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Member postings for thomas oliver 1

Here is a list of all the postings thomas oliver 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Dambusters Raid
13/06/2019 20:35:57

Not much seems to be recorded about the history of 617 Sq. after the Dams raid. I may have touched on this before but it will bear repeating. ( My memory is not so hot now) Just before the end of the war with Japan, 617 Sq. were sent out to Salbani in West Bengal India, where I was stationed working on Liberator bombers on 159 Sq. The intention was for 617 to support the American B29 Squadrons in bombing Japan from Okinawa. As an engine fitter I had had previous experience on Merlin engines so I was moved onto 617 Sq. Up to the dropping of the atom bomb the aircraft were mainly involved in navigational practice around northern India and bombing practice. The interesting thing was that the aircraft were painted white on top and black underneath, not camouflaged.. They were also accompanied by 9 Sq. My information is that the City of Lincoln aircraft of the BBMF was originally a spare aircraft of 9 Sq, which was never sent out to India. I once saw on television a shot of aircraft WVS actually on a raid over Germany. I flew around India in this aircraft and have one photo showing it at Poona near Bombay. T.Oliver.

Thread: How to build an engine test stand
24/01/2019 22:33:32

Sorry - 4 springs.

24/01/2019 22:32:06

I made one of these stands from alloy and found it tricky to adjust. I counterbored the 4 lower holes, drilled and tapped them a bit deeper and fitted slightly longer Allen screws. The counterbores allowed the fitting of two coil springs which stabilised the assembly and made adjustment much easier. .

Thread: Famous model flyers
19/01/2019 13:12:10

Ayton Senna was a friend of Hanno Prettner and one year Hanno was flying at North Weald. Flying was suspended because of rain and as I went indoors Ayton was standing beside Prettners model. I engaged him in conversation and at one stage asked him which required the most skill - driving in a grand prix or RC model flying. He said that because he was so often in the lead it could be a bit boring driving and that he reckoned he probably got more out of flying remotely to " do the book" than his driving.

Thread: If you love the Typhoon
05/12/2018 22:40:21

During WW2 I was stationed at RAF Fighter Leader School at Millfield, Northumberland. Although I never worked on the Typhoons, I was allocated 5 fuel injected Spitfire MK5s to service - Yes! Fuel injected. I worked on the next flight to the Typhoons which apart from their FLS use were also used to practice rocket firing with dummy rockets. I do not recollect ever seeing any aircraft with engine trouble, but I saw many in trouble landing with burst tyres, which were I believe slick. Maybe the Sabre trouble was like many reports - a bit unfounded. I was sitting one day on the flight hut steps having a cuppa when a Typhon on landing approach was given a red flare as a little Magister was about to take off. The Typhee pilot must have banged open his throttle and the engine cut dead. The approach passed over a large wood then a river and he just went down into the wood. We could see the trees part as he shot along the deck. A brave LAC from our flight jumped on his bike, pedalled to the river and swam across somehow. From what he later told me, the fuselage without wings was hanging upside down as was the pilot. He took out the axe provided on the aircraft and chopped the pilot free, who was unscathed apart from a broken collarbone. He possessed a little Austin 7 car and for the next week or two could be seen driving around the unit with one hand, and his other in a NAZI salute. I later once had to fly in a Dominie to Manston in Kent as ground crew to deliver a spare aircrew, and whilst there I saw why the injected Merlins I worked on were never used. There was flight of strange aircraft there - they were Meteors and the jet age had arrived, although we were told nothing about anything ever.

Thread: Pro shaft thread size
01/07/2018 13:14:36

A metric 1,25 mm coarse pitch thread is near enough 20 tpi and will not fit at all. A 1.00 mm Metrc Fine thread will be about 25 tpi and is nearer to 5/16 in but 8mm is a good few thousandths bigger than 5/16 anyway. Most Far Eastern engines were made with UNF prop shaft threads to cater for the large American market. I would think the Thunder Tiger shaft is what it says - 5/16 in UNF and the DL|E what it says as 8 mm x 1.00 mm pitch.

Thread: Engine test stands
23/05/2018 21:40:21

I made a copy of this type of test stand and found it fiddly to mount the engines. I modified mine by counterboring the holes in the bottom blocks for about 1/2in, then fitted suitable short springs in the counterbores. It works well and can hold the blocks in any position without having to constantly adjust the screws. Modolit

Thread: The plane that saved Britain
16/04/2018 15:00:50

The later mustangs were fitted with American made Packard Merlins, and with drop tanks could escort bombers to Europe targets and back.

