Jump to content

As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Fritag

1/72 Jet Provosts - Finished

Recommended Posts

You are me, even down to the medical problem (I was grounded with severe arthritis for my final year in the mob). My eventual plan is Chippie - Bulldog - Gazelle (done) - Sea King 5 - Lynx 3 - Sea King 6 - Lynx 3s. At least I have ships to work my way through as well: Norfolk - Fearless - Boxer - Ark Royal (in progress) - Broadsword - Blackwater...

You need to build a few airfields, mate

I was enjoying following that gazelle in the group build. Did you ever post any completed pictures in the group build or general RFI?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful stuff! I love the attention to detail you bring to your builds.

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful stuff! I love the attention to detail you bring to your builds.

Martin

:)

Chief pot to very subordinate kettle - over...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was stressing about how to fix the PE - and then Bill outlined his sweetie wrapper technique over on his Scout thread. thanks Bill.

Ahhh - so you're not actually going to make anything from sweetie wrappers??!! I understand now..... :lol: I've missed Bill's latest thread, I shall scoot off to find it in a bit...

.. years later when I was sent on the QWI course my wife had to try and re-teach me basic mathematics so that I could do the ballistics calculations.

That was something that I never understood in my life. I was selected as a Nav. when I passed Biggin Hill selection. When I moaned & asked why they said it was because I'd excelled at the maths based tests. I was absolutely PANTS at maths all through school (lowest pass mark in O level!) & still am now. I reckon they got my tests mixed up with someone elses & I would actually have made an absolutely exceptional,

steely eyed, fighter puke...!!! :pilot::rofl:

keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will so miss this build when it's done. I have had a wonderful insight into the life of a British military pilot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will so miss this build when it's done. I have had a wonderful insight into the life of a British military pilot.

Nah, Banter and stories will continue around a pair of Hawks instead, Start getting worried in 2016 when the paint goes on the F16

Edit actually F16 going to be 2017 I reckon as the Hawks will be 2015, Jaguars 2016

Edited by Cheshiretaurus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was selected as a Nav. when I passed Biggin Hill selection. When I moaned & asked why they said it was because I'd excelled at the maths based tests. I was absolutely PANTS at maths all through school (lowest pass mark in O level!) & still am now. I reckon they got my tests mixed up with someone elses & I would actually have made an absolutely exceptional,steely eyed, fighter puke...!!!

I'm another mathematical Pygmy who was initially selected for Observer - and just like Steve with his single seat tantrum, I threw my teddy out of the pram. I was lucky, in that being General List and having a CO who was himself a Vixen & Wessie 3 Looker (Colin Cooke-Priest, who was later FONAC), I was able to get some strings pulled and ended up re-categorised Pilot on the grounds that my aptitude tests "showed just as good for both". They were particularly looking for Observers at that point, so I guess I was lucky.

Not, I hasten to add as the son of an Observer, that it would have been second rate - but that wasn't how I felt at the time. Cue lots of banter with my Dad: "the brains of the outfit" (him) vs "talking ballast" / "no stick, no vote" (me).

You may be right, Steve; I'm not sure I ever did post the Gazelle in RFI. I will look at the weekend and remedy it this weekend if not.

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was something that I never understood in my life. I was selected as a Nav. when I passed Biggin Hill selection. When I moaned & asked why they said it was because I'd excelled at the maths based tests. I was absolutely PANTS at maths all through school (lowest pass mark in O level!) & still am now. I reckon they got my tests mixed up with someone elses & I would actually have made an absolutely exceptional,

steely eyed, fighter puke...!!! :pilot::rofl:

You just know that fate's got it in for you when the only time you get your sums to add up correctly it's used against you................

I've still got the letter somewhere telling me that I was being offered entry to the RAF as GD P (General Duties - Pilot). For some reason it was typed on a tiny sheet of really thin, almost transparent, paper and came in a tiny little envelope (same for you Keith?). Seems somewhat inappropriate that such important news (the fragile hopes of the young fritag rested on it after all) came in such a tiny envelope.

