Download McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920: Volume II by Rene J. Francillon PDF

By Rene J. Francillon

Booklet by means of Francillon, Rene J.

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The hazards that Lightning pilots had to contend with were many and varied. Not long after take-off on 9 September the pilot of XM175 from 56 Squadron was flying straight and level at 15,000 feet when his senses were assailed by various klaxons, attention-getters and warning lights in the cockpit. The first indication of trouble was when the AC warning light came on and this was quickly followed by the turbine and generator lights. The pilot immediately switched off all non-essential electrics and AC instruments and made a rapid return to Wattisham using his stand-by radio.

However, the outcome was rather different. Flying Officer T. Mermagen of 56 Squadron was taking off in XM183 when, shortly after raising the nose-wheel prior to lift off, he became aware that the canopy was lifting. Although his speed was approximately 170 knots IAS he immediately throttled back and streamed the braking parachute. Not long after the canopy broke free and hit the fin before falling on to the runway. Despite applying maximum braking and shutting down both engines, Flying Officer Mermagen was unable to prevent his aircraft from entering the barrier at the end of the runway.

Once again the collapse was due to a faulty casting in the undercarriage leg. The damage was repaired by the end of May, when the aircraft was returned to service. 1 from Coltishall and on 3 April one of its aircraft (XM140) suffered an engine fire shortly after take–off. 1 engine and was noticed as the aircraft was climbing through 1,400 feet, the pilot immediately throttled back but the warning light stayed on. He then descended below cloud and carried out his fire drill at the same time as turning onto the downwind leg.

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