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Old 20th March 2023, 17:06   #1
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Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Mrs D wanted to visit one of her period costuming events in Coventry, UK. So we grabbed a bag, threw it in the Jaguar and headed out to Hoek of Holland to take the night Stenaline ferry to Harwich. Very smooth sailing and hardly any people on the ferry. On Friday morning we passed immigration at about 07.00 hours and with a quick coffee stop along the way we found ourselves at the venue at around 10.00AM.

I dropped my wife off and headed out a couple of miles up the road to visit the Midland Air Museum.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0594.jpeg

There are endless number of musea in the UK on any topic under the sun you can think of. There are certainly a huge number of aviation related museum. We lived in the UK, we had our second home in the year for decades and I have toured all over the UK in many different classic cars. But I still have not visited all aviation museums.

As it turns out, this was quite the little gem of a museum. Not particularly large, but absolutely cramped with stuff and a very nice line up of some interesting planes. Including a Vulcan, where you can visit the cockpit. More on the later.

https://www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk

The museum incorporates the Sir Frank Whittle Jet Heritage Centre. If you want some more background information on Frank Whittle have a look here:

https://www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk/jet.php

The museum entrance also incorporates quite a nice museum shop and a very simple cafe. Entrance for adults is UKP 8,25.

As you enter the museum through the museum shop the first couple of rooms are dedicated to Frank Whittle. He is of course, the inventor of the Jet engine!

From the afore mentioned website:

Quote:
On the 15th of May, 1941, the first British jet-powered plane took off from RAF Cranwell on a historic 17 minute flight. The jet age had begun! The man who made it possible was Coventry-born engineer, Sir Frank Whittle.
Here you see Frank, working his slide rule. Most kids today would not even know what a slide rule is, let alone how to use it. But in those days right up to the late 60s, mid 70s, slide rules were used by engineers all around the world!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0566.jpeg

Although I knew a bit about Frank Whittle I learned quite a bit here on his career.
This image has a good summary of it

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0567.jpeg

Although the first jet powered plane flew in 1941, the first jet engines were being tested as early as 1937. The museum is choke full of all kinds of bits and pieces of the early jet design and test days.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0568.jpeg

You can see the original test panel in this photograph. Showing Whittle and his first jet engine. Interestingly enough the RAF was initially not interested at all in the jet engine.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0569.jpeg

Here we see the W2/700 Military Centrifugal turbojet. It was used in the Gloster E.23/38, Britains first jet aircraft and later in the early meteors.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0571.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0572.jpeg

I found below diagram very interesting. It really shows how, ultimately, the aviation industry embraced the jet engine. It all started with the Whittle design and from there on, many corporation embarked on their own development.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0573.jpeg

I noticed this little display. It’s a Meteor intercepting a V1 by flipping it over with its wing. The pilot ”Dixie” Dean tried to shoot it down first, but his machine guns failed to fire. He positioned himself alongside the V1 and tipped it over and out of control.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0574.jpeg

I am not sure how many V1s were successfully intercepted by this method. I once heard/read that once the Germans found out, they installed switches underneath the V1 wingtips, which would detonate the V1 bomb upon being activated. I think it was a bit of a tall story. The meteors did not become operational till mid 1944. About the same time as the V1 became operational.

Here you see the real McCoy: Gloster Meteor

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0576.jpeg

They also had an open cockpit of the Meteor for the public to sit in. Here is yours truly at the controls!!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0580.jpeg

Jet fighters are always a tight fit for somebody my size (93kg, 1.93m) But there early jet fighters are made for dwarfs. I could not even stretch my legs to get them onto the pedals!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0581.jpeg

The museum has this one main hangar with a lot of planes fitted into it and few other buildings and lots of planes outside. But here is an overview. It gives some idea how much stuff they have managed to put on display. You could walk around for hours and still keep discovering new things.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0583.jpg

So lets have a look at some of the other planes on display. I have always had a bit of a soft spot for this one: The T33, derived from the P80 Shooting Star. The main difference the T33 having a two pilot cockpit and being about a meter longer. Many young air cadets received their initial jet aircraft training on the T33. The instructor would sit behind the student pilot. He/she could fly the plane from the rear seat if necessary. This particular T33 was delivered to the French Airforce in 1952 and saw service in Morocco before being retired in 1977 with a total of 5746 flying hours.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0585.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0586.jpeg

The T-33 cockpit looks marginally less cramped than the Meteor. But unfortunately, you were not allowed to sit in it.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0596.jpeg

Various airforces around the world made use of the T33. It has seen some civilian use as well. Probably the most well known is the two T33s used by Boeing as chase plane. Being retired the two T33s chase planes in 2020, after 66 years of service!!

