RAF North Luffenham – Bloodhound Roll?

This photograph is the last one taken of Radar A.D. No 10 Mk1 Serial Number 111 lying derelict in 2018 out on the airfield at RAF North Luffenham. that had been converted to RAF standard Type 86. The cabin in the background was just a shell and can’t be identified as even its serial plate had been removed.

Note as seen below the In-Flight Reference and Jamming Assessment Aerials had been have been removed by us in 2014. We them to the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton to be fitted to their original ex-RAF Type 86 Radar Serial Number 104.

Below are a couple of photos I took in 2013 at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton in Suffolk . They show their original ex-RAF Type 86 Serial Number 104 and Mk1 missile during a visit with Pete Harry.

Their missile and Radar can be seen right of centre on their web site.

Now for the questions. What were the roles of North Luffenham for Bloodhound? How did all the Bloodhound kit end up on the airfield?

An ex RAF Regiment officer salvaged parts which thankfully came our way. He was stationed at North Luffenham when they were disposing of the Bloodhound systems. We are aware that the Ground Radio Servicing Centre (GRSC) there provided 3rd Line repair of Bloodhound missile boards but nothing else, not even if they were 3rd Line for LCP and T86 boards. Can anyone please add to the picture for us?

Mike Strange

Work Day 6th August 2022

T86

The refitting of aerial assembly components and fittings is now underway,
the components including waveguide desiccators and synchro covers were
removed for refurbishing and painting. The following series of photos
illustrate several items that have been refitted.

Aerial Assembly Rope Eye (see note below photos)

Covers fitted to Elevation Gear Box

Covers refitted to the various synchro’s and Geneva mechanism
in the Pedestal

Waveguide Desiccator

Note: There are a number of rope eyes on the aerial assembly so it could be steadied and aligned correctly when being lowered into the aerial cage. A modification made after the T86 was put on a tower to enable hoisting. The aerial assembly was originally removed using an A Frame but when the radars went on to towers a U-shaped frame was used, the frame hoisted by a crane, hence the need for steadying ropes. The drawing below shows the aerial hoist in operation.

LCP

The simulator remains serviceable. A project to create a guide to enable
anyone to demonstrate an engagement continues. Progress is slow as it is a
fill in task but the stage has been reached where a target is seen on the
E.C.’s display is progress.

Away from Cosford

Work has started on refurbishing the Pedestal Motor. The motor has been
broken down, cleaned and corrosion treated. Next, priming and a top coat.
Note, the parts shown below include the motor’s brake.

Pedestal Motor Case

Cheers

Pete

Work Day 30th July 2022

T86

All the synchro covers for the elevation gear box and pedestal have been retrieved from storage and now ready for re fitting. Some touch up painting also carried out.

We have the serial number plate from 111 an AD 10 converted to T86 and last used on 25 Sqn Kestrel (later 85F) section at Wyton. The serial plate was recovered from the radar as it lay derelict on the North Luffenham airfield.

The Late David J. Farrar

O.B.E., M.A., C.Eng., F.R.Ae.S., Hon F.I.E.D.

We have just learnt that our Honorary President sadly died at his home in Australia on 16 April 2021.

David was an English engineer who led the Bristol team that developed the Bristol Bloodhound surface-to-air missile, which defended Britain’s nuclear deterrent for many years and was widely sold abroad. His main achievements in cost engineering were confidential until 2000. He saved two companies from bankruptcy, achieved cost reductions of over £1 million, and trained engineers in cost engineering. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_J._Farrar]

David was a superb engineer and had a great deal to say in his latter years about the way the GW business had been run and was enthusiastic about getting the business properly recognised at the Aerospace Bristol museum; sadly he was unsuccessful with the latter. A number of his papers can be found on our web site at https://www.bmpg.org.uk/david_farrar.html

In summary, from our site, his achievements included:

1.    The correct siting of engines on civil aircraft.
2.    Giving staff the skills the project needs.
3.    Faster development through mutual criticism.
4.    Saving the Bristol Aircraft Corporation from bankruptcy.
5.    Last and First.
6.    Becoming Transportable.
7.    Rapid creation of Bloodhound 2.
8.    Joining British Aircraft Corporation.
9.    Creation of the Guided Weapons Division.
10.  Spending of Bloodhound profits.
11.  Origins of the Rapier missile.
12.  On time, on cost.
13.  Cost reductions needed now, available now.
14.  Process Control by digital computer.
15.  Reducing overspent and delayed projects.
16.  Billion pounds cost saving at Rolls Royce Bristol.
17.  Concorde: no buyers, no profit.
18.  Getting Space Shuttle right.
19.  Cost reduction through design.

David really was a one-off in terms of his working life and was also highly enthusiastic, and appreciative, about our project. It should be clear why we asked him to be our figure head ; we are unlikely to be able to replace him.

Mike Strange

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