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Up at the Boscombe Down Aircraft Collection they are restoring a T7. 

As a Member I can look closely at what is going on and whilst talking to some of the engineering team had a look at the 2 seats. 

Ejector Seats? No. 

Something modern and sophisticated? No

 

They are exactly the same seats as used in the late model Hawker Hurricane!

Standing inside the canopy the frames are massive, the glass area is only about 60%. Given that blown clear canopies were common by the late 40s what were they thinking?

For a trainer a good view out would be good. 

 

Anyway, I'll take photos as this restoration continues and if anyone has a specific request, just ask. 

 

The airframe will be finished as on of the T7s used at Boscombe Down and will sit as an outside exhibit, along with the Hunter and JP. 

 

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Wheel bays and undercart for me, please- thanks for the offer!

Mike

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1 minute ago, 72modeler said:

Wheel bays and undercart for me, please- thanks for the offer!

Mike

At the moment the centre section is up against the wall being worked on: they are trying to get the airbrakes to work. 

I'll photograph a wheel bay, but the legs are in storage. I can also get to the front wheel bay as the nose is on blocks. 

 

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Hi Peter , you`re right about the heavy cockpit framing on the T7 . I had two target towing trips in the back seat of one in`55

from Dyce . When I saw the Vampires up on the "perch" starting to peel off to make their pass at the drogue , that framing

gave a little feeling of comfort ( ? ) .

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14 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

Up at the Boscombe Down Aircraft Collection they are restoring a T7. 

As a Member I can look closely at what is going on and whilst talking to some of the engineering team had a look at the 2 seats. 

Ejector Seats? No. 

Something modern and sophisticated? No

 

They are exactly the same seats as used in the late model Hawker Hurricane!

Standing inside the canopy the frames are massive, the glass area is only about 60%. Given that blown clear canopies were common by the late 40s what were they thinking?

For a trainer a good view out would be good. 

 

Anyway, I'll take photos as this restoration continues and if anyone has a specific request, just ask. 

 

The airframe will be finished as on of the T7s used at Boscombe Down and will sit as an outside exhibit, along with the Hunter and JP. 

 

I did my first jet flight as a passenger in a T.7. Yep, no ejection seats. I know what you mean about the frames - massive. Although the Brits were making canopies late in the war, they were relatively small. They were well behind the USA in that area of technology. A large blown canopy to suit the T.7 was beyond British capabilities in the 1940s. Even the early fighter meatboxes had a framed canopy. It was not until the 1950s that Gloster was able to make a full blown canopy for them, and it wasn't until the mid 1950s, and the NF.14, that Gloster managed to make a large blown canopy.

 

Making blown canopies for the Hunter and Swift also proved to be a problem. I understand that Supermarine examined one of the early Sabres for clues as to the method the Americans employed.

 

Peter

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3 minutes ago, Magpie22 said:

It was not until the 1950s that Gloster was able to make a full blown canopy for them, and it wasn't until the mid 1950s, and the NF.14, that Gloster managed to make a large blown canopy.

 

Peter

...and even then, still no ejector seats.

 

None of the standard service twin seat Meteors had ejection seats, the only ones that did were ironically the trials aircraft that Martin Baker used.

In fact when you think about it, it was only the F.8 and its derivations that had ejection seats as standard.

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On 23/03/2018 at 6:07 PM, 224 Peter said:

Given that blown clear canopies were common by the late 40s what were they thinking?

It's a good point. Then again, food rationing in the UK only ended in 1954, so maybe fighter jocks got first dibs on the blown plexiglass and everyone else had to make do with scraps..

 

Justin

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Funny, but this site:

http://skywar.ru/coldwareuro.html

wright what only one modification Meteor - T.7 was in official Russian hand:

"On September 5, 1950 the Gloster Meteor T.7 WA695 plane of RAF of the United Kingdom made reracing flight from Glochester air base in Germany. On a route the pilot of  FL John W. Driver has met difficult weather conditions, was lost and has violated the air space of the DDR. I have executed emergency landing on the autobahn Hamburg-Berlin, at N of the item Redefin in 32 km from border then has been arrested by the Soviet troops. The pilot is released in December, and the plane isn't returned."

I read, about research this aircraft Soviet engineer, according to the results of which it was concluded that this design is obsolete and is of no interest to the USSR.

 

B.R.

Serge

 

Edited by Aardvark

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On 24/03/2018 at 8:43 AM, Magpie22 said:

I did my first jet flight as a passenger in a T.7. Yep, no ejection seats. I know what you mean about the frames - massive. Although the Brits were making canopies late in the war, they were relatively small. They were well behind the USA in that area of technology. A large blown canopy to suit the T.7 was beyond British capabilities in the 1940s. Even the early fighter meatboxes had a framed canopy. It was not until the 1950s that Gloster was able to make a full blown canopy for them, and it wasn't until the mid 1950s, and the NF.14, that Gloster managed to make a large blown canopy.