A Swedish Saab J29. The J29 was the first European swept wing jet fighter to enter service. It flew with the Swedish airforce. But was also used by the UN peacekeeping force in Congo and the Australian Air Force.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0587.jpeg

Here a prototype of the Chichester Miles Leopard. Its an all composite high performance, 4 seat passenger aircraft. This prototype was used for development and testing of various systems. It flew first in 1997 and made some 90 test flights. It was suppose to cruise at 500 MPH at 45000 feet. No production models were ever made.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0590.jpeg

This contraption is known as the Kolibri (Hummingbird) although its official German name is a bit more formal and very German: Flettner FL282. It went operational in 1942 with the German navy (Kriegsmarine). Apparently they mounted a platform on top of a gun turret aboard the cruiser Koln. Its purpose was reconnaissance and potential light attack role. Whatever role, you had to be extremely brave to strap yourself into one of these!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0593.jpeg

Another overview of some of the planes as discussed.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0597.jpeg

Apart from planes there is a lot of other aviation related stuff on display. I love looking at all of this kit. Where else would you find an automatic gyro control unit for the V-bombers?

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0599.jpeg

Lots of models and I will be showing a lot more. But this display was dedicated to the Tornado.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0600.jpeg

Various bits from the Tornado.

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I was particular interested in the throttle quadrant as it is known. The throttles control the thrust of the two engines. The lever on the right side allows selection of the wing sweep. From full forward on take off and landing position to the swept back high speed position.

Rocking the levers to the left selects the engine thrust reverse braking. I had never seen these reverse levers in such a way. Also, I had not realised the Tornado has reversers. In fact if you look very closely at the poster you can see them. It’s these bucket type reverses, one is closed the other open.

Flap selection lever is on the far left side.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0602.jpeg

Whenever you visit a British aviation museum, in particularly one with military kit on display you will run into various “Falkland War Displays” of course.

The plane in the middle on the top shelve is an Argentinian Super Etendard. It is not a that well known plane. I havent come across many of them, during any of my many aviation museum visits around the world.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0598.jpeg
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Old 20th March 2023, 19:04   #2
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re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

We will be leaving the indoor display for now and head outdoors. First stop, arguably the main attraction of this museum, the Avro Vulcan. The Vulcan was the second of the so called V-bombers.

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
The "V bombers" were the Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft during the 1950s and 1960s that comprised the United Kingdom's strategic nuclear strike force known officially as the V force or Bomber Command Main Force. The three models of strategic bomber, known collectively as the V class, were the Vickers Valiant, which first flew in 1951 and entered service in 1955; the Avro Vulcan, which first flew in 1952 and entered service in 1956; and the Handley Page Victor, which first flew in 1952 and entered service in 1957. The V Bomber force reached its peak in June 1964 with 50 Valiants, 70 Vulcans and 39 Victors in service
The Vulcan is best remembered for its daring raid on Port Stanley, Falklands. At the time, and maybe still, the longest bombing raid in history. (6600 miles)

Although I do like the Vulcan I have always preferred the third V bomber the Handley Page Victor. The Victor played a crucial role in that same Falkland raid as well. The Victor suffered from fatigue in the tail section. Low level bombing raids were not possible due to these fatigue issue, so they were converted to serve as tankers. The Victor tankers ensured the Vulcans could make it to the Falklands. But it was the Victor flew much longer missions as they themselves had to be refuelled as well. It was a logistical nightmare.

