Tim McLelland

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum
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Tim McLelland

Post by seajet440 »

I have been trying to contact Tim for a while via publishers Ian Allen, now I find via Facebook and old posts here that he is no longer with us...

Sad for anyone to go that relatively young, and he was obviously passionate about aviation.

It might have been nice if Ian Allen had the decency to explain and reply to my recorded delivery letters asking for corrections to the bits supposedly under my name in any future editions of ' Harrier ' rather than returning them, opened...

Then again they never had the decency to even send me a copy, despite using a lot of my pics - some credited, some not - and my text for the whole last chapter.

I only got to see the book recently when my local library bought it in, as I was too miffed to buy it.

For the sake of accuracy - and getting this off my chest - I did not find the job difficult, I said some aspects of using remote onboard cameras took learning and experience to do well.

I have never, ever agreed with the ' wander lamp theory ' re the death of Test Pilot Taylor Scott in an early Harrier GR5 ( ZD325 ) - I was photographer on the Board of Inquiry - anyone who nows the details knows it was no way Taylor's fault, a bit tricky to say more without lawyers...

The caption in the book re my photo here is completely wrong;

This is the second GR5 made, ZD319, always used for development, usually the hardware trials; the first, ZD318 did most of the software stuff. ZD321 was also used for development, again mainly software.

I took this from a landrover as 319 ( sorry I forget which pilot, probably either Graham Tomlinson or Bernie Scot ) was jetborne above the grass between Boscombe Down's runways in a very early stage of the Harrier II Rough Ground Trials - not Dunsfold as incorrectly captioned

The reason the aft fuselage had soft matt white paint was so as to show up ' link strikes ', something people were worried about on the trials of the disastrous 25mm Aden cannon, on the rare occasions it fired anything but it's own innards...

I'm pretty sure ZD319 was the only Harrier ever to fire the 25mm Aden in the air.

The thing had some good features, such as a rounds remaining counter on the HUD and a selectable ' burst limiter ' so the pilot could choose 3-shell bursts in air to air combat, and of course a much higher rate of fire than the 30mm, which was itself a development of a WWII German design.

However the metallurgy did not seem up to it and the gun just blew itself to pieces; designers from Royal Ordnance have complained to me the gun was spiffing, it was just the gunpod design which knobbled it; let's say I remain unconvinced - but I'm just an observer of events, not a gun designer.

The gatling job ( GAU -12 ? ) the USMC use, with gun one side, ammo' the other always seemed sensible to me, for the reason of barrel cooling.

On the Rough Ground and other trials, 319's standard fit was dummy - mahogany - gunpods housing 4 Photo Sonics 1VN 16mm cine cameras, capable of up to 200 fps - we tried to keep to 150 as they were more reliable at that speed. 3 cameras facing outboard, 1 facing forward in place of the blast tube to observe rocket & missile launches.

There were also 3 of the same cameras ( all 10mm lens ) hung under modified CBLS200 practice bomb carriers. Each camera had a 100watt heater pad at the interface between camera and film magazine, but at high altitudes this was insufficient so we tried all sorts of thermal insulation.

Lastly there were 2 cameras with wide angle lenses forward of the airbrake facing forward observing the main gear and pylons; these had protective dural covers over the lenses, activated from the cockpit; but as on the very first flight the pilot forgot to re-cover the lenses on landing, the very expensive lenses were pebble-dashed so always had a ' romantic soft focus '...Image

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Re: Tim McLelland

Post by CJS »

Interesting stuff but if they're your pics and you haven't been given due credit, perhaps more than just a letter to them might be an idea? I've no legal background mind!
Last edited by CJS on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Binbrook 01
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Re: Tim McLelland

Post by Binbrook 01 »

I seem to vaguely recall that Crecy bought out Ian Allan some years ago..


Big Eric
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Re: Tim McLelland

Post by Big Eric »

It's Ian Allan, not Ian Allen - you have to be very careful, Seajet !

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Re: Tim McLelland

Post by seajet440 »

I did write to Ian Allan, sorry the typo was here.

I'm not bothered about being credited for pics, it's the incorrect caption and twisted words in the ( last ) chapter which I wrote - and Tim M edited - which bothers me; I simply told them of the errors and asked that they be put right in any second edition, but no reply.

My contribution was supplied up against a tight deadline, but one might hope to at least receive a proof of what the final version will say, and I don't think a copy of the book would have been too much to ask !

Frankly saying my piece on here seems about all the satisfaction I can hope for, as the members here probably represent 70% of those who might buy the book anyway.



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Re: Tim McLelland

Post by Aviamil »


Not conclusive proof of ZD319 being the only harrier to fire 'live'.

I was on annual camp at RAF Valley August '87 the week after their air show, 74Sqn was on APC with their F-4J (UK)'s. At VAS we had to accept a Harrier GR5 (ZD319) which had been out on the ranges as an emergency. Upon landing we were told in no uncertain terms (at the time) not tell what we were seeing..... The aircraft landed safely and was placed into a hangar, pretty much immediately. A later look revealed most of the Aden's inners on the outside.


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