Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Chris Hayward

 September Newsletter


Just to keep you all up to date on the build, Mike is having to move his workshop so there will be a pause in the building for a couple of months while he gets things sorted. The new home for the Aircraft Restoration Group is to be http://www.fishburnaeroclub.btik.com/FISHBURNAIRFIELD
up in County Durham and this is where we hope to hold our next AGM so that a tour of the workshop will be possible.

Odd Ode

             The following poem was passed to me by Rob Bowater and was taken from a post on the Flypast Forum by WZ862.
I have had the privilege of access to the papers of the late Warrant Officer Frank Waldron, who was shot down on October 31 1942 while on a low level raid over Europe in his Whirlwind. He forced landed and was captured.
I came across the following poem written in his YMCA Geneva issued Prisoner of War diary and I thought it appropriate to add to the historical record.

Greta 1

Her name was Greta, she was one of the best
But then came the night when I gave her the test
I looked at her with joy and delight
For she was mine for the whole of the night

She looked so pretty, so sweet and so slim
The night was dark and the lights were dim
I was so delighted my heart missed a beat
For that night I knew I was in for a treat

I saw her stripped, I saw her bare
I felt all around her, I felt everywhere
We started off, she screamed with joy
For this was her first night with a boy

I got her high as quick as I could
I handled her well the response was good
I turned her over, and then on her side
Then on her back all ways I tried

It was a great thrill. She was the best in the land
That twin engined Whirlwind of Fighter Command

It’s the first time I have ever seem a poem about the Whirlwind, unless others know more. Just in case you were wondering, Greta was also his wife of only a few weeks when Frank was shot down. 

From the archive of Frank Waldron
Frank in the cockpit of Whirlwind "Greta"

Many thanks to WZ862 who ever you are.

Volunteer wanted

Gunnar and Matt have identified several WW files held by the National Archive in Kew that have not been seen by the project previously.

The simplest (and by far the cheapest) way would be to ask for a volunteer to go to the National Archive armed with a decent camera and photograph these documents. This they allow for free 

I thought I would just give you the whole list of WW docs we have found that the NA hold. I know that Stu has seen some of these, but while there whoever volunteers might as well photograph ALL the relevant holdings that Kew have, so that they can then all be put in one place on the projects DropBox, for reference, along with the considerable volume of new stuff.

The documents are:

AVIA 46/122

AVIA 18/691

AVIA 18/1000

AIR 16/326

SUPP 9/1

AVIA 6/13709

AVIA 6/13705

AVIA 6/13712
AVIA 15/317
AIR 10/2643
AVIA 15/1571
AVIA 18/663
DSIR 23/7432
AVIA 6/5429
DSIR 23/6211
DSIR 23/7584

AVIA 6/5444

AIR 2/2821

AVIA 15/2360

It will be an all-day job, for someone!



Part two of the transcript of 263 0perations by Jeff Beaumont

Jan/Feb............... EXETER During this month numerous interception patrols were flown and the
and first combats since June 1940 were chronicled. The squadron maintained a
 detached Flight at St. Eval. On the 2nd F/O. D. Crooks, DFC, was promoted
Acting Flight Lieutenant. On the 9th Sergeant Pilot F. Morton was killed on
active service whilst flying the Blenheim. On the 12th P/O. D. Stein engaged
a Junkers 88 forty miles South West of the Scillies and was credited with a
“probable”; this claim was later stepped up into the “destroyed” category.
This was the first Whirlwind engagement with the enemy and the first
Whirlwind victory of the war. For 263 Squadron it was the first victory
since the close of the Norway campaign. Three Chameleon operations against
enemy “E” boats were undertaken, the first being carried out by S/Ldr
Munro, F/Lt. Pugh and F/Lt Crooks, but no contact was made with the enemy.
February. Again the Squadron operated a detachment at St. Eval. On the 8th the
squadron had its second confirmed victory against the enemy since the
Norway campaign. An Arado 196 was destroyed by P/O. K.A.G. Graham;
unhappily P/O Graham was killed in this action. On the 18th S/Ldr. A.H.
Donaldson was posted to command 263 Squadron; he is the brother of the late
Squadron Leader J.W. Donaldson, DSO, DFC, who commanded the squadron during
 the Norway Expeditions. The 24th saw the Squadron move to St. Eval. Some new
pilots detached to Charmy Down for training. S/Ldr. J.G. Munro was posted
on armament duties to A.G.M.E.