Not from the museum, but from my personal book collection, a favourite of mine;

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-victor.jpeg

But here is the Vulcan and it is an impressive plane, no matter what.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0641.jpeg

Very distinctive wings;

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Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0648.jpeg

Remarkable small wheels for such a large plane I though. Car for size.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0645.jpeg

The most interesting on this particular Vulcan is, the cockpit is almost always open. You climb in, just like the crew by means of this ladder, just ahead of the nose gear.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0647.jpeg

You climb up, very careful not to bump your head against various bits sticking out and you will find yourself on a little platform, facing backwards this is what you will see:

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0649.jpeg

In order to get to the pilot seat you have to climb another couple of steps up and this is what you will see:

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0650.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0651.jpeg

I was very lucky, I was the only visitor and there was a very knowledgeable and friendly museum staff member (volunteer) in the Vulcan cockpit with me. He was an electronic expert, had worked for some years in the RAF. Had retired some years ago and now helped restore planes at the museum. Although he had never flown or worked on the Vulcans I was hugely impressed by his intimate knowledge of the plane and its operation. I spend about an hour chatting to him. I can’t recall everything unfortunately, but let me point out a couple of things we discussed.

One key feature of the Vulcan is it does not have a traditional yoke, but a what most people would call a joystick. It was one of the very first plane with fully electrical control systems. No wires/pulleys!

Both pilots have ejection seats, but the three rear facing crew members do not have ejection seats. Obviously, they had parachutes. Getting out of Vulcan for them was near impossible. You had to eject the fuselage cover through which you normally enter and jump down. At high speed almost certainly fatal. Also, when a Vulcan (or any delta) suffers structural damage the pilots usually lower the landing gear as it ensures more stability. If that was the case, and lets be real, you don’t jump out of a plane unless something is badly wrong, these three crew members would not be able to jump out as they would hit the nose gear immediately.

We discussed at length the way they navigated on these planes. I have some images of some of the instruments they used, see further on. But I was intrigued by some of the instrumentation fitted in these bombers. Because in those days navigation tended to be more or less dead reckoning. The Vulcan is equipped with a very fancy wind drift recorder. Which is very beneficial when relying on dead reckoning technique.

They also have one (1) Inertial Navigation System (INS). Virtually all modern jet airliners as from the 80s onwards have always had three INS systems. The reason being that each INS system has an error and also a phenomena known as drift. Basically the longer an INS system operates the further it will drift away from the real position. Modern INS system rely on three system to partly cancel out errors and drift. Also, these day GPS can update the reference position for INS. But in those days this one, purely mechanical INS, was as good as it got!

The Vulcan also carried the Avro Blue Steel nuclear Missile.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0644.jpeg

This was a Mach 2,3 rocket with a range of about 100-150 miles. It carried a 1.1 megaton thermo nuclear war head. When the crew got ready to launch it, they needed to provide it with its current position. That needed high accuracy. Blue Steel itself was equipped with three INS, but relied on getting its starting position (datum as it is known) from the Vulcan crew.

A very interesting experience, sitting inside the cockpit of this basically antique, airplane discussing these sort of things with a real expert!

After the Vulcan cockpit experience, the weather had improved considerable, so I decided to make a round outside and look at the various aircraft on display.

This is the Boulton Paul P.111A. A single seat Delta wing research aircraft. First flew in 1951. It was used researching aerodynamic properties of the delta wing at transonic speeds.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0653.jpeg

A 1962 De Havilland DH125 undergoing restauration. As you will notice, still a long way to go. It actually became 12 seat executive jet. This particular aircraft was used, after flight testing, as an instructional airframe.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0656.jpeg

One of my all time favourite, arguably one of the prettiest figures of that era, the Hawker Hunter. This is model F6A

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0658.jpeg

This one is little bit more rare than the Hunter. To this date there are still airworthy Hunters flown around the world. Although not by the military, just enthusiast. But there are no airworthy Gloster Javelin about, as far as I am aware. You don’t come across them very often, not even in museums. It is a two seater all rather fighter.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0660.jpeg

A 1947 Hawker SeaHawk. Single seater carrier based bomber.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0662.jpeg

Of course, no British aviation museum would be complete without a Harrier!! This is a Sea Harrier. The Harrier is a so called VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing).

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0664.jpeg

Here you see one of the four (two on each side) moveable nozzles.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0666.jpeg

The pilot, by means of a lever could rotate the four nozzles to face rearwards from vertical. In the vertical position it would allow the plane to hoover, take off and landing. The plane also had small air jets in the wingtips that helped balancing it. Flying the Harrier and in particular transitioning from flight to hoover and subsequent landing was incredibly difficult. There are no electronic gadgets to help the pilot. It is all mechanical. Harrier pilots compared hoovering with balancing a 14 tonnes plane on a needle. Took an awful lot of practice.

