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Thread: Merlins From Lancaster PB456 At Dumfries

  1. #1
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    Merlins From Lancaster PB456 At Dumfries

    Went up to Dumfries this afternoon to look at the recently-recovered inboard engines from lancaster III, PB456 which crashed on 13 September 1944 close to Loch Lomond whilst on a training excersise with 101 sqn, RAF Ludford Magna. Cause unknown, the aircraft broke up in mid-air. All seven crew members lost their lives, four Canadians and three British.
    They are Packard Merlin 38s, and rank as two of the most complete and undamaged examples yet to be recovered from underground.
    One of the engines will be preserved as a memorial to the crew.
    Congrats to Davie Reid and team for their perseverence, I know they have been working on this site for many years.
    As for the second engine, well, I`m sure many of you will be fully aware of what I will do with it if they let me get my hands on it Here`s hoping then!
    Last edited by MerlinPete; 24th February 2009 at 21:56.
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  2. #2
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    WOW!

  3. #3
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    What i wouldn't give for one of those -
    Cheers for posting these Pete.

    mick

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    They'll never run ,the rocker covers are all dented.
    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

  5. #5
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    Is that a jet engine in the background of the last one?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollieholmes
    Is that a jet engine in the background of the last one?
    Hi Ollie

    I`m not very good on jets, but I think it`s a Pratt & Whitney JT9. Anyway, it came from a Polar Air Cargo 747. When the museum acquired it it was due for overhaul but perfectly serviceable. Since 9/11 there has been a good supply of used engines available with time remaining which prove a cheaper alternative to overhauls.
    It`s probably just as well I wasn`t offered it!

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=ollieholmes]Is that a jet engine in the background of the last one?[/QU


    WooHooooo!! love the picture of the red tractor!!!! WoW...
    I loves trakdurs i does..... but wots that big black oily thing hangin off the front??? Oh i dunno, i could be wrong but it looks a bit like a Packard Merlin 38 with a two stage supercharger, stromberg carb and hobson automatic boost/mixture control.... but hey wat does i know, i'll just go back to lookin at me trakdurs. :diablo: :diablo:



    Sorry Ollie.. you walked right into that one i couldn't resist
    This week i av' been mostly eatin' biscuits!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart gowans
    They'll never run ,the rocker covers are all dented.
    Have a look at MerlinPetes website, coz having read the site myself I reckon if Pete gets his mitts on it he will have it on a ground rig running in no time!! If he and his mates can get a an engine that was full of clay and god knows wot else running then a few little dents wont worry him LoL Bex

    http://www.merlinv12.com
    Last edited by bexWH773; 26th November 2006 at 23:15. Reason: forgot a bit

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Kenb'o Buckshot]
    Quote Originally Posted by ollieholmes
    Is that a jet engine in the background of the last one?[/QU


    WooHooooo!! love the picture of the red tractor!!!! WoW...
    I loves trakdurs i does..... but wots that big black oily thing hangin off the front??? Oh i dunno, i could be wrong but it looks a bit like a Packard Merlin 38 with a two stage supercharger, stromberg carb and hobson automatic boost/mixture control.... but hey wat does i know, i'll just go back to lookin at me trakdurs. :diablo: :diablo:



    Sorry Ollie.. you walked right into that one i couldn't resist
    You made me smile.

    Bex,
    I agree a dented rocker cover is not much for Pete after rebuilding the engine on his site.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=ollieholmes]
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenb'o Buckshot

    You made me smile.

    Bex,
    I agree a dented rocker cover is not much for Pete after rebuilding the engine on his site.
    Ollie I reckon Pete will probably just laugh at the dents and ask for something harder to work on LoL Bex

  11. #11
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    Wow they are in amazing condition better looking than the two unrestored ones hanging on our lancaster!
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"
    http://lancasterfm159.freeservers.com/

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=bexWH773]
    Quote Originally Posted by ollieholmes

    Ollie I reckon Pete will probably just laugh at the dents and ask for something harder to work on LoL Bex
    Well maybe thats a challenge for you. Find him something rarer to rebuild.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart gowans
    They'll never run ,the rocker covers are all dented.
    Oh dear, I think your sense of humour must be a bit too subtle for this lot!
    If it`s any consolation I got it

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  14. #14
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    WooHooooo!! love the picture of the red tractor!!!! WoW...
    I loves trakdurs i does..... but wots that big black oily thing hangin off the front??? Oh i dunno, i could be wrong but it looks a bit like a Packard Merlin 38 with a two stage supercharger, stromberg carb and hobson automatic boost/mixture control.... but hey wat does i know, i'll just go back to lookin at me trakdurs. :diablo: :diablo:

    Now that was funny !!!


    .