March........................... Three combats with the enemy. On the 1st P/O. H.H. Kitchener, DFM,
P/O. P.G. Thornton-Brown engaged and damaged a Ju.88 which escaped into
cloud. On the 5th P/O. Kitchener engaged and damaged a Ju.88. The 11th saw
another encounter, south of the Lizard, between P/o. Kitchener and a Ju.88.
The enemy aircraft was damaged but the Whirlwind was also hit and the pilot
crashed on landing, sustaining serious injuries. The enemy bombed St. Eval
heavily on the 12th, damaging seven Whirlwinds. The visit was repeated on
the 14th and four Whirlwinds were damaged. Unhappily on the same day P/O.
Thornton-Brown, returning from a convoy patrol, crashed at Portreath and
sustained serious injuries.
 On the 18th the Squadron moved to Portreath, a new aerodrome which
could be described as being “without form or voice”. Conditions were very
uncomfortable. During the month a large number of convoy patrols were
carried out, coupled with the usual will 'o the wisp chases after lone,
cloud hopping bandits. F/O. B.R. Grant who had been with the squadron as
Engineer Officer since its formation was posted to West Malling on the 28th.
His place was taken by F/O. J.C. Garland.

April...................................... A succession of tragedies mark this month. On the 1st S/Ldr.
Donaldson and F/Lt. Crooks, DFC, intercepted and damaged a Dornier 215; but
F/Lt. Crooks was shot down and he crashed in flames at Helston. On the 6th
F/O. B. Howe and P/O. A. Tooth engaged two He.111s, causing some damage to
them but no decision was forced. On the 7th P/O. R.F. Ferdinand and Sergeant
C.P. King engaged with a Ju.88 which escaped into clouds.
 Once again the squadron return to Filton which had been the
birthplace of the Squadron on October 1st, 1939. The main party
arrived on the 10th. F/O. B. Howe was killed on active service as the result of an accident at
Wittering Aerodrome on the 20th and unfortunately a further death on active
service occurred on the 30th when P/O. G.S. Milligan was killed in a flying
accident at Aldermaston.

MAY............................ Eighty-one shipping convoys involving 162 aircraft were flown over
the Bristol Channel during this month. In addition 22 other patrols
involving 48 aircraft were carried out. The enemy was not contacted. On
the 1st, F/O. J.C. Hughes was promoted F/Lt, Flight Commander of “A” Flight.
Sergeant Pilots Mason and Rudland were granted commissions as P/Os on the
8th. On the 16th P/O. H.J. Coghlan was posted to the squadron. The Station
and Squadron were honoured on the 19th by a visit from Air Marshal Sir
Sholto Douglas, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Fighter Command.

JUNE...................................... This month is notable as being the first in which Whirlwinds took
the offensive. There were also 67 convoy patrols and 7 interceptor aptrols
involving in all 152 sorties. On the 7th P/O. Coghlan was promoted to F/O.
The 11th saw an unfortunately crash landing which resulted in Sgt/Pilot R.
Pascoe being killed on active service, and on 12th P/O. R.F. Ferdinand
crashed while making an approach and was killed on active service.
Operations against enemy aerodromes took place on the 14th and were known as
Warhead 1. S/Ldr. Donaldson and P/O. Rudland approached Querqueville
aerodrome at first light. A low level attack was made from 1300-100 feet
and the shells hit and exploded in dispersal pens. These were, however,
covered over so that the extent of damage is unknown. S/Ldr. Donaldson also
put a burst into a barrack block, and on the way back to base attacked and
hit a glass topped structure which he saw in the Baie de Nacqueville.
Intense light flak had been met with over the target and S/Ldr. Donaldson's
machine was found to have been struck in the port engine nacelle. F/Lt.
Pugh and P/O. Mason who were to attack the other target, Maupertus
aerodrome, found it completely covered by a thick morning mist. They
cruised around for fifteen minutes hoping for a rent in the veil but were
forced to return without firing their guns.

