Todays Telegraph (Page 2) states:-
"The Heritage Lottery Fund is to provide £2.5 million towards the cost of restoring and returning to flight the giant Avro Vulcan,Britain's most popular military aircraft after the Spitfire. It should enable the public to see the remarkable delta-wing plane in flight for the next 10 to 15 years. The award goes against the fund's rules that support should not be given to projects that restore historic aircraft to flight, but was made because of the unique nature of the project. The Vulcan is the last example of Britain's V-bomber force - Victor, Valiant and Vulcan - designed in the 1950s to carry nuclear bombs as a deterrent to Soviet attack "
Perhaps somebody has recognised , at last, that airshows are the second biggest spectator sport after football.
How far will 2.5 million go towards getting the tin triangle flying again? If it requires a load more than that, and they can't raise the remaining funds, what happens to the 2.5 million? Do they have to pay it back?
Have to agree with you guys £2.5m is nothing as once they have the Vulc going how will they find pilots for it and how can they possibly maintain it at vast cost. I regularly see the guys at Southend at work and when you see the two pilots that do the fast taxis they appear to be well into their 60+. So very soon there will be no one that can operate the Vulcans.
The yardstick of any possible chance of sucess would have been Concordes survival as a flyer need I say more.
I'm sure there are a squadzillion pilots out there who could safely (and spectacularly) operate and display the Vulcan. Don't worry too much about that, lets find the coin first and then worry about the crew.
Seasonal greetings; I do not know what sort of flight regulations the New Zealand CAA or its equiv have, but the UK CAA are rigid on such things and without pilots that have adequate qualifications the Vulcan is never likely to fly again.
It is not relevant even if the finance were to be forthcoming it would be almost impossible that this aircraft would ever fly again. There is just no way that pilots could be sourced or trained and then be in situ to enable recency to be complied with.
What is interesting with this thread is a for warning that maybe we should be looking to preserve and keep flying a Nimrod in the near future. With adequate planning and financial provision this would be a worthy challenge.
Can't help feeling that this still won't happen. Don't want to be a doom mongerer but I'm not altogether happy with a bit of military kit of this nature flying around in civvie hands. Think that the Brunty Comet is a far more sensible and more worthy benefactor of this level of support.
While pilots are quite important in aviation, it's always a long queue to take the seat - finding one does not normally seem to be a problem. While I take the point that qualified / qualifiable pilots might be a problem, I can't think of an aircraft that has been grounded or unable to return to flight for the lack of qualified drivers.
The Vulcan, and almost all other restorations, face a long list of challenges (and I hope they suceed, but it's going to be a trick) least of which is 'what colour scheme' and 'who's at the pole' - the two questions which seem to bother us all. How to fuel, maintain, engineer, turn round, base, recharge, hanger etc etc etc is rather more important, and rarely discussed!
So - given the qualified and knowledgeable people here - which a/c are grounded ONLY because of lack of qualified pilots?
I think of exceptions like the Granger Archaeopterix and Pou de Ciel at Old Warden (type certification issues) and Bucc and Lightning (flying in SA due to UK CAA restrictions - but the CAA might be persuaded - we don't know as a working op with these types was never really together in the UK) On the other hand, the Short Sunderland was flown in the UK despite a lack of a long queue of wetplane drivers...
HZ et al - Don't muddy the waters by dragging in the question of pilot availability/currency. The CAA have been in on the ground floor and this question will have been addressed. There are sufficient numbers of Vulcan ex-display pilots out there to generate at least the core of a training programme. The ac is not difficult to fly, and has few vices if you follow the rules.
Display flying it is not difficult and there are no unique techniques required to fly the sequence.
The first step is now in place to get this magnificent ac back in the air. Projects like this, once they get positively started, tend to gain a momentum of their own; it won't be long before corporate sponsorship starts to appear. For such a unique ac and a crowd puller at airshows, the bigger companies will be willing to attach their names to the project.
We're not out of the woods yet, and there is some way to go. But it would be good if we could keep the doom and gloom mongering out of the equation and make lots of positive noises - they need our support.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Well, I for one sincerely hope that any display flown by the TVOC Vulcan will be considerably gentler and more graceful than some of the last VDF efforts! Those stupid wing-rocks in the climb just showed off considerable adverse yaw and always made me wince at the stress reversal cycles they induced... Similarly, extreme low speed steep turns followed by brisk rolling manoeuvres don't look right and are close to the edge of the envelope.
Nope, let's have a full power take-off, a gentle rotation to a 20 deg nose-up climb, then some wing-overs and 45 deg steep turns - but at a reasonable speed, not ultra-slow! All flown with smooth precision and designed to flow from one manoeuvre to the next. And at a height where people can actually see the aircraft.
And, if that 'public' money was to be made available, let's spread it about over more numerous types so that, arguably, it would offer a wider interest and extend the airshow flying programme at any given event.
Nice memories; but if it's only going to do a max power, 20 degree climb, followed by a gentle 45 degree wingover, I'd spend my two million (and more!) on something more attention-grabbing. A big slice of our aviation history - yes. But Harrier will be, and Bucc/Lightning and others of significance also were - and what of them?
There aint much more attention grabbing than a trumpeting Vulcan in full chat blasting skywards!! And even when performing lazy 360s and wing overs , its still big enough to present an awesome sight.
Agree though, would much rather see money distributed around other projects - think this has been raised in a similar thread elsewhere.
We already know that the CAA just wont look at an afterburning manned rocket ship on the civvy reg, but a 50 ton former nuclear bomber- sure no problem! Did anyone seriously push for a Bucc to fly again? I know that Classic Jets had the foxhunter research bird at Exeter but did the project get any backing or support? I believe they gave up when the lightnings werent going anywhere and it was left to rot until it was painted in a stupid paint scheme. I was absolutely gobsmacked when the Vixen got the green light and even that has now been reduced to a pathetic advertising circus act.
If the Vulcan does fly again how about a proper paint job for that as well!?
Great to hear. From someone who has lots of time in both Mk1s and 2s I hope someone with experience gets to sit in the left seat.
Was a TP at Boscombe Down in the late 50s and became Chief of Flight Test on Vulcans for a year +. Mostly Mk 1s doing weapon carriage and release trials with some handling and NBS systems as well.
Flew 90+ types including F-111 and the Vulcan became one of my favourites. Flew the other Vs also but preferred Vulcan to Victor.
Service clearance for Vulcan Mk1 was to Mach 0.98 and 380 Kts IAS but we flew them out to 415 Kts max. At Mach 0.98 there was not much up elevator left due to increasing nose down pitch above Mach 0.88.
Am now aged 77 but could readily climb back into a Vulcan and call my abbreviated check list before brakes release "Fuel, Noise, Let's Go."
Just loved flying the Vulcan and most aerobatics not involving negative g were readily executed as good rates of roll available and stick forces nicely harmonised to a fighter type stick.
Survived an airborne failure of a main wing spar in a Valiant so very sensitive to structural strengths in aircraft. No problems anticipated with low g display manoeuvres with the surviving Vulcan.