Another carrier based, all weather fighter, the Sea Vixen from De Havilland. About early 50s.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0667.jpeg

Of course, several Tornado’s on display. The Panavia Tornado was a UK/Germany/Italy initiative. Two seat, all weather, swing wing, interdictor strike aircraft. Capable of Mach 2,2, ceiling 50.000 feet. This particular plane saw action during the first Gulf war.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0669.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0670.jpeg

Just an interesting detail here on the Tornado. The retracted fuel probe for inflight refuelling.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0672.jpeg

Interesting to know is that the Tornado’s could have flown the Falkland missions easily. They had inflight re-fuelling capability, whereas the Vulcans at the time did not. The RAF had to basically search through all their facilities and warehouses to find the old refuelling kit for the Vulcans and re-install it. Also the Vulcan crews were not trained at the time (Falklands) for refuelling. So that was a skill they quickly had to acquire.

It has often been debated why the British choose the Vulcan over the Tornado. It was all about perception and getting a very serious signal across to the Argentinians, that the British could fly BIG bombers across the ocean. Basically Maggie saying "don’t mess with me”!

And now for something very different, a Fairly Gannett. Three seat naval anti submarine, torpedo bomber and training aircraft. It has an unusual propellor design, two contra-rotating propellors on the same shaft.

The idea behind the contra rotating propellors is you don’t have to worry about large torque forces as you encounter on single propellor planes. In theory easy to fly, but in practice very complex engines. There have been a few other planes with a similar propellor design.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0673.jpeg

The museum is right on the edge of Coventry airport. Their neighbours are several airplane clubs. There was a constant taking off and landing of various small single engine aircraft. Here you see a Diamond D40, single engine, taxing to the runway.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0674.jpeg

I have flown some 20-30 hours on the Diamond. Very nice plane, fully digital and glass cockpit. When it comes to pinpoint navigation the D40 can give any of the museum planes a run for their money!!

One of the most recognisable interceptors ever, the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. This is a Danish Airforce plane. Many airforces around the world flew F104s at some point in time. In Germany they were known as the widow maker, due to a number of fatalities. The Dutch Airforce flew F104s as well. The Dutch F104s also sparked the largest Dutch Royal crisis ever. It was found that then Queen Julianne husband, Prince Bernard, had take a bribe from Lockheed! The queen was not amused and Bernard had to hang his military uniforms back into his wardrobe, never being allowed to wear them again. Normal people get thrown in jail, but Princes are just de-robed.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0676.jpeg

I don’t know why, but the English Electric Canberra has never ever appealed to me. You see them in museums a plenty. But somehow it is just not a plane for me.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0678.jpeg

Two English Electric Lightnings. These aircraft had twin jet engines mounted on top of each other. It was one of the first, if not the first (?) jets to achieve a vertical climb rate of over 50.000 feet/minute.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0681.jpeg

Attachment 2431278

This being a car forum, I feel the need to bring in some car related anorak facts as well. This is the best I can do, Jeremy Clarkson is a huge fan of the Lightning. And he put one in his garden. His wife was not so keen.



Another favourite of mine. Again, you will need to look around the world to find these; The Dassault Mystere IV. Very pretty plane I think!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0682.jpeg

Another plane that I always felt had a very special look. The McDonnel (T)F101 Voodoo. This is 1955s plane. And it is fairly large too. Used as bomber, trainer and photo reconnaissance.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0685.jpeg

The first of the so-called Century Fighters, the F100 Super Sabre. It was the first American fighter that could go supersonic in level flight. Saw a lot of action during the Vietnam war.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0684.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0710.jpeg

Last edited by Jeroen : 20th March 2023 at 19:45.
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Old 20th March 2023, 20:15   #3
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re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

A true classic; The Beaver from De Havilland. The Beaver is one of the earliest and most successfull STOL (Short Take Off Landing) planes. It can be fitted with skis or floats. Extremely rugged and reliable, to date you will find the Beaver operating on remote fields all over the world.

