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Info req: Altitude record breakers Michael Randrup and Walter Shirley



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 1st 04, 07:32 AM
Krztalizer
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Default Info req: Altitude record breakers Michael Randrup and Walter Shirley

I have a pair of mysteries - I recently purchased a pair of crashed Mosquito
photos, labeled only as "Farnborough 1944". I cannot narrow it down more as
the wreckage is practically unidentifiable.

The only clue came as a separate item - its a certificate titled "Diplome de
Record" for a world altitude record flight from 1957. Although there is no
guaranteed connection to the Mossie debris photos, these three items came
together, so its a possibility.

The certificate commemorates a record ascent to 21,430 meters by an English
Electric Canberra B. II, WK163, crewed by Michael Randrup and his observer,
Walter Shirley, on "28 Aout (?) 1957". The location is either Suton or Luton
aerodrome. The certificate has begun to fade, beginning with the signers, the
president of the FAI and HR Gillman, the Secretary General of the FAI.

Do these gents still exist? I would be greatly interested to discover if
either of them were involved in the rather grim looking Mosquito crash.

Thanks for any help you can give.
v/r
Gordon
====(A+C====
USN SAR

Its always better to lose -an- engine, not -the- engine.

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  #2  
Old September 1st 04, 05:16 PM
Dave Kearton
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Krztalizer" wrote in message
...
| I have a pair of mysteries - I recently purchased a pair of crashed
Mosquito
| photos, labeled only as "Farnborough 1944". I cannot narrow it down more
as
| the wreckage is practically unidentifiable.
|
| The only clue came as a separate item - its a certificate titled "Diplome
de
| Record" for a world altitude record flight from 1957. Although there is
no
| guaranteed connection to the Mossie debris photos, these three items came
| together, so its a possibility.
|
| The certificate commemorates a record ascent to 21,430 meters by an
English
| Electric Canberra B. II, WK163, crewed by Michael Randrup and his
observer,
| Walter Shirley, on "28 Aout (?) 1957". The location is either Suton or
Luton
| aerodrome. The certificate has begun to fade, beginning with the signers,
the
| president of the FAI and HR Gillman, the Secretary General of the FAI.
|
| Do these gents still exist? I would be greatly interested to discover if
| either of them were involved in the rather grim looking Mosquito crash.
|
| Thanks for any help you can give.
| v/r
| Gordon
| ====(A+C====
| USN SAR
|
| Its always better to lose -an- engine, not -the- engine.
|



Hi Gordon,


I'll post the pics in abpa in a couople of minutes....






Cheers


Dave Kearton


  #3  
Old September 2nd 04, 06:35 AM
Gernot Hassenpflug
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"Krztalizer" == Krztalizer writes:

Krztalizer The certificate commemorates a record ascent to 21,430
Krztalizer meters by an English Electric Canberra B. II, WK163,
Krztalizer crewed by Michael Randrup and his observer, Walter
Krztalizer Shirley, on "28 Aout (?) 1957". The location is
Krztalizer either Suton or Luton aerodrome. The certificate has
Krztalizer begun to fade, beginning with the signers, the
Krztalizer president of the FAI and HR Gillman, the Secretary
Krztalizer General of the FAI.

Aout (with an accent) is French for August. Sutton or Lutton perhaps?

--
G Hassenpflug * IJN & JMSDF equipment/history fan
  #4  
Old September 2nd 04, 08:34 AM
Krztalizer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Aout (with an accent) is French for August. Sutton or Lutton perhaps?


Appears to be Luton. What follows is what I have gathered off the net in the
past 24 hours:

The certificate commemorates a record ascent to 21,430 meters by an early
experimental jet known as an English Electric Canberra B. II, serial number
WK163. This modified cold-war bomber was crewed by Michael Randrup and his
observer, Walter Shirley, on 28 Aug 1957.

The Canberra bomber rolled off the production line, then diverted to
Napier and modified to carry a Twin Scorpion rocket motor under the tail. This
modification was intended to explore the high altitude potential of the
Canberra, as well as the usefulness of the rocket motor for short-field
takeoffs during combat takeoffs.
Napier built several advanced powerplants through the war years and
continued into the jet age. During the mid 1950s, Napier also worked on
projects involving rocket-assisted takeoffs for heavily loaded RAF warplanes.

