What is your favorite WW2 planes? - Page 5




 
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November 3rd, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
I was air trooped all over the world in bloody Shackletons, and dam uncomfortable they were.
Usually we were flown by VC10. Although from Malta to Cyprus we were moved by C130, brilliant aeroplane but they weren't too comfortable either. Then from Cyprus to UK by Britannia turbo prop.

Before the C130, quite a few para's were flown by the Blackburn Beverly, a heavy cargo aeroplane with passenger seating in the tail boom. One para reckoned that the flexing of the tail boom in flight scared the crap out of some blokes.

Last one I saw was in Cyprus in 1970 when I was told to do a de-fuel.
November 3rd, 2011  
LeEnfield
 
 
I did all the parachuting trials on Beverly at RAF Station Boscombe Down before it went into full parachuting use. The VC 10 had not even gone into service with BOAC then and there were no C130 with the RAF for quite a few later.
November 4th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
I did all the parachuting trials on Beverly at RAF Station Boscombe Down before it went into full parachuting use. The VC 10 had not even gone into service with BOAC then and there were no C130 with the RAF for quite a few later.
In the Far East during my time as far as I am aware, the only airlifting of troops into Malaya was either by the Westland Belvedere twin rotor, Westland Wessex or the Westland Whirlwind. SAS tried hi-low para drops, but as the jungle canopy was so thick there were too many casualties, the idea dropped.

I along with other blokes were once airlifted into Malaya on board a Belvedere, landing on a raised platform somewhere up country. I wasn't impressed.

The Malays called it the Flying Longhouse, while crews called it the Flying Coffin. A number fell out of the sky when the gearbox's went out of sync.

One of the aircraft rarely reported on was the Westland Whirlwind twin engined fighter bomber.


The Westland P9 Whirlwind was designed to F.37/35, a requirement for a single seat fighter with 4 20mm cannon, 320+mph at 15,000'. It first flew in 11 October 1938 showed superior performance to a Spitfire I, however Peregrine production was reduced to allow production of more Merlins (ironically as the Peregrine was used in case the newer Merlin had production problems). Unfortunately its main role was seen as a night fighter, but by the time production models were ready (May 1940) the Blenheim had proved the effectiveness of airbourne radar - impossible in a single seater. The first two production a/c (after 2 prototypes) were tested by No 25 Squadron, 263 being the first operational squadron, however delays in Peregrine production meant they only had 8 by October 1940. They operated from Exeter and St Eval on offensive fighter and convoy escort, being joined by No 137 Squadron from September 1941. The Whirlwind was then converted to a Fighter-Bomber and could carry 2 500 or 250 lb bombs. It was very successful in offensive sweeps over France, but only 114 production a/c were produced by January 1942. Both squadrons were re-equipped in 1943 (137 in June, 263 in December).

Petter designed the aircraft with the exhausts passing through a tunnel in the aircraft fuel tanks, when concerned test pilots commented on this Petter stated, “Pilots have got to accept some risks.” As far as I am aware, the exhausts were re-routed, much to the annoyance of Petter.

There was a subsequent development (the Welkin) with Merlin engines, pressurised cabin and long span wings as a high altitude interceptor but this never entered service due to engine problems and a low dive speed - plus the fact that German high altitude bombers did not see service.


Petter went on to design the Canberra, the early design of the Lightning, and his last plane, the Folland Gnat.
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