I have flown on a few of these, many years ago in various African countries.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0687.jpeg

Another lovely T33

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0688.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0708.jpeg

Here two famous American planes side by side. The F86 Sabre and the F4 Phantom

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0697.jpeg

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The North American F86 first flew in 1948. A single seat fighter. The F86 and its Soviet rival the MIG 15 were amongst first jet fighter that engaged in aerial combat over the skies in Korea.

Although considered as a Real American plane, its wing design (first swept wing) leaned heavily on the aerodynamic studies done by the Germans in WW2. Those German engineers were captured and their data was used by the Americans.

The F4 Phantom is of later era, 1958. The then developed doctrine was that dogfight were a thing of the past. A pilot would release rockets/missile and that was it. Hence the F4 was not equipped with machine guns. The Americans found out, to their cost, that machine guns and dog fights were still a thing of the present.

This is one of the earlier models without machine guns. As far as I know all Phantom were equipped with a tail hooks. Although these tend to be known for facilitating landings on carriers, there are also airfields that have cable arrestors for jets.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0698.jpeg

There is an incredible story about the use of a tail hook in a most unusual way.
It is known as Pardo’s push. One phantom was pushing another, crippled, phantom by its tail hook!!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-screenshot-20230320-3.30.16-pm.png

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/pard...f-4-to-safety/

You might have spotted the MIG 21 already in earlier images.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0694.jpeg

I have come across a number of MIG21 in various museums around the world. I had never noticed that they have three air brakes. Are they used independently, do they have different use?

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0696.jpeg

Another trainer, a Polish one, no less. The TS-11 ISKRA. From around 1960. Never heard of it before. Quite an unusual looking plane.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0701.jpeg

Here is an aircraft with an Indian heritage. The is a De Havilland Dove II. The plane is from 1945 and it was acquired by the museum in 1980 from an Indian Maharaja. It was repainted, so it must have flown with a very different colour scheme in India.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0704.jpeg

RAF pilots and aviation enthusiast much older than me, will remember this little airplane. The Percival Prentice. It was a trainer with a side by side (student/instructor) seating and one rear seat for another student to watch.

This particular airplane was at some point in time, bought by Sir Freddie Laker. Later it was used as a ground instructional airframe by Chelsea College.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0705.jpeg

Plane spotter will recognise this cockpit immediately. Very distinct, The Vickers Viscount.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0712.jpeg

A four turbo proper medium range airliner. I remember these from the old Amsterdam airport, Schiphol. We used to live only about 20 minutes by bicycle away from it. So we often went plane spotting.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0713.jpeg

At the very far end of the field there is another hangar. Although you could enter, you could not move between the planes. I was very keen to have a look at the Victor cockpit, but unfortunately I could not get access. I will have to come back at some point in time.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0702.jpeg

These were most, if not all aircraft out on the field. So I went back into the main building and found some more interesting things to look at. First thing I bumped into was this Harrier cockpit, with lots of posters explaining the operation of the Harrier.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0716.jpeg

Unfortunately the cockpit was closed, but I still managed to take an image. Quite a different cockpit from the Meteor i sat in earlier.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0715.jpeg

I love this cut away engines. Very easy to begin to understand how these engines worked.

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All over the museum you will find all kinds of models and small scenery displays.

I picked a few, just to give you a bit of a flavour on what is on display.

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Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0718.jpeg

Three generations of British Aircraft carrier. Not hundred percent sure, but probably more or less to scale I would think?

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0721.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0722.jpeg

I had been going around for some 2,5-3 hours, so I went back into the little museum shop and cafe. Had a roll and a coffee for lunch. Nice little shop.
Attached Thumbnails
Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0719.jpeg  


Last edited by Jeroen : 20th March 2023 at 20:32.
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Old 20th March 2023, 21:13   #4
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re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

After my lunch break I went back into the museum. As I mentioned before, this is not a particular large museum, but it has an awful lot of things on display. So I just thought I would do another round and see what I had missed.

This is one museum where they don’t spend to much time dwelling on the origins of flight and the early days. More or less everything on display is post WW2.

