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Thread: Nostalgia...

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Nostalgia...

    Different writers had different interpretations of the battle of Britain. Remember reading one where the author reckoned the actual deciding battle was one air raid where the German losses were too high to sustain and this occurred over one 24 hour period. In the latter days of the war the Germans relied on their V2s, which as a kid were not as frightening as the V1s which were engine driven and heard the engine cut out before landing, with the rockets you heard nothing until the bang. Goering apparently made his big mistake when he went for the cities and not the airfields as a priority target, he may have achieved more in the way of submission by wiping out the RAF first, thank goodness his brain did not match his girth. JS

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    Default Re: Nostalgia...

    Not part of the Battle of Britain flight, but did anyone see the last flying Vulcan bomber when it did its recent round Britain flight? This flight was its last before being permantly retired.
    Where I lived in the Lake District, the small village was in a shallow valley that was part of the low flying training route used by the RAF and we would often get fighter jets screaming down the valley at almost eye level with our house being situated half way up on one side of the valley, Jaguars and Harriers.
    When at school I always helped out hay making on one of the farms and was in one of the farmers fields right at the top of the hill forming one side of the valley. I was driving one of the tractors with my back to the valley, collecting the bales of hay whilst the farmer was on the other tractor coming towards me with the baling machine behind him. He suddenly leapt off his tractor and made a dive towards the field wall. Looking behind me I could see one of those Vulcan bombers climbing out of the valley. It was so low that it appeared almost below me. It roared overhead and being so low I could actually see the pilots grinning and waving at us. Nearly shat myself.
    The most amazing fighter plane I ever saw was the TSR2 which was cancelled by Harold Wilson before it went into production. This plane terrified the Russians during the Cold War as it could fly at supersonic speed so low as to be invisible to ground based radar. It was termed a hedge hopper at could fly at heights of less than 100 ft. supersonically. Only about to were ever built that flew, at a factory near Preston in Lancashire and people who lived near there used to swear that they could see it flying at tree top height on its test flights. Saw it taking off once and it was the meanest looking fighter I ever saw.
    rgds
    JA

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Nostalgia...

    apologies if off thread, but i believe that the standby power station at east Cowes here on the Island is powered by two Vulcan bomber engines, as said it is only a standby station, and infrequently use, KT

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    Default Re: Nostalgia...

    Hi Braid..your #4 refers.

    As you rightly queried, the Dakota aircraft had nothing whatsoever to do with the Battle of Britain although, paradoxically,
    a DC3 Dakota is part of the 'Battle of Britain Memorial Flight'.

    Developed in the U.S. by the Douglas Aircraft Company, the DC3 aircraft first flew in 1935 and as a commercial aircraft was known as a DC3. When entering service with the U.S.A.A.F. at the end of 1941, it was designated a C-47 Skytrain. It first entered service with the R.A.F. in March, 1943, (with No.24 Squadron based on Gibraltar) and was given the name 'Dakota'. During the war more than 1900 Dakotas were supplied to the R.A.F. as part of a lend-lease agreement. They saw service in every theatre of the war and perhaps most notably during the D-Day operations and also 'Operation Market-Garden' (Arnhem) when they played a major part in what is still the largest air-armada the world has ever known.

    On the day 'Market-Garden' commenced, the Dakotas, gliders and other aircraft formed up over Hatfield, Herts, before moving off in long straight lines towards Holland and the carnage that awaited them. I still retain a vivid memory of that day, a Sunday, when as a mere 4 year-old, an elderly aunt took me in tow to attend St.Andrew's in Hertford, her place of worship, an exercise I dreaded each week. Following the church service we went into the nearby grounds of Hertford Castle and whilst she sat on a wooden bench enjoying the warm September sunshine, I lay in the grass on my back marvelling at the spectacle unfolding in the sky, high above me. The sound of aero-engines was like nothing I had ever heard before and row upon row of aircraft seemed to stretch in straight lines right across the sky. To this little boy the symmetry of it all seemed amazing. First came a line of aircraft which I decided were American because they had swept-back wings (they were in fact Dakotas). Close behind came a line of British bombers, I knew they were British because their wings stuck straight out from the fuselage (Such were the primitive identification skills of small boys at the time. Much later I would realise the 'bombers' I'd seen were almost certainly U.S. 'Waco' gliders or the smaller British 'Horsa's that were being towed by the Dakotas). Although mesmorised by what I saw, I was totally unaware I was witnessing a 'great' moment in history, however I can still recall the strange feeling of excitement and hopeful expectation I felt that day, almost as if I knew something big was about to happen. Much later they were still passing overhead when, to my great disappointment, my aunt decided we'd seen enough ... it was time for my lunch and the war would have to continue without my constant observation.

    There were over 10,000 C-47 Skytrains/ Dakotas built during WWII. Many conversions of these aircraft are still in service throughout the world. Some years back there was a small independent air service operating converted Dakotas here in N.S.W. They also offered 'mystery' flights however I don't think they still continue to operate.

    Roger

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    Default Re: Nostalgia...

    I flew in a Dakota from Hong Kong Kai Tak in June 1959 to Stansted Airport, ESSEX.
    We had just taken the Good Hope Castle to the breakers in Junk Bay. and it was chartered to take us home.
    Very uncomfortable, Iron bucket seats, and a bucket for a toilet.at the back. No beautiful stewardesses waiting on us.
    We landed at Calcutta, Bombay, Bahrain, Damascus, Athens Frankfurt and then Stansted.
    Not pressurised, Scorching hot on the ground but at 10,000 feet freezing cold.
    It took over three days, The Pilots were owner /Driver. Two Texans said they bought it cheap off the US Gov.
    It was still in camouflage and in Graffiti down the side was painted American International Airline.
    It flew most of the way on one engine. The starboard engine was spewing oil and flames and I went into the cockpit and told the pilot, he came aft and had a look , and just said, "Waal I guess that baby don't like oil no more " and went back to his seat.
    In Calcutta he had another look and said " I guess it will get us some where" and went and had a steak dinner, we just had egg and chips. He was really laid back,.
    I had Charlie, the Chameleon, with me, I had him as a pet since Zanzibar, and in Bahrain I left him on the seat while we went into the shed for some chips and egg, We were taking off and running down t runway increasing speed when I shouted . "Charlie is missing"
    Our Captain, who thought Charlie was one of our men ran to the cockpit pit and shouted "STOP, one of our men is missing. "
    The Pilot slammed on the brakes and the plane nearly flipped upside down.
    I looked under the seat and found Charlie. "He is here "I shouted. The Big Texan came to me and saw Charlie, and just said, "Crazy Limy."and went back, and then started up again to take off.
    Happy Days
    Brian

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