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Dr H

Who Wants To Fly In A Lancaster Across The Atlantic?

12 posts in this topic

I want to be the tail gunner. Only in peace time though. The life expectancy was just about nothing during the war. very very brave people.

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Crossing the Atlantic as the tail gunner in a Lanc? That would be COLD! There's no heating or pressurisation in a Lanc. I'd prefer a seat somewhere where I can wrap up warm and have regular cups of tea.

 

However, I agree. Absolutely. That would be the most amazing experience, and also really intense. I'd guess it would be cold, uncomfortable, really noisy, and segments of the flight would drag on forever. But once you land, it would be the most memorable thing you'd ever done. Not worth flogging my Esprit for, but indeed the stuff of dreams.

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I'm sure it would be very taxing and uncomfortable at times but, to me, it would just go a very small way to being able to appreciate what the men that took off in these planes night after night to fight for us really did. I will be forever in awe of the way they were prepared to lay down their lives for their country.

 

Just finished reading The Red Line http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0007486855. Amazing........

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If my numbers have come up I'm having that.

Uncle was a Tail End Charlie in WW2 and must have had balls of steel.

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I'm sure it would be very taxing and uncomfortable at times but, to me, it would just go a very small way to being able to appreciate what the men that took off in these planes night after night to fight for us really did. I will be forever in awe of the way they were prepared to lay down their lives for their country.

 

Just finished reading The Red Line http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0007486855. Amazing........

Thanks for recommendation - just bought it for Kindle. The author John Nicol was Tornado crew and was shot down in first Iraq war, you may remember TV footage shown at the time when they were capture and showing off their bruises. They wrote a book "Tornado Down" that's a great read too. I love the bit where they were in the desert trying to escape - a few hundred yards away was the burning wreck of the Tornado they had ejected from, near by were two parachutes and inflated orange life rafts, then 2 lines of footprints across the sand to where they were hiding - needless to say it wasn't long before they were captured !

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I'm very fortunate to have flown in many positions on the RAF's Lancaster, including the bomb aimers, front turret, wireless operators, crew bunk (comfy when hungover!), mid upper and tail turret positions.

Normally we flew with the upper escape hatches removed which allows cooling air to enter "the big black b@stard" and importantly wick away noxious exhaust gasses.

I can list experiences as asymmetric engine out flight and stalling whilst flying in her as ground crew.

It was truly an honour to have spent a total of 21 flying hours in the Lanc, meeting some wonderful veterans, evoking memories and undertaking flypasts at prestigious events. A very special chapter of my life...

 

Kurt

Oh, and the Canadian Lancaster is visiting the UK for the first time so that both can fly together. It'll be over here for a month from 06 August...

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That's what I love about MLOC. There's a crowd of us speculating about something we know next to nothing about, and someone comes along and tells us the reality. You are a lucky man, Kurt! There's a few round here are quite envious...

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Thanks Tim, I always saw it as a humbling experience though I could write a book about my engineering experiences on Warbirds. I've been lucky enough to work on almost all the types listed by Leigh (above) and enjoyed every moment. I'm approaching the end of my RAF career now, with only 7 weeks left in uniform, and take up duties as a full time dad from late June.

 

With reference to the Lancaster, I can say that every job was a different. I've ground run the engines (and that of the worlds oldest flying Spitfire), but priming the engines would have modern H&S have a fit! Stand on the main tyres, reach up into nacelle and pump high octane aviation fuel into the engine. Pilot hits the starter. Get covered in coolant and wait for the machete blades of the props to catch properly, otherwise pump like hell! Stand tall inside the undercarriage bay awaiting for any flames to subside, whilst holding onto the giant vibrating behemoth.

 

Happy days. I'll see if I can sort a visit in the next few weeks for a very small group of us if anyone's interested?

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With reference to the Lancaster, I can say that every job was a different. I've ground run the engines (and that of the worlds oldest flying Spitfire), but priming the engines would have modern H&S have a fit! Stand on the main tyres, reach up into nacelle and pump high octane aviation fuel into the engine. Pilot hits the starter. Get covered in coolant and wait for the machete blades of the props to catch properly, otherwise pump like hell! Stand tall inside the undercarriage bay awaiting for any flames to subside, whilst holding onto the giant vibrating behemoth.

 

Happy days.

 

Kurt - I honestly think you should write that book, written like the above any engineering minded person would read it - I know I would...

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Kurt - I honestly think you should write that book, written like the above any engineering minded person would read it - I know I would...

I think your right a book sound like a great idea

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