Ah! Yes! The Mechanical Handler! They were called the Yellow Peril when all ground equipment was - er - yellow, in the 60's. By the late 70's, the name had all but faded from use. The fact that Ground Support Equipment (GSE) was being painted green made the name a bit redundant. We were calling these Donkeys when I was using them on the Nimrod Major Servicing Unit at Kinloss 1976 - 1981. Don't get me wrong, there were a couple of the old (Ex Shack) Wallahs that still referred to these as 'Yella Perils'. I was told that it was a van back axle (I was told a Ford Transit rear axle, but I didn't think that the Trannie was that early I could be wrong here) connected to a Petter diesel (one cyl). It had a 3 speed gear box, although the shift was never intended to be made on the move. You could, with practice, get it to shift up but there was never any reason to. You just selected the gear required for the task in hand. It would pull the most amazing weights - seemingly unstoppable. Starting was easy. Just a few cc's of engine oil in the primer cap, depress the decompression button, engage and rotate the starting handle and thump - - - thump - - thump - thump - thump... she was away. Lot's of smoke til she had warmed up a bit - Ahh! The memories. The brake was operated by lifting or dropping the tiller arm to its extent and the the throttle was was a hand lever under the handle (bit similar to a bike brake lever).
The jammers were powered i.e self propelled sit on and drive, but the R loader, although it had powered lift it was towed.
Last edited by Airtrooper; 13-08-2012 at 15:46.
Do you mean just the "pod-under-a-Bucc-wing" version or the land based version also?
Just the former, podded version, which could be transported in flight by such things as a Buccaneer, Sea Vixen, Gannet etc.
Last edited by Airtrooper; 13-08-2012 at 21:20.
I've got the "GSE catalogue" AP on disc but Carnaby has it ATM. Hopefully he'll read this and post up the required page. I'm sure it's in there. Not much but it should help with the basic dimensions.
We had the ugly box on a two-wheeled trailer at Honington. Frquently they would not start - until we realised there was a hatch on the top deck and if you opened it there was revealed a black box which, if hit smartly with a hammer two or three times, would make the thing start. The GSE boys wer'n't too impressed by our discovery!
Then came the Mk 12, which was the same bit of kit but on a four-wheel trolley. This is the sort of kit they have at Bruntingthorpe with the Buccs there. We also discovered that if you, ahem, 'releived' yourself into the exhaust duct of the Mk 12, the next time someone started it the whole flight line was enveloped in a foul-smelling smoke.
Not sure I should be saying these things - Ted will have a fit.
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