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Thread: Albemarle, another extinct beast

  1. #1
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    Albemarle, another extinct beast

    Hi all,

    As far as I know there is a project ongoing to at least restore the nose section of an AW Albemarle. Remains of which were recovered from a Cumbria Quarry. Any pics of the remains and what else is still around?
    Let's make it as interesting as the Stirling thread,

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  2. #2
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    very good point

    nasty aircraft by all accounts - but useful later as a glider tug?
    You can teach monkies to fly better than that....

  3. #3
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    It least it was used operationally and some were given to Russia on lend-lease basis. But the airframe was part wooden I think. Alan H weren't you at the Cumbria site at one point looking for leftover bits?

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

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    I sold two Albemarle tail wheels on Ebay last year, can't remember where they went to, but every little helps!

  5. #5
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    Dont trust everything that you buy on Ebay!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyvernfan View Post
    I sold two Albemarle tail wheels on Ebay last year, can't remember where they went to, but every little helps!
    Looking at my copy of 'British Bombers since 1914' by Francis k Mason I checked my memory against the book. I was right the A.W ALBEMARLE was fitted with a tricycle undercarriage and had no tailwheel even for a nosewheel high landing.
    Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyvernfan View Post
    I sold two Albemarle tail wheels on Ebay last year, can't remember where they went to, but every little helps!
    I haven't laughed this much for years Wyvernfan, thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by pagen01; 29th July 2008 at 19:09. Reason: added pic

  7. #7
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    All 600 Albemarles were assembled in Gloucester, where I have been involved for some in Aviation. As such I know a little of the history of the type, and believe that whilst they were the first Bristish type to enter RAF service with a tricycle undercarriage configuration, it did indeed have a "hidden" tail bumper wheel. Don't think wyvernfan was so off the mark after all..?

  8. #8
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    It did indeed have a tail bumper wheel, but can't be classed as a tail wheel, especially as the one thing the Albemarle was famous for was being nose wheel equiped!

    The only useful thing (ish) I can add here is that I have a picture showing about 10 Albemarles being scrapped at St Athan c.1946

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagen01 View Post
    It did indeed have a tail bumper wheel, but can't be classed as a tail wheel, especially as the one thing the Albemarle was famous for was being nose wheel equiped!

    The only useful thing (ish) I can add here is that I have a picture showing about 10 Albemarles being scrapped at St Athan c.1946
    If its a wheel attached to the tail, does that not make it a tail wheel????? Can't quite see the funny bit but give it time.

  10. #10
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    Parts & recoveries

    Hi Cees

    The cockpit section you mention is just the bare stainless steel tubular framework – The aircraft concerned were burned before being dumped - I have not heard of any progress being made on it - in fact the owner - Mr D. Stansfield actually has two cockpit framework sections & last I heard these were stored at his home address near Burnley Lancashire. I did hear that he had been back to the quarry where they originated from and found a few more parts a couple of years ago.

    Other surviving parts include those recovered by PDAAR from Albemarle Mk.II V1604, which crashed near Ashbourne on the 11th March 1944.

    See: http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co...ojectv1604.htm
    Regards - Nick - Lancashire UK

    "Ex tenebris Lux"

    L.A.I.T.

    North West Aircraft Wrecks

    Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide

  11. #11
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    Hi Nick,

    Only the basic framework? Well that must be a hell of a job then. I
    have a Albemarle throttle box (the remains of one at least) and
    I was contacted by mr Stansfield and sent him some pics but haven't
    heard anything since. I understand that the quarry had more aircraft
    remains and that Alan H knows more

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  12. #12
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    I heard about that Cumbrian quarry years ago - nothing specific just a rumour that there were a number of aircraft pushed in there. I didn't even have the location. Other info from that source turned out to be unreliable so I dismissed it. Strange that it turns out to be true. What else has come out of there?

    And, since it is traditional with this type of thread, what about the dozen or so Albemarle's that went to Russia? Anything left of them other than rumours and speculation?

