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Thread: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

  1. #71
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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    From several web sites:

    As a consequence, from 1936 until somewhat after the end of WWII, both US Army and
    Navy aviation relied almost exclusively upon gaseous oxygen delivery systems. With the
    decision to standardise on gaseous oxygen equipment, renewed importance and priority

  2. #72
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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    Quote Originally Posted by canberra View Post
    Was LOX in use during wwii????
    Certainly. LOX was the primary source of gaseous oxygen for both commercial, medical and aviation use. British Oxygen Company (BOC) and the like operated large plants to produce LOX through the fractional distillation of air process. We have discussed earler in this thread that 42 Group RAF had the responsibility, a hence capability, to supply gaseous oxygen to squadrons. They did this by taking LOX from BOC and converting it to gas at aviation purity then pumped up the storage cylinders used on the ground trollies at airfields to charge aircraft on-board cylinders. We established through information recieved from AiX members that, in some cases, portable LOX to GOX production plants were owned by 42 Group and that made them largely independent of commercial suppliers.

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    I was also posted to 217 MU at Cardington in 1957 to do the BA1D course and subsequently did a couple of months at Barnham and then back to 217 to join the Third line Servicing unit to support the BA1D plants in this country.The unit was a Chief Tech and me.We burned a lot of midnight oil and covered many miles in our own Vanguard pick-up.All sorts of snags of course but I seem to remember changing many Dorman clutches and repairing Caustic pumps.During 1960 we pressure tested the drier cylinders in-situ on many of the plants.Also around that time I was detached to Salters in Birmingham to inhibit a plant that was being packed by them for long term storage.I believe another one was done later but I was unavailable and a colleague did it.I was posted to Eastleigh in 1962 to run the plant there.When the Kenya Air Force took over the camp in 1964 that plant was inhibited and boxed up and I think was sent to Singapore.
    I am baffled by the references to large quantities of distilled water being used.That is a new one on me unless my memory is failing.Did something happen after 1965 when I last saw a BA1D?
    In my civvy employment with the MOD(N) I tried to see a copy of AP 2438H ( is that the correct No?) to see that schematic diagram but I had no success.

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    Mike3LS, welcome to AiX and welcome to this thread.

    Thanks for your personal reminiscences it adds to the knowledge.

    As I recall, the distilled water requirement for the BA1D that we used in the Middle East was for compressor lubrication. I reckon that quite a number of BA1D plants were sold-off to third world countries in late '60s early '70s but were subsequently replaced by later plant designs.

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    Mike- welcome aboard obviously another from the cream of the trades !!!!

    Gents -I had a delve into my archives of extracts from APs last night both the Kentford mobile Oxy pumping unit and the Mobile OXY- Nitriogen plant on the 6x6 AEC had distilled water for oxy pump lubrication. The compressor cooling was by plain water. But I cannot recall the BA 1D set up ?? distilled water is ringing a bell nothing about largish quantities is setting off any olde grey cells.

    Mike what was your thoughts on the title BA1D ??

    TED

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    The Middle East plant that I mentioned could not use local water which was untreated and had a very high mineral content so it is likely that distilled water was used for both compressor and pump.

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    Morning Peter just shows how climatic and geographic issues can put a real spanner in the works

    TED

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    Quote Originally Posted by ted angus View Post
    Morning Peter just shows how climatic and geographic issues can put a real spanner in the works

