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

Vulcan XH 558 Threads (merged)

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

Vulcan XH 558 Threads (merged)

Old 25th Jan 2009, 17:14
  #2081 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chedburgh, Bury St.Edmunds
Age: 77
Posts: 1,112
Hi, Blacksheep. I couldn't agree more!!!!! Financing again would be the problem. I doubt that the HLF would want to be involved in a series of smaller projects though.
JEM60 is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2009, 19:16
  #2082 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
safely housed examples of the Vulcan

Three in the UK to be precise - not a great deal really.

I doubt if there would be the same enthusiasm to support a project to get a Mosquito flying (it's not as if WWII isn't already well represented at air shows, is it?!) besides, Kermit Weeks already has one. As for being a "futile" attempt to keep the Vulcan flying for a few years, I don't think it was futile. The idea was sound, it's just been mismanaged very badly.
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 09:04
  #2083 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Donegal, Ireland
Age: 66
Posts: 73
Tim,

Firstly, I do applaud your brave and persistent efforts on behalf of the Vulcan to keep the discussion going on this forum. About a year or so ago I had the 'temerity' to question the viability of the project on this forum and was threatened with a ban (via pm) until I got the main PPRuNe admins to intervene. So much for freedom of speech...

Regarding your comments about the HLF, the problem is surely that it would cost a huge amount of time and money to have inspectors(?) who followed each and every project through to completion. Although it is the taxpayers' money, it is in effect going back to the taxpayer to use for the benefit of communities/interest groups/charities etc.

Uncomfortable as it may be, I think you just have to trust the groups to complete their projects, and accept that human nature being what it is, some will fall by the wayside. Equally, you can't really expect the HLF to keep pouring money into a project until it is completed - this would clearly be unfair on the many projects who no doubt are refused funding in the first place.

I think the only exception to this might be in the case of a public building (a museum perhaps) where it was half-finished and thus stood derelict for lack of funds. An old aircraft (IMHO) does not qualify.

I must say I was amazed the Vulcan got HLF funding in the first place, considering the problems involved and the relatively small audience for it.
oldlag53 is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 09:35
  #2084 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
I accept that HFL obviouly couldn't devote resources to constant monitoring of projects they've funded, but at present they seem to have gone to the other extreme. Having given TVOC a substantial amount of money, they now seem to be completely disassociated with the project.

But the most important point (as I keep trying to hammer-home) is that the money HLF gave will be wasted if the aircraft doesn't fly even for just a few years. It seems like complete stupidity to sit-back and allow the project to fail when, for the sake of a bit more money (and a tiny amount by HLF standards) they could see the project through and make the initial expenditure worthwhile.

It really is that simple, and yet nobody seems to have had the good sense to pursue this matter with the HLF. People seem keen to create stupid petitions, pointless campaigns, futile fundraising pleas, endless silly hopes for sponsorship, and yet the key to solving the problem is staring them in the face. Why are people so scared of pressuring HLF? Just because HLF say they won't put any more money into the project? Why hasn't anyone got the enthusiasm to take-on this issue and raise public awareness of how ridiculous HLF's position is? It's our money and we have the right to demand that it's spent as we see fit, surely? Just because HLF says no, doesn't mean we should take that as being their final position - ultimately they don't have the right to simply dismiss things so easily.

The longer this saga plods on, the more convinced I am that TVOC simply don't want to have HLF involved any more, for reasons which they want to keep to themselves. Likewise, it seems equally clear that people are perfectly happy to whine and moan on forums, and to click a box to sign a petition, but nobody is prepared to do anything which actually stands a chance of getting a result. For some reason, people seem to be scared of taking-on HLF and their stupid attitude, even though HLF should be accountable to us - the people who give them the money in the first place.

As I've said before, HLF is the only option, it really is that simple. Everything else is a waste of time no matter how much people might argue otherwise.
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 11:45
  #2085 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London
Posts: 54
Why hasn't anyone got the enthusiasm to take-on this issue and raise public awareness of how ridiculous HLF's position is? It's our money and we have the right to demand that it's spent as we see fit, surely?
You seem to be the one doing all the talking and constantly badgering other people to do what YOU think is right. So, what are you waiting for?

No good supplying just the bullets is it...?
Surrey Towers is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 11:57
  #2086 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Newcastle
Age: 50
Posts: 512
So last year I made a request to the HLF under the FOI for some bits of information after an appeal to anyone for suggestions, this is what I received back, unedited:

Dear Mr Charlton,
Thank you for your email.
We are in the process of consulting with the applicant to ascertain whether there is any commercial information contained in the application forms that it would not be proper for us to release.
In the interim we are aware it has been a little while, and therefore thought it was better to respond on these other questions as quickly as possible; and that if you are able to give us a steer on any particular information from the application form that you are interested in, we may be able to pull that out more quickly.