WK163 made its rocket ride into the record books on 28 August 1957.
There are several websites devoted to this particular aircraft as it holds a
similar place in British aviation history as Chuck Yeager's X-1. The Canberra
was fitted with a Napier Double Scorpion "NScD1/2" rocket motor, soaring to
70,310 feet. After the series of flights up to the record altitude, it
returned to Napier, where its rocket motors were literally ripped out of the
fuselage. Unlike any other X-plane from the past fifty years WK163 is still
flying high, participating in dozens of airshows and events around Europe. Its
record-breaking commemorative red scorpion on the nose has been removed, and it
now is painted to look like a more typical Canberra bomber.

For the feat, Michael Randrup was presented the 1957 Derry and
Richards Memorial Trophy for professional test pilots. Michael Randrup worked
for Napier rockets as a test pilot and had to be a highly qualified military
pilot to have be chosen for such a flight.

The location of the flight was Luton aerodrome. The certificate has
begun to fade, beginning with the signers, the president of the FAI and HR
Gillman, the Secretary General of the FAI.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Excerpt from Les Bywaters great Canberra tribute site:

"Delivered to the RAF in 1955, this B.2 went almost immediately to Armstrong
Siddley at Bitteswell for installation of Sapphire Sa 7s and then on to
Napier's works at Luton Airport. At Napier's, the Double Scorpion was fitted
into the rear of the bomb-bay. This rocket motor was being developed as a
power-booster for the English Electric Co's P.1 (the prototype Lightning).
After its record breaking flight, a red Scorpion was painted on WK163's nose as
well as details of the altitude record."

"A fairly varied career followed in research flying with its transferr to BS
Filton where it was used for testing the short and long life Viper. In 1959
WK163 was again transferred, this time to Radar Research Establishment for
infra-red linescan development. Then WK163 really "came apart". At Pershore in
1968, B.6 wings and engines were fitted. In 1969, the original nose was fitted
to WT327 and WK163 received the nose from B.6 XH568. WK163 was the first Radar
Research Flying Unit Canberra to be handed over to the Royal Aircraft
Establishment Bedford in 1976."

"This aircraft is preserved by "Classic Aircraft Projects" based at Coventry
Airport. CAP maintains it in good flying condition and have hangarage for their
historic Canberra at Bagington (Coventry Airport) courtesy of Air Atlantique.
WK163 usually flies from Coventry in the summer months. CAP carried out a major
refurbishment program during 2002 which meant that WK163 wasn't seen on the UK
air show circuits. In May 2003 however, it flew a classic display in public at
the Coventry Air Day. Gone was the "Scorpion" identity as WK163 took to the air
in the classic grey/black "Bomber Comand 1" colours, as used for Canberras on
their entry into RAF service in 1951. The red lightning flash on the nose could
mean it is intended to be representative of 617 Squadron's insignia."

"WK163 is becoming increasingly popular at air shows, usually flown by David
Piper, this is the only flying "preserved" Canberra in the UK. "


I'll post more as I find it -- but I really wish I could find out more about
Mr. Randrup!

v/r
Gordon



  #5  
Old May 25th 11, 04:42 PM
David Eagles David Eagles is offline
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First recorded activity by AviationBanter: May 2011
Posts: 1
Default

i knew both Mike Randrupp and Walter Shirley though both are now deceased. Mike Randrupp was a test pilot for Napier and when that firm folded he was employed by BAC--later to become British Aerospace-- in a non flying capacity. Walter Shirley also transferred to BAe and worked as a Flight Test engineer on the MRCA (Tornado) programme. I was a Tornado test pilot in the 70's and 80's, later Chief Test Pilot. Neither flew on this programme. Walter once described the development programme for the twin Scorpion rocket programme flown using the Canberra. There was concern that the rocket flame path which extended under the Canberra belly would grow dangerously close to the skin as indicated airspeed reduced at high altitude. He devised a crude but effective way of checking the flame path. He fitted an array of silver solder bars protruding from the a/c belly and with a series of flights was able to observe, post flight, the pattern of the flame path as indicated by the material burnt away, and related this to the flight conditions they had set up.
I met Mike Randrupp in Saudi Arabia where he was managing the BAe operation at Rihad in the early 70's.
 




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