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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted -  21/12/2007  :  11:56
I have uploaded my first picture to the Barlick site I hope to be able to add it in this thread if/when it gets approval from Doc. It is a postcard from the 1940s entitled Winged Heroes and showing Hawker Hurricanes. (The picture is in the next post if you are on page 1 of the thread; if you are on another page you need to go back tp page 1 to see it.)

Please feel free to add your own stories, pictures or comments regarding everything to do with aeroplanes and their pilots, both past and present.

Edited by - Tizer on 11/11/2010 15:11:42


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/12/2007 : 17:29
All I can say is that it proves the value of seeking old pics out and taking notice of what is on them.  Another problem they had was that the main in line engine beig used by the RAF had sleeve valves and when they started to push the output on them they lost a lot of engines and pilots but this was never made public.  This was the reason why they went for the RR Merlin, not because they recognised the brilliant design but because they wanted a more reliable engine.  As it happened they made the right choice.  I love it when the RR Spit does one of its visits to Barlick.  It has the Griffon engine and if you want a growl it beats the Merlin any day....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 27/12/2007 : 10:27
I obviously was,nt looking closeley enough at the Gloster Gladiator, I assumed it had a rotary engine because of the way it looked to me with the quite big round cowl behind the prop. Now My brain is not fuzzed I realise it would have had the cylinders poking out. Obviously an in line job when you take another look. Still a bit of a mystery though for the exact ID of this aircraft. No old fitters or RAF maintenance guys on the site?


Ian Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/12/2007 : 17:08
Ian, have another look.  The one in the pic has a radial engine.  Or do you mean another pic?  All the Gladiators I have seen were powered by the Bristol Mercury radial engine. 


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 27/12/2007 : 17:14
Mmmm, must be more festive fuzzed than I thought Stanley, I'll put my specs on before I comment next time.


Ian Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 28/12/2007 : 12:37
I found this YouTube video clip of Spitfires doing a display via the discussion forum of the Battle of Britain History Society (posted there by Jon Eeles, "Spitfires", Dec 20, 2007). It really is worth watching - and listening to the engines!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qc8qSR0SDY4&NR=1

The Society's forum is at: http://disc.yourwebapps.com/Indices/105008.html

There are other video clips posted there by the locals.

 


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Ribble Rouser
Regular Member


125 Posts
Posted - 29/12/2007 : 16:49
Hello Fellas

Listen to Stanley. Gloster Gauntlet Mk 1s. Beware the Mk 2s, which have vertical fin with straighter leading edge, compared to the curved jobbies in your photo, and different engine cowls. Other differences in rear fuselage, due to change in construction processes employed when Hawkers took over Gloster in 1935. Some Mk 1s even have spats on the wheels, very stylish. Fastest fighter in RAF service in mid 30s. On front line strength till after the Munich crisis, when it was relegated to secondary duties, many becoming squadron hacks by the outbreak of war. Several flights saw action in North and East Africa against the Italians in 1940. Notably, in 1936, a flight of Gauntlets is credited with making the first radar-guided interception of another aircraft in flight. Designed by HP Folland, of Gnat fame.

I don’t think the aircraft in the picture match the notes on the back. 26 Squadron RAF was indeed an Army Cooperation Squadron, but according to their history:


“…it was 11 October 1927 before No 26 re-surfaced. It was initially composed of one flight of Atlases at Catterick, with a second being added in September 1928. Operating in the Army Co-operation role, Audaxes replaced the Atlas in 1933 with Hectors arriving in 1937 and Lysanders in February 1939. In October 1939, the squadron joined the Air Component in France, but the unsuitability of the Lysander against the Luftwaffe led to its evacuation to Lympne from where it continued to operate over France whenever possible. In June it began coastal patrols and continued to train with the Army.”

Catterick indeed, but no Gauntlets. Hawker Audaxes were a derivative of the Hart and have a very different appearance from the aircraft in the photo. Furthermore, I don’t believe that Gauntlets were used in the Army Cooperation role, as normally light bombers were used.

In fact, I believe the aircraft in the photo are Gauntlets of the famous 111 Squadron, RAF. The black flash aft of the roundel is definitive…their Tornados still sport a similar flash and some have black tails. 111 operated Gauntlets (based at Duxford, I think) from June 36 to Jan 38, converting to Hurricanes in time to have a good crack at Gerry in the Battle of Britain.

As for Sydney Camm's masterpiece, may I offer this extract from Paul Gallico's 'The Hurricane Story' (1959):

"She was loved and trusted by every man who ever knew her...to her friends she was gentle, staunch, loyal and a protectress; to her enemies she was a lightening bolt from the skies, a ruthless and total destroyer...An inamimate piece of machinery, a mass of tubes, wire, steel, aluminium, she flew like an angel. She had no vices. In the hands of the young men, who mastered her and became her lovers, she saved England and all that rest of the world that cherished the right of freedom. She was the Hawker Hurricane."

