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Thread: Refuellers

  1. #221
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Hi Ted,

    nice models, thanks for showing them.

    Can you advise where the yellow ones would have been based? I'd like to do a dio with one in the setting

    cheers

    Mike

  2. #222
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    The yellow ones are RN; Last year AIRFIX did a club members special edition which gave 1 bowser plus 1 Landie & trailer with 3 different sets of marking for each vehicle. I have never seen an RN version to be quite honest - I just followed the instructions in the kit !!! now that is something I don't normally do as I am bit nit picky and like to find a photo and finish a model to represent that actusl truck- but I did 2 yellow ones one for my son he is nearly 40 but hasn't advanced beyond aircraft LOL !!!! We bought 2 Airfix special editions so we could get extra RN markings and got the extra kits by buying dirt cheap JB models off e bay- you- are no doubt aware the Airfix model is from the JB moulds which the bought the rights to. Returning to your question I have loads of RN bowser pics but have never actually seen a yellow Tac version, just went with the flow as they say . .
    TED

    regards TED

  3. #223
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Ello folks.

    Here's a couple of piccies that are not of a very high quality, simply because they are old and scanned, so not up to modern standards.

    I have quite a few in albums but a few escaped and got scanned, it is an ongoing process that thankfully does not need doing where I have the negs

    File0154.jpg
    File0266.jpg
    20110429_860.jpg

    These all feature the Bedford MK TTF 1000 gallon refueller, a 4 ton chassis with refuelling kit added.

    As regards colour, at the time I dont remember the RAF and ARMY MK TTFs being any different.

    I do remember the TK version being painted gloss rather than Matt IRR green without the black cammo, with yellow horizontal stripes at strategic points about the vehicle.

    On some vehicles the stripes were replaced with a reflective black (yes black) tape that was similar to that used on the helmets. Not visible during the day, but still reflective at night on an airfield.

    Fuel type markers were the same.

    There would be no point making the TK version tactical as it would not have been much cop cross country, if I remember correctly the crabs that got their feet wet used the MK TTF, although god only knows how they got on with chinooks as the ruddy things used to suck you dry in one hit!!

    The MK was a damn good waggon in it's own way. I remember in the First Gulf war that although they were said to weigh about 9 ton fully laden, they never bogged in easily....although one did fall into a tank pit sideways once, got recovered, and carried on normal jogging. I have photos...somewhere!!

    Anecdotes...

    The master battery switch was between the drivers legs. We used to cycle a fair ammount of fuel through the coalescer filters and back into the tank to remove any water or sediment so I was standing talking to Jock as he got in and started the waggon, ready to go out back and couple up.

    Jock hit the switch, then the starter....and duly flew over my head and started running.

    I stood looking stunned at the smoke coming from the master switch...then ran after jock!!

    Thankfully it never caught, we nearly soiled our armour though.

    One day we had a lad drive up the autobahn with the rear drain tap cracked and no cap screwed on....that caused some consternation.

    I crashed one once. It had dodgy brakes and the AQMS insisted I drive it. Thankfully it was very minor damage and the conversation was overheard...so I got a right B*L***K*NG from the FSM followed by an apology the next morning...there is a god!!

    The FSM apparently

    Anyway, I dont know what the fuss was about. An hour with a hammer, a lick of paint, and even the REME mech with us admitted the hose rewind was smoother...bargain.

    The small object that one bowser is refuelling (?) was one of my model helicopters.

    The tractor I forget, David Brown or Fordson? We used them with a thing called the ML Handler that allowed you to move a Lynx about like a large dog on wheels.

    It jacked the cab up and could move it under battery power, but we usually moved them any distance with the tractors.

    One chap managed to run himself over with his own tractor. He was fine. I dont think the Gazelle it ran into was too healthy though.

    We had 3 modes of operation.

    Overwing refuelling (Basic petrol pump nozzle like a car or light aircraft), Pressure refuelling (Big chunky avery hardol connector that could be as temperamental as hell and often did'nt connect) and de fuelling, basically sucking it back out again.

    One problem, as one wag put it, "The only thing that did'nt suck in 4 Regt AAC was the bloody bowsers!!)