    Allan
    "Writing is easy - all you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds." - Douglas Adams

  13. #13
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    Ah the AW Albemarle! Now there is a cockpit project I would dearly love to take on!

    I do have some pictures somewhere of the remains David Stansfield holds - will try and dig them out tonight.

    Jon
    Last edited by Jon H; 30th July 2008 at 11:41.
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    I was amazed to see that as many as 600 were built, why was so much effort put into an obvious loser when resources could have been put into it's contemporary, the worlds apart Mosquito, instead, it smacks of political intrigue. It couldn't even be compared to the usefullness of it's predessesor, the Whitley and wasn't much faster either.
    If any aircraft should be confined to history and forgotten about, it has to be the Albemarle, lets confine ourselves to supporting better causes and send the surviving bits off to the smelter, the cash might pay to ressurect something more worthy of reconstructing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Truman View Post
    I was amazed to see that as many as 600 were built, why was so much effort put into an obvious loser when resources could have been put into it's contemporary, the worlds apart Mosquito, instead, it smacks of political intrigue. It couldn't even be compared to the usefullness of it's predessesor, the Whitley and wasn't much faster either.
    If any aircraft should be confined to history and forgotten about, it has to be the Albemarle, lets confine ourselves to supporting better causes and send the surviving bits off to the smelter, the cash might pay to ressurect something more worthy of reconstructing.
    600 ??!!! - was there an idea to keep the line working and in use until it could be switched to something more in demand? Interesting point though, is it historic because its "old" or not historic because it wasn't impressive? Would there be much effort/interest to recover a Botha if found in a quary, lake etc?
    You can teach monkies to fly better than that....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Truman View Post
    I was amazed to see that as many as 600 were built, why was so much effort put into an obvious loser when resources could have been put into it's contemporary, the worlds apart Mosquito, instead, it smacks of political intrigue. It couldn't even be compared to the usefullness of it's predessesor, the Whitley and wasn't much faster either.
    If any aircraft should be confined to history and forgotten about, it has to be the Albemarle, lets confine ourselves to supporting better causes and send the surviving bits off to the smelter, the cash might pay to ressurect something more worthy of reconstructing.
    Hi Peter,

    Its easy for us to comment on the success/failure of a type 60 years after it went out of service. With hindsight, yes I agree much resources were probably allocated to the less worthy types, but the Albemarle still represents an interesting project for an individual to progress. If a cockpit is eventually put together then it still represents a memorial to those who served in them.

    The fact that 600 were made, still makes it a relatively numerous type that is now extinct. (Thats 200 more made than the Hornet BTW, and although the Hornet is much lauded and desired by many in comparison, it still had its faults. Numerous undercarriage failures, and a fuselage construction not ideal for its intended operational theatre of use in the Far East.)
    David Collins
    The de Havilland Hornet Project

    .... and Stirling Project Member!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Truman View Post
    I was amazed to see that as many as 600 were built, why was so much effort put into an obvious loser when resources could have been put into it's contemporary, the worlds apart Mosquito, instead, it smacks of political intrigue. It couldn't even be compared to the usefullness of it's predessesor, the Whitley and wasn't much faster either.
    If any aircraft should be confined to history and forgotten about, it has to be the Albemarle, lets confine ourselves to supporting better causes and send the surviving bits off to the smelter, the cash might pay to ressurect something more worthy of reconstructing.

    First of all I will begin by saying that what one man wishes to do with his time or money is down to himself. I see a lot of projects on the forum and ask why but ultimately its not my money or time been ploughed into the said project. Maybe people think the same of my projects, thankfully as yet no one has derided them. The ultmate decision is down to the individual.

    Personally I think you are a little wide of the mark with your comments about the aircraft been a loser. Maybe money & materials could have been better used on other aircraft and as to why so many were built when it was an underperformer is a perfectly valid debate.

    But the fact of the matter is that although it was a failure as a medium bomber the type did prove usefull once converted for general and special transport duties albeit possibly only as a result of its failure in its intended role.