In relation to this specific query, to start with perhaps I could provide with the following information for each of the various applications:
HF-01-00951 - Vulcan to the Sky - Rejected
Vulcan to the Sky NHMF 2002 (9) 10
DECISION: REJECT
Vulcan to the Sky Limited sought a grant of £2,500,000 (57% of eligible costs) to purchase and restore the Avro Vulcan XH558, to fly at air shows in the UK. Expert advice and officers’ advice was not supportive. The aircraft was in good condition for static display and not at risk, and while possibly the only one that could be restored to flying condition there were 20 presently in preservation. Its maximum permitted flying life if the project was approved would be 5 to 8 years. The Board noted that the restoration of aircraft to flying condition was a low priority for HLF funding, primarily because of the flying risks, but agreed that exception to this could be made on the basis of the merits of individual applications. However, they agreed that, in view of the short flying life of the aircraft, the heritage and public benefits would be insufficient to provide value for money for the grant sought. The Board rejected the application, on the grounds of (1) low priority, and (2) poor value for money for HLF funding.

HG-03-00079/1 - Vulcan To the Sky - Approved
Vulcan to the Sky; HG-03-00079/1 HLF 2003 (11) 14
DECISION: STAGE ONE PASS (£2,497,000; 61%)
In November 2002, the Board had rejected an application by Vulcan to the Sky Trust for a grant of £2,500,000 to purchase a Vulcan ZH558, carry out a major maintenance programme, and return it to flight. The decision had been based on the low priority of restoring aircraft to flying condition and poor value for money. The project had since been revised, with the Trust now seeking a Stage One Pass of £2,497,000, the aircraft having now been valued at £125,000.
The revised project had addressed the risk involved in returning aircraft to flying condition. Undertakings had been obtained from BAE Systems and the Civil Aviation Authority on their involvement in managing risk and ensuring airworthiness. The risk was now believed to be no greater than for any commercially operated aircraft licensed to carry passengers. The Board agreed that, in view of the low risk and that fact that several other Vulcan aircraft existed, a grant might be awarded subject to conditions including suitable insurance and an evaluation programme. It was agreed that other grants to restore aircraft to flight would not be considered until the results of the evaluation were known.
The revised project had also addressed value for money concerns and developed public and educational benefits. The aircraft would now be displayed at various shows around the country over a longer period. Although some Trustees were concerned that the public benefits would still only last for a relatively short period of time, others were persuaded by the increased public enjoyment of the sight of this particular aircraft in flight.
Although the Royal Air Force was not providing a cash contribution towards the project, the Vulcan would be flown by RAF crew who would provide training for others. At the end of its flying life, it would be transferred to the Imperial War Museum’s collection at Duxford for display and taxi run demonstrations. Links with Duxford were already being forged.

The Board noted that the specific issues raised when the previous application was rejected had been addressed, and the support for the project from local people, volunteers, and the Committee for the East Midlands. The Board agreed the application was a high priority for funding. They approved a Stage One Pass of £2,497,000 (61% of eligible costs), subject to the following conditions:
- The Trust should submit with their Stage Two application for HLF approval a plan detailing all the access, interpretation and education programmes and materials for the first year of operation plus a strategy for the next four years; this should included details of staffing, measurable targets, and links with partner organisations.
- The Trust should also devise and implement an evaluation strategy for measuring the benefits delivered through this programme, and through the presence of the Vulcan at events where it would fly. The results from would need to be shared with HLF on a regular basis.
- The Trust should have in place adequate insurance to be able to repay HLF grants should any loss or damage be sustained by the aircraft during its flying life.
20 Vulcan to the Sky; HG-03-00079/2 HLF 2004 (6) 20
DECISION: AWARD GRANT OF £2,734,000 (63%)
(INCLUDING UPLIFT OF £238,000 ON STAGE ONE PASS)

In December 2003 the Board had approved a Stage One Pass with a view to a grant of £2,497,000 towards an application by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust to restore a Vulcan A-bomber to flight, to allow it to be displayed throughout the country over its remaining 10 to 15 years flying life, after which it would retire to Duxford to become the centre of their Cold War exhibition. The Trust had addressed the Stage One requirements by producing education, access and interpretation plans and a project evaluation strategy. An uplift of £238,000 was sought to cover an increased rental charge for the hangar. Expert advice was supportive. The Board agreed it was a high priority for funding, and awarded a grant of £2,734,000 (63% of revised eligible costs), subject to the special conditions as recommended.



