Mirage 2 Seater

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Mirage 2 Seater

Postby qfa_tsv » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:54 pm

Just ben scanning some old photos
so a question for the Mirage Cognoscenti
curious to know what is happening here.

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I've been told the trimmer, that part of the trailing edge closest to the fuselage should be level otherwise it's U/S, did it take much to make them serviceable again?.

I also was surprised that the fins on the Israeli tank aren't joined, and love the little Magpie on the outside of the bottom fin, this appears to be only on the Starboard tank.

Now these photos were taken here at RAAF Garbutt back in the '80's, and I was with Neill Groves who got the overall shots of it, while I got the close ups, a link to Motty's site for Neill's photos.

http://motty.hobbyvista.com/Mirages/Nei ... 08-001.jpg

http://motty.hobbyvista.com/Mirages/Nei ... 08-001.jpg

http://motty.hobbyvista.com/Mirages/Nei ... 08-002.jpg

The rest of my photos

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Re: Mirage 2 Seater

Postby RHB785 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:57 pm

:D, G'day Graeme. I'm not sure who told you that the pitch dampers, those surfaces next to the fuselage should be horizontal but that's only half true. They and the elevons are when the engine's running and there's hydraulic pressure up but when the engine is shut down they droop with the elevons. Before start up the front seat pilot switched on the emergency hydraulic pump by pressing in a circuit breaker on the right hand rear console panel and the elevons and pitch dampers came up to the horizontal. Obviously in these pics the engine isn't running (tail pipe cover and intake blanks in place). The Mirage had a 2 man ground crew and after the aircrew were strapped in Man B would get under the port wing and remove the external power and close the door after engine start then move to the rear of the aircraft and crouch down under the tail pipe.

When he was in position and ready he would indicate to Man A who would signal the pilot to roll forward and then hit the brakes. Man B would be watching the pitch dampers at this time. When the pilot hit the picks the first movement of the pitch dampers had to be upward. Only if that movement was downward or there was no movement at all was the aircraft U/S. I only had one occasion in 4 1/2 years at OCU when they moved downward on the driver hitting the picks and I wasn't 100% sure so I got Man A to get the pilot to go through the motions twice more until I was sure they were moving downward. Sometimes the pilots would be too gentle on the brakes (especially if he was a boggy) and there was an indistinct movement. In this case I'd again signal to Man A to get him to roll forward and hit the brakes a bit harder.

I'm sorry but I can't tell you how long this problem took to fix. I was an eleco and that was an instrument issue so we didn't get involved in the fix for it. We did however start to do avionics before flight servicing along with the radio techs in April 1980. This involved taking the autocommand system test box out to the aircraft and running the system through its paces. The pitch dampers were part of the autocommand system. This wasn't a true auto pilot as such but would hold altitude and heading for about 7 minutes until the gyros in the twin gyro platform precessed and it had to be reset again. I hope this has helped even though it's a bit long winded.

As to exactly what's happening in these pics I can't say. Maybe the aircraft has been quarantined for some reason. I can't recall this ever happening at OCU during my time there, not on the tarmac at least. We did sometimes barricade and tape off a quarantined aircraft after it had been towed into the hangar.

Regards,
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Re: Mirage 2 Seater

Postby qfa_tsv » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:20 am

Thanks Ross,
I also distinctly remember when they were parked along the edge, there was a third man "C" who had a big circle thing with a long pole that he held over the tailpipe when they were starting up, I assume to stop the prevailing wind blowing up the tailpipe, and causing a hot start.
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Re: Mirage 2 Seater

Postby RHB785 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:08 pm

:D, Hello again Graeme. That big shuttlecock bat was only used when the wind was blowing from the rear of the aircraft and no blower was available. It was more to reduce the chances of the start cycle timing out or a wet start. Sometimes the younger less experienced pilots would open the throttle which was the high pressure cock too early resulting in the engine getting a gut full of fuel and refusing to start because of the rich mixture. It would rumble away to itself until the start cycle timer finally shut down the start.

The cure for this was to get a large garbage bin full of water and two men would drag it over and throw it up the tail pipe and another start attempt would be made. It was humourous to watch this. When the engine caught this great plume of water and steam would come out the tailpipe. The start procedure on the pilot's part only involved two actions. After the low pressure cock was turned on (an electrical valve) the start button was pressed and at 600rpm the throttle which was also the high pressure cock was opened and the rest of the sequence was automatic unless the cycle timed out.

Sometimes you would get a wet start and the engine actually would start (probably if the throttle was opened at 500rpm). This was accompanied by a great big fireball out of the tailpipe. The cure for this was for Man A to hold up six fingers telling whoever was in the seat to "give me 6000rpm." This would hopefully blow the fire out and then the mission could continue. Once during preparations for the annual strike against the Navy at North Head I had a a sumpie in the cockpit as all aircraft had to be run for this mission before the pilots turned up.

Bobby Wichello was in the cockpit and opened the throttle a little early and got a wet start with the fireball out the rear end. I indicated 6 fingers and he gave me 6000rpm. The flame didn't go out after some seconds so I held up 7 fingers. He looked at me funny, shook his head and gave me 7000rpm. The fire still didn't go out so I held up 8 fingers. I could see him mouthing "that's not possible" but he gave me 8000rpm anyway. The flame soon went out and the rest of the run was normal. The ATAR engine was flat out at 8400rpm or 8650 if the temp was above 27 degrees C.

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Re: Mirage 2 Seater

Postby RayS » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:48 pm

I am one who mentioned the pitch dampers should have stayed horizontal (or close to it). I have never seen the dampers depressed so much after power was off. Most deflection would have been about 1-2cms at the trailing edge. I am sure a framie type confirmed that they should not deflect that far else the actuators that drive them needed replacement. Perhaps this one had had major hydraulic work done to it and had not bee run/hydraulics replenished?
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Re: Mirage 2 Seater

Postby RHB785 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:26 pm

:D, Hi Ray. Time dims the memory. I've had a look through Motty and Changa's book on the Mirage and it seems you may be right there. Most of the pics show the pitch dampers not depressed that much, however on page 108 there's a pic of 3 aircraft with the dampers appearing to be fully depressed and throughout the book there are photos of aircraft on the ground with engines not running and the dampers in all three postions, horizontal, 1-5cm depressed and fully depressed. Having looked through the book I do now recall working on Mirages where the dampers were horizontal to slightly depressed and that may have been most of the time.

I remember a time when the whole fleet here and in Malaysia was grounded for elevon and damper actuator repairs. Some actuators had been sent out to a contractor for overhaul and they used a non specified grade of Loctite in the O/H. This grade of Loctite was known to have good wicking qualities and did so when the actuators were refitted to aircraft undergoing DLM. This stuff then mixed with the hydraulic oil and caused a gooey mess which gummed up the actuators and contaminated the whole hydraulic system. This was found on a test flight of one bird after coming out of the shop at 481 Sqn. He had to declare a PAN and when he returned his knuckles were white. Needless to say that the use of a very slightly cheaper grade of Loctite cost this mob any future contracts and all actuators were then ordered to be overhauled at Maintenance squadrons where the standards could be controlled. This took several weeks (something like 6 or 7 weeks) and when they got enough actuators back to fit to aircraft it was an all in effort to get the aircraft serviceable again.

Every one mucked in and helped over several days, even the CO donned an old pair of overalls and got his hands dirty. It was interesting to see an LAC framie instructing the WNGCDR. He did exactly as he was told as he knew his life and others' might depend on him doing so. We had NCO queer traders working under LAC framies supervision. It was an interesting time which showed just what "could" be done when necessary.

Regards,
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