Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

Old 21st Jan 2004, 02:29
  #241 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 63
Posts: 2,245
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
TFR

When the TFR pod was not fitted, there was a blanking plate fitted over the hole in the radome. This was the same contour as the radome, and about 1/4 inch thick, but was not TFR pod 'nipple' radome in shape.

The TFR pod fitted to XM598 at Cosford however, is an empty TFR pod. This was fitted at Cosford by myself after the aircraft had been stripped out at Waddington and then flown to Cosford. The 'pod' was fitted to give 598 the appearance it had in '82 during the Falklands escapade.

The H2S and the NBC may have been steam driven and fitted to Noah's Ark, but it managed to get a 1000lb Iron bomb on the airfield at Port Stanley, and if this had been a Blue Danube or similar weapon, the debate as to if the Vulcan actually hit the runway would not be needed as the runway would not exist.

Last edited by ZH875; 21st Jan 2004 at 03:09.
ZH875 is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2004, 02:47
  #242 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: 58-33N. 00-18W. Peterborough UK
Posts: 3,040
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Blacksheep. I have to agree with ZH on this. The TFR Radome was an intrinsic part of the equipment. If a ‘radome’ was fitted then TFR was fitted.
forget is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2004, 10:51
  #243 (permalink)  
Cunning Artificer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: The spiritual home of DeHavilland
Age: 75
Posts: 3,127
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Angel Fairies and Queens and stuff....

I stand corrected then...
...but I do remember occasions on starter crew, having to sit it out in an old wooden crew hut during one those inevitable aircraft switches, while the radar fairies dashed around fitting TFR equipment from another kite before ours could do its trip. I don't mean simple 'crew-in' snags either, I'm referring to equipment shortages and the kites I was waiting to see off definitely had a pimple on their noses.

I also remember an occasion where an Air Radio Fitter was called out to a defective VHF. He was fiddling about in the racks below the pilot seats making test calls when he heard a reply from someone else saying that they couldn't raise the station either but they were receiving him OK. The snag was cleared and...

...well we've all heard of side-tone haven't we? (The incident made into Air Clues as a piece of fairy folk lore. I worked with that chap again later at Northolt, by which time he had somehow made it to Chief Magician).

Sending one off and then having it abort before reaching the runway like that was a bloody nuisance - especially when it was from one of the rear pans and you had to turn the b*gger round to face the right way again. Usually in freezing rain. Ex-Vulcan ground crew will never forget that tow-bar contraption. I reckon it was designed by the same chap who designed the Forth Railway Bridge. My hands still bear the scars of Vulcan towing duty.

On the subject of towing, we had a crew chief who acquired the nickname Chiefy 'Magoo'. It was a freezing cold and misty evening at Waddington and a B1A was due into the shed for a spot of seciond line servicing. The MPBW were ditch digging with a JCB along the eastern taxiway just opposite the bomb dump and in typical MPBW disregard for safety, left it parked with the arm in the up position. Through the mist comes 'Magoo' and his gallant towing crew, huddled down tight against the cold in the equipment well on back of the tug as usual, secure in the knowledge that the crew chief and driver were watching ahead. Except that Magoo was as blind as a bat and both his and the driver's specs were steamed up. The Vulcan lost about four feet of wing in the collision, the JCB ended up on its side and the flat spots on the tyres saved Ian the brake man's bacon at the Board of Inquiry. The aircraft became the queen of all hangar queens - a major source of spare parts for a couple of years. The Hawker Siddeley work party in Two Shed got it back out on the line just in time for 44(R) to convert to B2s and I believe that the aircraft ended up on the burning area for the firemen to play with.

**************************
Through difficulties to the cinema
Blacksheep is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2004, 18:30
  #244 (permalink)  
wub
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,184
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Gainsey:

Ferranti airborne radars were developed and produced in Edinburgh and they certainly didn't licence build the Vulcan TFR there. It's possible, but very unlikely that it was licence-built in Manchester. I spent many years with Ferranti and never heard of it as being one of theirs.
wub is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2004, 19:22
  #245 (permalink)  

Yes, Him
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: West Sussex, UK
Posts: 2,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Wub,
Thanks, I was just guessing.
Gainesy is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2004, 23:18
  #246 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Various, UK mainly
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
These fun filled, high spirited times extended beyond the Cold War days. I was posted to 57 Sqn at Marham during the mid 80's as a radio/radar teccy.