I'm another mathematical Pygmy who was initially selected for Observer - and just like Steve with his single seat tantrum, I threw my teddy out of the pram. I was lucky, in that being General List and having a CO who was himself a Vixen & Wessie 3 Looker (Colin Cooke-Priest, who was later FONAC), I was able to get some strings pulled and ended up re-categorised Pilot on the grounds that my aptitude tests "showed just as good for both". They were particularly looking for Observers at that point, so I guess I was lucky.

Ah yes. The whims of the powers that be. My BFTS course was first of all told that it was make the grade for group 1 (fast jets) or get the chop as we've got enough group 2 (transport) and group 3 (helicopter) pilots for the moment thank you very much - so several chaps who no doubt would otherwise have had long and satisfying flying careers got canned. And then almost at the last moment they changed their minds and selected a couple of chaps to do a helicopter lead in. One later failed the helicopter conversion course and the other went to fly Wessex in Hong Kong.

Of course the RAF's self imposed hierarchical approach (which I think went group 1 - group 3 - group 2) was probably flawed and probably pandered to self replicating bias that group 1 required the 'best' studes. As far as I can see (i) flying a helicopter generally requires more basic piloting talent that flying a jet and (ii) operating a military helicopter probably takes at least as much (if not more) capacity and airmanship and often in a far more demanding environment. I have to say that some of Ex-FAAWAFU's stories simply reinforce me in that view (not to mention the stories that come back from recent conflicts).

Edit actually F16 going to be 2017 I reckon as the Hawks will be 2015, Jaguars 2016

You saying I'm slow?...................................fair cop guv :) Funnily enough that's also what the wife said when she was trying to re-teach me basic maths.

Went for a TDF inspired cycle last night (might have stopped off at the pub as well) so didn't get much done. But to semi-legitimise this post I'm gonna post a couple of photos anyway.

I decided it was best to mask off the JP5 before attaching the PE actuators etc. so as to minimise the chance of knocking the PE off in the masking process. Started with the tricky bits such as the nose glazing and wing tip lights. Would have tried Chesiretaurus's parafilm technique - but I don't have any parafilm ( :)) so for me it was thin strips of Tamiya tape with a blob or two of micro mask to hold the strips together a bit better:

23e601c63044e827762a564e42ac3277_zps5b88

9b7f7239a1e1233e9dea73b4852d67e9_zps41e8

Steve

Edited by Fritag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've still got the letter somewhere telling me that I was being offered entry to the RAF as GD P (General Duties - Pilot). For some reason it was typed on a tiny sheet of really thin, almost transparent, paper and came in a tiny little envelope (same for you Keith?). Seems somewhat inappropriate that such important news (the fragile hopes of the young fritag rested on it after all) came in such a tiny envelope.

It was indeed Steve - I remember picking it up & thinking ''That's so thin, it must be a rejection letter''! And of course, when I read 'General Duties - Navigator', that to me was exactly what it was... Of course with maturity (really??!!) comes hindsight & I really should have embraced the opportunity more (although that post you put in the General's thread about the poor Bucc Nav sat behind PO Prune has made me think maybe I was right!!)

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes. The whims of the powers that be. My BFTS course was first of all told that it was make the grade for group 1 (fast jets) or get the chop as we've got enough group 2 (transport) and group 3 (helicopter) pilots for the moment thank you very much - so several chaps who no doubt would otherwise have had long and satisfying flying careers got canned. And then almost at the last moment they changed their minds and selected a couple of chaps to do a helicopter lead in. One later failed the helicopter conversion course and the other went to fly Wessex in Hong Kong.

Of course the RAF's self imposed hierarchical approach (which I think went group 1 - group 3 - group 2) was probably flawed and probably pandered to self replicating bias that group 1 required the 'best' studes. As far as I can see (i) flying a helicopter generally requires more basic piloting talent that flying a jet and (ii) operating a military helicopter probably takes at least as much (if not more) capacity and airmanship and often in a far more demanding environment. I have to say that some of Ex-FAAWAFU's stories simply reinforce me in that view (not to mention the stories that come back from recent conflicts).

In my era, at least, the FAA didn't have the same system as the RAF's Group 1 / 2 / 3 thing; if you joined the FAA to fly anything other than rotary wing, you were an idiot, and the occasional person was fished out of the wobble-heads' gene pool and sent off to hover in a jet. There was much more competition after the Gazelle / wings stage, to see who got Junglie, Lynx, Wasp or Sea King - again no choice in my case, because there were no post-Falkland Junglie spots for about 2 years; all 8 of us went Pinging.

