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Gannet decommissioning salute


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There's 2 good Gannet builds ongoing at the moment, with Perdu detailing an old Frog/Novo Gannet into a COD4 but steadfastly refusing to fold the wings, and Massimo adding every last detail to his Sword AEW3's scratchbuilt wing fold. This got the brain cells stirring.

The Gannet wings fold in unison, but I've seen somewhere a photo and story where one wing was rigged to fold on it's own - trouble is I can't find it, can anyone point me in the right direction?

IIRC, it was a Gannet Squadron decommissioning ceremony, AS4's?, and the squadron engineering officer had blanked off the port wing fold actuation lines so that as the Gannet taxied past the saluting dias, the pilot could operate the wing fold mechanism and the starboard wing would fold in a "salute". There was a photo of this taken from above and in front (fram a hangar roof? it was a shore station) of the taxiing line of Gannets, with the lead Gannet "mid salute" as it passed the dias. Does this ring any bells with anyone?

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I can't warrant as to the occasion, but my Dad swore he saw this very thing.  When the RAF and the RN shared some ground in Northern Ireland, there was some sort of parade that he said was RAF, although by some means he didn't have to be there.  Instead he and a friend went into town, which entailed going around part of the perimeter on a raised bank.  That allowed them a good view of events.  As the terribly senior officer was taking the salute, a Gannet was taxying nearby.  The pilot spotted the parade and, just as he passed in front of the terribly senior officer, he raised the right wing and lowered it again.  Which actually raised a smile from the terribly senior officer.

 

If true (and I've no reason to doubt it), this could mean that you didn't need special fixes to make the Gannet's wings fold separately, and that it might have been done more than once.  Or Dad might have spotted the decommissioning you mention.  I'd be interested to know the definitive version myself.

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There is a photo in pinterest posted by Nikos Poiitis showing a one wing folded gannet.

Its a german one (I think) so unlikely to be the same one :) 

You can find it with a search on gannet asymetric wing fold or on nikos' posts.

cheers

Tony

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@pigsty

Thanks for your dads reminiscences Sean, I'm fairly sure some engineering had to be done to achieve this, so would most likely have been a one off do, and most likely the event your dad saw. If this had been a regular party trick I think it would have been much more widely known about. You don't know which base it was?

 

@PenquinTony

Thanks for the info, but I can't find any photo of one wing folded on a gannet from that - could you post a link to it please?.

If it's a preserved airframe its quite possible this has been done deliberately, the incident I'm referring to was however whilst the Gannet was still in service, albeit just about to retire!

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The one folded Gannet in Germany is UA+110 a museum display aircraft (https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/full_size_03/1005068-large.jpg), so would have been posed like that while the aircraft was decommissioned and I doubt with it's own hydraulics.

 

Ordinarily both wings fold together, using one lever.

There was a delay so that one wing tended to start folding before the other, but to make one fold and not the other would need some form of engineering intervention.

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30 minutes ago, Dave Swindell said:

You don't know which base it was

Definitely Northern Ireland.  Dad was at Ballykelly on Shackletons, and so it must have been after Eglinton closed and the RN squadrons moved over.  Eglinton = HMS Gannet, strangely.

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I'd think the one wing folded was done the same way as done with Sea Venom.

Select fold then start madly pumping the hand pump while a couple of bods hold the wing you want to stay spread.

The hand pump moves such a tiny amount of fluid it doesnt take much to distract it.

The reason for the delay of one wing on power spread is the little lockheed hydraulic pump being unable to cope with the sudden 

demand on the system thus one wing starts moving then the other when the system pressure rises again (again same thing with Venoms)

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18 hours ago, 71chally said:

The one folded Gannet in Germany is UA+110 a museum display aircraft (https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/full_size_03/1005068-large.jpg), so would have been posed like that while the aircraft was decommissioned and I doubt with it's own hydraulics.

 

Ordinarily both wings fold together, using one lever.

There was a delay so that one wing tended to start folding before the other, but to make one fold and not the other would need some form of engineering intervention.

Thanks James, as i suspected on both counts.

 

17 hours ago, pigsty said:

Definitely Northern Ireland.  Dad was at Ballykelly on Shackletons, and so it must have been after Eglinton closed and the RN squadrons moved over.  Eglinton = HMS Gannet, strangely.

