21

Or more simply

Merlin: 27L, 3000rpm
Griffon:37L, 2750rpm

(for comparison, DB601 in Bf109 33.9L, 2500rpm)

Paul M

#436 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:58

Or more simply

Merlin: 27L, 3000rpm
Griffon:37L, 2750rpm

(for comparison, DB601 in Bf109 33.9L, 2500rpm)

Paul M

What you write is correct as rated r.p.m. but we are not talking about a semitone and a half difference in pitch. It it the character of the noise that we hear which is different.

#437 JacnGille

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:42

The son of the discoverer said on the radio yesterday that there are 14, and he is a pilot himself and sounded quite enthusiastic.

Paul M

The Huffington Post said 140 yesterday. :drunk:

#438 kayemod

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 12:54

Even if the airframes are too far gone as most of us expect, there should be an awful lot of usable spares down there, especially if everything was greased and wrapped as claimed.

#439 D-Type

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 16:20

How much of the aircraft noise comes from the engine exhaust and how much from the propellor?

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#440 arttidesco

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 16:39

The Huffington Post said 140 yesterday. :drunk:

and buried in more than one location? :smoking:

#441 Wuzak

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:44

Even if the airframes are too far gone as most of us expect, there should be an awful lot of usable spares down there, especially if everything was greased and wrapped as claimed.


The ones that definitely have been found are in their packing crates, presumably with some corrosion protection.



#442 Wuzak

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:55

The basic scenario just seems immensely unlikely. If a service unit wanted to dispose of redundant aircraft immediately postwar, they would have burned, crushed or scrapped them. They would not have invested the manpower, time, trouble and expense of crating CKD aircraft sets, then excavating holes big enough to accommodate them, then to make good and level the site. And in the vanishingly remote possibility that they ever did commit such effort, Burmese flatlands tend to be distinctly soggy, and time interred would surely do all-metal aeroplane parts absolutely no good at all.


Hi Doug.

As I understand it, the aircraft that were found had just been delivered in their packing cases when the war ended. That is, the service unit did not need to disassemble the aircraft and put them into crates. Basically they just buried all new aircraft in the crates, as they had been delivered.

I have heard of stories that RAAF Spitfires were dumped in a pit in the Northern Territory - basically buldozed in - but these were in-service aircraft..




#443 Wuzak

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:19

It is generally put down to the different firing order, but the Grffon's valve timing was less racey than the Merlin which would also have had an effect on the sound.

I don't know but I am told that the firing orders are:

Merlin: 1A-6B-4A-3B-2A-5B-6A-1B-3A-4B-5A-2B
Griffon:1A-4B-3A-2B-5A-1B-6A-3B-4A-5B-2A-6B

These are the V12 (and reversed) equivalent of the two normal six-cylinder orders of 1-5-3-6-2-4 and 1-2-4-6-5-3 - the latter is unpopular as a six as it fires a couple of adjacent cylinders without another in between which has crank stress and inlet gasflow disadvantages.



Or more simply

Merlin: 27L, 3000rpm
Griffon:37L, 2750rpm

(for comparison, DB601 in Bf109 33.9L, 2500rpm)

Paul M



What you write is correct as rated r.p.m. but we are not talking about a semitone and a half difference in pitch. It it the character of the noise that we hear which is different.


Another factor is the shape of the ejector exhausts, which are different on the Griffon.

But my understanding is that the timing order change was the key difference in engine sound.

#444 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:58

I believe the Griffon's direction of rotation was also opposite to that of the Merlin? A current Merlin operator also remarked to me a couple of days ago that it was really the Griffon that was developed from the R-Type engine, not the Merlin which owed more to the preceding Kestrel V12...

DCN

#445 Wuzak

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:09

I believe the Griffon's direction of rotation was also opposite to that of the Merlin? A current Merlin operator also remarked to me a couple of days ago that it was really the Griffon that was developed from the R-Type engine, not the Merlin which owed more to the preceding Kestrel V12...

DCN


Correct, the Griffon rotated opposite the Merlin.