I suspect back in the 60s/70s day the RN had exactly the same pecking order (F4 / Brick at the top, then Gannet, with Wessex seen as some sort of third rate) thing as the Crabs did. I never really understood it. Whenever I landed at Lossie or wherever (especially in a Lynx), I'd get the occasional first tourist in his speed jeans and his clanking leg restraints looking down his nose at me - though it has to be said that the vast majority of RAF aircrew are big kids just like the rest of us, and gave us plenty of respect. [Actually, the most arrogant "I hate Chopper Pukes!" fast jet tosser I ever encountered was a navy bloke on 899, the Shar OCU. I subsequently discovered he had 2 tours on Sea Kings in his log book; there's none so pure as the converted!]

My course (and the one after mine, so 28 & 29 RN Pilots Course) were very unusual in that at Topcliffe / Linton we were a joint RAF/RN course. I started my flying training shortly after the Falklands, and the FAA had cracked open the flying training pipeline as wide as it would go in 82, so wanted to throttle back a tad in 83. So we had 10 RN & 6 Crabs, of whom all the RAF and 8 RN went on to the next stage. The Beefers (instructors in RN-speak) at RNEFTS were mixed even then; the Boss was Jock Gunning, an ex-Vixen and F4 driver, and we had people who'd flown Junglie Sea Kings, Shackletons, Lightnings, RN Buccaneers, Wasps and even Beverleys to teach us. The inter-Service rivalry melted away (as it always does when people work together) - indeed, I spent the rest of my career with one RN button and one RAF on my Mess Kit; presumably, so did 6 RAF pilots, including Andy Offer, who ended up leading the Dead Sparrows.

At this point the RAF need was obviously for Tornado crews, so whenever asked in public what they'd like to fly, all the RAF boys would religiously say "Ooh, Tornados, please, Sir!". We knew better; one of our RAF brethren was only interested in one thing, namely flying the Chinook; not remotely interested in anything else, and never had been... but he had to be very careful who he said it to. So when on some crappy weather day when the Beefers had run out of Pilots' Notes Quizzes, and the instructors and studes were all sitting around drinking coffee and telling "and then the other wing fell off..." stories, the old question came out and this Chinook bloke was asked "What do you want to fly, Andy?", he said "Ooh, Tornados!"... and the RN contingent all blew a giant raspberry.

The cat was now out of the bag, so at the end of the course Jock went into bat on Andy's behalf; "I send around 60 student aircrew a year from this Squadron straight to the Gazelle at Culdrose, and you are telling me that just because he is wearing light blue this young man has to go down the fixed-wing pipeline, be Chopped from Group 1, then again from Group 2, and only then be ready to fly what he wanted to all along? You're mad!" Jock (as he usually did) eventually got his way; Andy Lovell went straight to Shawbury and saved the taxpayer about a year of training costs - and ended up with about 4,000 hours as an SF Chinook pilot of considerable skill. He brought a cab down to Culdrose Air Day about 10 years later and flew a display that made even the most cynical RN wobble-heads gasp - you can do things in a Chinook (like do a backwards running take-off) that most helicopters would not take kindly to.

In the end, it's all flying; they are just different skills. When, years later, I was Flight Commander of Broadsword on yet another Falklands patrol (I did 5, including the war!), the Boss of the Phantom detachment was an ex-RN Sub/Lt who'd transferred when the FAA lost the F4 15 years before. We used to have this weekly brief to act as a standing safety brief for fighter affil, so if we were ever airborne at the same time the F4s would try to bounce us and we'd try to evade; fantastic fun, and much more realistic training than set piece fighter evasion stuff in Wales. Eventually some of the Toom crews came flying with us to see the problem from the other side, and I got my F4 back seat ride. I expected the jet crews to find the Lynx somewhat sedate, but they got every bit as excited about 130 knots at 10 feet, or deck landings on a pitching frigate, as I did about wazzing about (it's a technical term) in 30 tons of McDonnell Douglas's finest. [The lessons were useful; a helicopter that sees the jet coming will always evade if properly handled (which is counter-intutive; most people think the helo would have no chance) - and few jets would waste an AIM9 on a helo.]

