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71chally

Blackburn Palouste Airborne Air Start Pod

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Posted (edited)

During the 1950s Blackburn Aircraft wanted to venture into the world of light gas turbines to replace their line of small piston engines.  They struck a licencing deal with Turbomeca of France to

Produce and develop the Palas light turbojet. 

 

Three versions of the basic Palas followed,

one which could bleed off the excess air to be used for hot gas tip propulsion or air start, the Palouste 

one with an extra turbine stage, reduction gearbox and generator, as an onboard Auxilary Power Unit, the Artouste 

and one with a rear gearbox and drive, the Turmo, a coupled version of this was also produced.

Blackburn engines were later subsumed by Bristol-Siddeley, which in turn was taken over by Rolls Royce.

 

Im19570517Aero-Palouste.jpg

 

Blackburn produced an air start pod using the Palouste engine, this used air bleed from the turbine assembly which could then be fed through a hose to start aircraft gas turbine engines.

The Royal Navy was an obvious candidate for the pod as it could be carried on the hardpoint of an aircraft, allowing the starter pod to be deployed with an aircraft or squadron if they hand to land away from base or the parent carrier.  The compact shape of the pod also made it ideal for carrier deck use.

 

Palouste pods evolved and changed slightly during their production life, the earlier ones look more bulbous and had twin nose wheels, and what looks to be a fully retractable undercarriage. 

The later pods seem to vary a little as well, some have a proper inlet door (see the Gannet pic) some have the pylon shoe integral with the pod (like the one below), while some don't.

Some also gained a top hamper, i'm guessing for easier hose stowage (see the Sea Vixen pic)

 

The nose wheel unfastens using pip pins, and I think the mainwheels must unfasten and then they are put in the rear hose stowage compartment.

I would say that the wheels/track is no wider than the body, so say 2ft. 

From front to back you have the fuel tank, controls/instrument panel and battery bay, engine inlets and starter section (including back-up hand crank handle!), the Palouste engine, exhaust, and then the hose stowage bay. 

The pod is often pictured with the whole aft section removed for running. 

I'm not sure why the tail section is shaped like it is, but I wonder if the hose to aircraft coupling fits in there or something

 

40734839151_d06e2ba491_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod dims by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

A: Overall length 12' 9 1/4" (153 1/4")                389.25mm

B: Maximum width 24"                                       60.96mm

C: Nose to leading edge of pylon shoe 35"           88.9mm

D: Length of pylon shoe at pod body top 64 1/2"  163.83mm

E: Nose to undercarriage mid point 72"                182.88mm

F: Pod aft edge to end of tail part 3 1/4"              8.25mm

G: Aft edge to jet pipe door aft edge 13 1/4"        33.65mm

H: Aft edge to jet pipe door fwd edge 60"            152.4mm

C1: Widest circumference 80"                             203.2mm

C2: Aft edge of pod circumference 46"                 116.84mm

C3: Tail part to pod constant circumference 37"    93.98mm

Wheel track 24" approx                                      60.96mm

 

40692296632_39e2005cb3_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

40692295092_5932a91cc4_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

38924846630_862c3a9bb7_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr Exhaust and hose stowage door open

 

25897660047_229ea89aab_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr        Controls/instrument panel and engine inlet doors open

 

25897658547_1285999668_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

25897656517_ed8986750a_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873510315_bede6640a0_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873508965_bbbe940dbc_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

25897652787_1c7404d53c_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873506495_c428c41cc9_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by JamesThomas,on  Flickr       Controls/instrument panel

 

40058626294_c61da958dd_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873502595_50ea82ba3f_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

26898096088_5c7a30f2f8_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873501385_32bc9d053a_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873500405_4c86cf6d2d_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

39873498875_3aeefc0512_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

40058617654_a415686310_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

40058616674_4ef3810b0d_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

25897649597_974f217f41_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

Connection for the starter air hose to the starting aircraft

 

40726429622_1773d13358_c.jpgBlackburn Palouste Air Starter Airborne Pod by James Thomas, on Flickr       Fuel cap

 

 

Many thanks to John at Horizon for allowing me access to this pod.