Thanks Sean, I'd also spotted Eglinton = HMS Gannet. I'll do a bit more searching on Ballykelly when I get home.

17 hours ago, PhoenixII said:

Here's the link to the German 'saluting' Gannet.

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6d/11/b0/6d11b02830b5b936e0fca5bc451a3551.jpg

 

Sorry can't find an 'in service' FAA aircraft.

 

Paul

Thanks for the link Paul, proof you can actually fold just one wing.

 

6 hours ago, NAVY870 said:

I'd think the one wing folded was done the same way as done with Sea Venom.

Select fold then start madly pumping the hand pump while a couple of bods hold the wing you want to stay spread.

The hand pump moves such a tiny amount of fluid it doesnt take much to distract it.

The reason for the delay of one wing on power spread is the little lockheed hydraulic pump being unable to cope with the sudden 

demand on the system thus one wing starts moving then the other when the system pressure rises again (again same thing with Venoms)

Thanks for your comments Steve, being an engineer with hydraulics experience i'd fully agree with them, however in the event I remember reading about the Gannet was fully powered up and taxiing, no bods hanging off a wing tip ( though that would make an intereting addition to a diorama!). With the aircraft taxiing id assume it would have reserve hydraulic pressure (brakes etc) so both wings would start folding once fold is selected and the unlocking sequence has completed, so as James says, some engineering interference would be required (blanking of off hydraulic lines to the non folding wing). Fairly straightforward to do as you suggest though when powered down with the hand pump as in the german museum example.

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When RNAS Eglinton closed in 1959 one of the Gannet squadrons used RAF Ballykelly, 719 maybe. 

From then on any Gannet detachments to Northern Ireland used Ballykelly.

Can check Sqns of the Fleet Air arm later, maybe be a sqn decommissioning there.

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Mr Long may care to comment further, but I have a recollection of attending an airshow at Albatross at which a bunch of Trackers did the same thing. It may have been the 1969 show, or the show at which the Trackers paid off - I can't remember exactly which. I was fairly tied up assisting RANGA with its part in both shows.

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An interesting topic and yes I have seen a saluting picture somewhere

 

 

But

 

I'm still not folding XA4thingythingy

 

😁

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I have not been able to find any reference to a saluting Gannet at Eglinton (HMS Gannet) or Ballykelly.

However if you want something a bit different, the accidental 'clipped wing' Gannet was an Eglinton creation.

 

Gannet AS1 WN349 from 719 NAS at Eglinton probably flew into turbulence from the Gannet in front when pulling out from a rocket-firing dive over the coastal range at Minearney, Northern Ireland

This neatly removed both of the folding wingtip sections of the Gannet at the fold line.

Thankfully Lt Eric Taylor kept control and successfully landed it at Eglinton. He and his crewman were unhurt. This was in November 1958. 

 

It is mentioned here:  https://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?122110-Carrier-Aircraft-Wing-tips-up-in-flight

 

There is even a very nice picture.

Coded 'GN' on the fin and '550' on the nose (but just '50' on the lower part of the finlets) it was broken up for spares in early 1959.

This neatly solves the 'fold or not to fold' question but still keeps the wingspan reasonable.....

 

As an aside, the Eglinton SAR Dragonfly went out to lift the wing sections from the mudflats next day.

Lt Cdr Meadowcroft, the senior helicopter pilot, saw his winchman connect the line to the strops that were already around the wing.

He put on power to start the lift and nothing happened; adding more power meant the load for the winch by the port door had to be balanced on the cyclic.

The wing was full of mud and water, making much heavier than it appeared.

Full power produced no result other than the nose suddenly dropping, so the winchman, without first telling the pilot, used the emergency cutter on the cable.

With the load gone instantly, the Dragonfly rolled hard to starboard and crashed onto the mudflat a few feet below. Neither winchman nor very surprised pilot were badly hurt in the crash.

Exit one Dragonfly, WN498, and one chastened winchman, I suspect.

This tale comes from "Flying from Derry' by Guy Warner of the Ulster Aviation Society, a very interesting book and well worth reading.

Naval flying has always been 'interesting' and Guy tells his history very well.

John

 

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Hi John, thanks for the post, I vaguely remember reading somewhere about the loss of the outer wings, but hadn't heard the postscript before, excellent story, especially as there were no serious injuries! I'll keep lookimg for my saluting Gannet, it's out there somewhere...

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