English Electric P1A

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5 years

Posts: 7

Hello, I'm searching some pictures of the English Electric P1A airbrakes open!Many thanks to the one which could satisfy my curiosity.
Original post

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5 years 2 months

Posts: 584

What airbrakes? I was under the impression that airbrakes were fitted to the P1B and further.

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5 years

Posts: 7

I have bought two books about EE Lightning and in the twice there is the fly report of R Beamont about the low effects of this airbrakes...in a copy of Flight magazine a description locate them "on the rear fuselage sides just ahead of the jet nozzles"....I haven't found a pictures of them open...

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5 years

Posts: 7

Yes you are right... I rewrite the Flight description "another airframe alteration in the P1B is that the speed brakes have been redesigned and relocated.Originally they were mounted on the rear-fuselage sides just ahead of the jet nozzles...each brake was hinged at its trailing edge". I think this is the part corrugated and heavily riveted visible on your second pictures... [ATTACH=CONFIG]231778[/ATTACH] So I haven't found a photo showing them open even on ground or in flight!
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5 years 2 months

Posts: 584

Difficult place to put them. Space is very limited there. Those panels hinged out on production a/c for access to the reheat nozzles.

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5 years

Posts: 7

I think you talk about these panel... [ATTACH=CONFIG]231784[/ATTACH] The space is limited but not less than on the Hawker Hunter speed record like that... [ATTACH=CONFIG]231785[/ATTACH] And the P1A was not fitted with variable nozzles... The mystery is still alive....
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Profile picture for user Wokka Bob

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8 years 4 months

Posts: 384

No matter where I look, I have only found an outline schematic drawing of the P1 showing ‘Dive Brakes’ opening on the rear fuselage near the jet exhaust. Mr Beamont’s 1984 book ‘EE P1 Lightning’ reports on the first flight, 4th August 1954 that the dive brakes were very unsatisfactory and further research was required. A number of other reference works pick up on this theme. On this flight, communication with the chase plane was lost (radio failure) so any chance of a photo was probably unavailable to the team. No photos seem to be in public circulation of their operation and I wonder if their use was discontinued. BAe archives are probable the only repository of any drawings/photo's and probably still subject to classification clauses. I can only surmise that when the fixed reheat was fitted to the P1, the dive brakes were removed. It was a research vehicle first and foremost. As previously stated, the P1B was developed with ‘Air Brakes’ as we know them today. The ‘Jet Pipe Doors’ which allows stowage of the brake parachute cable and access to the reheat pipes, hinge on the rear fuselage as in Post 7.

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5 years

Posts: 7

Many thanks Wokka Bob.... Your explanation is very accurate...to take my curiosity ended but not my frustration! Yours sincerely.

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7 years 2 months

Posts: 23

I've had a quick look through Stewart Scott's English Electric Lightning Vol.1 but can't seem to find any reference to the airbrakes on the P.1A, not saying there isn't one though as there's a lot of reading in it. Have you tried contacting the BAE Systems Heritage Centre at Warton, they are very amenable. Have a look at some of the photos that they have allowed us to use in our albums especially of WG760 on assembly just before first flight, doesn't appear to be any 'Dive Brakes visible' - https://picasaweb.google.com/107645514498566597638/WG760?noredirect=1# ------------------------- http://lightnings.info/

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5 years

Posts: 7

Thanks for the nice P1A pictures... I have open the following books about Lightning....in all there is a the report of the first flight by Roland Beamont about the airbrakes: ...books of Martin W;Bowman " " Tim Mc Lelland " " Peter Caygill......extract: "(P1A WG760) airbrakes:only to be used in emergency due to severe nose-up trim change and heavy buffet" this join the Wokka Bob explanation! ...I have red the same report in Aeroplane monthly and Flight magazine...too! I will try BAE Systems Heritage...
Profile picture for user Wokka Bob

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8 years 4 months

Posts: 384

BAe Systems Heritage Department produce a 46 page booklet (The English Electric P1 Supersonic Fighter Concept) for a small fee, see http://www.w823.co.uk/ke_books.htm . From it comes the following; the airbrakes provided plenty of drag, but deflected airflow downwards across the tailplane causing a serious and unacceptable nose-up trim change. The airbrakes were left closed and the prototypes flown in such a manner that they were not needed. As stated previously the airbrakes are still visible on both WG760 & 763. Hope this clarifies the reason why there are no photos. Bob

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5 years

Posts: 7

Hello ,I'm back (perhaps for the last time!) As it was written in FLIGHT magazine,if the hinges was on the trailing edge,the airbrake opened like a suicide car door!It seem incredible but I have discovered a picture of the MC DONNELL XF-88 with the first airbrake model tried open! [ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","title":"zDSCN3063b.jpg","data-attachmentid":3867352}[/ATTACH] This airbrake have had the same effect described by R Beamont on the P1 and have been also modified latter. Only an examination of the WG760 at RAF Cosford could confirm and perhaps showing the hydraulic jack (locked for the further test flights).
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Profile picture for user Sabrejet

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9 years 7 months

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Same type of airbrake fitted to the #1 XP-86 Sabre. They were not flight tested however.
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13 years 8 months

Posts: 451

F-35B fan intake anyone ?

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4 years 7 months

Posts: 76

I always think the F-35B fan intake looks like it was taken from some item of 'white goods' - e.g. a tumble dryer ! Seriously though, must have a pretty low limiting speed in use ? The drag must be incredible !?
Profile picture for user Sabrejet

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9 years 7 months

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The drag must be incredible !?
I think that's the idea...

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4 years 7 months

Posts: 76

I assume the fan intake is just that - and only that, not an air brake ?

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4 years 7 months

Posts: 76

To go back to the original subject matter under discussion ! In Roland Beamont's book 'Testing Early Jets', there is his original 'Flight Report No. 1', from that first flight of WG760. He says "Dive brakes were checked at 300-400 knots at 13,000 ft over approximately two-four inches movement". I had assumed on reading this that the dive brakes were hinged at the front, but if hinged at the back as mentioned earlier on this thread, assume that would have caused some serious disturbance to the tailplane ?! Also, this with only two-four inches opening, not fully open - as I think I would have assumed that the airbrakes would be either open or shut - if I hadn't read Beamont's comments !