The best ice cream shop in Marlborough...

Discussion in 'Personal Gallery' started by nuuumannn, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    I had to head over to Blenheim, which is a couple of hour's drive from mine for business yesterday and on the way back home I stopped off for a roady at a local ice cream shop, where I took these pictures.

    [​IMG]

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    This aircraft has quite an interesting history; its pilot claimed to have been followed by UFOs on a night flight once.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaikoura_lights

    I'll be covering the aircraft in depth at a later date.

    A nice painting in the cafe.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Beaut ! I did my Para course on the Argosy, back in - well, a long time ago! Lovely aircraft.
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  4. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    You're showing your age, Terry!:)

    The aircraft is something of a local landmark and Safe Air has a long and distinguished history, although its most recent past is little to jump up and down about. I worked for Safe for a few years, although its now an MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) facility and has no aircraft of its own now. Some real talented guys and trick equipment there.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    That's cool!

    Now I'm curious, though...the guy just decided to permanantly park that aircraft on his lawn?
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that I saw Argosy's dropping paras at Weston on the Green when I was a nipper living briefly in a little village a couple of miles away (towards Bicester). I definitely remember the twin tail boom.

    Anyways, great photos.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    ......and of course, no scalemodel in 1/72, right? :lol:
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep, the DZ at Weston was where the Para Course 'students' did their first jumps, balloon first, then aircraft. Abingdon was No.1 PTS in those days, so a short hop to Weston. If the pilot turned on the green light too early, the first two out of the doors could end up in the turkey farm !
    The 'Herc' was already in service when I did my course (1970), but I still did a few more from the 'Whistling Wheelbarrow' later, as well as the 'Herc' and Andover.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. I'm talking mid/late sixties and I also remember watching the barrage balloon and waiting for the jumper. Someone usually departed the basket just as you gave up watching and went back to kicking a football or whatever :)
    I do remember the Hercules, they seemed bigger and looked awfully low to a nine/ten year old!
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  10. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Barrage Balloons? Now you guys really are getting on!

    I think there might be a vacform out there somewhere, something for a challenge - it'd be pretty big.

    Pretty much. This one was stored after retirement at Woodbourne just across the road and it was acquired by a trust, so it was taken to its current site for preservation. Another ex-Safe Argosy survives in the opposite direction, ZK-SAF, the one depicted in the painting was damaged when its undercarriage collapesd on landing in 1990 and was scrapped, but the centre pod was hauled on to this guy's section. You can see it from the road outside his house, but its on private land. I think he's assisted in keeping 'SAE looking good with bits of his.
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That's what it looked like to me! I'm sure Airframes who must have jumped from one would know a lot more.

    I remember a story about the balloon at Weston breaking free and ending up in Norway but have no idea if that's true or not!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Cool stuff! Looking forward to more.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep. The balloon was similar to a WW2 barrage balloon, and was in use form 1941 until about the early 1990s. The 'cage', suspended below the envelope, held up to six jumpers plus the dispatcher, and was open to the elements. In the floor was a coffin-shape hatch, a legacy from the 'old days', when dropping from Whitley's, Albermarle's, Halifax and even the Beverley.
    The whole contraption ascended to 800 feet, which of course could be slightly less if there was a bit of a breeze pushing the balloon. The wooden 'walls' of the cage were roughly at waist level , so very easy to look over the side as the details on the ground got smaller, and the silence prevailed - apart from a strange 'thump-thump-thump', which one eventually realised was one's heart!
    The door, if it could be called that, was an opening in the walls at the front of the cage, 'blocked' by a thin metal rod across the top of the walls, with the upper, horizontal frame holding the anchor point for the static lines. Each jumper was called forward in turn, with the order 'Stand in the door!', at which time the metal rod was un-latched and, with the left foot over the sill, right leg braced, the jumper prepared, hands on the vertical 'door' frames, until the command "Red On!", when the arms snapped down, folding across the chest-mounted reserve 'chute.
    At the command "Green on, Go!", the jumper launched out, back straight, feet and knees together, head bent back to check the canopy deploying. Experienced jumpers would exit in their own time, calmly and without commands.
    The initial drop was around 100 feet as the parachute deployed - cold, clinical, straight down and fast!
    The legs tended to swing up in front, as gravity took over, and the upper body weight bent slightly back, and by the time the canopy was fully deployed, and the parachutist stable, a vertical drop of something like 250 to 300 feet had been completed.
    It was quite scary, being so quiet and clinical, with that vertical drop, and there were a number of refusals, both on the basic course, and later, during 'fun' training drops, when the balloon was used as a relatively inexpensive way of maintaining currency in parachuting. I must be slightly 'bent', as I quite enjoyed 'fun' jumps from the balloon !!
    Aircraft jumps were much easier, as regards the 'guts' to jump, being noisy, bumpy, and without that cold, clinical, gut wrenching vertical drop, because the slipstream kicked one up the Rs, and the canopy deployed quickly. Plus, one was normally glad to get out of the hot, stuffy, smelly, noisy, bouncing aircraft (especially the 'Herc') and relieve some of the weight of all the equipment carried. Aircraft drops were also done from 800 feet normally, although 'tactical' drops could be from 450 feet - just enough time for the canopy to open, drop equipment and prepare to land. All aircraft drops were potentially more dangerous, due to risk of collision, entanglement - or worse.
    As for a balloon breaking free and ending up in Norway, I wouldn't be at all surprised. I'd heard tales of rogue balloons being intercepted by RAF fighters over the sea, and shot down, to prevent hazards to air traffic. There was a 'rip' panel, about a foot square, on the underside of the envelope, with a rip cord running down to the cage, near where the dispatcher stood. In the event of a 'break free', the dispatcher would allow the balloon to ascend, as he unhooked the static lines, and ordered each parachutist to exit the cage, one after the other, as quickly as possible, using their reserve parachutes. He would then pull the rip cord, which (theoretically) detached the panel, allowing the balloon to slowly deflate, before bailing out himself. The balloon would (theoretically) eventually return to earth somewhere, and (hopefully) be recovered.
    The balloon was replaced by the Chinook for initial (pre-Herc) jumps, bimbling very slowly forward from the hover, with the same rate of jump as the balloon, that is, individual jumpers, spaced to allow preparation etc.
    When I find them, I'll post some pics of the balloon.
    And I've just noticed Grant - the pics live up to the name for NZ, 'Land of the Long White Cloud'!
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Airframes that is a fantastic account of what I saw as a kid........you should write a book, I'd buy it :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  15. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    pic of a balloon

    DA-SC-86-10989.jpg
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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  17. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    like Terry i didnt mind the balloon jumps, but saw a couple of guy refuse the balloon, one of them after he had already jumped from a Hercules !
     
  18. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Oh my a screaming t*t, used to do role changes on those in Aden…………………..that was a long, long time ago.
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Heck, those video clips brought back memories! Brilliant!
     
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