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Would you fly in this !


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I was going to say the same Bob but you beat me to it. One story I do remember was talking to some guys prior to going on a trip in one of the first Nimrods. Before this particular aircraft became a Nimrod it was a Dan Air (or Dan Dare as we called them) Comet 4b. Apparently there was a known problem regarding this type of aircraft with the rear bulkhead which was part of the toilet wall. Urine is not very good when coming in contact with aluminium and corrodes' it, the rear bulkhead had suffered from corrosion so the guys at Dan Air had put a big 2ft square fibreglass patch on the outside of the pressure bulkhead. For those that don't understand what is wrong with that (other than fact they should have replaced or at least used metal) think about when the aircraft is pressurised and then think of the plug in your bath, the patch should never have been done but if you had to do it then at least put it on the inside. I was also told that when they stripped it out for conversion they took away 2 wheelbarrow's worth of 'foreign' objects they found floating around inside. Of course air safety has moved on quite a lot since then and Dan Dare is long gone.

Mind you if your ex RAF then you will know that even they were not that cleaver at times. We used to get an 'in house' magazine called Air Clues with a fictional character called Wing Commander Spry. He used to tell stories about accidents and other things that were not too clever. Some of the stories were quite funny and others were quite deadly. I remember one that happened when I was in Germany where a Harrier pilot doing a simulated scramble (Harriers were the only aircraft where the ground crew started the engines and did the pre-flight) instead of rolling out on to the road decided to take of from the parking area in the woods to save a few seconds. He went straight up in to electricity cables and was done to a turn. Spry's parting comment was look left, look right then look up.

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[quote user="Quillan"]Harriers were the only aircraft where the ground crew started the engines [/quote]

Sorry to be a pedant Quillan, but how did the ground crew get out and the pilot in after the engine was started?


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Simple they start the APU which powers up the aircraft then they start the the preflight. Don't forget its one engine with intakes on both sides. Throttled right back the engine does not produce that much 'suck' on idle. Only the RAF (the navy, US marines and Spanish don't) do this and normally only on exercise. The main reason for not going in front of the engine on idle is not so much you getting sucked in but bits of clothing, paper etc. I've only ever worked with harriers once and that was only for a week at Dunsfold, even though I badgered Mike Snelling several times I never managed to get jolly, happy days.
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OK. Now I understand the confusion :-)

The APU is a gas turbine attached to the main engine to power the electrics when the main engine is not running and to start the main engine.

The main engine would never be started by the groundcrew unless the engine was on test and even then under very strict conditions.

The preflight you mention is merely to align the Inertial Navigation system which can take upwards of 5 minutes from cold and which would indeed involve the APU.

Especially during exercise which would normally be held in a large wooded area in northern Germany.

I must now declare my source of this information - I was an avionics engineer on 3 Squadron, RAF Gutersloh from 1981 to 1983

Going back to the OP's post, an apprentice colleague of mine did the same, but with the wings of his Ford Anglia.

He sprayed them over the top of the tape and the result was as you would expect.........verp cr&p.


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