 

 

 

Edited by 71chally

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Thank You for the pics. Dunno why the RAF didn't use the podded version. I was on exercise at Honington once (about 81) and had to go across the airfield to a Robin hanger to retrieve some GSE. Among the stored Houchins (old, petrol 25 Kva's [ we used the diesel variety normally] were racks of Paloustes, complete with hampers. Maybe there was a plan for the FAA to return one day?

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Ossington said:

Thank You for the pics. Dunno why the RAF didn't use the podded version. I was on exercise at Honington once (about 81) and had to go across the airfield to a Robin hanger to retrieve some GSE. Among the stored Houchins (old, petrol 25 Kva's [ we used the diesel variety normally] were racks of Paloustes, complete with hampers. Maybe there was a plan for the FAA to return one day?

There was also a  towed air starter (by landrover)   box shaped version  used by the RAF that I have used. This was around 1979. it was green with a yellow band/RAF markings and had a fold out exhaust panel.

 

http://www.gasturbineworld.co.uk/lpstartermk12.html

Selwyn

Edited by Selwyn

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I seem to recall these paloustes were only ever used by the Navy , this was certainly the case at Honington namely 809 Sqn and the RN contingent of 237 OCU,

the tail fairing was not fitted  and a tubular towbar fitted to the front wheel.

It is fair to say the ones in storage were probably war reserve, I never saw one fitted to an RAF Buccaneer.


The name Palouste became a generic term for gas turbine air starters.

 

 

Koala

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James have you asked Julian if we can have this in the official walkaround section, in here there is a risk/ certainty of losing them in the passage of time

 

It would be nice to get further stuff on the other, earlier ones too

 

I feel projects a brewing...

 

Lovely pictures

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Thanks for the info...Hadn't known any of that. What a great system.

 

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Congratulations 71Chally on creating this reference post on the Palouste starter pods - it is going to be a very useful reference and I look forward to seeing models of these pop up alongside FAA models

CJP

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WOW WOW WOW!!!!:yahoo:

This is what I calla reference!!!

You did really great James!!! Absolutely superb stuff!!!

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18 hours ago, Ossington said:

Dunno why the RAF didn't use the podded version. I was on exercise at Honington once (about 81) and had to go across the airfield to a Robin hanger to retrieve some GSE. Among the stored Houchins (old, petrol 25 Kva's [ we used the diesel variety normally] were racks of Paloustes, complete with hampers. Maybe there was a plan for the FAA to return one day?

When the FAA Buccaneers were based at Honington they would have the Palouste Pods on the flightline, I wonder if they were looked at with envy by the RAF line with their Palouste trolleys.  I'm guessing you saw the pods in storage.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone, if you feel you can add to it then please do, in particular I'm struggling to find pictures of the fast jets with a Palouste hung off a pylon.

And I would like to cover the earlier pods.

 

One thing I have just remembered is that CMK included the Palouste pod in at least one of their excellent resin Scimitar kits.

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Fascinating, thanks for sharing. We had a Palouste in a lab at uni, it was instrumented so students could take measurements of temperature and pressure at various points. Didn’t know about the podded version before though.

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In reply to your question 71chally the pod was not looked upon with envy by the RAF lineys ,when it wet started there was a jet of flame coming out of the jet pipe at kneecap height, so positioning it where it would not set light to things would be important.The only advantage it had was that you could manhandle the thing easier.The RAF Paloustes exhausts pointed upwards just dont park them under the wings, also most of HAS's had soot marks on the ceiling directly above where they were sited.

Another reason they were phased out, the S2B Buccaneer only had one internal emergency battery instead of two in the navy version, meaning that an external power supply was needed for engine starting.

