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Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

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Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

Old 11th Dec 2003, 15:22
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Did You Fly The Vulcan?? (Merged)

If so, or even if you just want to do something to help get one back into the air, you might be interested to learn that the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding assistance to get XH558 restored to flying status has just passed its first stage. More details here:

When she does fly, let's hope that she's displayed sympathetically and gracefully - and without the fatigue consuming wing-rocking nonsense of her last RAF displays which always made me wince.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 01:32
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Vulcan stories please. From drivers or otherwise.

p.s. would be nice to see and hear one flying again.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 02:32
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That's super news BEags. I thought the Heritage Lottery Fund was far too PC to support anything so "nuclear" as the Vulcan. I wholly agree with you about displays. Conservation should be the name of the game - indeed it should only be flown enough to keep a crew in a safe state of practice. I take it there is no simulator left. Anyway the Vulcan simulator was really only a procedures trainer.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 03:05
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I know of at least 5 drivers who could still be considered highly skilled and capable.

I'll tick them off one by one as they appear - and they will!

It is good news. Let us hope and pray that those at the top of the project don't screw this up. Expertise is the name of this particular game and the display sequence should reflect conservation as BEags and others have said.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 03:09
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Still have my Vulcan pilot's handbook somewhere....!!
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 03:54
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Oooops! It's 6 drivers - 5 to go!
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 04:34
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What sterling news. Good luck to all at TVOC. Can't wait to feel the tarmac shake again!!
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 04:51
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Sorry to disagree chaps - IMHO it's all a waste of money
Old 12th Dec 2003, 05:08
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Flew it for 8 years, including as display co-pilot for 2 seasons. Good news for the future. Smartman, your opinion is respected, but I totally disagree.

Beags, I've stilll got the manuals, too - now where's that old co-pilot's handbook?!!!

PPRuNe Pop, guess that's now 7 drivers, 6 to go!
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 05:43
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Slightly OT but does anyone here know or remember Chris Lumb? Ex-Vulcan man and I believe one of the last display pilots, last heard of as air attache to Washington. Chris was one of the folks who taught me to fly on UWAS about a million years ago -- a true gent and a superb aviator. If he's still about, I bet he's one of the six!

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Old 12th Dec 2003, 05:57
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No FJJP - you were one now it's 4!
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 06:03
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Actually, I meant the co-pilot's handbook. Mine even has the entries from my last Vulcan flight on 18 Mar 1980 still in it - even the fuel howgozit is still plotted!

XH561, c/s 49X55, ETD 0945Z. $odding 4 1/2 hour MRR boat-spotting trip, fuel was 98% with an 'A' tank fitted but empty and we had an air experience air trafficker along for the trip. Decision speed was 145 KIAS, rotate at 153, 11 minutes later we were up at FL410 chatting with Border Radar. Looks as though we had a t/o delay as t/o is recorded as 1155Z. It seems that there was a right hand sequence timer failure later as there was an imbalance in the 4s and 7s between 1310 and 1355 which was rectified as the 1455 fuel check was OK. Total flight time was 4:30, but the QFI captain was decent enought to let me fly from the LHS and even gave me the landing off a PAR at sunny Scampton.....

Then 2 weeks later I was flying a JP at Leeming doing my pre-Hawk/Phantom course.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 06:22
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Must have words with my mother to see if she can trawl anything up on this.

She was the PA to the top bod at Woodford when the beast was testing.
I fondly remember her telling me about the ground power tests, right outside her office window.

She still has contacts, so I will have words this weekend.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 06:23
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Beags - if you were delayed 2hrs on take-off you must have been entitled to a second pre-flight meal?

Used to make sure we diverted our fighter to Waddo or Scampton cause then we got a post flight meal too!

Happy days - best Vulcan was the tanker - what a stable platform to prod.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 06:34
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Probably a tasking delay from the MRR cell - but undoubtedly we had a full aircrew breakfast at the excellent Scampton feeder!

Yes, I prodded the Vulcan a few times from the F4 and agree it was a nice stable platform. A bit weird at night with those twin underwing anti-coll lights and the MFI wardrobe HDU housing looked hideous. Best tankers were Vulcan and KC-10, then Victor. Worst was the KC-135 with the wretched boom-drogue adaptor which I was launched with on QRA having never had the benefit of a dual trip against it. Teach yourself BDA prodding with 3 tanks and 8 missiles was a silly idea, in my view, but eventually we got the gas - unfortunately the Bears had legged it home before we got anywhere near them.....

Much more fun taking Bear piccies from the '10 - particularly when we showed the Ivans Sam Fox from the Sun calendar from the flight deck windows!
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 07:07
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Way things are going, you chaps may need to borrow it back.

As a civilian one would love to see it fly again, one did send them a fiver a few years ago.
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Old 12th Dec 2003, 17:32
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ACW599, Officer Lumb was Stn Cdr at Brize around 1989. I believe he retired soon after and went to Eastbourne College as the Bursar. I also hope the Vulcan, should it fly again, is treated with care having been attacked by one, thank you Mr Stannard, at the Toronto air show when we had two Harriers in tow.