 

Making blown canopies for the Hunter and Swift also proved to be a problem. I understand that Supermarine examined one of the early Sabres for clues as to the method the Americans employed.

 

Peter

Hi Peter,

The de Havilland Hornet first flew in 1944 with a fully blown, single piece canopy measuring 4.5ft long. This part was unchanged throughout its 10 year service life. I wonder if there is a longer British production canopy dating earlier than this?

 

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14 hours ago, David A Collins said:

Hi Peter,

The de Havilland Hornet first flew in 1944 with a fully blown, single piece canopy measuring 4.5ft long. This part was unchanged throughout its 10 year service life. I wonder if there is a longer British production canopy dating earlier than this?

 

G'day David,

Four to five feet seems to have been the practical limit at that time. Tempest, M.B.5, Spitfire, Hornet all seem to fall in that range. The longest I can remember from the mid to late forties were the Hawker P.1040, P.1052, P.1081 with canopies about five feet long. By contrast the later Mustangs were over 5 feet, the T'bolt was 6 feet, and the Sabre was some 7 and a half feet long. More importantly, all had a much deeper 'blow' then the British canopies. There may be others but I can't recall any at the moment.

Peter

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Hi Peter,

I worked on restoring a Meteor NF.11 for a time in the 80's, that shares the similar heavily framed canopy design and non-ejection seats with the T.7 trainer. I can vouch for how claustraphobic it feels especially in a fighter!

 

The Hornet canopy is single skin. The later Vampire/Venom fighter type canopy is twin skin, and was slightly shorter. This was an improvement for the jet to help prevent misting, and increase strength at altitude due to the pressurisation.

Edited by David A Collins

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1 hour ago, Magpie22 said:

G'day David,

Four to five feet seems to have been the practical limit at that time. Tempest, M.B.5, Spitfire, Hornet all seem to fall in that range. The longest I can remember from the mid to late forties were the Hawker P.1040, P.1052, P.1081 with canopies about five feet long. By contrast the later Mustangs were over 5 feet, the T'bolt was 6 feet, and the Sabre was some 7 and a half feet long. More importantly, all had a much deeper 'blow' then the British canopies. There may be others but I can't recall any at the moment.

Peter

I think it seems that Gloster just couldn’t be bothered whatsoever?  After all a similar size but much less framed canopy could have been generated using a combo of UK elements similar to Malcolm and Typhoon hoods!  And the Canberra goldfish bowl is from the same period.  So there’s no real excuse for Gloster.  

I’m just glad my Xtrakit T7 came with canopy masks...

Cheers

Will

Edited by malpaso
Canberra noted

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I am not surprised that aircrafts like the Meteor show a lot of not particularly modern features, afterall it was a type developed during WW2 and while it was more advanced than say a Spitfire, some of the technology used was not too different.

I never really investigated if the heavily framed canopy was the result of problems by the industry in making large clear parts or simply a design choice, the posts above do however suggest that some technological issue may have prevented the introduction of a more modern style of canopy.

Interestingly the T.7 prototype first flew on March 19th 1948, 3 days before the first flight of the T-33 prototype (then TF-80C) and it's interesting to compare the two. The T-33 prototype also lacked a single piece canopy however featured a way lighter frame, with two clear parts only instead of the myriad of frames of the T.7. Maybe Gloster could have used a similar approach

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6 hours ago, David A Collins said:

I can vouch for how claustraphobic it feels especially in a fighter!

Claustrophobia at the military pilot?
What then does this pilot do in the Air Force?
It is rather a matter of habit and discomfort.
When Sukhoi has made SU-17, on the first three prototype have put the clear canopy  a forward part. This version is done by the way by Modelsvit.

72017-Modelsvit-Box_enl.jpg

But pilots the early SU-17 models testing these complained of discomfort and feeling of vulnerability.
On a canopy of SU-17 the cover has returned and I remained before all modifications up to SU-17M4 there. 
Only on the next generations such as SU-27 and MiG-29 was succeeded to break psychology. But at the same time there was a difference in landing between the 4th generation developed in the USA and the USSR. Many pilots of the USSR and Russia who sat in a cockpit of F-15 and F-16 noted high landing when they sat almost having leaned out on - a belt while by the Soviet planes they put out only the head*. They noted that it is convenient from the point of view of the review, but created discomfort and not security.

But maybe pilot from F-15 or F-16 felling claustrophobia in cockpit Soviet fighter? I don't read about this.

But I think that is only psychology question. 

