Victor escape

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Graeme, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    The Victor carried a crew of five, including a pilot, co-pilot, two navigators, and an electronics systems officer, all in a spacious cockpit.

    Below is a piece of Victor cutaway (K Mark 2), illustrating the close proximity of the ‘escape’ hatch to the engine intakes and wing structure.
    Originally planned to provide the entire crew with an escape pod, the Victor design eventually conceded to providing ejection seats, but only for the pilot and co-pilot. Early models had the door situated closer to the intakes than later models-even so, it must have been daunting to see such a cavernous obstacle (intake/wing) close-by.

    The vexed subject of rear crew escape received considerable attention in 1958 and was the source of numerous tests in escape techniques from the Victor by the AAEE at Boscombe Down. Tests revealed that a ‘live’ crew could just reach the escape door (ie entrance) at speeds up to 290kts and acceleration up to 1.25g. However these test subjects remained firmly on board. Dummies on the other hand were tossed out at higher speeds. Unfortunately these dummies tended to strike the engine intake lip. “They never lived to tell the tale.” These tests were conducted with the Victor Mk 1.

    Bombing tests with the Victor B Mk 2 in the early 60’s revealed more problems, for the navigator. When in the prone visual bomb aiming position, wearing a back parachute and high level oxygen equipment, a quick egress from the aircraft was impossible. In 1965, use of this position was approved at lower heights where the more cumbersome flying clothing was not required.

    Poor design for a ‘modern’ aircraft?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Downwind.Maddl-Land

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    Absolutely. However, the drawing does not show very well the shields on either side of the door that acted as blast deflectors to the airflow and SHOULD have ensured that the rear-crew didn't hit the airflow until they were clear of the wing leading edge and intakes.

    However, as a viable V-force rear crew ejection rig was degined by Mssrs Martin-Baker, the people I would have like to have seen in the prone bombing position (which was never used - all weapons delivery was NBS) would have been the accountants and Bureaucrats who threw out the modification as "too expensive"!

    I do hope these bureaucratic monuments to self-abuse can sleep well at nights.......
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    There's a few things that are not being realized here;

    Even by the early 1960s the Victor's role would of been in a situation where if the aircraft was hit by enemy fire chances are it would of been immediately destroyed, perhaps justifying the "beuracrats" decision in keeping a prone egress system off the aircraft. Also keep in mind that aside from operating in the combat environment an aircraft such as a Victor is not operated at higher air speeds during cruise. If this aircraft experienced a situation where the crew had to egress I think slowing the aircraft down to 290 knots is not unreasonable. Even some of the 2nd generation combat jets had airspeed egress restrictions. What I see here is a bit of leftover WW2 thinking in the design of this aircraft, especially considering aircraft egress which was probably not a major design consideration when the aircraft was being developed.

    Then again for me personally, unless the aircraft is on fire or part of the structure is compromised, bailing out of an aircraft should be the last option.
     
  4. Downwind.Maddl-Land

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    FlyboyJ I concur your 'operational' argument entirely. However, most military ac do not spend most of their time on ops. Moreover, the bailout option is not usually viable when on departure or recovery to base. Finally, the 4 SOB who were on the Victor that had its tail removed by a Buccaneer sure as hell had no chance of a manual bailout, but would have got out if they'd had ejection seats, as the front crew did.

    The UK has a policy of running their ac well beyond the normal life expectancy - that's par for the course; my beef is with the ******** who made the decision in the late 50's that the ejection seat retrofit was too expensive for the remaining 'life' of the aircraft in the full knowledge (even then) that they would probably be in service for 20 yrs or more.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Agree, 100% Penny wise but dollar foolish as the old saying goes....
     
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