    TED
    Hi there. Many thanks for the warm welcome.A few more remeniscences from the 1960`s and some queries all associated with BA1D plants.
    Our 3LS workshop was originally situated in the main 217MU repair building at Cardington.Most of the work taking place at that time seemed to be the repair of mobile units on AEC chassis.Joe Binks,one of the four survivors from the ill fated R101 disaster was still working as a fitter at that time and I had the honour of knowing him.A nicer chap you could never meet.Sadly no longer with us.We moved out into our own workshop and store facility in 1958alongside the training plant
    I fully agree with Charlies interpretation of BA1D and have also confirmed this with his colleague from 1969 who I am still in touch with!(Derek)!
    BA1D plants that I was involved with between 1957 and 1965 always had the compressor cooled by radiators.These were hardly up to the job and were a constant problem particularly in the middle east where is was not uncommon to run the fridge unit continually to maintain levels in the distillation column.The fridge unit was only there to bring the temperatures down in the initial cooling period.But needs must.Was this system modified at a later date?
    One point on Charlies comments.I think the air pressure was only 3000psi but the compressor did have to work very hard even at that figure. I stand to be corrected.
    The set-up at Eastleigh was much more relaxed than that at Faldingworth for instance.Nairobi was only a staging post and the resident squadrons at Eastleigh operated Beverleys and Twin Pioneers.Not a great demand for Oxygen there.With the visiting traffic we were able to keep on top of the requirement without working 24 hr shifts and were not staffed to do so anyway.Normally we ran the plant during the day.Although Nairobi is almost on the equator it is 5500ft altitude and not humid so it didn`t warm up much overnight.Two problems did arise that I remember.There was a shortage of Nitrogen on one occasion and we set the plant up to produce it.It should do it but has anybody out there tried it?I can`t remember if we succeeded but I think we were saved by the arrival of some Nitrogen cylinders from Mombasa.The other problem we had was the gradual introduction of aircraft using LOX.We did have to work some very long hours to fill a LOX tank.Sometimes I think it was gassing off quicker than we could produce it.Happy days!

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    You are right Mike, we used a pre-cooler refrigeration plant on the compressor too as did the later replacement plant SK147.

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    Default Re: 42 Group RAF - Aviation Oxygen

    Hello All,

    I served at Port Stanley during the time they had the LOX Plant rubber hangar (Rub). I was a Junior Tech GSE Fitter. Stanley GSE section was also constructed of RUBS as was the MT section adjacent. When I got there the system was that you were assigned to aparticular part of the GSE section in heat or power, ie Electrical generators, Houchin 60 kva, 25 kva`s, Meadows on the skids 35 kw methinks?, Pellapone gennys etc or mainly Apollo space heaters, though there were a few ancient 4Therms. Oh yeah...I was assigned to Lifting Bloody Tackle ( a half size ISO container to be the workshop....no kidding). Like working from a fridge !

    ......Anyway, after spending 2 months or so in Lifting Tackle I was assigned to the LOX Plant. As far as I can recall and the general rumour mill at the time, there was a bit of a problem as the main compressor decided to throw a crankshaft, just at the time when half hourly and hourly checks were being recorded. Some drains and valves had to drained and vented etc. I was told some guy was bending down draining when the crankcase blew. I say the chap must have been afright or, in common parlance, he `**** himself `. rightly so. What ?

    I never had any converion course at Cardington...but I soon learned the hard way. I later met the chap I replaced. His name is Mick Tharpe. A big bear of a Yorkshireman when I saw him last at RAE Farnborough GSE section. ( By this time I was the civvy Chargehand i/c the section. Of course I had managers above, rarely set foot in the hanger) (M shed). Mick was now a Sargeant working from IAM Farnborough (Institute of Aviation Medicine)...Funny, I ever did ask him about the incident.

    I did read an extract from a thread on this forum regards the LOX Plant...
    Quote ...`

    I was posted to Cardington in June 1957 on the Oxygen Production course. The equipment was the BA1D Transportable Oxygen /Nitrogen Production Plant. Following the course I was given a permanent posting as instructor until my demob. in November 59. The plant was formed by the combination of three units these were looking from the operation position. The right hand unit a had Dormer Long 110hp diesel engine. The centre comprised the 4 stage compressor behind the Caustic Soda Towers. On the left was the Distillation tower behind which was the refridgeration unit. The system worked by compressing air to 4000psi, and cooling it after each stage, the LP piston was about 10" (255cm) in diameter while the HP piston was 1 1/4" (3cm) as far as I remember. The air was passed through a heat exchanger from the refridgeration plant Then expanded to atmospheric pressure which further cooled it until cold enough to condense. The liquid air then was distilled, the Nitrogen having a lower boiling point gassed off leaving liquid oxgen. The plant was an American design and some of it was imported from the States. the rest was of British manufacture. The name BA1D has nothing to do with breathing air but instead stands for British/ American No 1 Distillation Plant. I hope that this is helpful. Charlie `...unquote

    Pasted from <http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/archive/index.php/t-3368.html>

    The description above was exactly how it was at Stanley...and my very first job was helping to install THE new compressor. As Far as I recall you had to be at least JT to be sent on the course and work in the LOX plant. All GSE Fitters JT and above. No LAC, SAC or any other trade group that I was aware of. I was an exception due to the incident. but I loved every minute of it !!
    Last edited by Helljohn; 01-01-2012 at 20:27.

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