The skills are similar, but different. I ended up with over 1,500 deck landings in my log book, and it came to be routine; yet to anyone who has never done one, they are testing, dangerous stuff, especially at night. I, on the other hand, reckon that Steve racking a single-seat jet about at zero feet over the sea in poor visibility makes my thing sound like a walk in the park - just because I have never done it, I guess.

The Group 1 / 2 / 3 thing occasionally begat this mental pecking order - "I went Group 1, so I've never been chopped, so I am a better pilot than you are". Eventually people grew up, though, and realised what a load of twaddle that is!

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant post thanks Ex-FAAetc !!

My son in law is a Wokka loadie (or wso or whatever they're called today) & absolutely loves the beast! Had the opportunity to apply for Commissioned & pilot training but didn't want to risk ending up on Tiffie or Tonka & having to leave the Chinook community, so politely declined...!! I do wonder what I'd have done...?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this thread, it and so many others like it on here are beyond what I ever dared to dream of as a small child: being able to communicate with (well, in my case, for a very loose definition of communicate) and read of the adventures of RAF and Fleet Air Arm aircrew...as a child in the late 1980s and early 1990s, you were all gods to me, and I suppose, in a way, you still all are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do think this is the best thread I have ever read on BM. Keep it up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. If you wanted to read about the adventures and personal anecdotes of RAF and FAA crew as posted on here, you'd probably need to spend a tidy sum on books. It's all here for free (well almost). Plus we get great modelling. What's not to like!

I do concur with one of the posts above though, those spikey bits on the nose make it look quite predatory and menacing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

those spikey bits on the nose make it look quite predatory and menacing.

A predatory menacing JP5a? I think I like that - albeit that the only menacing the little old JP ever did was to the poor maxed-out stude inside. That said - there was the strikemaster........

I'm glad that you like the thread chaps - although I'm under no illusions in that it's really the contributions of others that makes it so.

I think the pecking order of flying ability is one of those super pub-discussion type questions in which you can while away a convivial evening in pleasant non-agreement. Bit like who's the best racing driver/surgeon/accountant etc. It's ultimately an invalid question because it's too context dependent and depends too much on what aspect of flying ability you ascribe priority to.

For what it's worth I agree with almost everything that Ex-FAAWAFU says in #810; with the exception of the suggestion that in the early 80s all RAF boys would religiously say "Ooh, Tornados, please, Sir!". in respond to the question what would they like to fly.

As I recall it - although the Tornado was shiny and new at the time it was not an aircraft that most (I can't say all) embryo fast jet pilots demanded to fly. The RAF system was very hierarchical with an underlying assumption that the 'best' (that invalid word again) students would be posted to single seaters. The corollary of that was the underlying assumption that most potential fast jet pilot would want to fly single seaters. There were always strong minded individuals who knew what they wanted (Buccaneers say or Phantoms) but I don't really recall any potential mud-movers I knew expressing a preference to fly Tornado's instead of the Harrier or Jaguar. This is obviously anecdotal and there will have been guys (perhaps many) who wanted the Tornado - but if so I didn't hear them shouting about it :). That said - I'm obviously not a reliable witness cos I always wanted to fly single seaters. There was just something about the freedom of being in sole possession of one of HMG's expensive and powerful toys that appealed. Selfishness perhaps - but why dilute the experience by having to share it with someone else? - especially as that someone else may be someone with a completely different character to yourself? Trivial reasons perhaps - and also I guess a peacetime attitude.

Anyway as I said I think the concept of 'best' pilots is wholly fallacious albeit fun to argue about.

For example - after I left the RAF and did my NPPL I thought I might like to get into competition aerobatics in a minor way and was lucky enough to fly a few times with a national competition winning aerobatic pilot. He was pretty scathing about RAF quality aerobatics in general and (by implication) mine in particular! His handling skills were phenomenal - way beyond my abilities - and by that measure he was easily the best pilot I'd ever flown with. But then he enjoyed endlessly practicing to perfect a loop etc. Me I got bored and made myself feel sick and gave up on the idea of competing at even the entry level.