Last edited by Art Field; 13th Dec 2003 at 18:38.
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Old 14th Dec 2003, 01:38
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Chris Lumb

I flew a Captain's Acceptance Check with Chris in XM 605 on 9 Apr 69 on 50 Sqn at Waddo. We went low level at Entry Point 24 (on the old round-Britain LL route) and frightened Wainfleet with 6 x 25 practice bombs. I notice that this was with my own crew with Chris presumably in the left hand seat and myself playing the Co-pilot role. I think it possible that Chris did the upgrade course from Copilot to Captain at Finnigilley and came to 50 without a crew as a supernumerary Captain. I flew night currency checks with Chris on 8 and 29 May 69. I believe the rule used to be that if you had not done a night landing for 28 days, you had to fly with the boss or the squadron QFI. This got very restrictive during the summer months when only one or two of the sorties generated by Eng wing would recover to Waddo between sunset + 1 hour and dawn - 1 hour. So when we were allocated a night-landing sortie, there would be a whole queue of captains waiting out by the runway to jump in and do their circuit and landing. I always thought it damn dangerous to have chaps clambering in and out of a bang- seat in a darkened cockpit downwind to have their quick shake of the stick, particularly when the weather was dodgy and a PAR or ILS had to be flown. And the boss sometimes hadn't had a decent kip for 48 hours. It was not until I had my B-52 ride at Castle in '72 that I met a real 24/7 operation. After a compressed ground school and simulator phase I had one 15 hour ride in the left hand seat of the "Buff". We took off at about noon and returned to the pattern at about 0100 the following morning to do the "circuits and bumps". SAC used to make no distinction between Day and Night flying and if you had to do your first bit of "circuit-bashing" at night, so be it!

Chris flew XM603 with me out to MOONFLOWER at Butterworth via Akrotiri, Muharraq and Gan 2 - 5 June 69 with my own rear crew. I think we swapped seats on each leg. The last leg involved a rendezvous with some RAAF Mirages who formed up in Balbo on us for the arrival at Butterworth. I seem to remember we were down to 2.5 alternators at that point! It was sometimes useful for a detachment commander to have a qualified captain as copilot. Protocol usually demanded a formal leave-taking of CO of the staging post, and it was good to be able to delegate the planning and pre-flight checks to someone competent and reliable. Sometimes I boarded the aircraft with engines running and after-starting checks complete.

When we returned to Waddo on 10 July (still in XM603) but with my own Co-pilot, he remarked when we broke out of the low clag that A Dispersal was empty. A Dispersal (the QRA dispersal) EMPTY??? when we got into Ops we were told that the cold war was over as far as the V-Force was concerned and that Polaris had taken over. At which point I handed over the squadron and was posted.

Chris was a top bloke and obviously on a fast track up the ladder. I believe he was commanding 50 Sqn when it was disbanded in the '80s
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Old 20th Dec 2003, 01:38
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This civilian reader has enjoyed your correspondence immensely, being old enough to remember the chilling undercurrents of those Cold War years. Don't you find people these days have forgotten quite what a threat we all lived under back then? And young people these days probably couldn't even grasp the real possibility for us then of being melted three times over.
It all came back while I was watching a Discovery Channel cable TV prog about the V bombers just yesterday evening. There was some excellent footage of Val, Vic and Vul. There were also intelligent remarks about what the Vulcan crews might have thought about their return-home routes.
I lived near Coningsby in the eighties when a young family man, and went to the Coningsby Air Show in 1984 or1985 (I don't recall exactly which), with my wife and young kids. A Vulcan did a display. It was quite unforgettable. The ground shook noticeably!
(Is the 'driver' out there somewhere?) It must have left a big impression on my then two year old daughter; she has a place at Cranners next year, to fly.
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Old 20th Dec 2003, 02:36
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His eyes were open. It was dark. There was no sound. Why had he woken? An eerie sound penetrated his consciousness as the sirens began their mournful wail.

He swung out of his single bed into the cold of the room, dragged on yesterday's clothes and fastened his number 2 jacket. Grabbing his hat he set out for the Ops block a mere 200 yards away. In the glow of sodium lights he could make out the time on his watch - 0405 or O-dark hundred. Dawn was still some hours away.

Only 5 minutes since the sirens had begun their call to duty but the Ops block was bustling with life. No conversation, just action. Straight to the Ops desk, grabbed the call out book and then to a free telephone. "Oakham 1234 please" The operator put him straight through; no question "Is this a service call?"

"Yes?" "12 Sqn - callout" "OK"

He pressed the recall and immediately asked "Stamford 3412" Like a well oiled team he had his own operator in the exchange waiting for his next call. There was no plan; it just happened.
............................................................ ........................................

And so the war would start.
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