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Tizer
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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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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 21/12/2007 : 12:23
1940s RAF postcard

.....and only minutes later, there is the picture (hope this works OK!)

Most of what I know about it is already in the picture description: "Postcard from the 1940s promoting the RAF and its pilots. Nine Hawker Hurricanes in formation. RAF motto `Per Ardua ad Astra'. Message by Patience Strong. (PS16, published by Valentine & Sons Ltd, Dundee & London). "

It was my Uncle George's postcard and he served in the RAF in WWII. I wanted to put a copy here because (a) it celebrates the great pilots and planes, (b) I like the Hurricane, and (c) Uncle George was a great character and you would have loved him in Barlick! (He was a Blackburn man, but I know you'll forgive him!) 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/12/2007 : 16:22
Tizer, I can't remember all the details but the Hawker Hurricane was rather eclipsed by the Spitfire and it's sterling service gets overlooked.  It was fabric covered and thus was a lot easier to repair and get back in the air again.  I saw some figures once for relative flying hours and I have an idea the Hurricane won hands down.

Found this:  The Hurricane was significant in enabling the Royal Air Force (RAF) to win the Battle of Britain of 1940, accounting for the majority of the RAF's air victories. About 14,000 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944 (including about 1,200 converted to Sea Hurricanes, and about 1,400 that were built in Canada), and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.

Even though faster and more advanced than the RAF's current frontline biplane fighters, the Hurricane's design was already outdated when introduced. It employed traditional Hawker construction techniques from previous biplane aircraft, with mechanically fastened, rather than welded joints. It had a Warren girder-type fuselage of high-tensile steel tubes, over which sat frames and longerons that carried the doped linen fabric covering. The Hurricane's traditional construction meant that the airframe was very durable, and proved far more resistant to exploding cannon shells than the metal-skinned Supermarine Spitfire

[from http://www.answers.com/Hawker+Hurricane?gwp=11&ver=1.1.1.377&method=3  ]


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 22/12/2007 : 10:53
Stanley, thanks for the information and link - that picture of the Hurricane on Wikimedia is superb and will probably become my computer "wallpaper" for a while, replacing the Spitfires which I scanned from a "Christmas card" received last week - actually a greetings card from the RAF Charitable Trust (http://www.rafcte.com).

Growing up in the 1950s and having a father who was an armourer in the RAF in WWII (fighters in the Battle of Britain, then training armourers in the South African Air Force, then back to UK for bombers in the run up to D-Day), I loved all the WWII aircraft and early jets. I can vaguely remember as a very small child being allowed to sit in a Spitfire cockpit at an RAF open day - but I have to admit it was only the cockpit cut out of a Spitfire and used as a trainer!

Edited by - Tizer on 22/12/2007 11:03:27


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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 22/12/2007 : 15:25
Your'e right there Stanley, the Hawker Hurricane did indeed account for more kills than the Spitfire. It was as you say a lot easier to manufacture and maintain, it had a much better gun platform than the Spitfire and could take a lot more hammer. We would have been in dire straights without the Hurricane, which does seem to be the unsung hero of the Battle of Britain. One interesting fact, most German aircrew would not admit to being shot down or attacked by Hurricanes, they almost always claimed that it was a Spitfire squadron even if there were none in the sky at the time. It was technically obsolete when it entered service and looked a bit gawky compared to the ME109's and the like. Nevertheless we would have lost if not for the "old crate". On the other side of the coin, the Spitfire looked the part, a superb design although it took a year or two to get the best configuration of airframe engine and guns. Lets not forget the Merlin engine, probably as much to do with victory as the machines themselves, it was used in just about everything, fighters and bombers, at the time, British engineering at it's best, we even stuck it in one or two of the American designs, the P51 Mustang in particular "little friends" to the long range bombers, the Merlin design was licenced to, and produced by Packard in the US as a two stage twin speed 12 cylinder supercharged beast. The P51 carried six 0.50 Browning machine guns enabling it as a very effective ground attack aircraft, came into it's own after DDay hunting anything that moved as the allies pushed across France and into Germany. It had quite big fuel tanks which added to its versatility. My mum refurbished Merlins at Rover then Rolls in Barlick during the war, she could do a complete strip down and rebuild having done just about every job on the shop floor throughout the duration. Winged Heroes indeed Tizer, good picture, things would have been very different indeed without them.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 22/12/2007 : 17:18
Look for Mustang in the archive.  I dug a lot of stuff out for my mate Bob Jacobsen who died last year, he did 33 missions as a rear gunner and he didn't know that the reason why the Mustangs were suddenly able to accompany them all the way to the target and defend them there was due to the fitting of the Merlin engines.  When I told him he was overjoyed to know that there was a connection with Barlick.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 23/12/2007 : 15:09
Thanks for the comments panbiker - I have always had a soft spot for the Hurricane and wanted to defend it when people got excited about the Spitfire. I seem to recall claims that although the Spitfire was fastest, the Hurricane was more manoeuverable. And thanks Stanley for mentioning the Barlick Merlin link - it prompted me to search and find what you meant (i.e. RR engine production). I also enjoyed someone's post in 2004 claiming Camelot was at Barlick!


