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Old 18-01-2022, 12:38 AM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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50 Years Ago this Year

50 Years ago this Year, I started my working life at the age of 17 in the Royal Australian Airforce.

I had to go thru' a rigorous selection ( several exams, 7 of them if I remember correctly ) for ' Ground Crew ' Training on Aircraft.... I chose Aircraft Engines as my Trade.

We ( 10 of us in this course ), started out with the inline / inverted Gypsy Major 4 Cylinder Engine. PHOTO 1

Then went to the Spitfire V12 Merlin Supercharged Engine PHOTO 2

On again to the Rolls Royce R1830 Radial Engine PHOTO 3

First Jet Engine in training was the Goblin Nene, which has the ' Centrifical Compressor ' used in the Vampire ( inventor was Sir Frank Whittle )

Next we went over to the Avon ' Axial Flow ' Engine as used in the Canberra Bomber / Gloucester Meteor / F-86 Saber Fighter ( used in the Koren Air War )

Then was posted to 82 Wing Bomber Command at Amberely, just when we handed back the last of the F4 Phantom to the USAF ... and a couple of weeks later, our 1st ( 6 ) F111C Strike Bombers arrived....the whole base was on Parade that day.... AirVice Marshall's, Group Captains, Wing Commanders and other Senior Officers were all on board of course...the Tarmac was was strewn with Airman ( including myself ) from one end of the field to the other.

A couple of years later,I was posted to RAAF Edinburgh, to the Orion P3B Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron PHOTO 6 ( That ' Green Torque Shaft ' that you can see in the last photo, it transfers power from the Jet Engine to the Propeller Hub Planetary Gearing, with horsepower, rated at 14,000hp

Would I do it all again ....Yep .. !!

Col...
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  #2  
Old 18-01-2022, 04:31 AM
croweater (Richard)
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Nice Col. Regards to P3 Orion, About 40yrs ago I was a deckhand on a crayfishing boat working out of Robe S.A. We were about 20 miles off the coast pulling a craypot when there was a massive roar and I literally threw myself on the deck thinking our motor was going to explode or something. It was a P3 Orion that flew over the top of us not much higher than our radar mast. Scared the absolute crap out of us. As I got back on my feet watching the P3 it gave it's wings a waggle and disappeared into the distance still flying incredibly low. I can imagine the pilots thinking it was a great lark. My boss laughed at me for ages. It's a great memory still.
Cheers, Richard.
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Old 18-01-2022, 06:16 AM
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Excellent stuff Col, thanks for sharing that, it must have been very exciting as a young lad.

Leon
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Old 18-01-2022, 11:30 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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I'm in awe Col. Very cool.
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Old 18-01-2022, 12:02 PM
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Excellent stuff col . Cool imagss to match. I suppose only 1 step down from a rocket scientist. It would of be awesome to work on those engines
I was lucky to fly in a mig 15 a few years ago. And still have a smile on my face from that day years, later best thing I have ever done . I was amazed how smooth it was .thanks for sharing
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Old 18-01-2022, 01:33 PM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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Thank You Lad's .... you can all ' stand at ease ' now
Good days they were...I also remember we all had a turn at hoping into a Vampire and doing an Engine run up near an old sand bunker just a little way past one of the Training Hangers....of course we had a Sgt Engineer in the right seat , just to make sure we didn't get too excited and accidentally ' release ' the park brake ..... it was a lot of fun

Last edited by FlashDrive; 18-01-2022 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 18-01-2022, 01:47 PM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croweater View Post
Nice Col. Regards to P3 Orion, About 40yrs ago I was a deckhand on a crayfishing boat working out of Robe S.A. We were about 20 miles off the coast pulling a craypot when there was a massive roar and I literally threw myself on the deck thinking our motor was going to explode or something. It was a P3 Orion that flew over the top of us not much higher than our radar mast. Scared the absolute crap out of us. As I got back on my feet watching the P3 it gave it's wings a waggle and disappeared into the distance still flying incredibly low. I can imagine the pilots thinking it was a great lark. My boss laughed at me for ages. It's a great memory still.
Cheers, Richard.

Just for you Richard, there's no need to ' duck ' below the Keyboard
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Old 18-01-2022, 02:50 PM
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Nice one Col, love that sign of rotation in the propellers.