JULY................................................. During July the squadron led a peripatetic existence, making
                            excursions in the Group to relieve other squadron who were taking part in offensive operations over France. In addition 47 convoy patrols and 7
interception patrols were made, but the enemy was not contacted.
H.M. The King was graciously pleased to confer the Air Force Cross
upon the Squadron's Commanding Officer, S/Ldr. A.H. Donaldson, in
recognition of his work in Training Command. On the 16th six aircraft flew
to Warmwell to experiment with cannon against tanks.
AUGUST............................... The month of justification for the Whirlwind. Many operations
against the enemy proved it to be both admirable for ground straffing and a
match for the ME.109. On August 2nd, Warhead 2 was carried out by S/Ldr.
Donaldson and F/Lt. Hughes against Querqueville aerodrome. Enemy personnel,
oil tanks, and a dinghy were hit. On landing both machines were found to
have a 7.9mm shell hole. In Patrol 2 F/Lt. Pugh and P/O Mason attacked an E
boat about a quarter of a mile from the French coast; it was left sinking.
On the 5th Warhead 3 was carried out. Patrol 1, S/Ldr. Donaldson AFc and
Sgt. Pilot Holmes attacked Maupertis aerodrome destroying one Ju.87 and
probably destroying two Ju.87s and damaging two ME.109s. Two lorries were
shot up, one laden with soldiers. Patrol 2, (F/Lt. Hughes and Sgt. Pilot
Jowett) attacked and damaged a wireless installation at Nacqueville. In
Warhead 4 on the 6th the first patrol, (P/O. Mason, F/O Coghlan, P/O.
Rudland and F/Sgt. Brackley) did not reach its target but an E boat and a
wireless station were severely damaged. The second attack, Warhead 5,
(S/Ldr Donaldson AFC, P/O Rudland, F/O Coghlan and F/Sgt. Albertini)
reached Maupertus aerodrome and destroyed or damaged four Ju.87s and two Me.109. P/O. Rudland attacked and destroyed one ME.109 about to take off
and was credited with a “destroyed” in air combat. Machine and Bofors gun
posts were silenced. Two tankers were also shot at and hit. When the
presence of these and two more tankers was reported, Warhead 6 was put into
effect with the same pilots as for Warhead 5. On reaching the four tankers
the Whirlwinds were engaged by about twenty ME.109. 
A terrific dog fight took place between 1500 feet and sea-level.
Although outnumbered by five to one the Whirlwinds more than held their own. P/O.
Rudland and F/Sgt. Brackley both shot down an ME.109; this was P/O.
Rudland's second victory on that day. Another ME.109 was damaged by S/Ldr.
Donaldson. F/Sgt. Brackley's machine developed an internal glycol leak and
he had to bring his machine across sixty miles of water on one engine.
 The Squadron move to Charmy Down on the 7th and on the 12th twelve
 Whirlwinds provided outward escort as far as Antwerp for the Blenheims
which carried out the brilliantly successful daylight raid on two power
stations at Cologne. At Walcheren six flak barges were attacked, one sunk
and two more damaged. F/Lt. Pugh also attacked and damaged another barge
two miles N.E. of Walcheren. The following message was received from AOC, 2
Group, “Many thanks for your courageous support to-day. You will be glad to
hear that the two great power stations of the Ruhr, Knapsack and Quadrath,
with an output of nearly 1000,000 kwatts were completely destroyed ......
Would be glad if you would convey the thanks of the leaders and crews of
No. 2 Group to S/Ldr. Donaldson and 263......Well done, Orlebar.”
An offensive operation took place on the 17th in which four Whirlwinds were to fly over Maupertus aerodrome to lure German fighters into the air to be
dealt with by our following Hurricanes and Spitfires. The Hun would not
play. However, F/Lt. Pugh dived on a large armed trawler outside Cherbourg
and shot it up. On the 21st S/Ldr. Donaldson, AFC, was awarded the D.F.C.
and posted as Wing Commander Flying, R.A.F. Station, Portreath, with the
rank of Wing Commander. On the 22nd F/Lt. Pugh was promoted to S/Ldr. and
posted from the command of “B” Flight to command 263 Squadron. On the 24th
two sections led by Wing Commander Donaldson did not locate Lannion
aerodrome but damaged an RDF station and a navigational beacon. On the 26th
an offensive operation against Lannion aerodrome was led by S/Ldr. Pugh in
which, during a three minute raid, five JU.88 were destroyed. Meanwhile
four more Whirlwinds attacked Maupertus. Led by P/O. Rudland, a series of
low level attacks destroyed five JU.87s. An RDF station and gun post were
also attacked. P/O. Rudland's machine had a cannon shell through a
starboard aileron. A Mandolin 3 operation was attempted by F/Lt. Hughes and
Sgt. Holmes on the 29th but conditions were not suitable for the attack on
Lannion aerodrome. As secondary targets, and RDF station and a Blockhouse
were attacked and damaged. On the 31st the Squadron led by S/Ldr. Pugh led a
Wing to provide cover for Blenheims returning from an attack on Lannion
Aerodrome. No enemy fighters were seen.
Sept................................ The claims made by the Squadron after the operations against Lannion on the 26th of August were fully conformed by G.A.F. prisoners of war. Again
the squadron saw considerable offensive activity. F/Lt. C.P. Rudland, then
flight commander “A” Flight, received the D.F.C. on the 8th. He was promoted
F/Lt on the 9th. On the 4th, in Gudgeon 6, full squadron escort led by S/Ldr.
Pugh, was provided for six Blenheims in an attack on an oilship in
Cherbourg Harbour. Numerous dog fights with ME.109s F and E occurred during
which Sergeant Pilot Buckwell was forced to bale out. He is now a prisonerof-
