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Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

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Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

Old 28th Mar 2014, 11:19
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I'm currently putting together a new "bookzine" on the Vulcan, which will be in newsagents in May. Any of you former Vulcan chaps fancy penning a few lines on your exploits? I've written the usual potted history but it would obviously be nice to have something fresh to add if possible.

Likewise I have loads of photos to choose from but I guess most will have been seen many times before, so if anyone has anything tucked away...

I've tried to find pictures of the more unusual markings and colour schemes but obviously there's a finite amount of material out there - or so it seems. Sadly I can't find any more pictures of XM607 in its Red Flag "desert" scheme, so I'll have to rely on Steve Oddy's famous shots (Roger Brookes has a good photo but I don't think he's keen on having it published). B1 XH478 is unusual in that it carried fluorescent orange stripes on the nose, tail and wing tips (for refuelling trials it would seem) and I've got two fairly decent photos of that machine, but I guess there must be better shots out there - somewhere!

Perhaps the most exotic topic is a very early Vulcan B1 that was assigned to the A&AEE. I've found two pretty poor b&w shots of the aircraft and in addition to the standard overall silver paint scheme, it has large white patches applied to the outer wings and forward tail fin (it looks like there may be more on the underside too). Thing is, one assumes it is actually fluorescent orange but does anyone know for sure?

The other issue I have is sourcing useful drawings. I'm preparing some scale drawings based on existing plans (Bentley's being the best) and drawings from various manuals. The real problem is the B1 as there seems to be very little information on the wing layout. I have one manual drawing of the main wing but even this doesn't show the flap/aileron structure, not does it describe the wing tip area. If anyone has any material that would help me draw-up some good (accurate) drawings, that would certainly be a big help.

Anyway, whining plea is over!
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Old 27th Apr 2014, 22:02
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Just under three weeks to go until the V Force Reunion on 17th/18th May at Newark Air Museum, so this will be my last reminder. If you are planning to attend the evening buffet at Newark Golf Club act now or you may be disappointed, as I need to close bookings on Monday, 5th May. We already have around 400+ notifications of attendance for the day event and approaching 90 bookings for the evening, so it should be good.

More info and details of how to book for the evening function on the V-Force Reunion website, which will be getting its final update shortly.
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Old 17th Sep 2014, 21:31
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There I was

Howzit Pontius,

I haven’t got 657 in my logbook, but others with close numbers are there : eg 645 – 656.

I just rediscovered this thread (ie the archives) which was lost in the bowels of my computer and I must say I have been interested and amused by so many posts. You are defo the technical boffin, must have been a navrad, almost certainly sqn weapons leader I’d say.

Some very good guys on 35, defo (excluding the boss) and some interesting characters. Do you remmber that nice Ted Gent ? AEO ? Always ready to fix your dodgy TV, confidently feeling round the back of the set (live) with his nimble fingers, while looking at the screen … Once he came to ours, diagnosed the fault in a trice and produced a duplicate valve out of his pocket in a flash. He taught his equally nice wife how to weld. Always wore No. 1s.

Do you recall Mad Jack - "I'm bored and I'm going to leave this bl**dy aircraft" (round about F450) ? The big boss who wanted to eject from Barry ???????’s aircraft near to Singapore, only prevented because the very alert navrad nipped up the ladder and judiciously inserted his safety pin. ? “Well you can’t Sir” said Barry” “ I’m station commander and I can do what I like”. “Try”. “ I’ll have your guts for this”. “Oh No you won’t”. He didn’t and was sent back to base and a trip to a quiet place. He also lost it completely one New Year’s Eve Ball, but I don’t really want to go there as it was somewhat unedifying, even for an RAF officer.

There’s more but I have severe memory overload.

Thanks for all your great and well-informed postings. What a memory !
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Old 17th Sep 2014, 22:33
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I have just got back in touch (after 35 yrs +) with a Vulcan pilot who was my Best Man first time round - he was on 35 -David D.....e, wife Lorna. Both still well.
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Old 18th Sep 2014, 20:42
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Just genuflecting that all the aircraft I have flown in, with the exception of the Shackleton, were under 25 years old, and some were brand new, when I flew in them as either crew or pax - that includes Anson, Lancaster, Hastings, VC10, Dominie etc. The Shack was only 27 when I left it.