A few things from earlier times.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0604.jpeg

I was very happy to come across one of these. I have read about them, I have seen them being used in movies, but I had never actually come across these. This is a so called Rotor Cartridge starter. These starters allowed engines to be started without any ground equipment. This was years before they came up with powerful starter motors. The cartridges provide a controlled explosion (slow burning powder) to produce hot high pressure gas to drive a turbine, that spools up the engines via a epicyclic reduction gear.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0605.jpeg

A model from another design project. This is the A.W.169. It never made it past the paper stage and all we have today is this little model.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0608.jpeg

Various early Cargo aircraft.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0610.jpeg

They had a nice display about the famous Dam buster raid. Specially designed bombs that would be spun up and dropped from a specific altitude so it would skip across the water, delivered by modified Lancasters.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0611.jpeg

Did I mention they have a lot of models on display. We are talking about a LOT of models here!!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0612.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0613.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0614.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0615.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0616.jpeg

The (in) famous German Stuka, dive bomber. When I was very young, I had a very nice metal model. I believe it was Dinky Toy, with a bomb you could actually drop! later I made a Stuka Airfix model.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0617.jpeg

And back to some very intricate and complex looking instruments. This is a bomb sight as used in the Lancaster. All mechanical. Not a transistor in sight!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0619.jpeg

Here some more instruments as I mentioned earlier. Sextants were used extensively on airplanes. Not just military, but civilian airliners navigated by dead reckoning and sextant for decades.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0621.jpeg

Here the drift recorder. Similar to what I explained earlier on the Vulcan cockpit. Being able to estimate drift is crucial to dead reckoning navigation technique.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0622.jpeg

Various calculators / slide rules

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0623.jpeg

I spotted this model. It is the BAC TSR 2. A very remarkable aircraft. Still shrouded in some mystery, even today.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0625.jpeg

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 is a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The TSR-2 was designed around both conventional and nuclear weapons delivery: it was to penetrate well-defended frontline areas at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in rear areas. Another intended combat role was to provide high-altitude, high-speed stand-off, side-looking radar and photographic imagery and signals intelligence, aerial reconnaissance. Only one airframe flew and test flights and weight-rise during design indicated that the aircraft would be unable[1] to meet its original stringent[2] design specifications.[3][4][5][N 1] The design specifications were reduced as the result of flight testing.[
Everything related to the TSR2 including its jigs were destroyed. Some say this was under pressure from the Americans, who wanted to push their own design (This became later the F111)/ Little has survived, but you can still see the only one in existence at the Duxford Imperial war museum.

They had some displays on modern aircraft brake system. Here you see the brake of an Airbus A380. It is massive.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0626.jpeg

Similar but on an earlier BAC 1-11.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0628.jpeg

These days, actually pretty much for decades, civil jet airliners have ceramic brakes. Contrary to popular believe jet airliners don’t just brake with their engine reversers. Nearly all modern jets have auto brake system. The pilots, based on weight and other performance factors, choose a brake rate. Which mean the system will brake at a continuous set deceleration. When they also apply reverse thrust that means the brakes wear less. Reverse thrust does not reduce landing or brake distance, unless you are applying maximum braking force to start with. .

This is a pretty famous jet engine, known as the Cheetah of the jet age. It is the Viper designed by Armstrong Siddeley, at the time also based in Coventry. It remained in production for over fifty years and has been used in dozens of different aircraft. From fighter - to executive jets.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0631.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0632.jpeg

Finally a few more really nice looking models!

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0633.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0634.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0636.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0637.jpeg

All in all, a very worthwhile visit. I really enjoyed this little museum. I spend well over four hours and probably I have still missed quite a few things.

I picked up my wife. We had booked a very nice little hotel nearby. We spend two more days in the UK. Visiting Hay on Wye, famous for its second hand book shops and the canal boat museum in Stoke Bruerne. On the way back to the ferry we managed to spend a few hours with friends. In three days we drove well over 1000 km. The Jaguar performed flawlessly!

Next, this coming Friday, spanner mate Peter and I are flying to Birmingham for the annual Classic car and Restoration show.

Jeroen
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Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0618.jpeg  

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Old 21st March 2023, 07:16   #5
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re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st March 2023, 07:59   #6
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re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more


Thank you for painstakingly clicking these numerous super exciting photos and sharing them with us. What a delight this place is. What a little treasure house. So full of little joys. Thank you for all the factoids you have shared.