But his extreme handling skills say nothing whatsoever about his potential ability (or not) to cope with (say) the pressure of all those night deck landings in pitching seas that EX-FAAWAFU had to do (and maybe came to love - for the demands they placed on him) or to lead a formation of 4 or 8 or 12 fast jets at low level into deteriorating weather with restricted airspace just above preventing you from climbing out of trouble (and you can't really just do an about turn with another half a dozen jets coming down the pipe), a flight of F4's in front with their radar's already beginning to light up the RWR and a few tyro pilots down the back bleating on about getting low on fuel. In other words great handling skills does not answer the question as to whether you can operate military hardware under pressure. It's all context dependent

I was an ok aircraft handler but I don't know whether I had the co-ordination to fly a gazelle (say).

Also I don't know whether I'd have had the characteristics to be a good aircraft captain.

Likewise I could never have been a successful Hunter pilot in the 60's and 70's cos I was never good enough at low level navigation. To be a good Hunter pilot you had to have enough capacity left - after navigating - to do the job. I (if my Hawk experience was anything to go by) would at worst have been lost all the time and at best been concentrating so hard on navigation that I'd have had little capacity left to operate the jet. Thankfully the fast jets of the 80's had inertial navigation systems - not perfect but good enough to liberate enough capacity for other tasks.

On the other hand - having the 'knack' of being able to navigate at low level doesn't itself mean that you can plan and lead a formation; and the corollary of a hunters having no nav kit was that they operated with much simplified tactics compared with (say) a Jag squadron (ditto for Harrier GR1/GR3 squadrons as the early Harrier nav kit was really pants).

IIRC the Lightning was seen as particularly demanding because of the ever present risk of running out of fuel - and also because of the difficulty of operating the radar. No real Nav skills were needed however!

And so on and so on.

Anyways. Back to the JP5. Masking now complete and ready to stick the last bits of PE on before painting:

dee20881af86dfeebd6ea44e169e9f19_zps6abe

a004c123360dab2088f6365cf4ae6e5a_zps9558

Hmm. I may be a bit overly anal with the masking.......

But thanks to Cheshiretaurus for the idea of using a vac mould to mask the canopies. Cracker.

Steve

Edited by Fritag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great post Steve!

I went in in 78, & being selected for Nav said I wanted Phantoms - always preferred Air Defence to mud moving (& really didn't want to sit in the back of a Nimrod!) Anyway, couple of months later it was all academic as I took my option to withdraw from training & ask BA if I could take up their offer of a place at Hamble for ATPL training. The week after I was discharged from the RAF BA decided they didn't actually need any more pilots for a while thank you....(about 15 years IIRC!) So not only was I a mathematical genius (according to OASC) but I was also the master of perfect timing....!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fully agree Steve 'Best pilot' Defiantly a variable and difficult to define thing, Assessment of a pilot certainly cannot be done by a snapshot as flying ability for an individual will vary in all aspects considerably on a daily basis, some days everything goes well accurate good handling, situational awareness, communication, teamwork/CRM etc then other days you can feel you shouldn't even allowed to be in charge of a paper plane. All of those aspect can vary individually as well. The grading of the same group of pilots will be different from the view point of different instructors/examiners on different days aswel. one day Bloggs A might ace everything while Bloggs B makes a complete mess of it all then the next day doing the same stuff it might be the other way round. I know people whose handling skils are second to none but couldnt make a decision to save their lives and show no initiative or leadership what so ever and then surprise you every now and again in a positive way. Then there are the gits who ace every aspect, like the chap I'm flying with this week. but even then he can have off days and another chap might be considered a more capable pilot if assesed that day. Shame he will get a command very soon and then I'll no longer have the pleasure of working with him.

JP5 aerials looking great, reminds me a bit of a bristle nosed catfish I used to have in the tank. My Vampire is back to a similar stage again have spent the last 2 weeks stripping the paint and smoothing it down ready for repaint again, combination of halfords rattle can primer not being smooth enough and too grainy to take the Xtracolor paint which seems so show any surface blemish much more than the Humbrol I'm used to. and a few orange peel areas its a lot less forgiving. Changed my vacuumed canopy mask to one from a male mould so fits over the canopy like a well fitting cap.

What paints are you going to use?

