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Scrapping of Short Sperrin

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  • Sabrejet
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2010
    • 1671

    #21
    Nice spot! I have a soft spot for types such as the Sperrin. Shame it didn't survive.

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    • NEEMA
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Feb 2013
      • 210

      #22
      Its a Sperrin of course ,almost certainly VX158 left over at Hatfield from De Havilland Gyron trials and written off in 1958.

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      • feroxeng
        Rank 3 Registered User
        • Jun 2018
        • 18

        #23
        This was VX158. I photographed it at Hatfield in September 1961, but I don't know when it was eventually scrapped. It was based with DH engines 'over the other side' at Hatfield. The second Sperrin VX161 was intact at Sydenham (Belfast Harbour / George Best these days) on 10th May 1958, when I clocked it. It survived a bit longer, but I have no accurate date, as it was just something that was 'around'. I do have an engine blade from it, however. I've never heard of there being a third one, although a structural test specimen might have been made, but again I don't remember any other large bits appearing.

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        • ericmunk
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Apr 2009
          • 1711

          #24
          Flight, January 21st, 1955 pages 79-84 details the design & build of the Sperrin. It says three airframes were produced. Two fliers, and one which was used for fuselage pressure testing and wing load tests. Would make sense, too. to do. However, on closer reading it suggests the test airframe was never fitted with engines and undercarriage, so would rule that out in the movie.

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          • NEEMA
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Feb 2013
            • 210

            #25
            Reading Chris Barnes's Short's Putnam, I note he uses the term "Scrapped" for VX158 at Hatfield in 1958 and also for VX161 at Sydenham " early 1957". I suspect that "Struck off charge" (S.O.C.) would perhaps have been less ambiguous.
            Last edited by NEEMA; 10th October 2018, 08:50.

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            • NEEMA
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Feb 2013
              • 210

              #26
              P.S. Here's mine ( 1:144 scale though!)
              Last edited by NEEMA; 10th October 2018, 08:52.

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              • ozplane
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Mar 2004
                • 1613

                #27
                Slight thread drift but what was the point of the Sperrin. Was it a fallback in case the V-bombers failed?

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                • steve_p
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Aug 2005
                  • 659

                  #28
                  The Ashton can be seen next to the Sperrin at 8:18.

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                  • feroxeng
                    Rank 3 Registered User
                    • Jun 2018
                    • 18

                    #29
                    Following on from Ericmunk, structural test specimens were rarely completed as aeroplanes, I don't believe. So, whilst they resembled the aircraft in question they usually had a lot of additional ironwork to carry the loads into the structure under test. Examples of this where you can see the 'add-ons' can be seen, for example, on the TSR2 fuselage at Brooklands.

                    The Sperrin was designed as a back-stop in the event of the other V-bombers not making the grade. Shorts, I believe, built the prototypes in production jigs, i.e. anticipating a follow-on order that never transpired. By all accounts it did was it was meant to do, but with the straight wing would have been slower than the others. So although the two aircraft were around in the late 50s, by that time the decision not to put it into production had been taken a while back, so there was no longer any need for structural fatigue testing to validate a long in-service life. So hence the structural test specimen would have been scrapped earlier.

                    Comment

                    • Meddle
                      Rank Bajin.
                      • Sep 2014
                      • 1626

                      #30
                      Do any relics of the Sperrin exist? Google has not returned any information.

                      Comment

                      • Mothminor
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Dec 2012
                        • 956

                        #31
                        There was an engine from a Sperrin at Strathallan late 70s or early 80s. First I'd ever heard of the type.

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                        • HALCYONMAN
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jun 2010
                          • 90

                          #32
                          Thank you all for the comments received so far, for someone who is not as expert aviation educated or involved as some members I am surprised I started this highly interesting thread!

                          Comment

                          • Graham Boak
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Nov 2008
                            • 925

                            #33
                            Perhaps closer to say that the Sperrin was an interim attempt at a jet heavy bomber because it was recognised that the V-bombers would take a long time. It was always intended to precede them however successful they turned out to be, but Edwards at Vickers offered the superior (to the Sperrin) Valiant in a shorter timescale than the two V-bomber candidates.

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                            • dhfan
                              Still cantankerous
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 2798

                              #34
                              But, it could have been useful as an engine test aircraft. With the spars running between the engines, there was nothing in the way so literally anything could be made to fit.
                              As it turned out, AFAIK, it was only used for the Gyron, which probably couldn't have been fitted to any other airframe of the era.
                              That ended up as a waste of resources. Despite being hugely powerful by the standards of the day, it wasn't a very good engine.

                              Comment

                              • l.garey
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Feb 2006
                                • 1927

                                #35
                                Iain43: I think in fact that at 8:17 you see the Sperrin AND the Ashton. Look like a Hastings (or Tudor?)and a Lightning at 8:13.
                                Last edited by l.garey; 12th October 2018, 13:47.
                                Laurence

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                                • IAIN43
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2012
                                  • 26

                                  #36
                                  Got it. At 8.17 , what I thought was a Comet to the left of the Ashton does, indeed, look like the Sperrin. What put me off was the dihedral tailplane and what looked like the lowered flaps of a Comet. Well spotted. Could the Hastings/Tudor at 8:13 possibly be Hermes VX234 ?

                                  Comment

                                  • 91Regal
                                    dastardly, dangerous
                                    • Oct 2005
                                    • 760

                                    #37
                                    Why was the Ashton at Hatfield? I can find no reference to it being used as a test bed for DH engines, although it was certainly used for others. I remember the Sperrin flying around the St. Albans area, but have no recollection of seeing the Ashton.
                                    ​​​​​
                                    plain old vanilla

                                    Comment

                                    • l.garey
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Feb 2006
                                      • 1927

                                      #38
                                      Iain43: It could indeed be a Hermes prototype. Some interesting stuff at Hatfield in those days.
                                      Laurence

                                      Comment

                                      • John Aeroclub
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jul 2006
                                        • 2756

                                        #39
                                        There is definitely an Aston and a Hastings (with the cargo door open) in the background.

                                        John

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                                        • Meddle
                                          Rank Bajin.
                                          • Sep 2014
                                          • 1626

                                          #40
                                          I'd never heard of the engine at Strathallan before. Was it a Gyron or an Avon?

                                          Comment

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