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About Aeronut

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    Middle of nowhere Hampshire

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  1. The Mk II nose is slimmer caused by the simple fact that the main fuselage has flats chamfered into it from two frames back from the transport joint. In elevation the nose is similar in shape but in planform the MkIi is more pointed. Under the nose there’s is a transversal mounted tubular strake to drop the tow rope damaging the wooden structure. The nose leg is different not just twin wheels replacing the single one on the MkI, but it is also shorter and doesn’t project above the cabin floor as on the MkI. Another significant chance to the fuselage is the shock absorber for the landing skid. On the Mk I this was a stack of rubber blocks, on the Mk II it was two oleo in tandem. The rest of the airframe was unchanged, indeed film of Operation Varsity shows MkII with faded (washed out) invasion stripes, these were aircraft made up from a new MkII nose and fuselage mated to wings and rear fuselage of Horsa Mk I recovered from Normandy. I’m away from home and my archive at the moment so I can’t back all this up with diagrams but if anyone is interested........... BTW all but one of the surviving original Horsa noses are Mk II, the only original MkI is on display at Middle Wallop where it can be compared to restored and unrestored MkII noses and forward fuselages.
  2. Aeronut

    Sanger Hamilcar

    JW, I can provide you with details from Hamilcar official documents. PM me if interested.
  3. Tony, the floor trackway was wood not metal and it could be moved to suit the track of the vehicle carried. What metal the Hamilcar had was mostly stainless steel, and used only on the high stressed areas.
  4. RAF Dakotas towing Horsa on D-day? Yes, a quick search showed that the Dakotas of 48 and 271 Sqns at Down Ampney dropped paras and towed Horsas.
  5. Tony, PM me if you are going to town on the interior as I have scans of the AP and Illustrated Parts manual I could let you have.
  6. Some of the SAS jeeps were airdropped from Halifax.
  7. Aeronut

    Bruce Crompton

    As a one time Air Cadet Gliding instructor on the Venture motorglider I can confirm that trees attract full size aircraft as well. One particular run at RAF Little Rissington had a large field suitably placed for practice engine failures as it was almost the size of the airfield itself. However, slap bang in the middle was a lone oak tree. With plenty of room either side of this tree to aim for guess where, without exception, the trainee cadet would aim to land?
  8. Aeronut

    No.1 PTS Whitley

    Using the reports I have from the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment. I've been slowly compiling a list of all the aircraft it used, from the time when the Central Landing Establishment / Airborne Forces Establishment at RAF Ringway carried out all experimental and training work (ie before the PTS. GTS and AFEE gained independent identities). So far I've identified the following Whitley aircraft as those present at Ringway. Mk II K7220 Code letter T Mk II K7230 Code letter Y Mk II K7231 Code letter R Mk II K7262 Mk III K8991 (mock up container drop system for Hengist glider from ventral exit hole) Mk IV Z9420 (Glider Tug towing lights) The list is nowhere near complete as not all aircraft were described by their serials, and the quality of the photographs is generally poor .
  9. Aeronut

    No.1 PTS Whitley

    The turret was removed for the early parachute tests when they were developing the ‘Satichute’ (Static line parachute) as this was a progression of the live pull off jump technique used at RAF Henlow, where the jumpers stood on the wing tips of Vimy and Virginias and parachuted by pulling their rip cords and letting the opening parachute pull them off the wing. Early jumps from the Whitley were pull offs from the platform in the rear turret position and progressed to jumping with statichutes. The problem was that you couldn’t get paratroops through the fuselage fast enough for a proper stick of troops so the jump exit was changed to hole left in the fuselage floor by the removal of the ventral turret. As a result obsolete or war worn bombers could be released for paratroop operations, first the Whitley then the Wellington and Halifax, even the Manchester and Lancaster had these turret positions built in and they were tested for paratroop ops. An exit through a side door was always the preferred paratroop exit but in 1940 the only British aircraft you could do this from was the Bombay and the Hotspur, Hengist and Horsa gliders were designed (and tested) for para dropping from the doors. The arrival of the Dakota saw the door exit increase in use but the numbers of aircraft needed meant that the hole in the floor exit continued (it was possible from the Beverley) even after the war. Returning to the turretless Whitley’s at Ringway after the turret position had been relegated from parachuting duties it was use as a trials location for the Hafner Rotachute rotor and as a convenient location for a photographer covering the other experimental work carried out at Ringway.
  10. The museum at Hawkinge doesn’t allow photography (including phones) on their site. This due to thieving scroates using photos for targeted thefts, it’s a rule that’s irritating if not offensive if you are an honest person, but it’s their museum and their rules. I’ve been there but I won’t be going back because of this rule, so it’s their loss ( of revenue)
  11. It might not be the Museum. I remember seeing a Herc’s nose art that had come back from the Gulf and it was obvious that the female (she was no lady) depicted had had underware painted on as an afterthought - the detail visible underneath the later coat of paint being very anotomically correct. I can imagine that the Squadron was OK with it but that senior officers would not have been especially if the aircraft was operating from Saudi bases, hence the cover up. That said, as the RAFM is run by a woman the additional artwork could be the museum’s.
  12. Islander AL1 ZG993 has recently gone on display at the Army Flying Museum, Middle Wallop. There you can learn about the aircraft’s roles of liaison, photo recce, and Signals Intelligence gathering. You can also get close enough to see that it is painted in TWO shades of grey.
  13. Were blade poles used to support the blade tips when the lift wasn’t available?
  14. This photo may explain your previous comment about the difference in incidence of the tail planes. Those V struts and the slot in the fin as well as the cranked fittings between the fins and the upper tail plane suggest that the upper surface had variable incidence for longitudinal trim.
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