 

About big clean canopy, is a problem and today. Well no problems to make a clean canopy for speeds up to 1 M, but highly than 1M, especially cruise supersonic   it is more than problem. As an example, problems with early clean a canopy of T-10

1265025204_su27-31.jpg

and the first prototype series Su-27 

0417-03-2-2.jpg

and the late series Su-27 which have received a cover on a canopy.

pic_Su27_3.jpg

Feel a difference with early version canopy China J-20 number "2001" and late canopy J-20 number "2011", e.t.c.

 

 

B.R.

Serge

 

_________________

* - Similar to the feelings the Soviet top ace in Korea colonel Evgeny Pepelyaev, comparing a diffrence cockpit MiG-15 and F-86 Sabre which he has shot down in Korea.

 

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The issue with blown canopies in that era was withstanding the stresses of high speed flight and pressurisation.  

A good example is back with the Meteor whereby for the high-speed record and trials aircraft the canopies were heavily reinforced with metal farmework with small porthole windows in the side.  Even the F.8 had to have a solid rear portion to the canopy for a while.

Supermarine were having their own set of issues with the Attacker and and Swift series, both had single blown canopies in development aircraft but both designs had to go to more heavily framed affairs for production aircraft.

The Canberra seems to be the one high performance type that didn't have issues with the large blown canopy, even then extensive testing was carried out for flying in conditions where the canopy had been jettisoned.

 

Interesting post from Aardvark, the only British aircraft I can think of with a completely clear windscreen assembly was the DH110, this being a single molded piece with a 'clear' flat area for forward vision.  Presumably it was discarded for the same reasons of vulnerability and lack of structural integrity for the heavily framed affair that became familiar on Sea Vixens.

 

The other side issue that sadly comes into play with developments of such things as clear canopies, was just how autocratic some of the British constructors were during the 1940s/50s, especially in the upper regions of management and even in the design shops.  They were living in the knowledge that production orders would keep rolling in.

Quite often features were pushed through production on the basis of lower cost of either research & development, and of production often at the expense of the customer and ultimately the poor chap that had to fly the end product.   Pilots and ground crews were simply expected to get on and live with it and sadly the accident records of the time speak for themselves.

 

Maintaining safe formation and mock combat flying in a T.7 must have been very hard work, getting out of one in an emergency - something else.

Edited by 71chally

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2 hours ago, 71chally said:

Interesting post from Aardvark, the only British aircraft I can think of with a completely clear windscreen assembly was the DH110, this being a single molded piece with a 'clear' flat area for forward vision.  Presumably it was discarded for the same reasons of vulnerability and lack of structural integrity for the heavily framed affair that became familiar on Sea Vixens.

As it isn't strange, but I haven't found post-war planes with such concept the review as at F-15, 16, 86 aboard the plane made not only in USSR/Russia, China but also in Great Britain, France, Germany.
Thus possibly we can speak about distinctions characteristic for American and European schools of aircraft construction.
But what concept is better, more correct? The pilot in vain can feel discomfort and the review more important than false feeling of safety?
I have found interesting information in Russian Wikipedia about Bronko's OV-10

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_OV-10_Bronco

as a strange in the English version Wikipedia there is no it!

Here what is written there:

"Crews of Bronko felt "unprotected" in cocpit with the good review - there was an impression that each fire weapon of the opponent shoots at their plane.
The plane had good maneuverability, the fine review from a cabin, he couldn't be hit from small arms. At the same time a half of losses of all planes has happened because of defeat of pilots through unarmoured glazing of a canopy of a cockpit."

 

But OV-10 is attack aircraft, Meteor T.7 is training aircraft!?

Yes, but many  training aircraft in war time re-made in ersatz combat aircraft  include attack aircraft.

So, if European schools of aircraft construction is 

more correct, 

is the canopy Meteor T.7 so archaic? ;)

Yes, canopy T.7 it's not a beauty, unlike NF.14!

But if you had fly to ground attack what would you prefer T.7 or NF.14?

;):)

 

 

B.R.

Serge

 

 

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One thing these posts reminded me of was the advice from the pilot , a F/O Gray , on my first trip in the T7 , was that the hood

could be jettisoned from either seat ,but if we needed to abandon the aircraft , "Keep your head well down as it doesn`t always

come off straight " . Nice to know !.

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The extent of the framing in the cockpit has very little to do with the actual vulnerability of the pilots as if the materials are not bulletproof the presence of a denser framing does not add protection. The A-10 is maybe the ultimate armoured attack aircraft and yet this type does not feature any heavy framing in the canopy but a conventional wide bubble design.

Is there a different approach to cockpit design in the different countries ? Yes, and the American "school" has IMHO been at the forefront from the late '30s onward as they have given an importance to ergonomics superior to what done in other countries, with a lot of studies carried out on how to make the pilot job easier. The position of the pilots in aircrafts like the F-15 and F-16 may look exposed to us but pilots of these types have only had praise for the great visibility given by this design choice. The F-35 is carrying the idea even further.