I don't think I'd ever enjoyed myself so much, through wind, rain and sweeping BL***Y snow off the wings, we still managed a laugh.

Never really experienced such a great gang of blokes again.
Dunno is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2004, 06:12
  #247 (permalink)  

Nexialist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Milton Keynes
Posts: 181
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a thought, but was TFR fitted to anything else prior to the Vulcan, and was that made by Ferranti? Could it be a sort of Hoover situation where the company name became the word for all vacuum cleaners?
Paul Wilson is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2004, 06:25
  #248 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 79
Posts: 16,775
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yellow Sun,
I don't recall the Kinloss incident. I was there 75-80. What hapened? Whick sqn?

BEAgle,
In Cyprus I usually left the door ladder behind if we were bombing and landing back. Other times we always stowed it in the prone position.


I lost a couple of good friends at Luqa. Stan Lambert and Dave Beeden.

TFR was never, in the 60s or 70s refered to a Ferranti. It was GD but then again we only ever called it TFR. Similarly we never used EMI always NBC.

The TFR was spectacular and in many respects useless. It was designed for use in an F111, and possibly a spin off of that cancelled programme. Given that the F111 would travel at 420-540 K drift angles would have been low. In the Vulcan, in training, the drift angles for a given wind would have been double.

Designed for the F111 the TFR had a +/- 3.5 deg beam. The Vulcan at low level often experienced drifts of 5 deg or more. It followed that we TFRd terrain that we were not flying over!

Paul Wilson
As far as I can remember, we got the TFR pod PDQ even before the Americans. It was 'essential' for our survivability and credibility. The F111 was the second user. Good bit of kit. It was J-band. Give it a quick squirt of J-band noise and it would 'fail-safe' and give a fly-up command.

Just the thing if you were visiting downtown Hanoi. The Vietnamese cottoned on rather quicker than the USAF. The fix was simple; drop the fly-up logic.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2004, 17:02
  #249 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 1,162
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pontius Nav

Yellow Sun,
I don't recall the Kinloss incident. I was there 75-80. What hapened? Whick sqn?
Check your PMs

Rgds
YS
Yellow Sun is offline  
Old 22nd Jan 2004, 18:12
  #250 (permalink)  
wub
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,184
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Paul W:

The first, and only, TFR designed and made by Ferranti was for the TSR-2 and was known as FLR (Forward Looking Radar). Ferranti bid for the MRCA TFR but lost out to Texas Instruments' GM/TF system - but ended up as UK design authority for the kit.

I don't think Ferranti had any kit on the Vulcan, avionics-wise, but may have supplied instruments; not sure.
wub is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 03:15
  #251 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Glorious Devon
Posts: 721
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Single-engined Vulcan

I wonder if anyone can remember the episode at Waddo in (probably) around 1968 when a Mk 2 Vulcan lost three engines consecutively on climb-out?

I believe it happened late one afternoon or in the early evening to a 44 or 101 Sqn crew. I was catching up with some kip in my quarter, as I remember it, when the phone rang. It was OC Ops speaking from the tower saying that an aircraft climbing out with a full fuel load had experienced three engines spooling down in succession, without any indications of mechanical distress. The captain had levelled at about FL 200 and had succeeded in relighting one of them. He was holding in the local area to attempt further relights and to “consider his position”. OC Ops was a Navigator and so was the DCF (Duty Commander Flying), and OC Ops wanted a senior Pilot in the tower pronto. Me.

I asked who was the captain of the aircraft, and was given the name of an experienced and competent operator. I asked who was the Duty Captain in the tower: ditto. I asked what more OC Ops thought I could contribute and was told unceremoniously to get my backside down to the tower. Fast.

I phoned MT for a car and was told that none was available. Of the “pool” of three Minis, Senior Officers for the use of, OC Admin had one, OC Ops another, and SATCO the third. Oh well, ‘twas ever thus! My wife was out in my car so I set off plodding thoughtfully to the tower.