Now the Lancaster is 70, the VC10 would have been over 40, the Dominie was nearer 50. The Tonka is 30 or so.
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Old 21st Sep 2014, 16:56
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XM655 Maintenance and Preservation Society are planning to celebrate the aircraft's 50th birthday, and would like to contact members of the crew who made the delivery flight from Woodford to Cottesmore in November 1964.


If anyone out there knows the present contact details for Flt.Lt. C. Williamson, Flt.Lt. P Bouch, Fg.Off. R Betts, Fg.Off. R. Hollett or Fg.Off. T Howat, please contact me by pm.


Many thanks.
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Old 21st Sep 2014, 17:41
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Tankertrashnav should have the email addresses of at least some of that crew.

I thought I had flown 655 early on but actually didn't until Sep 65. Looking for a trip I thought I had done in 655 it turned out to be 606 in May 65 which was one I always remember.

Drifting slightly, the flight in 606 was an air test, usually these are flown by day but this was a night air test, I don't know why. It was memorable as I can remember the climb to height records for the air test. From airborne to 2000 feet was one minute, every minute thereafter we climbed a further 5000 feet. We reached 550 in 12 minutes, pressed on at that height towards Glasgow when we turned for home. The flight time was 45 minutes.
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Old 22nd Sep 2014, 22:37
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Target-was-Leningrad-

Wg Cdr Philip Goodall has a new book coming out on in Amazon in November My Target was Leningrad.

His first tour was on Valiants when he took part in the Suez operations. Later he served with Strategic Air Command. Next was a tour at Bomber Command when he was responsible for the war plans before taking up an appointment at Scampton as a sqn cdr.

Note the link is to the American site.

Amazon Amazon
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Old 23rd Sep 2014, 12:51
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Will check out the book - thanks for the link.

My old man flew XM 650,651,652,653,654,656,657.... just not 655.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 21:38
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Eagle river jolly for AVM's

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Eagle river jollies.
Just picked up this long lead thread about the vip trips to Eagle River.

As a coopted crew chief I was invited to "Flunky" for an AVM "Don't tell him your name P---"

No extra staff....just P---ey in the sixth seat and YT pandering to his every need in what they laughingly called the 7th. Never had an 8th to my knowledge.

Invited to the pre-briefing in the aircrew feeder, I remember the CO going on at great length about what container the strawberries and cream should be served in....cut glass or mess silver. Decisions-decisions..expect he got a gong for that!
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 21:54
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Macwood, you may well remember the fuss when a wifey told the Sun that Mountbatten was going on a jolly - Eagle River. I guess your AVM would have been bag carrier and general dogs body.

I know a bed was to be rigged for Mountbatten down the nose and he spurned the idea of a parachute. If he went below for the flight there would have been room for 8.

Do you remember Taff Skuse?
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 22:02
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I see Philip Goodall's 'My Target was Leningrad' is apparently out on 11th June and only 2 left - big print run.

It is also shown as Abridged. I am guessing that he could not get copyright permissions for the photos or possible censorship (but I can't comment ).

However I see the American release is to be 19th August and no mention of its being abridged.

Ps, and now, the following day, only 3 left. Someone return one?

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 16th Jun 2015 at 18:07.
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Old 20th Jun 2015, 00:10
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Cuban Crisis

Sorry to harp on about this gents, but I was watching a documentary on this and something suddenly dawned on me.


Since just about every V bomber we had with serviceable engines and wings on them was loaded with a weapon, Im presuming that these weapons were 'live' as if the order to scramble had taken place, it was head directly East with probably no place to come back to? McMillan didn't want to disperse the force to their dispersal fields where the weapons would have been armed ordinarily?


Or was it just the aircraft at the higher RS?


Obviously if this is a question too far, please feel free to ignore.


Thanks
TO
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Old 20th Jun 2015, 08:47
  #1914 (permalink)  
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TO, just before my time, but that was SOP the following year.