The Griffon was first proposed as a production version of the R. This would be known as the Griffon I, but I don't believe any were built.

The R was the racing version of the Buzzard, or H. The H was basically a 6/5 scale of the F, which went into production as the Kestrel.

I suppose the Merlin owed its design mostly to the Kestrel, with the knowledge gained from the R.

The first Merlins were slightly different, however, using the Ramp Head, but when that proved to be a failure it was redesigned along the lines of the Kestrel.

The production Griffon shared little, if anything, with the R, other than the bore and stroke and the valve layout (which it shared with the Merlin and Kestrel).

#446 Mal9444

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:57

I believe the Griffon's direction of rotation was also opposite to that of the Merlin? A current Merlin operator also remarked to me a couple of days ago that it was really the Griffon that was developed from the R-Type engine, not the Merlin which owed more to the preceding Kestrel V12...

DCN


I have read that this phenomenon caught out many an experienced Spitfire pilot when first changing to a Griffon-powered aircraft, since to counter the torque when first applying power it was necessary to apply full left rudder instead of the normal right. Tricky enough - but doubly so if, out of habit, one opened the throttle while already and in anticipation of the swing pushing hard with the right (i.e. wrong) foot! At best embarrassing, at worst (in at least one instance in India towards the end of the war) fatal.

#447 Hse289

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:24

As this thread is about Spitfires i wonder if i could ask a question. My grandfather worked on Spitfires at Cunliffe Owen in Southampton. Does anyone have any photo`s of the workers there. I would love to find a picture of him there. His name was Herbert Williams, everyone called him Bill.

#448 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 18:56

Hi Doug.

As I understand it, the aircraft that were found had just been delivered in their packing cases when the war ended. That is, the service unit did not need to disassemble the aircraft and put them into crates. Basically they just buried all new aircraft in the crates, as they had been delivered.

I have heard of stories that RAAF Spitfires were dumped in a pit in the Northern Territory - basically buldozed in - but these were in-service aircraft..


Might well have been freshly delivered and not yet uncrated, but digging their grave alone would have been a mighty task. Scepticism prevails...but as I said, we would all love to be proved wrong.

I vividly remember my late father telling me how in 1946-47 crated and unused aero engines could be bought as war surplus, whereupon the pesky engines would be instantly scrapped because what the buyers really coveted was the timber from the crates...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 22 October 2012 - 19:00.


#449 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 19:14

Here in the rural Forest of Dean we are surrounded by hundreds of old mine shafts, many of which were used to dump war surplus material in the late 40s.
Brands new Jeeps, Harley Davidsons and tins of mustard gas(niiiiice!) are said to reside far beneath the oak trees...
However local rumour has it that most of the good stuff was rapidly hauled back to the surface and flogged off almost as soon as night fell!
No Spitfires however. Pity. :|

#450 kayemod

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 19:20

Might well have been freshly delivered and not yet uncrated, but digging their grave alone would have been a mighty task. Scepticism prevails...but as I said, we would all love to be proved wrong.

I vividly remember my late father telling me how in 1946-47 crated and unused aero engines could be bought as war surplus, whereupon the pesky engines would be instantly scrapped because what the buyers really coveted was the timber from the crates...

DCN


A friend used to be in the scrap/reclamation business back in the 1950s. He told me how they used to buy ex-RN Fairmile D MTBs for ridiculously small amounts of money, I can't recall the figure he quoted, but I think it was under £100. The real value was in the bronze propellers and deck fittings, but each one also contained four Packard V12s, essentially Merlin copies, which he found difficult to dispose of for any sum at all. They used to set fire to what remained after they'd stripped everything he could sell. He also bid for but didn't get, quite a large number of Canadian-built Fairmile B & C boats, all of which were surplus to requirements when the war ended. The MoD didn't accept his bid, but couldn't find anyone willing to pay more, so the boats were broken up and buried/burned. This was somewhere on the banks of the Severn near Stourport. A housing estate was built over the site, and anyone there digging their garden to a depth of ten feet or so will find all kinds of interesting things. This kind of thing must have happened many times back then, quite possibly all over the world in fact.