Arrived there, I found that the aircraft was now a three-engined bomber and that the “brains trust” thought I should order the Captain to land overweight forthwith. This I declined to do. Neither I nor the Duty Captain nor OC Eng could figure out what could have gone wrong. There was no way of mishandling the fuel system so early in the flight to starve three engines. I questioned the possibility of contaminated fuel, but no other aircraft had had any problems. The fuel in the bowser which had refuelled the aircraft was being tested. The Captain’s intention was to burn off to max landing weight at a reasonable altitude for rear crew escape if necessary and then recover to Waddo. Captain’s decision, let him get on with it. He did.

After landing I seem to remember that the engineers discovered that the A Tank had burst due to over-pressurisation. The investigators concluded that a bleed-air pressure reducing valve had failed and that when bomb bay tank pressurisation was selected the tank received air at the full pressure at which it left the engines (2500 psi?). This aerated the fuel entering the engines causing the flame-outs until the tank burst, by when it was almost empty (thank God!).

My confidence in my memory was dented recently when Father Christmas brought me a copy of Tim Laming’s excellent book. On Page 171 of the Aircrew Manual under Tank Pressurisation and Venting it says “…The bomb bay tanks are not pressurised”. But further on, under Fuel Control Panels, Retractable Console, it concludes with “…The bomb bay system diagram has two Bomb Bay/Main switches, two ON/OFF pump switches for each tank and a pressurisation switch (inoperative)”.

Perhaps it was rendered inoperative after the incident at Waddo. Has anyone any ideas?
Flatus Veteranus is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 04:06
  #252 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: (LFA 7a)
Age: 63
Posts: 731
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
According to Alan Clark Diaries, Norman Tebbit wanted to use the V Force to bomb the Rhodesian Railway system....
Any stories behind this?
jimgriff is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 09:00
  #253 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Back in the NorthWest
Age: 76
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Reference the overweight landing. Of course, the Vulcan had no fuel-dumping system. After getting airborne with a gear retraction problem we had to burn down to landing weight. We had the gear down of course. The airbrakes were put out and the bomb-bay doors opened. It still took several climbs and descents to 20,000 or thereabouts to burn off enough fuel. Goodness knows what the fuel burn was in the climb.
BOING is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 16:30
  #254 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 26,340
Received 14 Likes on 6 Posts
Yes, the lack of a fuel dump system was often a problem. We once spent hours burning off for what the AEO thought was a loose panel (it wasn't - just a bit of u/c door seal....).

But once the gear was down, the burn rate went up a fair bit. Can't remember the limit - around 210KIAS? But it nearly caught out at least one crew once. A bunch of old gits from the 27th Boat Spotters were out shadowing ships somewhere way north of civilisation once, when the captain noticed a possible hydraulic failure. "How long to get back to Scampton, Plotter?", he asked. A bit of mumbling and computer work from the back later, he was given the answer. "Multiply that by the burn rate, subtract it from the current total - yup, we'll still have Plan 2 fuel. OK, speed below (whatever it was), u/c down please, Co" Rumble, rumble, thump, "Down, 3 greens", came the response and off home they duly set. Then up piped the Nav Plotter "Why are we going so slowly, First?"........ It seems that his estimate was based upon the normal 0.84 cruise, not the actual speed they would be using with the gear down. They just made it to somewhere in northern Jockistan, it seems! The Nav Plotter claimed that no-one had ever told him that there was such a thing as a limiting speed with the gear down!
BEagle is online now  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 19:47
  #255 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: LHR
Posts: 170
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"According to Alan Clark Diaries, Norman Tebbit wanted to use the V Force to bomb the Rhodesian Railway system....
Any stories behind this?"

I can think of a few occassions where this could have usefully employed on Virgin Trains.

Harsh but fair, in my opinion.

Mark.
BikerMark is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 19:53
  #256 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flatus Veteranus

I have a part copy of the bomb-bay tanks AP amended to Feb 68.

This is the console. Item 9 is the BB tank pressurisation switch.



The 'A' tank mod 527 included the fitting of pressurisation pipes. A removable pressurisation panel was located in the port bomb-bay. Unfortunately I do not have the section with more detailed descriptions.

Certainly the bomb-bay pressurisation switch was inoperative in my experience [70s] that backs up your conclusion on the incident you describe [1968ish].