war. Another full squadron escort was provided for 1w twelve Blenheims
on the 8th. The target was a convoy in the Race of Alderney and the
Whirlwind's task was to silence any escort flak ships. Two convoys were
sighted and attacked with considerable success. The squadron left a 400 ton
vessel on fire, sunk a tug and severely damaged to more tugs and three
barges. An E boat was attacked by results were not observed. On the 10th a
Mandolin Operation was undertaken by P/Os Stein and Mason with the Gestapo
Headquarters at Quineville as target. Unable to locate their target they
attacked a machine and Bofors gun position. Unhappily P/O. Mason was killed
in action, his machine diving straight into the ground. Then P/O Stein
circled and in four separate attacks silenced these posts. The 19th
saw another Manolin Operation against Morlaix. The aerodrome was not
located and an inconclusive attack was made on a pill box.On the 28th two sections led by S/Ldr. Pugh with Wing Commander
Donaldson as No. 2 Section Leader were detailed to attack JU.88s said to be
at Morlaix. But the target was barren except for one ME.109 which was
attacked and probably destroyed. The Whirlwinds were met with an intense
barrage from all around the aerodrome. Both S/Ldr. Pugh's and W/Cmdr.
Donaldson's machines were badly holes and W/Cmdr. Donaldson was wounded in
both arms and his flying helmet was wrenched from his head. But he managed to regain control of his aircraft and to land at Predannack where he was
detained in hospital with concussion. On his recovery he was posted to be
Wing Commander Flying, Colerne Section, so that he was still intimately
connected with the squadron.
Mandolin 7 was not heard of at Charmy Down until four o'clock in the
evening of the 29th. F/O. Coghlan led two sections to Predannack – this use
of a forward aerodrome was, of course, an unvaried feature of all offensive
operations – and they took off in the dusk to attack Lannion. Again the
target was virtually barren but for a single JU.88 which was destroyed. The
pilots lost touch with each other in the murk. Sgt. Hunter was forced to
bale out over the sea South of Plymouth and was killed while engaged in
operations against the enemy and F/O Coghlan ran out of petrol at 400 feet
and crash landed just off the aerodrome. He was uninjured except for
bruises, but his aircraft was a total wreck.
October.................................... The formation of a second Whirlwind squadron No. 137, led to many
of the more experienced pilots of 263 Squadron being posted that squadron.
Operationally the month was quiet. On the 8th H.M. The King was graciously
pleased to honour S/Ldr. Pugh and F/Lt Coghlan with the D.F.C. for their
many and varied exploits against the enemy. Unfortunately the 9th saw P/O.
O.H.J. Hoskins killed on active service during formation flying. His
machine collided with another aircraft in the air; F/Lt Coghlan baled out
successfully. On the 25th Sgt. Pilot Holmes was granted his commission as
P/O. On the 29th Rhubarb Operation 33 took place against Morlaix aerodrome.
F/Sgt. Brackley damaged one JU.88 on the ground. Sgt. Pilot King came in to
attack so low that his port wing collant tank was damaged by a high white
mast. He recrossed the Channel on one engine and made base. On the 30th the
same target was covered by Rhubarb 35. Heavy flak was met with over Morlaix
aerodrome and F/O. D. Stein's plane was hit in the starboard engine, which
was set on fire. He was last seen climbing as though to bale out. This is
the last information we have of P/O Stein but it is hoped that he is a
prisoner-of-war. The other pilot, Sgt. K. Ridley made Predannack on one
engine but overshot and landed in the barbed wire, doing little further
damage e/to his aircraft.
November....................... This month was notable for an increase in offensive operations. One the 2nd S/Ldr. Coghlan was posted to command 137 squadron. It was hoped that
the 6th would see the end of a run of bad luck. On that day F/Sgt. Albertini
was shot through the eye by a stray pellet discharged in clay pigeon
shooting, and probably lost the sight of his right eye. On the same day
Rhubarb 56 was operated to attack the road and railway West of Maupertus.
No targets were found and the patrol returned but unhappily Sgt. Pilot J.J.
Robinson was killed while in operations against the enemy. He seems that he
dipped his port wing into the sea, and went into it at high speed. On the
7th a Rhubarb reconnaissance took place during which Sgt. Pilot King
destroyed an ME.109, one of two pairs by which he was attacked. F/Lt.
Warnes was attacked by another pair of Me.109s but evaded them by steep
turns at sea level. A Rodeo Fighter Sweep (Rodeo 5) of four squadrons led
by P/O Warnes, “B” Flight commander, was made on the 8th. Two Whirlwinds
were slightly damaged by flak encountered over Alderney but formation was
maintained. On the 9th, P/O. Warnes was promoted F/Lt. Rhubarb 61 against
distillery targets was operated on the 15th. S/Ldr. Pugh, DFC, led the
attack on Cerences which was probably destroyed by himself and Sgt.
Blackshaw. A locomotive was also hit. Hyenville was attacked by F/Lt.
Warnes who damaged a building and a railway engine. Yellow section did not
locate their target. Green section also failed to contact target but
attacked and silenced two flak posts. On the 17th three sections took off
from Warmwell for the final destruction of the distillery targets allocated
to the squadron. There were gusts of seventy m.p.h. at Warmwell and
visibility of one mile in torrential rain, but lack of cloud cover over the
Cherbourg Peninsula caused the operation to be abandoned.

