Vol 7

Page 3


Frank Horne.


Mark Bartlam, who works for Boeing out at Amberley recently told us of the passing of Frank Horne. Frank died from a heart attach early on the 7 August, while at home getting ready to go to work. Mark thinks Frank was an ex groundy, and would have been known by a lot of our members.


He says Frank worked for Honeywell prior to moving to Boeing, and that Frank was a great bloke, liked by all, even the newest apprentice—despite their obvious age difference. He had turned 55 just the week before he died, that’s far too young.


Frank leaves a wife and an 18 year old daughter.


Our sympathies go to his family.




Last issue we mentioned that the strip at Laverton had been closed and sold and was now used for advanced driver training and motor vehicle testing. Ted Ward (Qld) wrote in to say that there had been cars on the strip before—and he sent us some photos to prove it.


These were taken on the runway on the first Sunday in April, back in 1964, and shows the strip being used for standing quarter time trials. Ted says the RAAF Laverton Car Club (somehow) obtained permission to use the strip and those trainees who had cars used the opportunity to try them out over the measured distance. There are some great old cars in these photos, above:  a Fiat 1800 (or 2300) then a TR3, a Datsun? then a bunch of FX Holdens, then what looks like a Vauxhall ute.


Below is a Lotus Elan, in front of a Renault Dauphine or Gordini?? with Ted’s new EH in the background. Those were the uncomplicated days where you took to the front coils with the oxy, jammed a 2 inch block between the back axle housing and the rear springs, shaved 20 thou’ off the head, fitted a Lukey-Meyers exhaust system, and went racing….. Gone forever  - unfortunately……...



A “proud as Punch” Ted Ward (below) in front of his brand, spanking new, EH Holden Special Station Wagon (complete with white-wall tyres) in April, 1964. Ted tells how he lined up for the trials, but still regrets that he didn’t give it a go because his car was still “too new”.  “I should have”, he said, “but it was still under warranty”. 


The car was photographed in front of the Telegs (or TelsOps) huts at Radschool.




"Minds, like parachutes, only function when they are open."     Nana V.



Port and Starboard.


Have you ever sat up late at night wondering about the origins of the two words—Port and Starboard, which as everyone knows, is pilot talk for left and right. Well it seems they had their origin in the Viking era, about 1,000 years ago.



Viking ships were very seaworthy craft and were designed with a pointy end at both the front and the back. They rowed the little ones, and had sails to drive the big ones. Because the back end was pointy like the front bit, they couldn’t use a conventional centre rudder, so they stuck a steering board out to one side, and presumably most of the Vikings were right handers, (like the rest of the world), so they stuck this steering board thing out the right hand side of the boat because it was easier to operate – as in the photo above.



This thing would protrude from the side of the boat quite a bit, and so in order not to damage it and smash the all important steering system, they would naturally tie up to a wharf or dock on the other side, which of course became known as the port side.


Over time, and via translation errors, the steering board side became known as the starboard side—and that’s how it all began.


Now if someone can tell us why they put a green light on the starboard side and a red light on the port side…….



Fuel crisis.


With the price of fuel approaching $1.00 per litre in some capital cities, (not in the best capital—thankfully) and a bit over the dollar in remote areas, some persons, who shall of course remain nameless, were talking about another time when fuel, while not being as expensive as it is today, was none the less in very short supply. For some months back in 1968, fuel was very hard to get, and cars were used sparingly, or not at all. V8 owners went from being the envied to being the pitied. You filled up with whatever you could get, whenever you could get it. In a lot of cases the service stations rationed out a small amount to ensure everyone got a little. Cars that normally ran on “super” were filled with “standard”, and vice versa.


Rumour has it (and it’s only a rumour) that about this time the Caribous at Richmond started to run on very clean fuel. It seems that nearly everyone in the squadron had an insane desire to make sure there was no water in the on-board fuel, so they would venture out to an aircraft and do a cock drain at all hours of the day and night to check for water. And not wishing to big note themselves, they didn’t make a big thing of it but waited until all was quiet, and then performed the operation. It probably made them feel good inside.


And they weren’t content to do just a normal little drain into a glass jar, these blokes did a proper job by draining a larger sample into a metal container and would then withdraw to analyse the sample at another place. Most blokes found that an excellent way of analysing the fuel was to tip it into their own private cars, and then run the car on the suspect fuel to see how the engine went, and this unselfish practice was soon adopted by many. We wonder if their dedication is appreciated by the RAAF.



Did you hear about the bald bloke who stuck a rabbit on his head—from a distance it looked like a hare!


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