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Thread: Halifax Heavy Conversion Unit syllabus

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    Default Halifax Heavy Conversion Unit syllabus

    Heavy Conversion Unit 12 week course syllabus

    I have recently read the 1941-1945 ORB for No. 1663 H.C.U. A Halifax conversion unit based at RAF Rufforth in Yorkshire during WWII. There, twin-engine experienced crews were converted to the heavier 4 engine Halifax aircraft At the start of conversion training, a additional air-gunner and flight engineer, joined the 5 man crew from the OTUs. The crew now totalled 7 and depending on the nature of the flying lessons throughout the course, varied from 4 to 7. After graduating, the crew were posted out to a operational squadron. The HCU course involved air and ground subjects listed below and although linked to the Halifaxes I'm sure Lancaster HCUs were similar and followed a standard Bomber Command instruction. Could those familiar with this type of training please check if there are any glaring errors and/or omissions, thank you.

    1. Pre flight checks. Starting the Halifax
    2. Running Up the Halifax
    3. Breaking the Halifax
    4. Aircraft, airfield and local area
    5. Day and Night Landings
    6. Overshoots
    7. Three-Engine Flying generally
    8. Feathering propellers procedure
    9. Three-Engine Landings - instructors demonstration and pupil pilot.
    10. Three-Engine Overshoots
    11. Fire Drill - action in the event of Fire
    12. Cross-Wind Landings
    13. Ditching and emergency procedures
    14. Automatic Pilot 'George'. Fighter Affiliation
    15. Familiarisation with the new Halifax III

    AIR SCHOOL - Flying lessons.
    1. Aircraft pre flight checks, airfield, releif airfied, local area, approach and departure familiarisation. 8 crew
    2. Dual - General air experience flying - flying instructor, pilot, navigator, wireless operator. 4 crew
    3. Dual - Circuits and landings, overshoot procedure, 4 crew
    4. Dual - Three-engine flying. 4 crew.
    5. Solo - Circuits and landings, 7 crew
    6. Dual - Check overshoot procedure, forced landings, 8 crew - usual 7 plus instructor
    7. Solo - no instructor. Circuits and landings, three-engine flying, 7 crew
    8. Solo - no instructor. Circuits and landings. 7 crew
    9. Dual - Three-engine landings and overshoots, two-engine airborne flying, 8 crew
    10. Solo - no instructor Bombing practice, Wireless operating, map reading, radar operating. 7 crew
    11. Solo - no instructor, Air to Air Gun firing practise, aerial combat day &night, evasive flying, corkscrew flying. Evacuating/Baling out. 7 crew
    12. Dual - Fighter affiliation exercises with Spitfire, Hurricane, Beaufighter & Mosquito aircraft. 8 crew
    13. Solo - no instructor Fighter affiliation, three-engine flying. 7 crew
    14. Solo - no instructor Bombing practice. 7 crew
    15. Dual - Night circuits & landings - completed in two nights with check dual second night prior to solo, 8 crew.
    16. Solo - no instructor Night circuits and landings, 7 crew
    17. Solo - Day cross-country, 7 crew
    18. Solo - no instructor, Night bombing, 7 crew
    19. Solo - no instructor, Night cross-country, 7 crew
    20. Solo - no instructor, Operational exercise, 7 crew

    Compiled from several sources including those here on the forum, my reading of the ORB and my fathers own course notes. Only where I have found a common lesson have I included it. Nothing is made up from parts or guessed at. I do not know the lesson length but hoping others may know.

    Thank you
    Last edited by namrondooh; 28th August 2012 at 19:34. Reason: Adding last two lines before the salutations

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