The force generation during the Cuban crisis would have been to Alert Condition 3. Aircraft would have been fully fuelled, loaded with a Yellow Sun, and at readiness 15 ready to scramble from main base to their targets. Recover was planned to numerous "recovery" bases in UK, Norway and Denmark. Unlike in later years the target scramble time for the first aircraft was 15 minutes. Much later 15 minutes was the target time for the last aircraft, an impossible target from the 'relaxed' 15 minute posture.

Spilsby and East Kirkby, amongst others, were so designated though Spilsby was earmarked for B47s. East Kirkby had been resurfaced (certainly in 1964) and remained, with Halfpenny Green, one of two RAF emergency airfields well in to the 1960s.

Higher than Alert Condition 3 was Alert Condition 2. Paradoxically this was a moment of greater vulnerability for the V-Force. All aircraft were armed but those destined for dispersal would have weapons safed and only ferry fuel. The number of ready aircraft at main bases however would have been increased from about 13 Vulcan and Victor to 24. The step that MacMillan wanted to avoid was Alert Condition 1 where the remaining force would disperse. Once turned round and brought to readiness the force level would have been around 120 or more.

During Mickey Finn, the annual dispersal exercise, we could expect to have a large proportion of the free fall force generated and dispersed within 8 hours.
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Old 21st Jun 2015, 16:38
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Many Thanks PN


I had my AC's the wrong way round (3, 2 and 1).


As a relatively young man born after the Cuban Crisis I found it strange that all this happened in almost total secrecy in terms of what the public knew about it. No 24h news channels of course.


Effectively we were minutes away from oblivion that weekend and the only people who knew about it were a select few politicians and the V force themselves.
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Old 21st Jun 2015, 18:30
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During the Cuban Missile Crisis I was on an ATC gliding course at Swanton Morley - "crisis" - what crisis? People mentioned something of what was going on but I suspect few there knew what was really going on or I guess we would have been sent home.
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Old 22nd Jun 2015, 09:12
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At the time of the Cuban Crisis I was in the Royal Observer Corps (ROC). We were required to provide updated contact details for 24/7 to our Chief Observers for cascade call out procedures. We were also required to inform work bosses of the requirement.
The response from my Housemaster/Headmaster when I told them of what they were required to do should I get called was that I was to get a note from parents and expect a wait of at least 3 days to consider a response!!!
They were equally underwhelmed when I said that lack of notes not withstanding I'd be out of that College like a rat up a drainpipe!!
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Old 23rd Jun 2015, 08:43
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There was no way the Cuban Crisis was going to escalate beyond some posturing. I was an essential part of the western response and in October 1962 I was still completing my third year of training at RAF Locking. There was a tacit agreement between both sides that they wouldn't start without me.
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Old 23rd Jun 2015, 09:34
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I recall staff at the ANS, but I can't confirm it was Cuba related, preparing go-bags for their role as SRMP in the Varsity. They would have trawled around the North Sea looking for ships and submarines. With a useful endurance of 8-9 hours they could have given good visual coverage and kept submarines down for the 'killers' in Shacks.

Their patrol box would have been small, say 60x60, but there were a lot of them
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Old 23rd Jun 2015, 10:28
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Treble One: I was 21 at the time, not then in the RAF, and whilst, perhaps thankfully, there was no 24 Hr coverage as we now know it, there was enough comment during broadcasts to keep one pretty concerned, especially over what might transpire should a Russian vessel refuse to accede to the US blockade. It was not hard to assume that the nuclear-armed RAF Bomber Command would be at a high state of readiness.

As for that, 10 Squadron was a Victor B1 unit at the time, and its F540 for October 1962 noted that the Command was brought to Alert Condition 3 (see PN, above) on Saturday 27 October - some 5 days after President Kennedy's TV broadcast and the imposition of the blockade, so not a snap reaction. On the Monday, a second aircraft was brought to 15 mins readiness, so there had been only one initially, with 5 others held at readiness from 2 - 12 hours - and "the normal flying programme continued uninterrupted where crew and aircraft availability allowed." Things reverted to normal on Monday 5 November. As I see it, most of this UK reaction occurred as the worst was past for, on 28 October, Premier Khruschev accepted a proposed US solution and confirmed that the missiles on Cuba would be withdrawn in exchange for a non-invasion pledge from the US. But I do recall feeling a bit jumpy in the aftermath of Kennedy's TV broadcast!
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