The incident couldn't have been any earlier because 'A' tanks were fitted in the 301-engined aircraft of the Cottesmore Wing that were transferred to Waddo in the Spring of 68.

I understand the 'A' tank was the only bomb-bay tank compatible with Yellow Sun and Red Beard. Scampton Blue Steel a/c had 'As and Es' though the 'A' was fitted somewhat further back. Can you confirm that?
alamo is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 20:59
  #257 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 26,340
Received 14 Likes on 6 Posts
The only bomb bay tank configurations for the (non-tanker) Vulcan B2 which we used in the mid-70s (whether ex-Blue Tool or free-fall ac, 200 or 300 series engines) were:

'A' Tank Fwd
'A'&'E' Tanks
Drum Tank Fwd
Double Drums (One fwd, one aft)
'A' Fwd, Drum Aft

I'm pretty sure that the tank suspension points were the same for all ac. Wasn't it 5.5K in an 'A' or 'E' tank and 8K in a Drum? Can't recall and I no longer have any books to tell me.

......and Sod's Law always gave you a 98%+16K ac with 88K total fuel only when the low level Wx was pants and you then had to go and do some high-level bore-ex for the navigation team to involve themselves in some weird astrology!
BEagle is online now  
Old 23rd Jan 2004, 22:54
  #258 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,777
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Beags, you've certainly got some memory! Configs spot on. The A & E tanks were specifically designed for the Blue Steel aircraft, where the missile was recessed into the bombay.

Missile also had a folding fin for t/o, landing and on the ground. It was hydraulically operated for raising and lowering, with an emergency nitrogen raising system for hydraulic failure.

Great fun was Blue Steel, especially if you got to fly the one just taken off QRA for the maintenance cycle. The warhead was removed and a lump of concrete ballast fitted. However, the propellants were left in. Heavy aircraft, and crew monitored HTP temps at about 10 times the required rate!
FJJP is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2004, 00:48
  #259 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've found a reference:

At one stage, 5 stainless steel tanks were proposed, 'A' through to 'E' and various combinations were to be employed for Blue Steel, Yellow Sun and Red Beard/6000lb (US Mk-5).

Costs reduced the tanks from 5 to 4 to 3 and eventually 2: the 'A' and the 'E'.

The 'A' tank as produced was a compromise with features of the original 'A' tank (cut away at the rear for YS) and the 'B' tank (recessed underneath for BS). The 'A' tank could be mounted fully forward (YS, RB, WE177, conventional) or slightly further back (BS).

'A' tanks were ordered for the Con/Cot Wing. 'A' & 'E' tanks were ordered for the Sca BS Wing.

The alloy drum tanks came later. Ultimately, all non-BS aircraft (about 50) received the mod to carry double-drums but the financiers restricted the order and did not replace the existing free-fall 'A' tanks. After the drum tank mod, modded aircraft could carry either an 'A' tank or a drum tank forward.

During conversion to free-fall, BS aircraft retained 'A' & 'E', the 'A' tank repositioned fully forward.

The only exceptions I know of are the K2 - 3 x drum, and XH558 in display mode that had a single drum aft. This was to compensate for the c of g shift when the HDU was removed.

An interesting footnote. Mk1/1As were not fitted with bomb-bay fuel though the aircraft that crashed at Heathrow XA897 after returning from NZ was. The extra tankage had been borrowed from Avros who had used it in the prototype 698 before the wing tanks had been connected. The last leg of the ill-fated flight was from Khormaksar - a seven-hour sortie.
alamo is offline  
Old 24th Jan 2004, 01:41
  #260 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Glorious Devon
Posts: 721
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Single-engined Vulcan

I have received a private message from someone "who ought to know" that the incident happened on 2 Jan 69 in XM 608. 608 was ex-Coningsby, ex-Cottesmore and transferred to Waddo in Feb 68. My correspondent suggests that the saddle tank did not actually explode but was bent out of shape enough to release the overpressure. I have asked him to write up the incident for this thread.

The decision whether or not to land overweight on this occasion was a nice one; but it could (IMHO) only be taken by the Captain.
I was ready to authorise an overweight landing if asked, but I was not one of those who liked to shout the odds and pull rank.

The captain and crew did a good job.
Flatus Veteranus is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.