Edited by Cheshiretaurus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, great post, Steve. Fair point about the "Ooh, Tornados, Sir" - there may have been some variation; the key point was that my Chinook mate wouldn't have dared to mention that he really only wanted to fly something with rotating wings at that early stage of his career! Only losers flew rotary...

In my later years I ended up as SPLOT (sorry - Senior Pilot, for non-FAA types) of 819 NAS (Prestwick SAR / ASW Sea King 5s & 6s). Part of my role was to do CofC rides for 1st tour pilots after 6-12 months front line. Most of the boys (and they were all boys at that stage) who came to us were great, but you'd always get the occasional guy who had just about skin-of-teethed it through each phase of training. Without exception, these guys were good stick wagglers; I am thinking of one in particular who made me look agricultural and crude - his movements were smooth, beautifully co-ordinated and elegant (not words you often hear of a trusty Sea King!). But I failed him, and he eventually left the Navy not long after.

It's all very well being a great handler of the aircraft, but that's only a small part of the skill. This bloke's exemplary handling skills were what had got him all the way through training, but the CofC is another thing entirely; it's the final check ride that says your wings stay sewn onto your sleeve for ever, and (more pertinently) that you are officially cleared to captain one of HM's aircraft. So only about 20% of the check ride concerned your ability to fly the aircraft (we'd throw in some mountain flying and a couple of unusual emergencies, for instance). The rest was ALL about judgement, spare mental capacity and decision-making - Captaincy. If I pass this bloke, tomorrow I might be authorising him to lead a crew (so 3 other lives in his responsibility) to do... well, anything. So what we'd do was to get them airborne on a simple task, and then re-task them in mid-sortie - fly to these co-ordinates and pick up 3 people, the drop them on a mountain in Kintyre, ooh, sorry, didn't I mention that Macrahanish is black so what are you going to do about fuel? Etc. etc.

You'd load more and more and more onto them, and they are in a training mindset so they assume that if SPLOT is asking me to do it, it must be doable... which of course is the point; real life isn't like that, and I was invariably looking for the point where the guy would say "Not safe; sorry, but I can't do that". The moment a junior pilot said that to me, I generally knew he'd be OK.

Young Smoothie Stick-Waggler was, in the end, a bullshitter; THE single most dangerous person you can let loose in an expensive & dangerous piece of machinery. I let him dig a hole for as long as I dared, but eventually we reached the stage where he appeared to be seriously considering flying with one engine in manual throttle, to the wrong side of a (real) active danger area, from which because of the terrain his only escape route would have been to punch up into icing cloud, low on gas... I've seen enough. Let's go home.

He couldn't believe it; all the way though his training he'd been (rightly) praised for his gorgeous flying - he'd even won a trophy on the Gazelle - and now he was being told he was likely to be chopped. WTF? There was a lot of questioning (the Pusser had invested a lot of money in this guy), and he had at least one re-sit with a different examiner, but in the end I was vindicated and he didn't make it. At the time I was cross that the training pipeline had sloped its shoulders and passed him onto the front line for a decision, but with the perspective of time I suspect that's not entirely fair. He had only ever been on any Squadron for a maximum of 6 months before, and we'd only started to have doubts well after that. Besides, he could fly, and beautifully.

Like Steve, my assessment of my own flying would be that I was no more than an OK aircraft handler (though I certainly improved with experience). At the equivalent stage of my career to this poor bloke, I had a tendency to over-control under pressure and got the odd "agricultural" mention from my long-suffering Beefers. If you had to pick one pilot to fly a glorious display of pure smooth handling, my student friend would win over me every time.

But in the end he was like one of those teenage footballers you see on YouTube doing a squillion keepy-uppies and balancing the ball on the back of his neck; all terribly skilful, but pretty much no use whatsoever in a game of football.

And yes, Steve, you're right; I came to love the challenge of deck landings - they were my favourite bit of flying, especially in the Lynx (an aircraft totally born for flying from a small deck; the later marks of Sea King had so much gubbins in the back that they were a tad tail-heavy, which made them interesting to deck land in rough weather). The grid built into the deck into which the deck-lock harpoon on a Navy Lynx fits had the centre 6 holes (1 dead centre & the ring of 5 round it) painted red in Broadsword by my Flight, and two rows of black holes around that. The Boss hits the red spot (roughly 6" across), we buy the beers; he hits the black ring, he does. It became a long-running game over 2 years of flying - a draw overall, at a guess!

