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Official flight training programs

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NickForder View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 16:27

The copy I have is the Purnell Book Services Ltd book club edition (by arrangement with Peter Davies Ltd), copyright & first published 1976. Doesn't seem to have an ISDN.

 
Tredrey's 'Pilot's Summer' is worth reading too - though it is 1930s.
Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 16:23
Sorry, should have given refs :
 
CFS : Birthplace of Air Power, JWR Taylor, Putnams (1958)
Bleriot : Herald of an Age, Brian A Elliott, Tempus (2000)
Letters from an Early Bird : The Life & Letters of Denys Corbett Wilson 1882-1915, Donal MacCarron, Pen & Sword (2006) - dreadful typos, worse than mine...
 
I'm compiling notes for the Freshfield Centenary schools edcation pack, and just posting sections as i complete them.
Nick 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote askfed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 16:23
Unfortunately a search of the WorldCat library system returned no entries for either the title or the author you mention in the first post of the day ( Pioneer Pilot : The Great Smith Barry who taught the world to fly -- Tedrey, F.D.).  Do you have other info on sources or can you suggest another way to locate that book?  Many thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote askfed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 16:17
Nick,  Is your source for the second post the same as the first?  This is all terrific info and I would like to follow up by getting these sources for myself.  That way you don't have to type the entire contents! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 16:04

Learning to Fly

The early pioneers had to teach themselves to fly machines of their own invention. Soon, however, flying schools were set up by companies hoping to sell aeroplanes. Among the first to set up a school was Louis Bleriot, the Frenchman who had flown first across the English Channel in July 1909. In addition, the brochure for the Bleriot XI monoplanes included two pages on details of who to teach yourself to fly. By 1911 this had been expanded to three pages, presumably in consequence of the 50 horsepower Gnome rotary engine replacing the 25 horsepower fan Anzani.

Two pilots at Freshfield owned Bleriot monoplanes. Gerald Higginbotham taught himself to fly, using the brochure instructions for guidance. Henry Gregory Melly learned to fly at the Bleriot School at Pau, near the Pyrenees. Presumably he learned to fly in the Winter of 1909/1910 as Pau only operated during the Winter months. In the Spring weather Bleriot operated an alternative school at Etampes, some 60 km from Paris.

The Bleriot School provided a four-stage training programme :

Stage 1          Learning about the engine and controls while the aircraft was stationary on the ground.

Stage 2          Taxiing the aeroplane in a straight line using the rudder only. Aircraft with                        shortened wings and low powered engines, called ‘Penguins’ were used to                     prevent accidental take offs (without an instructor on board).

Stage 3          Taking off to a height of between one and six metres, and landing again, all in a straight line (again, without an instructor on board).

Stage 4          Take the French Aero Club Test. This consisted of flying three circles of 1 km each, all on different days. Later these circles were increased to a radius of 5 km, and landings had to be made within 150 metres of marked point.

The British Royal Aero Club Certificate tests were similar. RC Fenwick was awarded Ticket 35 and CC Paterson Ticket 38 on 29 November 1911. The tests they completed at Freshfield consisted of three flights, each of 3 miles around a circular course, all of which ended with an engine off landing 150 feet from a marked spot. Later the test was extended to consist of two distance flights of at least 5 km (3 miles 185 yards), as five figure ‘8’s around a marked course, and one altitude flight of at least 50m (164 feet). All three flights were to end with an engine off landing to within 50 m (164 feet) of a marked spot.

Melly opened the Liverpool Flying School at Waterloo in 1911 and taught using the Bleriot method.

When the Royal Flying Corps, forerunner to the Royal Air Force, was formed on 1 April 1912 it consisted of a Military Wing, a Naval Wing and a Central Flying School (CFS). The first CFS course started on 17 August 1912 and was completed on 5 December. Ten days’ leave were included in the course. Two standards of pilots were taught. Those who had yet to obtain their Royal Aero Club Certificate undertook an elementary course to get them to that standard. This consisted of flying straights and circuits, with the instructor occasionally allowing the pupil to take control until he was considered safe to fly by himself (solo). Solo flights were then made, circuiting the aerodrome, and making frequent landings until the Certificate tests could be taken.

 

Those who had Royal Aero Club Certificates were awarded £75 as compensation for the expense of their flying lessons. £75 was soon adopted as the standard charge for a course of flying lessons in a civilian school.   

