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Title:STEAM CATAPULT TRIALS ON HMS PERSEUS [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ADM 1372
Other titles:POST-WAR NAVAL OPERATIONS - MISCELLANEOUS [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: A compilation showing the progress of trials with the steam catapult from deadloads to live launchings of jet aircraft.
Description: HMS Perseus, lying alongside in the basin of Rosyth Dockyard, fires floating deadloads to test the steam catapult, which has been installed as a low superstructure on the forward end of the flightdeck. This is followed by sea trials off May Island with a series of Seafire F.47s (bearing Triumph's letter code) with their wing tips removed at the folding point - they are launched with engines running, and despite their mutilation the first aircraft fly quite successfully - one is still climbing as the camera cuts away, and flew on until its 20-gallon fuel load was exhausted. The last two aircraft have tailplanes damaged with an axe and a single 'flap' lowered, but one still manages manage to fly some distance. A series of piloted launchings follow using Firefly Mk 5/6s and Grumman Avengers, some bearing RNAS Ford markings. LS to carrier's starboard forebody for slow-motion sequence showing the launch of a Short Sturgeon TT Mk 2 and a Sea Vampire F.20. Further launchings of Vampires, Sea Hornet F.20s, a Sturgeon and an Attacker and subsequently additional launches at sea and in the basin of Rosyth Dockyard of mainly US Navy planes including Douglas F3D-2s, McDonnell F2H-3 Banshees, Hawker Sea Furies and Douglas A-1E Skyraiders while Piasecki PV-18 HUP-1 Retriever twin rotor helicopters hover ready for rescues. Many of the planes are from the Naval Air Test Centre. Pilots leave their canopies open to facilitate easy escape if they crash in the sea. None do. In port more floating deadloads are prepared and fired.