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 23/12/2007 : 15:15
Gloster Gauntlet

Here is a photo of an "unknown" and any help with ID will be appreciated. The back of the photo has been "rubber stamped" Royal Air Force Office" and has only the handwritten notes "26 AC SQDN 6-10-36" and "NEG. No. H330G" (or possibly 33OG or 33QG). Therefore I assume the aircraft are with 26 AC Squadron of the RAF in October 1936. I think "AC" stands for "army cooperation".

The photo was found by John Barnes (born Blackburn) while serving as an armourer in the RAF in the early 1940s - but he was in Kimberley, South Africa, at the time, training SAAF men! He thinks that South Africa is probably not relevant to the subject of the photo and that 26 AC Sqdn was at Catterick before WWII. By the start of the war 26 AC Sqdn had Lysanders and was doing reconnaissance flights. The identity of this aircraft eludes me - it has some similarities with a Gloster Gladiator but looks earlier in design. I've done a Goggle search but cannot find it.
[SG note: Later identified with some certainty as a Gloster Gauntlet.  Look at later postings in the topic for the story.]


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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 23/12/2007 : 16:52
Could be an early version of the Gloster Gladiator Tizer, the only difference I can see is the absence of bubble cockpit and the extra strenghthening strut on the undercarriage. The incidence on the wing struts appears to be the same, rudder and tailplane all match as does the radial engine cowl and exhaust manifold. There is a good side view of the Gladiator on the following link.

http://www.battleofbritain.net/0008.html

Looks pretty much the same to me. right era, lots of pilots would have trained in these before transfer to mono wing.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/12/2007 : 17:00
Try Gloster Gauntlet.  1929......


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 23/12/2007 : 17:04
Found another link Tizer, K6132, was one of the first 23 Gladiators produced, no extra strut on the undercarriage?

http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/types/uk/gloster/gladiator/gladiator.htm

The plot thickens.


Ian Go to Top of Page
panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 23/12/2007 : 17:13
Looked up the Gauntlet Stanley, A-frame undercarriage but the front end engine cowl looks decidedly different. One website I visited says there is only one flying example left, here it is.

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?aircraft_genericsearch=Gloster%20Gauntlet&distinct_entry=true



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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 24/12/2007 : 10:18
The home page says you posted here this morning Stanley, but I can't see it in the thread! any more info?


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 24/12/2007 : 13:06
I too rejected the Gloster Gauntlet after finding the same photo of the Finnish example on Wikipedia. Panbiker's linked photo of the early Gladiator looks very close - same exhaust pipes between the wheel struts. Are those strips down the side of the front fuselage where the guns are located, firing through the prop?

Looking at panbiker's second hyperlink, there was a Gauntlet link after all. In that vast amount of infromation it says: "Accordingly, the company [Hawker Aircraft Limited, which had taken over Gloster] authorised the construction of a private venture prototype - designated the S.S.37 - using a Gauntlet fuselage. The maiden flight took place on 12 September 1934."

It continues: "The Air Ministry...saw the urgent need to find a stopgap fighter ahead of the forthcoming Hurricane and Spitfire projects then being designed...On 3 April 1935 the S.S.37 was transferred to RAF ownership with the serial K5200, and official flight testing at Martlesham Heath commenced immediately." (In my posted photo we can see K5265 and K5275, so perhaps these aircraft were photographed at Martlesham Heath and are examples of the private venture prototype, the S.S.37.)

It continues: "In parallel, Glosters proposed that a production version would feature Hawker-syle construction with a redesigned tail unit, Mercury X engine and an enclosed cockpit....On 1 July 1935 the allocation of the name Gladiator was officially announced and an initial contract for 23 aircraft placed. In September 1935 a second order for 180 aircraft was agreed. The first production Gladiator Mk I flew in January 1937."

Thanks everone for the help!


Edited by - Tizer on 24/12/2007 13:11:56


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panbiker
Senior Member


2301 Posts
Posted - 24/12/2007 : 14:28
I love a bit of sleuthing like this Tizer. I'm no aircraft expert but the digging adds to and expands your knowledge, all good stuff. When you see the photo's of the 1930's planes we had, and some of the 1920's design that were still in service. It's even more remarkable and a testiment to the young men that took on the undeniable might of the Luftwaffe built up under the guise of "flying clubs" during the 1930's. The German pilots had the advantage of honing their skill's in the Spanish Civil War prior to the onset of the Second World War. They entered the battle with their Blitzkreig tactics perfected. Although much maligned, Hugh Dowding had the foresite to see the oncoming roller coaster and planned his tactics accordingly, he knew that it would have been all over bar the shouting if the Germans had gained air superiority and defeated the RAF. A genius in my book but typical of the thinking and command structure at the time, he was seen as an oddball troublemaker and sidelined after he had saved the country from invasion, a travesty if ever there was one. A bit of lip service later on but that was it. Let's hear it for the oddball troublemaker, we would have faced certain defeat without him. 

Edited by - panbiker on 24/12/2007 17:13:33


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 26/12/2007 : 11:08
Having read more on the Aeroflight page, I now see a problem with my conclusion that my photo is the S.S.37 prototype Gloster Gladiator - in the production details the page says that only one S.S.37 was built, but my photo shows at least five apparently identical aircraft! Yet the photo was too early to be any of the later models such as the Mk.1.

So perhaps we have a scoop!  Could the photo be proof that at least five S.S.37 prototypes were built? Or alternatively there was an undocumented version between S.S.37 and Mk.1 Gladiator?

I have written to the email address at the bottom of the Aeroflight page to get their input. 


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