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Thread: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

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    Default General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    Hi all, I have found in the report of pilot OTU course two different subjects:

    General Flying
    Applied Flying

    I will be thankful for explanation what was the difference or better what exactly was the "Applied Flying".

    TIA

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    "Applied Flying" I imagine is all flying that cannot be considered "General". For instance, training for the "Dams Raid" (617 Squadron, May 1943), could probably be classified as "applied", it involved much flying that in no way could be called "general"; it was very specific and demanding, and would only have been used on this operation. So, any type of flying that could not be called "general" might be considered worthy of practice by pilots (and possibly other crew members) before being used operationally. Other types of "applied flying" may have included glider towing, air to air refueling, dropping of parachutists, drogue towing, and certain kinds of experimental flying, perhaps including experiments in application of anti-icing pastes, or introduction of radar aerials with tests to demonstrate that the aircraft were still safe to fly. Apart from these few vague ideas, I know nothing!

    Another thought. All the usual tactics and procedures used by operational aircraft (including transports) on their normal operational duties could also arguably be considered "applied flying", as opposed to just flitting about on some general flying practice, or aerobatics, or exploring the general area after being posted to a new locality. Even a night-flying test had a specific purpose, and strict procedures to follow. In fact, this (paragraph) is more likely to be the "true" meaning of "applied" flying.

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    Mmm, low flying at night, nice example, (though that was on an operational Squadron, not through an OTU), and a nice distinction General/Applied in the broad.

    So may well be worth knowing date of course and what OTU no: fighter or bomber, eg, bearing in mind the OTU crews are already qualified, and working up as crews on "operational" types.

    For example, the Fighter Affiliation exercises for a bomber OTU were about evasion on interception (ie Applied)...rather than the inevitable circuits and bumps to get familiar with a fresh, more or less current type (General) or indeed the usual cross country nav exercises, day or night - again, General.

    Then, some difference for the Fighter OTU ops course vs the Bomber OTU ops course. For fighters, eg, perhaps an added element for GCI (Ground Controlled Interception) and so on.

    I'll have a look to see if the 72 OTU Ops Record Book has any syllabus detail, General v Applied, for their Blenheim Ops courses from Jul 1941 & report back...
    29/686 includes highly detailed Blenheim Ops 1941 syllabus notes across the board inc flying, making no distinction at all or comment on any General flying vs Applied flying.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 9th March 2023 at 05:51.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    Hi David and Don, thank you both for your ideas. I have to admit that your ideas sounds reasonable to me but I was not able to think about them myself:-)

    This was course at No. 54 OTU at late 1944 on Beauforts including dual and then solo + with his RO on Beaufighters. So it would fit what you both mentioned - the standard flying routine with instructor etc. would be "General" while the flying with his RO practing mostly radar exercises and possibly other flights covering night fighter procedures would be "Applied".

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Don Clark (9th March 2023)

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    Most interesting, Pavel.

    54 OTU was a night fighter OTU from the outset in 1940.
    They had quite a variety of twin-engine multi-crew aicraft throughout, with Beaufighters from 1942 (in place of Blenheims) with Beauforts from 1943 esp as trainers for the the AI (radar set) operators.
    Later, for interest , they used Wellingtons as "flying classrooms" for multiple AI operators - a bit like 1940-ish Avro Anson use training Wireless ops.
    (Sturtivant, RAF Flying Training and SUpport UNits)

    The dual then solo also fits for pilots re the Beaufort, with cockpit having 2 side-by side posns, pilot+oberver - wonder if dual controls fitted to some, as in Blenheim.
    Dual (side by side) instruction in the Beafighter was not possible in the normal sense: single seat cockpit, "instruction" only possible by standing behind the pilot, out of reach of the controls...

    You'll know the Beaufighter was a powerful beast, apt to bite hamfisted pilots, and more so at night.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 9th March 2023 at 09:34.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    I reviewed Dad's Logbook for OTU training (very neat and descriptive) and he does not record these terms, only the names of the exercises. A review of this document from the RAF Air Historical Branch may cover off description of these terms:

    https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisat...onal-training/

    Edit: Perhaps all flying relating to familiarization of the a/c, solo flying, single engine, etc, might be "General" and Cross-countries and Bullseyes, Flashlights might be "Applied"?

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 9th March 2023 at 16:30.

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    @ Don - I think it was ecactly as you have mentioned.

    @ Jim - thanks for interesting link. Yes I think that the division in case for the Bomber OTU might be as you wrote.

    P.S. This division is not in Log Book but in the training report sometimes available in the service record of those who were killed and now available at Ancestry.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Don Clark (9th March 2023)

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    Default Re: General Flying x Applied Flying at OTU course

    An aside, if I may, on the relatively recent RAF release of the RAF AHB Narratives in PDF form.

    A good few years ago, the MLRS was the simplest source for digital (and/or, originally, printed) copies of these fundamental secondary sources of deep RAF narrative record. Checking them in any form was tedious to say the least, esp in pdf form with no text copy/selection or text search. Still, much appreciate the MLRS...

    On accessing these latest historical record sets by the RAF/MoD AHB, found to my surprise/relief that these later PDFs are now text searchable (also text select/copy enabled).

    Thus for the above volume Flying Training Volume II Organisation Part 3 Operational Training, text search found there are no mentions of either general flying nor applied flying.

    The distinction may well appear in other RAF documentation of the time, as Pavel has found - I thought drawing attention to the now text searchable RAF Narrative sets worth mentioning again.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 10th March 2023 at 05:31.
    Toujours propos

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