© TNA AIR 27/1551. Transcription by Jeff Beaumont, 2009.

More aerodynamics - with pictures!

Thanks to Matt and Gunnar.

The reason for the acorns:

Tests on the prototypes showed severe tail vibration at speeds over 380mph. This was famously fixed with the 'acorns', but once a solution had been found through trial and error there was little further thought given to how it worked.

Aerodynamic theory has moved on since then, as has the ability to model aerodynamic behaviour.. so here is the reason behind the problem and the fix:

The tail presents two symmetrical aerofoils at 90 degrees to each other. Where they are both at their thickest the airflow is accelerated by up to 40%, and the pressure drops accordingly. At flying speeds there is subsequent flow separation, rapid flow deceleration, and extreme turbulence. This is the classic 'interference drag'.

You can see this problem zone as the blue blob on the (unmodified) tail in the pressure plot on the left (blue=low pressure)

Copyright WFP 2011/2015

The graphic below shows a velocity plot 'slice' close to the fin/horizontal tail junction, at 400mph. Red=fast flow and blue= slow. Air passing close to the junction is accelerated up to 480 mph in this low-pressure zone, then immediately slowed to under 15 mph (the dark blue), in the space of a few inches. As Gunnar observed, it's not surprising pilots reported rudder vibration at speed.   

The plots below are Gunnar's model at 400mph. Adding the acorns reduces the severe pressure drop (the blue area) and the local velocity increase, indicated by the reduction in the orange area (this is the portion of local air accelerated to over 525mph)

Copyright WFP 2011/2015


With Christmas fast approaching we will be adding new items to the shop in the next few weeks.  

All items are available via the shop at the link above all with P&P extra.



 Contact details chris-hayward@outlook.com

Copyright WFP 2011/2015

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