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Actually thinking on, the Americans may have struggled as much as the British in the early post-war period, think of the Republic F-84 series which started with a nice big clear canopy and then went to the multi framed layout.  Even the swept-wing YF-84F had a nice bubble canopy arrangement before the high-back layout with small canopy was adopted, the F-105 continued with that theme, so Republic really stepped back from their pioneering large single piece blown canopy of the P-47.

Edited by 71chally

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2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

The A-10 is maybe the ultimate armoured attack aircraft and yet this type does not feature any heavy framing in the canopy but a conventional wide bubble design.

How about Su-25 canopy? It's ultimate armoured attack aircraft too! But she have armory plate on ejection seat head. When PAF F-16 shot down Su-25 General A.Rudskoi over Afghanistan, Rudskoi eject from separate rotary nose part fuselage Su-25. Rudskoi live on this time.

Are survive pilot A-10 in analog situation?  How work ejection seat ACES II A-10 in analog situation? 

Armored cockpit Su-25 was all in shrapnel (?)  AIM-9 but armor safe ejection seat K-36, ejection seat safe pilot. What is the probability that the A-10 would be the same?

1 hour ago, 71chally said:

think of the Republic F-84 series which started with a nice big clear canopy and then went to the multi framed layout

Sorry , but with F-84 Thunderjet  example is unsuccessful. All modifications Thunderjet had a clean canopy. What you take for a binding on F-84 E/G, in fact, a special white tape glued inside the canopy no metal.

Tamiya canopy in 1/72 is wrong! ;):)

Why F-84 E/G have 

special white tape glued inside the canopy? Insufficient strength of the canopy at high speeds. A clean canopy began to become covered with cracks.

From this time no more Republic experiment with clear canopy! :)

 

 

B.R.

Serge

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8 hours ago, Aardvark said:

How about Su-25 canopy? It's ultimate armoured attack aircraft too! But she have armory plate on ejection seat head. When PAF F-16 shot down Su-25 General A.Rudskoi over Afghanistan, Rudskoi eject from separate rotary nose part fuselage Su-25. Rudskoi live on this time.

Are survive pilot A-10 in analog situation?  How work ejection seat ACES II A-10 in analog situation? 

Armored cockpit Su-25 was all in shrapnel (?)  AIM-9 but armor safe ejection seat K-36, ejection seat safe pilot. What is the probability that the A-10 would be the same?

 

 

 

B.R.

Serge

 

The Su-25 canopy isn't particularly heavily framed either, so the same comments I made about the A-10 also apply to the Sukhoy counterpart. The only difference between the two is that the US type has a larger clear canopy to allow higher visibility while the Sukhoy simply follows a design very typical of soviet aircrafts.

Armour around the pilot seat is a different story from armoured canopies and has been used since the late '30s at different levels, from the simple backplate armour of the Spitfire and Bf.109 to the fully armoured "tub" of some specialised attack types. The canopy of the A-10 is of course different from the one used on the Meteor in terms of materials but it's the different material that makes this more capable of protecting the pilot, not the presence or lack of heavy framing.

As for the survivability of the A-10 vs. the Su-25, the American aircraft also uses the "armoured bathtub" concept used in theSu-25, so nothing to worry about from this point of view (IIRC the A-10 armour is even thicker). A-10s have proven to be capable of surviving pretty nasty hits so I'd say that the effectiveness of the armour and of the design of the aircraft can't be doubted.

Of course, whenever we talk of hits it's almost impossible to predict anything as the same weapon may cause different effects depending on the hit point, the speed, the angle and a lot of other parameters, reason why I never trust anedoctal evidence but prefer to rely on quantities that can be defined

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Always make me wonder why the F.8 had an ejection seat and the 2 seat ones did not. Was it a space issue?

 

Are the T7 seats the same as the NF14 ones?

 

78816.JPG

 

78817.JPG

 

Julien (Currently helping to restore an F.8)

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Some Wheel Well photos...

 

First the "Drone", WK 600, a D16. This is a complete aircraft in excellent condition, 

The photo shows the top of the main wheel leg. 

 

Wheel-Well-3.jpg

 

The next two are from NF 11, WD 686, presently undergoing heavy restoration. 

The centre section is up on the wall, the leading edge to the ground. 

 

Wheel-Well-1.jpg

 

All the wring and hydraulic pipes have been removed.

 

And from a different angle. 

 

Wheel-Well-2.jpg

 

Corrosion on the steel main spar is significant. 

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39 minutes ago, 224 Peter said:

First the "Drone", WK 600, a D16. This is a complete aircraft in excellent condition, 

Say hello to Trevor for me, next time that you see him;)

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13 hours ago, 71chally said:

Say hello to Trevor for me, next time that you see him;)

I was talking to him Yesterday!

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