    Anytime we refuelled or hooked up we used anti static precautions.

    Any aircraft (and particularly angry palm trees) can build up static, and they dont always dissipate it before you get to them, likewise with the bowsers, so we had to bond first.

    That said, we always used to take the rotor brake off of the Gazelles so if we did hit a blade, the damage would be confined (if any) to the blade and not go right through the MRGB down to the tail rotor output shaft (where the breake was) thus shock loading the gear box and the mountings, Gazelles being monocoque are quite easilly written off like that.

    This meant you had to touch the blade tip and walk it round.

    We were on exercies in Germany one day (this occurred when I was based at Topcliffe with 3 Flt AAC) in snow.

    Anyway, cab landed, shut down, I went to move the blades.

    There was a loud crack and I was on my...errr...bum, in the snow.

    "Cor, do that again" said Jock (Yes, the same one, Usein Bolt's alter ego).

    I wont say what my reply was, but it did'nt half hurt.

    A quick board of enquiry ensued (with the QHI as it was his cab that bit me) and we assumed the very dry snow had actually insulated the cab.

    Funny, but if it had been a chinook...but then we would not have moved the blades on one of them

    Ah well, too much waffle.

    TTFN

    CB

    PS

    Re callsigns on Bowsers....in my day they never existed.

    As an exe RSI (sigs instructor) the last thing we would have gone anywhere near with a radio was a bowser due to safety reasons.

    Tactically, the Callsign would be that of the HLS (Helicopter landing site) PUP (Pick up point) or FARP (Forward arming and refuelling/replenishment point) and not the bowers, and even then the bowsers would be some way away from the FARP CP (Command Post).

    If you locate the radio, you locate the owner...and you shell them...right kids?

    A PUP was often a short drive from an HQ, as the heat sig, noise and dust, not to mention cabs coming and going, would be a sure give away that the thing was worth shelling.

    And in any event, there was no point in fitting radios to something that moves in a herd!!
    Last edited by Parabuteo; 15-02-2012 at 23:18.

  4. #224
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Hi PB: Your anecdotes remind me of a story which i discovered in the Bruggen Form 540.

    I think it was in 1956 and the Meteor NF 10s of 256 Squadron (from memory) had just landed at Bruggen en-mass on posting from Wahn. As the aircraft landed they parked up on the main apron between Nos 1 and 2 Hangars and Bussing bowsers rolled up to commence refuelling.

    The Meteor was refuelled by the 'open line' method, with a hero holding the trigger of the refuelling nozzle which was placed directly into the fuel tank in the centre fuselage. The hose back to the bowser was mounted on a boom which swung out from the top of the bowser. On one aircraft, as the fuel tank filled, the refueller quickly released the trigger on the nozzle whilst the fuel was flowing at maximum rate. The theory was that the pressure surge was felt back at the bowser and the pump went on to bypass, cutting off the flow of fuel.

    However, in this case the pressure surge ruptured the rubber hose at the point where the hose left the boom. Therefore, the back pressure was not sensed by the pump which remained on max delivery - dumping the fuel all over the apron. The fuel concerned was AVTAG, which is much more flammable than AVTUR, and it quickly spread around the aircraft and bowser. Then the fun started.

    Because of the AVTAG's volatility, the atmosphere around the bowser quickly became saturated with flammable fumes and these were sucked into the refueller's engine air intake. The engine began to surge on the fuel-rich air and flames started to belch out of the exhaust, which quckly set fire to the fuel which was being pumped all over the apron at an ever-increasing rate as the engine raced away. A huge conflagration ensued, which consumed the aircraft and damaged at least two more.

    Instead of legging it, I think it was the bowser driver who jumped back into the cab of his flaming vehicle and drove it away from the line of closely parked aircraft, saving them from even greater damage. I think that he was awarded a gong of some sort.

    I recall hearing about another incident where a bowser engine ingested fuel fumes and raced away, but I can't quite remember the full story. Perhaps some of the fuellers who lurk here might know more?

  5. #225
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    PARABUTEO thanks for sharing the pics Detmold by any chance ??

