The removal of spats from Vildes/Vincents in NZ was sometimes commented on in reminiscences, and occasionally alluded to in RNZAF files. Primarily it was to do with frequent "clogging up" of the spats with sticky mud (and perhaps grass clippings), usually during winter and spring, which if left too long might result in so much unwanted friction that the aircraft might eventually go over on its nose. However I have never actually read that this ever happened for real in NZ, but it is quite possible that some pilots felt the increasing drag on the mainwheels and became afraid that it just MIGHT happen. Quite frankly I do not know why these rather elaborate pieces of metalwork were ever conceived in the first place, as any perceived increase in cruising speed would likely have been of microscopic proportions. I have also read of other aircraft fitted with spats suffering similar problems so it would seem that this problem was not unknown throughout the world aviation scene, to pilots, other occupants, and technical staff. And not quite the same thing, but I once saw a (spatted) Pitts Special being taxied along by an unusually unobservant pilot (think he was one of a syndicate) with half flat tyres. A friend of mine managed to attract the pilot's attention, and pointed out the problem, which seemed to surprise the pilot somewhat. Had he continued unchecked, he might have found his take-off unusually sluggish, with an unexpected tendency to lift the tail. David D
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 22, 2020 13:20:33 GMT 12
Jokes aside, have you actually seen one in real life, Baz? Many people who used to rib me about liking the Vilde and Vincent have completely changed their tunes after visiting Steve's Vincent at Forum Meets, etc, and seeing what a work of art and engineering they are, and how massive too. The Wigram Vildebeest does not yet convey this but it will if they ever finish it. It will be one of the most impressive and dominating aeroplanes in the collection in my opinion. And when people learn that airmen, including lots of Kiwis, actually flew operationally an even wet into battle in them, they'll have a whole new appreciation.
Post by johnnyfalcon on Jul 22, 2020 20:26:21 GMT 12
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The current canine trend is to be enamoured by French Bulldogs...can't see it myself. To me, there aren't many airframe designs that don't have some beauty about them - even the Wright Flyer. The Vickers effort as above has a pugnacious air about it, but purposeful and proportioned appropriately. Not to mention its intimidating size. Likewise the Auster J5F, proportioned beautifully - probably very similar proportions to the Vincent.