  15. #15
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    Thanks Pete, btw is that a Massey Ferguson 135, or a 165, and does it have dual power?
    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MerlinPete
    Went up to Dumfries this afternoon to look at the recently-recovered inboard engines from lancaster III, PB456 which crashed on 13 September 1944
    Can anyone point me towards any further info on this recovery please?
    www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

  17. #17
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    Sorry stuart, took ya comment too literal by the looks of it...... Homer time... D'Oh!!! Bex

  18. #18
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    These engines are in remarkable condition. They look more like having been recovered from water then soil. Merlin 28's have a more durable finish than the RR's built ones. We have one from a water recovery as well and it is still als black as the day it was made. A RR'built example had the paint cracking and blistering awaw withing an hour after recovery.

    What more was recovered?

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cees Broere
    These engines are in remarkable condition. They look more like having been recovered from water then soil. Merlin 28's have a more durable finish than the RR's built ones. We have one from a water recovery as well and it is still als black as the day it was made. A RR'built example had the paint cracking and blistering awaw withing an hour after recovery.

    What more was recovered?

    Cheers

    Cees
    Quite correct Cees, Packard Merlin castings are anodised aluminium which prevents corrosion and seems to make the paint adhere better.
    All the parts from both powerplants pretty much, such as the cowlings, bearers and radiators. I also saw what looked like an R1155 and some other non-powerplant bits including an oxygen cylinder and the dinghy radio, but not a large amount.

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart gowans
    Thanks Pete, btw is that a Massey Ferguson 135, or a 165, and does it have dual power?
    Stuart, just for you and Kenb`o, nice close-up of the front-end loader.
    Last edited by MerlinPete; 24th February 2009 at 21:56.
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  21. #21
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    I have the log book from one of the Special Duty Operators from 101 sqn, who was very likely flying during September 1944. Very remarkably, he survived his 30-mission tour. Once I've dug it up, I report here what his mission was for 13 September 1944, just for interest.
    de Havilland forever!

  22. #22
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    Well, with all the posts on this subject, nobody seems to have noticed that. from the photos, both propellors appear to have been feathered, in flight. One engine looks as if it impacted, inverted, while moving sideways. Did it crash on land or water, Pete?

  23. #23
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    I always thought the engines were still at that site. I have seen photos taken shortly after the crash, Harry Holmes had them, and there was a huge hole with a few bits of bent metal.

    When I visited the site they had done some of the recovery but I didn't know they had two engines. Well done, the conditions at the site could only be described as wet and very soft.

    I think the other two engines are possibly still there judging by the photo of the site in 44.

    The props were not feathered, in the second and fourth photos you can see the props from the engines clearly and they are not feathered.

    To answer the final question the aircraft dived into a bog about 700ft above Loch Lomond, see www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk, then go to the Scotland section for a photo from 2004.

  24. #24
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    The mid air break up occured in a dive, the rear section (about 15-20ft from the rear turret) broke off and landed close to the main site, the rest of the aircraft remained in one piece until impact when it excavated a large hole in the bog.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for the link, Mr Clark. Looks good preservation ground. Can't agree with you about the props. The point about feathering is to reduce drag, by turning the blades edge on to the slipstream and that is how these blades are.

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    The major components of these hydromatic propeller units are very strongly constructed but…

    …the orientation of the blade itself is controlled only by two dowels (approximately 10mm) and four screws (approximately M6 equivalent).

    I think it is conceivable (and very likely) that some of these will be found to be sheared in this case allowing the blades to rest in any orientation.

    Just my two cents.

    WA$.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by avro683
    Well, with all the posts on this subject, nobody seems to have noticed that. from the photos, both propellors appear to have been feathered, in flight. One engine looks as if it impacted, inverted, while moving sideways. Did it crash on land or water, Pete?
    One prop was feathered as far as I could tell, but the other one was less certain as it had some pitch on it.

    About the point that Creaking Door made, the bronze "blade bushing" as it is called is indeed located with screws and dowels, but it is also in a tapered bore in the blade which holds it very tightly in my experience. A special puller is required to get them out and they tend to be tight.
    However, I have dismantled crashed examples in which the screws and dowels have sheared off, so what you say is quite possible. Am I contradicting myself here or what?!

    Pete
    Last edited by MerlinPete; 28th November 2006 at 11:59.
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by avro683
    Well, with all the posts on this subject, nobody seems to have noticed that. from the photos, both propellors appear to have been feathered.

    Hmmmm, yes and no,
    I thought the same, but on closer inspection the props on both engines seem to be at different orientations.
    the engine slung off the (lovely!) red tractor do look like they'er feathered, whilst if you look at the engine on the ground with the rad cowl.. those blades seem to be at a very coarse pitch but definately not feathered.
    Interesting.....
    This week i av' been mostly eatin' biscuits!

  29. #29
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    Lancaster Dig

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark V
    Can anyone point me towards any further info on this recovery please?
    New guy on the block was part of the recovery team on Conic Hill near Loch Lomond. What can I help you with?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR
    New guy on the block was part of the recovery team on Conic Hill near Loch Lomond. What can I help you with?
    Welcome Jim
    How about a report on the dig? We are a very curious lot and there are a lot of archeologists on this forum.

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

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