That Polish Iskara trainer was used by the IAF! The Fairey Gannet the British wanted to sell to us with the first INS Vikrant light carrier but we found it too complex to be reliable and went for the French Breguet Alize.

The British to their credit had such a rich aviation industry full of innovation and world leading in many ways till the 1950s. In France the political leadership had the foresight to protect and nurture their home aeronautics - Aerospatiale, Dassault, Bregeut, Socata, Turbomecca, SNECMA, etc - and later have the wisdom to join hands with the Germans and the Dutch to form Airbus Industrie. This has helped them retain a top dog position till today. The British industry sadly was driven into the ground by a long line of second rate politicians and the hide bound bureaucrats of Whitehall and BOAC who failed to grasp the changing world. We see some of that even today with Brexit.
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Old 21st March 2023, 11:30   #7
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Great pics and writing. Thank you for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
The F4 Phantom is of later era, 1958. The then developed doctrine was that dogfight were a thing of the past. A pilot would release rockets/missile and that was it. Hence the F4 was not equipped with machine guns. The Americans found out, to their cost, that machine guns and dog fights were still a thing of the present.
Yes, they realized the mistake and developed gunpods for carriage on USAF F-4C and Ds (the F-4E came equipped with an internal cannon). Although prone to getting jammed while firing, F-4C/D crews did score a few air to air kills with these gunpods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
This is one of the earlier models without machine guns. As far as I know all Phantom were equipped with a tail hooks. Although these tend to be known for facilitating landings on carriers, there are also airfields that have cable arrestors for jets.
That F-4C is a Vietnam MiG killer. I remembered seeing the tail no. in the book "MiG Killers". This F-4C shot down a VPAF MiG-17 on May 14, 1967 and here is the reference to the Midland Museum F-4 in the book.
Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-mig-kill.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I have come across a number of MIG21 in various museums around the world. I had never noticed that they have three air brakes. Are they used independently, do they have different use?
I believe all of them worked together when the speedbrake toggle switch was pressed. However, when the MiG-21 carried a drop tank, Gun Pod or a Reconnaissance pod on the centerline station, there was a system in place that disabled the single rear belly speed brake to prevent it from hitting the drop tank/pod. The two "fish gills" type front airbrakes had no such issue as any stores carried on the centerline did not hinder their operation and they worked independent of the stores carried on the centerline.

Side View:
Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-brakes.jpg

Bottom view:
Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-brakes-2.jpg

This technical drawing shows clearly how on a GP-9 gunpod equipped MiG-21PFM (on the centerline station) the front two Fish Gill type airbrakes can continue to work while there is no way the rear airbrake can work safely as it would hit the gunpod if there was system in place to disable it.

On the early MiG-21F & F-13 variants however, the two forward fish gill type airbrakes were much lower and closer to the belly as they were equipped with an internal cannon(depending on the variant - one or two). So when the MiG-21F/F-13 carried a centerline drop tank, it had no air brakes at all as all three airbrakes could not work without hitting the centerline drop tank

Last edited by skanchan95 : 21st March 2023 at 11:45.
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Old 21st March 2023, 22:03   #8
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Excellent writeup and pictures! It's really nice they let you sit in the cockpit, I don't think they allow that in any museums in India. Most aircraft in museums I have seen are just body shells with the internal equipment having been removed for easy transportation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

The plane in the middle on the top shelve is an Argentinian Super Etendard. It is not a that well known plane. I havent come across many of them, during any of my many aviation museum visits around the world.

Attachment 2431166
That Super Entendard model caught my eye, I made the same one probably 23+ years ago and still have it.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-916.jpeg
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Old 22nd March 2023, 01:11   #9
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Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Excellent writeup and pictures! It's really nice they let you sit in the cockpit, I don't think they allow that in any museums in India. Most aircraft in museums I have seen are just body shells with the internal equipment having been removed for easy transportation.

That Super Entendard model caught my eye, I made the same one probably 23+ years ago and still have it.
]
Yes, most planes get stripped. Apperently the Vulcan in this museum still has everything onboard, including both engines!

Sitting in cockpits is just great! The Dutch airforce museum organises every year an open cockpit day. You can get into just about all their planes! Problem is you need to battle it out with little kiddies. But all cockpits are complete with everything still in place.

