I got a job on Cranfield’s staff.
I thought it would be quite a laugh.
Short course instructor was my task,
It really wasn’t much to ask.
I also had another job,
To solve a laminar flow wing prob.
We flew a Lincoln in the sky,
With dorsal wing attached on high.
Handley Page had made the fin,
With suction slots cut in the skin.
The slots caused problems, I’m afraid.
Had to clean those slots out with a blade.
Metal splinters in the air,
Caused turbulence to linger there.
This wasn’t what the job required.
If not resolved, I would be fired!
The other problem was the flies.
This caused our method to revize.
We solved it with a Mylar sheet.
The problem with the flies was beat.
As we lined up to make our charge,
I walked atop the fuselage.
And stripped the tape off from the sheet,
Before returning to my seat.
At altitude ten thousand feet,
Bert yawed the plane, removed the sheet.
And any flies contained thereon,
Were taken with the sheet and gone.
The other key to our success,
Was called the Gaster Bump, I guess.
This removed the dirty air
Caused by the fuselage lying there.
A traversing hot wire tracked the noise
That rough and turbulent air deploys.
A signal that showed on a screen
Was noted every time it’s seen.
The location that the wire traversed,
Was noted by the plotter first.
And with a grease pencil he drew
A wiggly line that they could view.
On landing we all gathered round.
This plot, to figure what we’d found.
On joining up those squiggly lines,
It showed us where to look for signs.
The apex pointed to a spot,
Where we would find inside a slot,
A splinter sticking up so high,
It caused a problem like a fly.
When we removed each splinter found,
We settled for another round.
And flew once more to try again,
On days that didn’t look like rain.
Through many flights, success at last!
All problems that we had had passed.
The wing was laminar for sure.
But prognosis was rather poor.
The main conclusion that we had,
Was rather sorry, rather sad.
For laminar flow to work out here,
Would not occur for many a year.
But still these two years gave me fun,
Doing things I’d never done.
I’ll keep these memories ‘til I die,
Of times I flew into the sky.