I don't think I would ever have made a good single-seat pilot - ironic, really, since if I could have flown any aircraft in history it would be the Sea Fury. I'd probably have got lost and flown it into a hill with my head inside the cockpit looking desperately for a map... but I'd have died smiling from ear to ear!

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another brilliant post ex-FAAWAFU, thanks for taking the time to share these tales with us!

I don't think I would ever have made a good single-seat pilot - ironic, really, since if I could have flown any aircraft in history it would be the Sea Fury. I'd probably have got lost and flown it into a hill with my head inside the cockpit looking desperately for a map...


I can relate to that - if I had managed to get selected as GD-Pilot I'd have still requested Phantoms or Buccs - seeing as how I'd once managed to lose Birmingham on a cross country when actually using a map....!! I'd have made a fine navigator!! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another brilliant post ex-FAAWAFU, thanks for taking the time to share these tales with us!

I can relate to that - if I had managed to get selected as GD-Pilot I'd have still requested Phantoms or Buccs - seeing as how I'd once managed to lose Birmingham on a cross country when actually using a map....!! I'd have made a fine navigator!! :lol:

Lose Birmingham? Respect. Suddenly I no longer feel so bad about shooting an approach to the wrong carrier...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another brilliant post ex-FAAWAFU, thanks for taking the time to share these tales with us!

I can relate to that - if I had managed to get selected as GD-Pilot I'd have still requested Phantoms or Buccs - seeing as how I'd once managed to lose Birmingham on a cross country when actually using a map....!! I'd have made a fine navigator!! :lol:

Yes agreed - thanks Crisp and you Keith and you Mark (BTW Mark - what route to command did you take - did you hours-build instructing?)

I can relate to that too (although I never missed britain's second biggest city!) . Nearly been there. 100'ft agl - 450kts low flying in North Scotland (work up training for Red Flag); bad weather - dodgy nav kit - inertial platform drifting - head in cockpit slewing the moving map display using the little left thumb controller behind the throttle - desperate to make the moving map display match the outside world - beep beep beep of the low height warner (70ft) in the headphones - look up with windscreen full of rising ground and jet descending with 30 degrees of bank. Jolt of adrenalin. Agricultural pull on the stick. Miss the ground. Back up to a hundred feet. Finish slewing the map (rather more carefully) and carry on. Old-old lesson just re-learnt. Not the first time and won't be the last time - but a bit closer than most perhaps.

Won't be a mud mover out there who hasn't survived at least one or two such episodes.

I went in in 78, & being selected for Nav said I wanted Phantoms - always preferred Air Defence to mud moving (& really didn't want to sit in the back of a Nimrod!) Anyway, couple of months later it was all academic as I took my option to withdraw from training & ask BA if I could take up their offer of a place at Hamble for ATPL training. The week after I was discharged from the RAF BA decided they didn't actually need any more pilots for a while thank you....(about 15 years IIRC!) So not only was I a mathematical genius (according to OASC) but I was also the master of perfect timing....!!

Ouch. No you're not paranoid - life really was out to get you :(

What paints are you going to use?

Same as I used on the Chippie I think. Acrylics - Tamiya XF2 matt white, Revell 330 matt fiery red and Humbrol 166 satin light aircraft grey.

I used Tamiya gray surface primer from a rattle can and didn't have any problems with orange peeling. I'm thinking of using Tamiya white fine surface primer from a rattle can on the JPs. But as ever am a bit nervous about using a rattle can.

Steve

Edited by Fritag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was just something about the freedom of being in sole possession of one of HMG's expensive and powerful toys that appealed. Selfishness perhaps - but why dilute the experience by having to share it with someone else? - especially as that someone else may be someone with a completely different character to yourself? Trivial reasons perhaps - and also I guess a peacetime attitude.

