Saturday, July 29, 2006

We sat in Goose Bay for a few hours, waiting for the helicopter to brave the low-laying clouds and return our passengers from the fishing camp so we could go home. I got bored and went exploring the various vacant hangars - the airport here is very big, but it's a ghost town - I expect next year we'll see caribou and bears living in the hangars. Anyway, I found a few pretty cool things, like:

This is a Fairey Gannet, a spectacularly ugly airplane. I found it in the hangar in Goose Bay, just sitting there. It's in perfect condition, the paint is shiny and there is no dust on it at all; I'm sure it would be flyable if there were any Brits remaining in Goose Bay - They made it as a sub-hunter in the 50's. If you squint you can see there are 3 canopies; the front one for the pilot, the one behind it for the navigator, and the rear one for the electronics officer. It uses 2 engines tied together through a gearbox to drive 2 sets of counter-rotating props. Apparently during long range flights, one engine could be shut down and a single engine would drive both sets of props. It also carried a few thousand pounds of bombs, presumably in case they actually spotted a sub. Note how big the plane is, it grosses out at 21,000lbs or so.

Note the tailhook in the back for carrier landings - that's also why the wings fold up in a bunch of pieces.

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