15/04/2018 20:02:45

When war ended in 1945, ground crew of my Squadron - 159, were ordered to run up the engines of half the Liberator bombers without oil until they seized up, then attach chains to the U/C and drag them outwards with the petrol bowsers,. and they were then just abandoned as they lay.on their bellies. We were then flown in the remnants to a new unit at Poona to work on transport Liberators. The remainder of the bombers were I believe given or sold to the Indian Airforce, and I have a list of them somewhere. In 1947, the last job I ever did in the RAF was when I was sent to Jaipur in India. There lined up were hundreds of Mustangs and yellow Harvards. I was allocated about 20 Mustangs and given a sledge hammer and ordered to drop the oil filters to remove the oil, remove the cowls and batter the engines about a bit then do the same in the cockpit. then I was to run up the engines until seized. These were brand new machines. I wonder how much this little lot would fetch today if put up for sale. It has always grieved me to know how these lovely aircraft were butchered. I have read that the day the First world war ended , pretty much the same thing had happened. The Sopwith factory just completely stopped production and left the half completed aircraft standing abandoned.

Thread: POWS
10/04/2018 21:16:35

Another sequel to the aftermath of the Burma Railway story. The C in C of the prisoners was a Colonel Twomey I believe. He had had reasonable treatment by the Japanese C in C. When the war ended the Colonel went to the Japanese counterpart and told him that he had decided to release him to make his way home to Japan, This officer was so impressed by his treatment that he became a devout Christian. Years later he travelled all the way to Britain only to find that the Colonel had died a while before hand. T.O.

09/04/2018 19:10:55

It never occurred to me - "Liberators" !!! A book has already been written about the what occurred - I have a copy somewhere. T.O

Thread: The plane that saved Britain
08/04/2018 19:52:59

While serving on various Spitfire equipped training units in Northumberland during WW2 , I strapped in many pilots for their first flight in a Spit. On landing, without exception they all proclaimed what a wonderful flight they had had. Although the Merlin was a good engine, my later experience with Pratt and Whitney twin row radials made me realise what a tremendously reliable engine they were. . Have you seen a picture of a Spitfire with the engine cowlings removed. You will note the engine tucked behind a proliferation of tubing, pipes etc and you might then realise what a b----ger it was to work on. It required many special spanners with which we as fitters were never equipped. The starter motor was located vertically close to the crankcase and was held on by six studs and nuts which required a socket with a very long extension and fitted with a universal coupling, which we did not have, and had to make up ourselves. The spark plugs had an RF shield sleeve and likewise for which we also had to make a special spanner. One newcomer in our hanger decide to use the leaf spring off a truck, and after marking out a neat spanner, he used up about 4 hacksaw blades before realising he was getting nowhere and gave up. It was deliberately left lying for any unwary new bloke to finish it off and became the source of much amusement at their futile efforts. . Rolls Royce did in fact issue complete chests of these tools to maintenance units, but the NCOs kept them for their specific use. Tom Oliver.

Thread: POWS
08/04/2018 16:07:02

You will all probably have seen the film- Bridge over the River Kwai, but very few know of the fate of half of the prisoners, which I personally think was one of the greatest tragedies of World War11. When the railway finally was finished the Japs separated the prisoners into 2 groups - the fittest and the unfit. The unfit were sent overland to a prisoner of war camp on the borders of Vietnam. The fit were put on board 3 ships on the Burmese coast and were to be taken to Japan as slave labourers. The ships discovered that they were being tracked by a submarine so hastily returned to port. The prisoners were then taken overland and were shipped off across the China sea, but were set upon by an American submarine which torpedoed the lot, not knowing their cargo. So these poor souls who had endured starvation, dysentery, cholera and so on finally met their doom by drowning. Near t he end of the war the Japs abandoned the prisoner camps without food and medical supplies. The RAF South East Asia mounted a supply dropping operation to relieve this situation In which I took part, and I flew with 159 Squadron to Ubon - the very camp which housed the survivors of the a Burma Railway. The aircraft went into a circuit and dropped their parachute supplies, then I had to precariously move along the exposed catwalk to grab a bomb rack and kick out the bales of clothing, boots and other supplies, fed out to me by a mate which took a few more circuits. Down below the prisoners were waving and cheering, and I have always had deep satisfaction at taking part in such an operation. Tom Oliver.