The 23-year-old me could probably relate to that, but in the end it depends on what you are used to. For obvious reasons, once the Gazelle was done I never flew solo (single pilot, often, but never solo) again - except once; only a few weeks before I was finally grounded I ferried a Lynx from Portland to Fleetlands (near Gosport), where it was going for some deep maintenance of some kind - probably conversion to HMA8, at that stage. It was a beautiful CAVOK day, visibility about 40 miles, so I just grabbed a map and flew it up there on my own. God it felt weird - really uncomfortable! I was never lost or even worried that I might be. I didn't even turn the radar on (I wouldn't have been able to reach the controls anyway), though I probably did some rudimentary pilot-ish playing with TANS (the Lynx 3's navigation "computer"). But not having someone sitting next to me just felt stupid; the aircraft even sounded "wrong", because there was no noise on the intercom through the other guy's boom mic.

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate to that too (although I never missed britain's second biggest city!) . Nearly been there. 100'ft agl - 450kts low flying in North Scotland (work up training for Red Flag); bad weather - dodgy nav kit - inertial platform drifting - head in cockpit slewing the moving map display using the little left thumb controller behind the throttle - desperate to make the moving map display match the outside world - beep beep beep of the low height warner (70ft) in the headphones - look up with windscreen full of rising ground and jet descending with 30 degrees of bank. Jolt of adrenalin. Agricultural pull on the stick. Miss the ground. Back up to a hundred feet. Finish slewing the map (rather more carefully) and carry on. Old-old lesson just re-learnt. Not the first time and won't be the last time - but a bit closer than most perhaps.

Won't be a mud mover out there who hasn't survived at least one or two such episodes.

Ouch! One of the saddest flying things I have ever heard was the black box recording from (I think) the Azores crash in the 70s. American machine voice: "Pull up! Pull up!" Spanish pilot voice: "Shut up, Gringo!"... BANG.

Arguably the biggest challenge we faced when putting experienced Sea King Lookers through the Lynx conversion was to get them to look out of the bleedin' window. They were so used to sitting staring at the big washing machine going round in front of them, covered in hot oil in the dark in the back of a Sea King, that the opportunity to lift their head a few degrees and blink happily in the sunshine seemed to throw them. "In 2 minutes you'll be turning left onto a heading of 345; you'll probably see a row of pylons to your right as we turn". "What, you mean those pylons over there in the 2 o'clock?" "GAAAAH!"

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used Tamiya gray surface primer from a rattle can and didn't have any problems with orange peeling. I'm thinking of using Tamiya white fine surface primer from a rattle can on the JPs. But as ever am a bit nervous about using a rattle can.

Steve

Not just me, then. I am not that far away from priming large areas of my Ark Royal, and I cannot decide what to use. The deck markings are so different that I am starting to think that I'm going to prime the whole flight deck in white and then invest in ludicrous quantities of Tamiya masking tape, but there has been so much work in getting the deck to this stage that I am growing nervous of what paint to squirt at it.

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW Mark - what route to command did you take - did you hours-build instructing?

Did what was called at the time the self improver route, now called modular.

Started with a PPL But not intending go commercial as I though it would be beyond me financially. But being surrounded by many others at the flying club all going through the CPL/ATPL route and following a particularly cr_p day at work along with the 3rd threat of redundancy in as many years. The decision was made to change careers Self studied the writtens and used Alex Whittingham's brush up courses at Bristol. Then did the BCPL module at Gloucester and an instructors course at Halfpenny Green, Did just over 2000hrs instructing and picking up the instrument rating at Bristol along the way once 700hrs had been obtained, in those days you were exempt from a full IR course if you had over 700hrs. On the morning of September 11th 2001 I had two airline job offers arrive in the post both of which were withdrawn by events a few hours later that day. I then joined my present employer just over a year later and got the command after a few years serving my time as a First officer. All good fun!

Same as I used on the Chippie I think. Acrylics - Tamiya XF2 matt white, Revell 330 matt fiery red and Humbrol 166 satin light aircraft grey.

I used Tamiya gray surface primer from a rattle can and didn't have any problems with orange peeling. I'm thinking of using Tamiya white fine surface primer from a rattle can on the JPs. But as ever am a bit nervous about using a rattle can.

Have used rattlecan Mr Surfacer 1200 this time seems much smoother, The Halfords rattle can from now on will only be used decanted to the airbrush.

Edited by Cheshiretaurus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...