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Petition to keep XH558 Vulcan flying.


bingoking

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At the end of the 2015 display season, Avro Vulcan Bomber B2 XH558 will be grounded permanently after just 8 years in flight since a £6.5 million pound restoration which saw the aircraft return to flight after 14 years of retirement. A recent Q&A release on the Vulcan to the skies trust website has shown that despite the main belief that XH558 is to be grounded due to running out of airframe and engine life, the main reason is due to the three companies which form the "Technical Authorities" required by the CAA's permit to fly ending their support for the project based on financial reasons. The same Q&A release states that the trust and several other companies believe they could keep the aircraft in flight but are unable to even try because the current "Technical Authorities" have made it clear that they will not release vital information and documentation to any other companies and that any such working agreement will never happen.

Sign the petition and let's try and keep this beautiful iconic aircraft in the air.

https://www.change.org/p/rolls-royce-bae-systems-marshall-aviation-reverse-your-decision-not-to-release-vital-information-and-documentation-to-enable-other-willing-parties-to-take-over-as-the-technical-authorities-on-vulcan-xh558-g-vlcn?recruiter=75856422&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

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Sadly, this isn't going to happen. There's more to it than technical authority...the main obstacle, as I understand it, is the engines. All flight qualified engines belong to the Vulcan to the Sky trust; there are no other engines available anywhere. It is impossible for the engines to be overhauled or rebuilt; the necessary expertise and parts and fixtures no longer exist. Facilities do exist to overhaul the marine version of the Olympus, but that is a very different beast with different parts. The engine life is not limited by hours, but by cycles...start up and shutdown. What the Q&A from the Vulcan website fails to mention is that, due to incredible negligence, two perfectly serviceable engines were destroyed during an engine test in 2012. They have been swapping engines in and out of the airframe to utilise all their remaining engine cycles....but the loss of two irreplaceable engines limits the possible flying. I can understand them not wanting to draw attention to this!

The Civil Aviation Authority set the conditions under which all ex-military aircraft fly, and it is true to say that they aren't too keen on it. I believe that the Vulcan, like the Jet Provost with which I was involved, operates on a "permit to fly" under CAP 632...

 

https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%20632%20Permit-to-Fly%20Ex-Military%20Aircraft.pdf

 

If you want to read it (!) Since the Vulcan is considered a "complex" aeroplane....whereas the JP is "simple", I think....then it's likely that the requirements are more onerous. The CAA have resolutely refused to consider approving a "Lightning" for flight, for example...there used to be several flying in South Africa, but following an engine fire leading to the death of a test pilot, that operation hs ceased, too.  

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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  • Gold FFM

I have been very priviliged to see this beautiful aeroplane fly on several occasions, the fist time was around 1980 at the Barton Aerodrome air festival near Manchester when it came in low and slow, over the motorway bridge over the Ship canal and then went full throttle into a ballistic 90 degree vertical climb right over the car park. I was sitting on the roof of my Dad's escort at the time and the resulting vibrations actually "jumped" me off the roof!

 

The last time was a few years ago at the airshow at Leuchars and the pure majesty of the Vulcan on full flight was a real sight to behold, just about every hair on my body (don;t have many on my head!) was standing up straight - it was a beautiful site.

 

I guess like with most things, Concorde included, politics and little mindedness eventually catch up and it's a shame neither of these aircraft will grace the skies again.

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Watched it the other week over Southend airport.

 

Regards the engines, as John said. I read that gel packs were left in the engines before they were switched on, wrecking them as they were sucked through.

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

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Quite right, Chris. There was never any requirement for silica gel packs in the intakes in the first place...nobody seemed to know who put them there...only on one side, iirc...and nobody can have checked the intakes before starting. I believe it was the first start of the season...the gel packs were ingested into one engine and the failure of that took out the one next to it as well. Horrendous....

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I thought they were updated with containment shields between the engines to stop a single catastrophic failure becoming a double? Maybe 558 never had that.

Anyway as John says, they are now just juggling the remaining engines until the cycles are up. After that goodnight.

 

Donkeys years ago at Waddo I did have the chance to see a whole group of them do a minimum interval take-off. The noise could only be described as seismic :shock:

Edited by redshift
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Oh yes...the mad Vulcan scramble...going back to the days of the four minute warning. Everybody up and away before the incoming nukes took out the entire air field and everyone on the ground. Thankfully, it never happened... There used to be a video of just such a scramble, showing INSIDE the bomb bay of the Vulcan in the RAF museum at Hendon...even that was pretty impressive. Haven't been there for a few years, so not sure if it still features...

I believe the failure mechanism of the two engines was that bits of the one that got the gel packs were spat out of the front and went down the intake of the second...it wasn't a catastrophic sideways failure, no shrapnel penetration. That would have made a right mess of the airframe....(!)

Found this in the "Yorkshire Post"...

"A statement on the Vulcan to the Sky Trust’s website said: “The most likely sequence of events was that material was ingested by No.1 engine, which surged and suffered LP compressor blade failure.

“Debris was then sucked into No. 2 which then also failed.”

Investigations have shown that both of the XH558 aircraft’s portside engines are beyond repair, having suffered blade damage and the effect of excessive heat.

However there was some good news for the trust and its supporters in that there has been no structural damage to the aircraft."

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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There used to be a video of just such a scramble, showing INSIDE the bomb bay of the Vulcan in the RAF museum at Hendon...even that was pretty impressive. Haven't been there for a few years, so not sure if it still features.

Not sure about Hendon but I think the one at Cosford featured this video last time we were there. Echoes of a (thankfully) bygone era, not so sure everyone would be so excited to see a Vulcan scramble in the 60s!

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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  • Gold FFM

A bygone era that Putin seems to be relentlessly pushing us back to!

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Went to Doncaster a couple of weeks back to watch it take off for one of the last times. My love of this aircraft started after seeing it at Finningly Air Display as a kid.

I recommend anyone interested to read Vulcan 607, fantastic book about the Falklands mission.

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There used to be a video of just such a scramble, showing INSIDE the bomb bay of the Vulcan in the RAF museum at Hendon...even that was pretty impressive.

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Fantastic :thumbup:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Went to Doncaster a couple of weeks back to watch it take off for one of the last times.

 

Any tips for viewing there? Can you watch from the terminal or best outside at runway end etc?

 

Edit: Pistonheads post here http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=1&f=109&t=1516470&i=40&mid=0&nmt=Photographing+the+Vulcan+bomber+in+flight+before+it+retires

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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  • 2 weeks later...

You learn something new every day...strewth.....

 

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Operation Black Buck in reverse, anyone....(!)

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Fascinating.

Only 3 months later they invaded the Falkland Islands and we then showed them what the Vulcan was capable of.

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  • Gold FFM

Almost as graceful as the real thing. God I love being British and the things we have and do make....

 

https://youtu.be/ZeL3LhrmeME?t=332

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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