Post by planewriting on Jul 15, 2017 17:06:56 GMT 12
Thanks Baz. I'm reminded of watching a film (possibly a news item - can't remember now) produced in the United States with something that caught my attention. In the background, and not related to what the film was about, leaning against the wall was an RNZAF Vampire wing. Just cheated and looked at ADF serials and note NZ5776 was sold by Ken Jacobs to Yesterdays Air Force, Chino, California, USA and later it transferred to Museum of Flight Restoration Centre, Everett, Washington, USA. Kicking myself now I didn't go and visit it a while back when at Everett. I think the wing I saw on that film was NZ5776.
Hello. My brother-in-law spotted this thread and gave me a heads up. I am the son of the Australian who bought 1061 at the RNZAF surplus auction. His name was Warwick Greville, he grew up in Brown's Bay, Auckland and moved to Australia in the 1950s. Harvards, Corsairs, Liberators etc were a background to his child hood during the war as at that time he lived at Rothesy Bay and Birkdale (sp) across the bay from Whenuapai(sp). For the auction, a bidder had to list his rego number preferences. As I recall, Dad listed 9 with 1061 being the last on the list as the remainder had zero engine hours. The problem being that particular variant of the Pratt did not have a civilian history and were hour'ed on the original specification from the 1930s. 1061 had roughly 150 hours before full overhaul. So Dad thought that 150 hours would give him sufficient time to put a case for hours extension based on the operational history of the engine in the RNZAF and the variant used in the Wirraway (reduction gearbox). As I recall, that happened and the hour limit went to 1200 hours? It was all a gamble, because at that time, there was no provision to register ex-military a/c in Oz that had not been operated within Oz by the RAAF. But a provision was in the system that had not been approved ANR 106a springs to mind. So he bought 1061 taking the risk that the provision would not get up and that he would not be allowed to fly the plane. Getting the Harvard from the South Island to Oz was a long, expensive and frustrating experience. In those days there were plenty of people looking to rip off a non resident aeroplane owner.
- The reason for the hand cranking was that unbeknown to us or the ferry pilot, somebody had moved the starter brush lifting knob to the "up" position at some point, this de-activated an internal start ability. So starts were done by cranking, why nobody woke up to this I do not know. On the way across to Broken Hill he put down in Condoblin to re-fuel. The only person around was a bloke over 70 years old who somehow successfully wound it up to the required 30,000rpm (IIRC) to inertia start. Having attempted to do so as a 19 year old, I still shake my head that a person of that age succeeded. - Missing roundel. This occurred at either down south or Ardmore, I don't recall. A sister Harvard had not been tied down and a storm came through. It picked that plane up and dumped it on ours. The aileron bell crank from that plane gouged its way down 1061's port wing. So a re-skinning was necessary. The repairer did not bother to reinstate the roundel. - Rudder repaint. A lawn mover threw a stone through our rudder - supposedly. We were billed for the repair. Subsequently we discovered the rudder was not ours as it had be substituted from one of the all silver Harvards to which the damage had occurred. A quick repaint had been carried out using the same batch of paint as on the port wing with no preparation, the paint peeled. - Ferry tank. In order to fly the Tasman, a boost pump and ferry tank were installed in the rear cockpit. This required removal of the rear seat. I subsequently carried that seat through Auckland and Sydney airports and it was re-installed when 1061 arrived in Broken Hill. Also installed were radios, I seem to recall that was a US Phantom non-repairable VHF and a HF as the RNZAF had removed all radios. - The only modification that was done that I can recall was to install a Mustang tail wheel lock. Dad had been warned by NZ a couple of RNZAF instructors at an airshow in Australia that the NZ Harvards were notoriously susceptible to gusts on landing, especially due to the 40lb (IIRC) side force castering lock. They had been very insistent (thanks to whoever they were) that he never try and save a landing in a Harvard - go around every time - that advice subsequently saved us and 1061 in a gust situation at Scone in the Hunter Valley of NSW. We were still on the mains and had not transitioned to 3 point when a gust lifted our right wing so high, the right main wheel was off the ground and the left wing dragging in the grass. I looked down to see the controls fully crossed for a left correction and the a/c not responding, the throttle then went all the way through the gate, the right wing came down, the controls uncrossed and we went up like an express elevator. We were probably in full boost for as little as 10 seconds. It all got too much for us one day when we were back tracking at moderate taxi at Broken Hill for take off. 1061 started to swing, Dad corrected with opposite brake, there was a loud clunk and the next thing we knew, we were in a ground loop, but BACKWARDS. I commented "I didn't know they could do that", the reply from up front was a barely audible "neither did I". If you work out the dynamics, it is quite possible to have a ground loop that when opposite brake corrected will go backwards, but I have never seen mention of it. Left brake pressure stopped the a/c from pivoting right, but did not stop the momentum of the a/c, so it pivoted around the left wheel with the tail leading. No damage was done, but this event was sufficient motivation to find a remedy before something nasty occurred. The Mustang modification (very common in the US apparently) required a forward pressure against the stick when it reached the last inch of so of its forward travel to retract a locking pin, this then allowed castering of the tail wheel. After that, ground handling was tame. - When Dad was terminally ill in 1988, he sold the Harvard to a very high time Aussie crop duster who to the best of my knowledge still owns it.
Nothing compares to sitting behind that huge noisy radial with it ticking over at cruise rpm!
It is good to see the photos of it at Lord Howe as this is the first I have known that any existed.
Hey mate I grew up in Broken Hill your Dad was my old mans accountant.
He used to fly the Harvard out to Eaglehawk it was a great experience and triggered my love of flying!!
NZ1083 being recovered after its mishap at Kaikohe airfield 1 October 1975. The aircraft swung on landing and nosed into a ditch, suffering Cat 3 damage. During recovery, the aircraft was further damaged. It was later allocated as Inst 177 at Woodbourne in May 1977. I got to know the pilot later when he was flying something heavier, before graduating to ANZ. I have a copy of the investigation.
NZ1083 became INST212, INST177 was ex-NZ1089.
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
Hi, hey does anyone have a photograph - RNZAF official or otherwise of Harvard's NZ936 and NZ964, or a wartime Woodbourne photo with these aircraft in it. I know there is a grainy one of NZ964 landing on google images but would prefer a more clearer photo if anyone has one. Thanks Crewdog
Sitting on my deck yesterday morning in beautiful Springtime Tasmania, listening to the latest WONZ podcast and I heard a very familiar sound. There is very little aviation activity over my part of the world so I was suprised to see NZ1099 banking low overhead. Beautiful sound and sight. She looks great in all over trainer yellow, very different to the photo above. Even my non aviation Wife came outside and asked 'was that a Harvard?'
This appeared on the Air Force Museum's Facebook page earlier this year on the 40th anniversary of the Harvard being retired from the RNZAF. Such a nice picture thought it was worth adding to this thread.
Air to air view of Harvard NZ1027 and NZ1016 in formation over the Canterbury Plains, during Operation ‘Roundhouse’, April 1958.