3. HLF has had no requests, formal or informal, for further funding.
2 & 4. HLF monitors all large projects to ensure that the approved purposes are achieved and that Lottery money is properly spent. When projects are awarded a grant a monitor is appointed. A monitor was appointed to the Vulcan project and has been closely involved in overseeing the project on behalf of HLF since the grant was awarded. The monitor's role is to oversee the project on behalf of HLF, visit the project regularly, examine progress on the works involved, all expenditure and invoices and scrutinise project management. The monitor provides us with regular reports on the project's progress and any requests to drawdown money. Should the monitoring process highlight any problems or concerns, HLF's case officer will meet the grantees with the monitor and agree ways of resolving the issues.
Similarly, we have a great deal of monitoring paperwork, some of which we may not be able to release (most likely, given the financial reporting made, because of a commercial confidentiality) and in any case not without consulting with the grantee to ascertain this. Again, if you are able to be more specific in defining your interest in any way I can probably respond to that more promptly.
Then I received this additional information:

HLF appointed a monitor in January 2005 to monitor and oversee the Vulcan restoration project. The monitor has held and continues to hold monthly on-site meetings with the grantees. Monitoring concentrates on the grantees’ mobilisation on site and all works undertaken as part of the grantee’. This covers scrutiny of : 1. Acquisition of the aircraft
2. Taking a legal charge over the aircraft
3. Acquisition of the hangar lease
4. Completion of the main works supplier’s contracts and indemnities
5. Completion of contracts and indemnities with sub-contractors
6. Establishing Original Equipment Manufacturers contribution to the project
7. Completion of Aircraft hull insurance
8. Compliance with CAA rules for the major overhaul back to flight
9. Compliance with the CAA registration process
10. Fundraising programme development and progress
11. Education programme development and implementation
12. Drawing down HLF grant – monthly requests with full documentation
13. Initiation and regular review of Management Information System
14. Cost Plan and Risk Management Plan initiation and reviews
15. Staff recruitment and employment
16. Arrangements for post-flight housing and display
The monitor provides a full progress report to HLF each month. The report covers all of the above aspects of the project, highlights any problems or issues that need to be resolved and advises whether further funding should be released.
andrewmcharlton is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 16:19
  #2087 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
You seem to be the one doing all the talking and constantly badgering other people to do what YOU think is right. So, what are you waiting for?

Suggest you read previous posts before commenting. I already said that I tried, a long time ago, but nobody was interested in helping us. But thanks for the pointless snipe
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 16:24
  #2088 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
Andrew, I'm inclined to think that HLF's monitor doesn't actually do much monitoring. A cynic would think that he merely ticks boxes and collects his wage from HLF...

However, the most interesting line is:-
3. HLF has had no requests, formal or informal, for further funding.

So, after all this wringing of hands and all the last-ditch pleas for money, TVOC haven't even bothered to ask for any more money? Oh dear...
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 19:25
  #2089 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Newcastle
Age: 50
Posts: 512
I was pretty surprised at that response too. I don't recallthe exact appeal message but I recall reading one and the implication, if indirect, was that traditional lines of finance had been exhausted hence the pass the hat appeal, i.e. asked and refused. It does seem that unless something has been done since this FOI reply was filled out, that they didn't even ask for further help.
andrewmcharlton is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2009, 21:24
  #2090 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
It's quite absurd isn't it? If you read the endless threads on various sites, you ocassionally see HLF mentioned and everyone immediately dismisses the notion of seeking more money from HLF, usually with the throw-away comment that HLF are unwilling to provide any more funding - as if the idea had been explored. But when you read things like your response from HLF, it suggests that TVOC haven't even bothered to ask.

Madness, complete madness.
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 17:13
  #2091 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Newcastle
Age: 50
Posts: 512
This is a dire state of affairs and I am sure others on here, irrespective of views, would wish that your hard graft and commitment were not lost to the project.

It would be nice to think that someone at TVOC would read this and respond, not neccessarily to specific points you raise but in generality as it is symptomatic of a disconnected leadership not just from the donors but from their volunteers.

Very sad and thank you for your contribution, enjoy a lie in.
andrewmcharlton is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 17:23
  #2092 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
I agree with Andrew - good that someone within the team is willing to say what they think and I hope it encourages more to do the same before the people running this project grind it into the ground completely.
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 20:51
  #2093 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
I sincerely hope the posts are not removed - it would be nice to think that PPRuNe, alone amongst the range of enthusiast sites and aviation magazines, could actually discuss the realities of this project, rather than wasting time on the usual pointless chat found elsewhere. It's refreshing to hear from someone who has actually been involved and I hope that others will come forward too and say what they think. It's pretty clear that the TVOC management have no intention of saying anything of any significance to anyone unless - or until - they're forced to.
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 21:16
  #2094 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Newcastle
Age: 50
Posts: 512
Not sure why the post should be remnoved, it's about the most valid and straight talking one we've had to date, keep it up.
andrewmcharlton is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 21:59
  #2095 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
Why doesn't that surprise me?!