Thread: DC3
06/04/2018 21:24:59


​ In 1946, I was attached to 232 Squadron RAF Mauripur, Karachi. servicing Dakotas. I have tried to attach a photo of the line up but can't manage, although it might be viewable in albums. They are standing not on concrete but miles and miles of 6ft wide roofing felting overlapped about 6 in and laid on the sand. The aircraft had to taxi always in a direction to blow the felt down. I was on duty one evening ushering in a visiting kite and the pilot began to ignore my torch signals, and almost ran me down. He got out and proceeded to try to place me on a charge, but the Officer in Charge of the flight and a mere Pilot Officer had witnessed the occasion and told the Pilot - a Wing Commander in no uncertain terms that he was at fault and not I. Later I was stationed at Poona near Bombay, and a visiting Dakota landed and when the steps were installed, out stepped Air Marshall Sir Claud Auchinlech, followed by Field Marshall Montgomery. I had to service the aircraft and when I entered to run it up, I was not surprised at the shear luxury of the interior, as my own regular aircraft was a modified transport Liberator bomber which had been commissioned for Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser - C in C SEAC. It was also fitted out the same with a luxuriuos cabin with bunk bed and desk. These big wigs certainly knew how to treat themselves during the austerity of war..Tom Oliver.

Thread: P.A.W. 1.49 plain bearing - can't adjust compression
17/12/2017 20:25:52

Steve, Most engines have a gasket under the back cover, and usually one under the cylinder liner, as these are the places where air leakage can cause erratic performance. It takes supreme machining to get an airtight fit without gaskets, If you go to the PAW place, check this out. If you have to make a gasket, use thin strong brown paper. I use a pair of compasses with the lead replaced by a tiny sliver of scalpel blade to make mine.. Just cut a hole in a square piece and fit. Then trim around with a sharp scalpel to get a perfect fit.

17/12/2017 16:34:39

Troubleshooting is done by process of elimination. Having needle valve trouble, I would suggest testing the needle valve by closing it off then blowing down the fuel tube. It should be positively blocked off. Keep up some pressure and slowly open the needle. Within about one turn you should detect a slight release of pressure then a gradual release of pressure in the next turn and a half. Most diesels should go from off to full flow in about a two and a half turns at the most. The angle of the taper determines this. Short taper = critical adjustment. Too long a taper and the needle will probably fall off its thread. Other factor to check for is possibility of air leakage around gaskets. Check the condition and fit of all these. The number one factor in a good starter and runner is compression. If this good and bouncy, and the porting is as original, the engine should positively start and run ok if these other factors are sorted out.

13/12/2017 20:37:43

A method I used in past was to introduce a wee bit of thicker oil like motor engine oil through the exhaust and flick over with a largish prop. Saved dismantling the engine.

Thread: Thread sizes for Amco .87
06/12/2017 20:20:46

AMCO 0,87cc threads are both 4BA - measured from my engine. T.O

Thread: DC Darts Puzzle
05/10/2017 19:34:34

Re DC Dart, DC engines all used the same size NVA and most used 4BA compression screw. Few British diesels used 5BA and a lot used 2BA. Measurement on two different tests reports , which are to exact scale, seems to indicate 4BA as do the photographs. I would think 4BA for the Dart would be right.. T.O

Thread: Model engine design books ?
06/08/2017 16:40:11

I have been doing casting for myself and as a technology teacher for sixty years, starting at college, and got off on the right foot straight away, because as student, I obtained a free pack of all the necessary stuff. from a specialist firm. I have watched a lot of videos on YouTube but almost everybody omits on or two important steps. There is one called MYFORD BOY who is pretty good.

Since you will need castings to start with, I will refer to one or two notes on these.

Use good Mansfield red sand if possible and do not use oil bonded sand as it burns and you will have to dispose of most of it. Casting sand is a mixture of sand and clay and could be made from fine play sand and clay well blended. The trick is to add only enough water until a squeezed handful will just break into two when released.

You can sprinkle parting powder using an open weave cloth bag. Talcum powder can be used for this.

Next obtain a cooking seive - not too fine. Use it to completely cover the pattern first then you can chuck in sand and ram it willy-nilly. This is the most important tip of all and omitted most frequently. It gives a much superior surface finish.

Casting boxes about 8in x 10ins and 3 ins deep each can easily be made and wooden taper pins for runner and risers. A tiny trowel made from tin plate is useful for cutting gates.

I can send you further notes on simple metal melting to help if you wish and let me have your email address.

I have made a lot of petrol and diesel engines in the past, but as I am now well into my nineties, I'm afraid my memory has faded a lot, so you should be able to get your information from the sources suggested The Alex Whittaker one is good, as he also was a novice starting up.. Regards, Tom Oliver.

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