Leon
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Old 18-01-2022, 03:58 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Originally Posted by FlashDrive View Post
Just for you Richard, there's no need to ' duck ' below the Keyboard
That's the bloody culprit Co. We would see them fairly regularly down here off the south east coast. The fishermen knew them well and had a "soft spot" for them, I guess because they knew it would probably be the P3 that would find them if they got into trouble.
Lovely looking airplane
Cheers, Richard

Last edited by croweater; 18-01-2022 at 04:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 18-01-2022, 07:15 PM
JA
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It sounds like a wonderful career that you really enjoyed. Way to go Col...

Best
JA
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:35 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashDrive View Post
50 Years ago this Year, I started my working life at the age of 17 in the Royal Australian Airforce.

I had to go thru' a rigorous selection ( several exams, 7 of them if I remember correctly ) for ' Ground Crew ' Training on Aircraft.... I chose Aircraft Engines as my Trade.

We ( 10 of us in this course ), started out with the inline / inverted Gypsy Major 4 Cylinder Engine. PHOTO 1

Then went to the Spitfire V12 Merlin Supercharged Engine PHOTO 2

On again to the Rolls Royce R1830 Radial Engine PHOTO 3

First Jet Engine in training was the Goblin Nene, which has the ' Centrifical Compressor ' used in the Vampire ( inventor was Sir Frank Whittle )

Next we went over to the Avon ' Axial Flow ' Engine as used in the Canberra Bomber / Gloucester Meteor / F-86 Saber Fighter ( used in the Koren Air War )

Then was posted to 82 Wing Bomber Command at Amberely, just when we handed back the last of the F4 Phantom to the USAF ... and a couple of weeks later, our 1st ( 6 ) F111C Strike Bombers arrived....the whole base was on Parade that day.... AirVice Marshall's, Group Captains, Wing Commanders and other Senior Officers were all on board of course...the Tarmac was was strewn with Airman ( including myself ) from one end of the field to the other.

A couple of years later,I was posted to RAAF Edinburgh, to the Orion P3B Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron PHOTO 6 ( That ' Green Torque Shaft ' that you can see in the last photo, it transfers power from the Jet Engine to the Propeller Hub Planetary Gearing, with horsepower, rated at 14,000hp

Would I do it all again ....Yep .. !!

Col...
Hi Col,

Great stuff! Anyone with any mechanical incline whatsoever, has a soft spot for aircraft.

Just curious when the V12 Rolls Royce Merlin stopped being used in the Australian Air Force. While it was one of the greatest aircraft engines of all time (the yanks even loved them in preference to their own) it was an early 1940's engine and way past it's use by date by the 1970's?

Cheers
John B
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:41 AM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croweater View Post
Nice Col. Regards to P3 Orion, About 40yrs ago I was a deckhand on a crayfishing boat working out of Robe S.A. We were about 20 miles off the coast pulling a craypot when there was a massive roar and I literally threw myself on the deck thinking our motor was going to explode or something. It was a P3 Orion that flew over the top of us not much higher than our radar mast. Scared the absolute crap out of us.
Cheers, Richard.
Hi Richard,

I'm hearing ya !. I flew on one of these (Lockheed Electra) in the late 1960's from Sydney to Canberra. Pretty sure it's still the loudest aircraft I have ever been on. I remember at take off I thought something was going to explode ! I can only imagine what it was like flying over at a couple of hundred feet. Although I have been under a few low flying Hercules and they are also pretty loud, having the same, or very similar engines to the P3.

Cheers,
John B

Last edited by ausastronomer; 21-01-2022 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 21-01-2022, 11:26 AM
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FlashDrive (Col)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausastronomer View Post
Hi Richard,
, having the same, or very similar engines to the P3.

Cheers,
John B
That is correct,same Engine....T56 Allison Turbine ( has a 14 stage Axial Flow Compressor ). Myself and 2 other Airman ( apart from the Senior Engineers ) were allowed to start the Aircraft's APU... I had to sit for an exam to do this ( small turbine onboard the Aircraft, located on left hand underside, basically right under the pilots seat...cut a long story short, once the APU came online, all instruments / Avionics etc came to life and the cockpit looked like a Christmas Tree.

Safety was strict....2 Airman outside the front of the Aeroplane with 2 big fire bottles at the ready in case a fire ensured . I would sit in the Pilots seat with headphones and have direct contact with another ground crew member via head phones.

I remember feeling like a ' big shot ' then cause all I had to do was make sure all generators were running correctly and fuel pump valves were open and various switch's were configured and ' hit ' number 1 Engine start button ...I would have been ' charged ' with unauthorized engine start, and I think they would think of something else to, and I'd been assigned to sweeping the runway with a tooth brush for the next 6 months.

Col...
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