Cheerio
RR

Edited by - Ribble Rouser on 29/12/2007 16:50:05

Edited by - Ribble Rouser on 29/12/2007 17:30:32


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softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 29/12/2007 : 17:24
RR

Well reasoned, that's what we call a definitive answer! Aviation technology moved so quickly in the 1930's, that a whole stream of military aircraft were developed before the iconic Spits and Hurricanes, that we can all recognise, came along.

Malcolm


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Ribble Rouser
Regular Member


125 Posts
Posted - 29/12/2007 : 18:22
Hey Malcolm...yes, well...got a bit carried away there, and I have something of a background interpreting ‘historic’ photos. It's amazing how many questions and possibilities arise from an apparently simple image, and how much information one can derive...and the Net helps heaps…not to mention a dash of specialist knowledge. Form of archaeology, really...interpreting the visual record. Challenging. Group of young divers recently sent me an underwater photo of a suspected piece of 19th century ordnance to identify: blurred; no scale; no comments on its fabric; covered in algae. “Looks military, to me, John. So I thought of you” spouted their mentor and guide, who should have known better. Blimey! It looked like one of Professor Moriarty’s anarchist bombs…but it could have been a kettle. What could I do? I quietly suggested they stay well clear of the object and inform the authorities. Dear me. This only weeks after several old 6inch coastal artillery shells were discovered and blown up near a seaside pier.

And you are quite right about the momentum of technological development in aircraft…since their inception, really. A proliferation of designs in the 20s and 30s. Bit like the race between explosives and rifled gun technology on the one hand and armour, naval and fortress technology on the other, during the latter half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th. That manifested in an extraordinary range of wild and wonderful forms (got a soft spot for four-funnelled armoured cruisers…what short-lived monstrosities they were…so ugly I find them attractive) and had much to do with the bankrupting of nations…I think particularly of France and Britain.

For a long time I have been interested in the relationship between form and function, especially as it relates to technologies of war. I’ve developed a rather nasty obsession with military architecture since being entranced by the intricate renaissance fortifications around Fierenze and Sienna in the 1980s. Most of my friends treat me as though I’m bunker bonkers…they certainly know not to mention the word FORT within earshot. Teach me to hang around old stones, bricks, concrete and steel…but I suspect you might understand. Hey! You haven’t got a yummy Grindley Peerless in your collection, perchance?

RR

 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 05:31
Looks as though we might have another source in you John.....  Here's a question for you, many years ago i saw a picture of an enormous lathe, I think it was in an armaments factory and used for turning gun barrels.  Krupps perhaps.....  I have an idea it was in one of those marvellous 'Wonderful books of Wonders' that used to be produced for boys.  I'd love to find it again......  There was a flight of steps up to the saddle which was big enough to support the average semi-detatched house.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Ribble Rouser
Regular Member


125 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 12:11
Ooh! Now you’ve got the juices flowing, Stanley. Love to help out as I can.

My first call was to my shelves, and dad’s old book: ‘The Modern Boys’ New Book of MOTORS, SHIPS and ENGINES…issued from the Office of Modern Boy, London (we could do with one of those now, don’t you think? Or a government department…The Ministry of the Modern Boy…Eeeeeeh! NO WAY! Keep them out of it). No date in it, but I’d say about 1935 or 36, as there is an article about the brand spanking new RMS Queen Mary: there are only drawn illustrations of the completed vessel, together with photos of fitted out sections like the engine room and bridge. The cover is a hoot, with a colour illustration of amidships Queen Mary towering above a quay side, with dock crane, a speeding green express drawn by a Castle (by the look) and an MG waiting at a level crossing. Machine overload. It speaks directly to the boy within and leaves you panting for more. But alas, despite evocative titles like: ‘These Men Build Ships; Off-shore Salvage; In the Signal Box; Hazards at Brooklands and Giants of Yesterday’..no giant lathes.

This is another piece of the puzzle...I am undoubtedly the product of a post industrial revolution landscape, from a family steeped in the ways of mills, drawing offices and machine shops. Interesting that I also have strong elements of the Luddite manifesting constantly and crave landscapes with no sign, sound or smell of human activity…the Piscean within, my friend Wendy the Witch tells me.

I’m on the trail of the giant flatbeds.





Edited by - Ribble Rouser on 30/12/2007 12:12:55

Edited by - Ribble Rouser on 30/12/2007 12:27:25


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 12:45
Hello RR, Thanks for all that useful information about our photo. And hats off to Stanley for his diagnosis. Ian and I got put off the Gauntlet by photos we saw on the Web which seemed different to the photo above.

Biplane - reverse of postcardThe information on the back of the card looks official - details written into a rubber-stamped box. I have added a picture to show this. I guess 26 AC sqdn must have owned the photo rather than the aircraft in it.