As to using one mounted on an aircraft .When the engines had been fired up stowing the hose in the rear compartment right by the jet pipe whether it was running or just shut down would have been a very unpleasant task.

 

To bring things up to date the Air Start Trolley currently being used ,is a four wheeled box weighing seven and a half tons powered by a massive American diesel engine that takes two people to lift the towbar. 

  

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As an aside, another thing of interest on these images are that the paluste  is  fitted with the Standard British central single point suspension "Lollipop" style bomb lug used on British military aircraft of the 1950's-60's such as Sea Vixen, Javelin,  Hunter,  and Buccaneer (which i believe was the last in service aircraft to use this system) The Ejector release unit was inside the pylon and closed around the ball of the "Lollipop"  when loading. The  store was wound up tight against the bottom of the pylon and  swaybracing was done by the curved pylon baseplate (no seperate swaybraces). If you look at the images there can be seen  two spigots  on the store fore and aft that  engaged with holes in the pylon baseplate  when loaded to stop the store "spinning around" in flight on the pylon.  The British then moved to Bail type lugs on military aircraft  after 1964 when they adopted the NATO standard  twin suspension system. 

 

Selwyn

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What an amazing thread. I'd never really paid attention to such a key piece of kit untill seeing this stuff on the other threads in recent days. Might have to make one myself one day when my Gannet's materialise along with other FAA types.

Thanks for this!

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Posted (edited)

I seem to recall a Palouste being used to start the Gnat, although I could well be very wrong about that.

 

My only experience with a Palouste was over 30 years ago during the final airfields phase of trade training at Cosford, the wizened old Chief brought one out to demonstrate to us neophyte techies, he started it up and it proceeded to grumble, rattle and then spit its guts out across the grass with a loud bang (fortunately nobody got hit by the debris).  I was left with the feeling that starting an aircraft with something that produced ballistic debris couldn't end happily.

 

Great thread and reference James, thanks for sharing!:thumbsup:

Edited by Wez

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Posted (edited)

Wez, the Gnat display team use a Palouste pod, so wouldn't doubt what you are saying

http://gnatdisplayteam.org/wp-content/gallery/gdt-aircraft/IMG_5547.jpg

 

 

 

The US Navy also used a similar starting pod, as seen starting this RA-3B Skywarrior

39001815070_d7bfe6fbfb_c.jpgRA-3B Skywarrior starter pod by James Thomas, on Flickr

 

Some great info on it in Tommys' Tailhook Topics blog

http://thanlont.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/portable-air-start-cart.html

 

F4Models make a kit of the US Navy type, maybe they will cover the Palouste one day!

http://f4models.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/us-navy-air-transportable-aircraft.html

Edited by 71chally

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Fair does Scim, we can't even boast we have a decent Air Force either yet

 

Damn those swine that voted in the Bliar Age

 

But 'nuff of damned politics, it has wrecked far too much of our futures, I need to get into my spare missile/tanks and armaments assorted box looking for Paloustable bits

 

 

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That picture of the Gnat starting with a podded Palouste is the first time I've seen the pod kind connected to an RAF aircraft. During my time at Valley, the Gnats used only the trailer type, as did the Arrows AFAIK.

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Does anyone make a model of it ! Like one in 1/72.

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Posted (edited)

The only ones available that I know of is in one of the CMR Supermarine Scimitar (CMR-224) boxings and the Alleycat Gannet AEW.3.

 

I'm hoping an aftermarket manufacturer will get inspired to do one!

Edited by 71chally

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I can't match the anecdotes of you groundcrew who actually used a Palouste - but the Russians went one better and trialled a pod to transport GROUNDCREW on deployment...

 

day_01_030.jpg

 

It was designed to fit under the wing of a Su-25 - note the hinged door and the small window to keep the occupant amused.

 

I don't have any idea what the Soviet groundcrew thought of the idea - but it was never deployed.

 

Ken

 

 

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I could tell you what my response would have been but this site has rules about swearing and profanity :whistle:

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