I wrote about this museum some years ago:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/inter...my-museum.html (Pics: The Dutch National Army Museum)

My son Thomas and ai are planning to revisit it in the next couple of weeks. They have got some new additions, should be interesting!

I like the Etendard, looks like the same, Airfix kit I seem to recall?
Jeroen
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Old 22nd March 2023, 13:51   #10
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
There is an incredible story about the use of a tail hook in a most unusual way.
It is known as Pardo’s push. One phantom was pushing another, crippled, phantom by its tail hook!!

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/pard...f-4-to-safety/
That is insane! I have never come across this before.

People often joke that the F-4 Phantom is an example of how even a brick can fly if you strap it to powerful enough engines. Turns out not just one, but two bricks. The engineers have quite clearly outdone themselves.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 15:22   #11
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

And a very popular brick too. It was the mainstay of a lot of the world air forces all the way till the 80s. Cant have been so bad( one of my fav fighter planes growing up) . I was first acquainted with it since I read the story of Lt Lance Sijan ( USAF) in the Vietnam war.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 19:48   #12
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

I like the Etendard, looks like the same, Airfix kit I seem to recall?
Jeroen
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Its been so many years I don't remember, but after a bit of searching online I found this kit which was re-released in 1996 and has the matching decal instructions and assembly so I am guessing this should be it.

Name:  Screenshot 20230322 at 10.17.37 AM.png
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Source: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/acad...endard--203878
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Old 23rd March 2023, 13:02   #13
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I noticed this little display. It’s a Meteor intercepting a V1 by flipping it over with its wing. The pilot ”Dixie” Dean tried to shoot it down first, but his machine guns failed to fire. He positioned himself alongside the V1 and tipped it over and out of control.

Attachment 2431153

I am not sure how many V1s were successfully intercepted by this method. I once heard/read that once the Germans found out, they installed switches underneath the V1 wingtips, which would detonate the V1 bomb upon being activated. I think it was a bit of a tall story. The meteors did not become operational till mid 1944. About the same time as the V1 became operational.
Such a simple yet effective technique! The only jet powered aircraft which could hope to intercept the pulse detonation engine powered V1. Even the way V1s were launched was quite interesting, quite similar to the steam catapults used on aircraft carriers.

But an air museum in Coventry without the Lancaster, Spitfire and the amazing Merlin engine?
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Old 23rd March 2023, 13:30   #14
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Originally Posted by ds.raikkonen View Post
Such a simple yet effective technique! The only jet powered aircraft which could hope to intercept the pulse detonation engine powered V1.
Spitfires were fast enough to intercept V1s as well I believe. The V1 would cruise at around at around 340MPH and would accelerate to about 400MPH close to the intended target.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ds.raikkonen View Post
But an air museum in Coventry without the Lancaster, Spitfire and the amazing Merlin engine?

Well, yes! There are quite a few models of Lancasters and Spitfires in the museum. (I showed the model of the special dam-buster modified Lancaster.

But when it comes to actual planes, this museum is more about jet planes as you will have noticed.

It did have one engine on display you might find interesting. The Rolls Royce Griffon. Unfortunately it was stuck between so much other stuff, I did not think it was a good enough image, so I did not upload it. But here it is, the bits I could get in front of my lens.

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0638.jpeg

Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more-img_0640.jpeg

The Griffon was a considerably larger and more powerful engine than the Gremlin. This engine was used in aircraft such as the Shackleton. But it was also used on the Spitfire. Anorak fact; the Griffon engine had a different engine rotation compared to the Merlin (clockwise or anti clockwise) and developed more than 2300 HP compared to the 1050 of the Gremlin. It made quite an interesting transition for the pilots going from a Merlin powered Spitfire to a Griffon powered Spitfire. More difficult during take off and you had to use the rudder the exact opposite way!

A little known fact is that the Spitfire on the famous “Battle of Britain” flight is powered by a Griffon engine!

Jeroen
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Old 24th March 2023, 20:05   #15
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Re: Midland Air Museum | Coventry, England | Classic Fighter Jets, Engines & more

Thanks for showing us the real history with real close photos. Appreciate the hard work in putting all together, for us to enjoy reading and watching.
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