    The aircraft took part in actions such as Normandy and the assault on Arnhem during Operation Market Garden so to suggest that the remaining parts should be sent to the smelter is wrong and I would suggest that a cockpit section of this type is a worthy memorial to those who did an important job that wasnt in a Lanc or a Spitfire etc etc.
    Last edited by Phantom Phixer; 30th July 2008 at 13:38.

  18. #18
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    Hi Cees

    I am in contact with David - he is away from his computer hence the lack or a reply to your email - I know he is very keen to communicate with you - don't worry!

    If you can email me your number maybe I can pass it onto him and he can phone you.

    Although I prefer not to comment on other peoples projects, he continues to make progress with the cockpit rebuild and has just sent out another of his Albemarle Project newsletters - the project is very much alive and kicking.

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by Cees Broere View Post
    Hi Nick,

    Only the basic framework? Well that must be a hell of a job then. I
    have a Albemarle throttle box (the remains of one at least) and
    I was contacted by mr Stansfield and sent him some pics but haven't
    heard anything since. I understand that the quarry had more aircraft
    remains and that Alan H knows more

    Cheers

    Cees

  19. #19
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    Elliot, It would be interesting to see the newsletters! Just wondering if any drawings exist to help with parts etc for his poject?
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitley_Project View Post
    Hi Cees

    I am in contact with David - he is away from his computer hence the lack or a reply to your email - I know he is very keen to communicate with you - don't worry!

    If you can email me your number maybe I can pass it onto him and he can phone you.

    Although I prefer not to comment on other peoples projects, he continues to make progress with the cockpit rebuild and has just sent out another of his Albemarle Project newsletters - the project is very much alive and kicking.

    Cheers
    Elliott,

    PM sent

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  21. #21
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    http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/sho...ight=Albemarle

    Hmm seems like I ask the same question regularly. In my defence, so we can track any progress or unearth new information

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  22. #22
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    I don't quite see where you are coming from with your question Peter?
    Surely the Albemarle wasn't in the same ball park as the Mossie as a type at all, more in the Wellington / Beaufort camp in size and performance.
    I thought it was quite a valiant attempt at producing a type with mixed construction, at a time when alloys were needed elsewhere, and incorporating a tricycle undercarriage.
    600 dosen't seem a huge number by war time production standards, and its subsequent service failure as a medium bomber must be seen against the advances of its day.
    It did go on to see very usefull work in the glider tug, paratroop and special transport roles.

    Wyvernfan, my point about the tailwheel, I have a tail bumper wheel from a Victor, I wouldn't advertise that on Ebay as a Victor tailwheel.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitley_Project View Post
    Hi Cees

    I am in contact with David - he is away from his computer hence the lack or a reply to your email - I know he is very keen to communicate with you - don't worry!

    If you can email me your number maybe I can pass it onto him and he can phone you.

    Although I prefer not to comment on other peoples projects, he continues to make progress with the cockpit rebuild and has just sent out another of his Albemarle Project newsletters - the project is very much alive and kicking.

    Cheers
    Hi - I was not inferring that there had been no progress - I simply have not heard of any - I see why you do not comment on other peoples projects now - its so easy for your comments to be quoted & it looks like you are putting them down.

    I know David well & can say his enthusiasm for the project is certainly genuine - he saved the cockpit sections when the museum closed and no-one else showed any interest - much of the other Albermarle material they had ended up being scrapped - it was not easy for him as he really didnt have the room & I helped him transport and shoe-horn the pieces into his tandem garage & dismantle (un-bolt) the second section to fit it under cover. I do know he has spent a lot of time gathering smaller parts and obtaining copies of any drawings available, though I understand that the lack of any remains of the outer shell of the cockpit section is a major problem. I did hear that his recent foray to the quarry yielded subtantial parts of the fuselage loading door -which I know he was quite exited about!
    Regards - Nick - Lancashire UK

    "Ex tenebris Lux"

    L.A.I.T.

    North West Aircraft Wrecks

    Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide

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