As I wrote this post I received an email reply from John Hayles at www.aeroflight.co.uk who I had contacted after Ian's message and link to the site. He says: "The serial K5265 on the rudder shows it is a Gloster Gauntlet II, the predecessor to the Gladiator. No.26 Squadron was equipped with the Hawker Audax in October 1936, which makes sense since the Gauntlet was a fighter not an army co-operation aircraft. I haven't got any service history for K5265, but K5275 in the background served with 111 Sqn. It appears the photo was taken by someone from 26 Sqn during a visit by 111 Sqn at RAF Catterick."

So, the story so far - definitely Gloster Gauntlets and apparently of 111 Squadron RAF.



Edited by - Tizer on 30/12/2007 12:46:10


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Ribble Rouser
Regular Member


125 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 13:02
Dear Ladies and Gents

Please permit me to put in a word or two for the unsung heroes of the Battle of Britain…and the rest of the war. The lads at the sharp end got most of the praise and glory, perhaps rightly so. We all need leaders and examples, I suppose, and they did exciting, deadly work. But from what I have read and been told by my family, an enormous hinterland of scientists, entrepreneurs, government officials, managers, workers, families and friends, women and men alike, young and old, dedicated significant parts of their lives, exhibited great courage and endured suffering by participating in the complex system that backed the pilots and produced the technologies they used. I think specifically of the demands made on factory workers during wartime conditions: long shifts all day and all night; lack of sleep and short of provisions; working at unforgiving lathes and milling machines; handling dangerous explosives; minimal training; returning each day to factories that were prime targets for enemy aircraft, without truly effective bomb shelters, working till the air raid siren sounded then finding rudimentary cover on or near the premises, returning to their machines at the all clear…sometimes taking their chances and working right through a raid; many performing menial, repetitive and dangerous tasks. No glory, little enduring recognition...just plain toil, guts and self-discipline. These people are also heroes for me. There are many more.

Please excuse me if I am stating the bleeding obvious.

RR



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Ribble Rouser
Regular Member


125 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 13:45
Now worries, Tizer. Glad to be in on the fun. Thanks for posting the pic. Like a trout rising to a fly, I was. Good work confirming that the aircraft is in fact a Gauntlet and 111 Squadron RAF. Mk II? Hm. The caption on the back is intriguing, isn't it? Perhaps it is no more than a clerical error. We are at the mercy of the written record and tend to take it as gospel…but we must beware. Context is everything. How on earth did it end up in South Africa? Couldn’t find mention of either squadron serving there during WWII…but as for personnel? Who knows? I think this process ably illustrates that historical evidence, even primary sources, must be interpreted and is prone to misinterpretation. Rarely do we arrive at a full and completely satisfactory analysis. We only ever get to part of the story. After all, history is not fact, rather a collection of perspectives, don’t you think?

Further on Gauntlet K5265:
Scale Avaition Modeller Magazine Volume 9 Issue 9 September 2003 had an article on the Gauntlet, by Richard J Caruana, which featured artwork for this very aircraft. I wonder if in his research, he came across a copy of the same photograph and derived his coloured illustration from it. Perhaps if you could locate a copy (or him for that matter) you could find out more about it. Many modellers are fastidious researchers, as they believe it is the basis of a good model. A low res version can be viewed at:

http://213squadronassociation.homestead.com/modeling/modellerspage.html

Hey! I’m just getting more long-winded as I go. Is there an escape hatch from this site? My other life (reality is a state of fantasy induced by being disconnected from the net) is fading further into the never-never by the hour. 




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 16:30
That modellers' page link has some brilliant graphics, RR. Almost all the original photos we see of the old RAF biplanes are monochrome and it's easy to forget they would have been in such bright colours in the 1930s - what a sight to have seen. A bit like most people thinking that churches in Britain have always been grey and dull, whereas they were often rendered white outside and brightly painted inside when first built!

I agree with your sentiments about those who supported the people in the armed forces. My dad (now 89) was an RAF armourer and when talking about this photo the other day he digressed into a tale about setting up the guns on Harts and Hinds when he joined in 1939. Getting the guns to fire in synchrony with the propeller - the pilots didn't like shooting up their own props! He would adjust the little finely knurled nut, then back one position to be on the safe side: "None of mine ever lost their prop", he said proudly - and quite right too. Then test it before flying. The fitter had responsibility for setting up the plane on the butts, then the armourer got in the cockpit and fired off a few shots. What a responsibilty they had!


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 30/12/2007 : 16:35
 "...about 1935 or 36, as there is an article about the brand spanking new RMS Queen Mary"

RR and Stanley, Taliking about old ships, I found this site today. It has lots of postcard pictures of old liners, together with some information.


"Simplon Postcards - The Passenger Ship Website" http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/


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