VC-10 Weybridge production

Any VC10 related discussions.....
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Gwyn
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VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Gwyn »

Hi Folks,

Can anyone recall any info on the 'bird strike' tests carried out during the production stage of the aircraft. I flew the aircraft in BOAC days and have written a book (yet to be published) and heard some wild story about a frozen CAA bird being used instead of a fresh one (deceased I hope) and it did a lot of damage.

I flew G-ASGM many times in my 34 years in BOAC/BA.

Retired now and happily living in Berlin, Germany.

Gwyn Mullett
petet16
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by petet16 »

They fire birds into the engines as part of the certification process, is that what you are referring to :) .
Last edited by petet16 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tonkenna
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Tonkenna »

They don't fire frozen birds... they do fire dead birds at engines (and windscreens) as part of the checks for such items... frozen ones would be a bit of an unfair test... you don't tend to get many frozen birds that are flight capable!

In fact, from Wikipedia:
At first, bird strike testing by manufacturers involved firing a bird carcass from a gas cannon and sabot system into the tested unit. The carcass was soon replaced with suitable density blocks, often gelatin, to ease testing. Currently testing is mainly conducted with computer simulation, although final testing usually involves some physical experiments.
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Gwyn
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Gwyn »

Hi,
I appreciate the unfrozen bird bit but I heard many years ago in BA about the frozen bird scene. One of thsoe wild stories that so the rounds.

Thanks anyway.

Gwyn
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Tonkenna
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Tonkenna »

I have heard similar stories about engines and airframes... perhaps just one of those apocryphal stories with a shred of truth buried in there somewhere???

Tonks :?
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nickwilcock
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by nickwilcock »

It is probably one of those apocryphal stories which do the rounds....

The best version I've heard was that a frozen chicken was indeed used, which cause a lot of damage. So the windscreen was replaced and another frozen chicken was left in the mortar overnight to thaw out. The exercise was then repeated in the morning, this time successfully....

But the engineers were puzzled at the large amount of bird debris, blood and guts. Which included orange fur...and bits of tail.

At which point someone noticed that the company mouser couldn't be found.

It seems (according to the tale), that the company ginger tom, employed to keep rodents down, had sniffed out the thawing chicken in the mortar, scoffed some of it and fallen asleep in a nice warm spot to digest its meal. The next thing it knew was coming out of the mortar backwards at high speed, hotly pursued by the remains of the chicken carcass, until it had a Close Encounter of the Windscreen Kind.

As I say, one of those tales which is probably an urban myth!
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Manofmendip »

I'm glad I worked in the Main Drawing Office library at Weybridge and not on bird strike testing!

Was that done at Webridge or Wisley?

Dave
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Jelle Hieminga »

That story about the frozen chicken, with our without cat, has been around for years. If you want to know more about it have a read of this page on Snopes.com (this is a website that specialises in debunking myths). No doubt some testing was done on the VC10 windscreens, one that I know of was in the Stratosphere chamber where they pressurised the forward fuselage test section and measured the windscreens for any changes in shape due to the pressure. Less spectacular but at least its true!
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Laurieg »

You'd be fairly frozen at 38000 feet and bumped into a 10 :wink: It would certainly wreck your day! Perhaps there is some method in the madness!
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Tonkenna
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Tonkenna »

I think the highest ever bird strike was a 747 in the mid 30s when it hi a goose!!! That would have been a hell of a bang. I hit a goose in the Falklands once an certainly knew about it!

Tonks 8)
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nickwilcock
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by nickwilcock »

Ah but Tonks, surely there was someone to soothe your fevered brow afterwards......??? :wink:

Those geese were pretty stupid - and rather large!
Gwyn
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Gwyn »

Just as an aside regarding aircraft bird strikes we had a VC-10 re-engined with the new 'Hyfill' blades as developed for the RB-211 in Tri-star days and a sh...hawk arrived in the engine after T/O from Entebbe over lake Vic and literally blew the engine off it fixtures. A/C was grounded for a long time to patch up all the holes and shortly after that RR went bust.
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Jelle Hieminga »

There is also mention of these blades under 'incident at Lagos' on this page: http://www.vc10.net/History/nigeria_air ... _vc10.html

In this case it was a tropical rainstorm which shattered the composite blades on the no.3 engine of G-ARVL in 1968. Don't know if this was before or after the bird you mentioned Gwyn, but it is safe to say that some more development was needed then! :wink:
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Cap10
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by Cap10 »

When testing VC10 screens, the chicken was alive until just before the test. A butcher would dispatch the bird and it would be fired at the screen while still warm. This was to make the test as representative as possible. This info came today from a gentleman who was involved in the testing. I seem to remember him saying the testing was done in the old restaurant building at the top of Test Hill at Brooklands.
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Re: VC-10 Weybridge production

Post by vololiberista »

Cap10 wrote:When testing VC10 screens, the chicken was alive until just before the test. A butcher would dispatch the bird and it would be fired at the screen while still warm. This was to make the test as representative as possible. This info came today from a gentleman who was involved in the testing. I seem to remember him saying the testing was done in the old restaurant building at the top of Test Hill at Brooklands.
During lunch or tea??? :)
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