    TED

  6. #226
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Quote Originally Posted by ted angus View Post
    PARABUTEO thanks for sharing the pics Detmold by any chance ??

    TED
    Yep, although sadly not of a very high quality they tell a story.

    The hangar you see with the REME Flag was 71 AC Wksp.

    Then out of sight to the right would have been 654 Sqn (With HQ sqn festering in the dungeon below), then 669 Sqn (in original Luftwaffe hanger with the roof joists shot to bits) and then 659 and RHQ.

    659 turned "Bat" for a few months. They went totally nocturnal and worked on TI...it really peed the locals off right up to the point where we finally left.

    Then the Burgmeister (a friend of one of our pilots "pops" Nige Lewis) confided that the pressure they had put on to get rid of us had been a mistake as the once prospering town had now got 1 in 5 businesses closing down.

    They never realised just how much we supported the local economy ted, although I dont think they actually had much impact, options for change was what it was.

    Dont forget that the airfield (Horstflieger Kasserne as it was known locally) was just a part of it. We also had the tanks of the 4th/7th DG (later RDG), the RMP station, AEC, 4 Armd wksps, 200 Sigs, and us lot...we must have made a hell of a noise.

    I remember hearing about a protest that backfired on the locals once.

    The CO of the 4/7th decided he would be decent and move the challies down to the railhead (track movements of any real distance were by train back then) mid afternoon when the noise and bulk would cause least hassle.

    The boys got egged and the tanks grafiti-ised....so they stopped dead and stayed put.

    They moved out again at 2 in the morning as was their right and the cold war tactical drill...it never happened again.

    We had our own personal fan "Herr Klatt" IIRC. He was on the strict night flying approach and landing path (designed to keep air traffic at night over the locals down to a minimum...but maximise it over Herr Klatts residence...or so he thought).

    Apparently he had resorted to a shot gun on one occasion, but with no effect...poor sod!!

    Detters is now a business park I think.

  7. #227
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Quote Originally Posted by WJT View Post
    Hi PB: Your anecdotes remind me of a story which i discovered in the Bruggen Form 540.

    Instead of legging it, I think it was the bowser driver who jumped back into the cab of his flaming vehicle and drove it away from the line of closely parked aircraft, saving them from even greater damage. I think that he was awarded a gong of some sort.
    Jees...dont blame him, even now I think that would get me to run...or waddle earnesty anyway

    AVTAG...or JP4 as the spams called it IIRC, orrible stuff, low wnd of the petrol cut by all accounts and very...errr...smelly!!

    The first time I did a re-fuel in Canada was a Gazelle that had been running on the stuff. The escaping fumes when I popped the cap nearly made me yack (obvioulsy it was hot as well), I felt quite dizzy, then the QHI warned everyone.

    I remember another nasty trait of the Scout. It had a tube like filler that went down into the large, flat tank just under the engine deck.

    This meant that you might get an airlock effect, or if the cab shifted while filling the movement was quite pronounced in the fuel, which meant a lot of it tried to exit vertically via the fuel cap and over the refueller.

    At one point we started wearing goggles which made sense, although a young BAT got drenched and blamed me...I soon put him right.

    Duty re-fueller was easy to find....follow your nose!!

  8. #228
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Talk of refueeling helicopter reminds me of when the King of Belgium flew in to Gutersloh. He arrived in a BAF 727 and he and his entourage were picked up in a total of 20 Allouetes. When they returned later in the day the local controller asked if they wanted fuel, "affermative we all require fuel" came the reply. I think the bowser driver took longer bonding and unbonding each aircraft than it actually took to refuel the aircraft!!

  9. #229
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Sorry, I boobed earlier...

    The MK TTF had 2 overwing hoses not one.

    They are seen here in this image. It was families day at 3flt hence the old boy looking at the bowser and the plethora of scruffy BATs and Groundcrew

    20110426_863.jpg

  10. #230
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    Default Re: Refuellers

    Parabuteo - Love the pics of 3 flt AAC do you have anymore as i dont seem to have any left of that time- I served at Topcliffe 86- 89 on the Groundcrew and i think i may of served with you.

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