 

Lectures and practical courses were examined, with a 50% pass mark in each subject and 60% overall. The written tests were on the theory of flight, internal combustion engines, formations of troops and aerial reconnaissance. Practical exams were on flying, map and compass reading, and engine maintenance.

 

Initially training aeroplanes did not have dual controls and so the pupil had to sit behind the instructor and reach over to ‘get the feel’ of the controls by placing no more than two fingers on the top of the control column (joystick). When the pupil moved to the front seat the instructor would have to communicate with him by hand signal.

 

Flying training in Britain was improved greatly from 1917 when Robert Smith Barry was appointed commanding officer of the No 1 Reserve Squadron at Gosport. He used trained instructors to teach pupils how to stall aircraft, recover from spins, make sharp turns and take off and land crosswind. A decision was made in November 1917 to use the Avro 504 as the standard trainer, and Gosport became the first of two schools to train instructors. The standards for flying training developed by Smith Barry and his staff remain the basis of flying training today.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 13:57
Inspecteur des Ecoles, Paris
Commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel (this was equivalent to the RFC Training Division, commanded by a Brigadier-General), who had beneath him six departments :
1. Stores and Reapair Depot
2. Technical School for mecahnics
3. Technical school for pilots
4. Eleven flying schools
5. Gunnery school
6. Pool of trained pilots ready for the front
 
A single flying school was the size of an RFC Training Brigade. It resembled a planet with six satellites.
 
In the centre, on a large aerodrome, were the offices, living quarters, mainetenance and reapair workshops. The smaller flying fields were three or four miles away. Instructors and pupils flew the machines out each morning and the handling parties went in lorries. The day's training was done 'in the country', and everybody returned home in the veneing.
 
The two schools visited were Pau and Avord. The basic training pattern which was followed was :
 
133 machines continually in the air
133 machines in reserve
133 machines in workshops
Total 399
 
Each machine had two pupils alloted to it, one in the air and the other ready to fly directly the machine landed.
 
At Pau the grand total of machines were serviced by 750 skilled and partly-skilled mechanics, 455 unskilled labourers (Tunisians and Cochin-Chinese) for swinging propellers, moving machines, etc, and 150 women - 10.2 per machine flying.
 
Avord, which was larger, had 180 machines continually flying, and their personnel averaged 11.1 per machine in the air.
 
% of 'machines constantly in the air' smashed daily
Pau - 12.5%
Training Brigades, RFC - 9.75%
Gosport - 3.11%
 
The French had five flying schools only. Why did the British have 44 ?
 
Avord - 721 aeroplanes, 12 typewriters, 82 clerks
Southern Training Brigade RFC - 652 aeroplanes, 110 typewriters, 347 clerks
 
Source : Pioneer Pilot : The Great Smith Barry who taught the world to fly - FD Tedrey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dogzbody Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2010 at 19:24
When did the practice of reclaiming the £75 fee for civilian school flying instruction from the War Office cease?
2nd Lieut Stanley Apling had completed a three month course at Oxford University priorhis posting to the Stagg Lane Civilian Flying School at Hendon in January 1918.
During this course he was billited with the family of a local Doctor in Colindale Avenue.
As Stanley was already serving with the RFC he would not have paid the Stagg Lane School a fee.
The above practice had ceased (in Stanley's case) before the formation of the Royal Air Force in April that year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2010 at 08:48
The Naval and Military Press items should be available via Amazon, which I think you can order via this website ?
 
Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote askfed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2010 at 21:57
Wow!  It's been fun tracking down those books and articles.  Thank you again, Nick.  The ones I could find are very helpful.  I am having some difficulty finding any of the reprinted manuals. Would you be able to point me in a specific direction for those.  I am not as familiar with the British military publishing world as I am the U.S.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2010 at 12:20
Pioneer Pilot by FD Tedrey is a biog of Smith-Barry
Observers and Navigators, CG Jefford, Airlife
CFS : Birthplace of Airpower, JWR Taylor, Putnams
Netheravon Airfield Camp 1913, Len Campbell
Critch ! The Memoirs of a Briadier General, AC Critchley
Air Pictorial ran a short article on Gosport
C&CI Journal (and Air-Britain ?) ran an article by Ray Sturtivant on British Training Units (see also RAF Flying, Training & Support Units, Air-Britain, and Flying Units of the RAF, Alan Lake, Airlife)
C&CI Journal Logbook had an article on criteria used to select aircrew
Naval & Military Press reprint manuals for teaching air gunnery & fighting tactics etc 
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