I know from experience that TVOC only communicate with people when they want to, and as soon as they can't be bothered or when they think someone might be inclined to ask some difficult questions, the lines of communications go dead. It's a sorry business.

I'm glad that you've said what you think and I hope others do the same too. I don't know why everyone seems to be so reluctant to point the proverbial finger at TVOC's management - maybe it's some sort of fear that if too many questions are asked then the whole project might come tumbling down? But let's face it, I think we've reached a stage where it's starting to topple in any case so if there's anything we can do to prevent things becoming even more dire then let's do it, don't you think?

Surely, we have the opportunity here on PPRuNe to gather the "serious" people together and combine our talents in order that we can demand some sensible dialogue with TVOC and/or HLF? If we don't then who the hell will?
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 21:59
  #2096 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Longton, Lancs, UK
Age: 76
Posts: 1,524
Strange this. I have also had a post removed from the TVOC site very recently: mild and inoffensive, it was intended to provoke a response to topical concerns. Hard to understand.
jindabyne is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 22:48
  #2097 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: WEST
Posts: 57
I haven't posted on here for a while but thought it a real shame reading what's been posted on the last few posts.

as one who has been greatly despised (to some toe-curling degree I hasten to add!) by TVOC management for a considerable time, due to my voicing my own grave concerns about the management of the project since October 2007, it would be all too easy to simply say "I told you so!" Not quite though.

what brunty558 has said, several of us have known for quite a while, along with a lot of other stuff. However, it's a great pity that it's 'come to light' now, as this is the first time in quite a while that I personally have felt positive about 558's future. I know that seems daft, given the current financial situation and the Sword of Damocles hanging over 558, but my reasoning is actually very simple - the new management structure!

Various things that I have been working on for over a year are finally beginning to bear fruit, with respect to publicity and funding for 558. Putting it into plain English, Rusty's departure is the best thing to happen in a long long time; she was a completely disorganised and counterproductive control-freak, determined to have her fingers in every pie, whether it was the concern of the Commercial Manager or not.

I had many spats with her, usually resulting in her editing or deleting my posts on the forum and even various threats of legal action (to which i always replied "bring it on!") All to try and silence me and promote her own version of the truth. The more I learned about her 'management style' the more I realised just how much she (and a few others) were getting away with and the resulting mess that TVOC certainly was. Now her role has been re-ordered and filled by someone who actually seems to 'get it'!

Hallelujah!

my emails now get answered promptly, telephone calls happen as planned and finally it appears that there IS someone at the helm that GENUINELY thinks of 558 as OUR aeroplane, with many valuable supporters who have good ideas! That, believe me, is a completely new concept for TVOC!

my only caveat to all of that is that 'things' got too far down the slope for too long - so much so that the new structure and people will have a much harder task than they might have had six or twelve months ago; so much damage has been done. If things continue in the positive way that they have shown so far, there are certain people whose faces simply won't fit anymore - by default. Thus the transformation will be complete!

seeing things slide further and further down the slippery slope over the past few months, I really never thought I'd hear myself saying this but things ARE looking better, little bit by little bit. I'm a long way off shouting the sickening "Keep the Faith" battle-cry, but I now have far more confidence in the management than at any time in the past.

brunty558, thanks for the stalwart effort and support you've given over the months and years - I'm sorry that you've been driven to your decision, but I genuinely hope that I'm proved right in the medium term and you can possibly reconsider in the future.

sm
saracenman is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2009, 23:42
  #2098 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
What are your thoughts on the new "Press office"? I haven't seen so much as a single word from them (him?) as yet.

What exactly is happening on the TVOC forum? Is anything of any relevance being said or is it just the usual pointless banter? More importantly, have TVOC actually said anything about how things really are progressing (or not)?

And, most importantly, has anything been said about HLF? I assume not?
Tim McLelland is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2009, 00:31
  #2099 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: WEST
Posts: 57
I can't answer you in any official capacity, but...

press office
I have been speaking with him for more than 18 months and I can't think of anyone better to be given the task to be honest. the fact that he is (not meaning to sound condescending!) 'only' a club member - a very conscientious one at that - is significant in itself. he has shared my own concerns for some time and approached TVOC directly at the start of 2007 to offer his not-inconsiderable services. we have discussed several things over the months and bounced ideas off each other - i know that he is keen, motivated and effective, but bear in mind that he will only ever be as good as the information that he is given!

it also brings the club activities closer to TVOC - another thing which was long overdue - it has appeared for too long that they were both on opposing sides!

don't forget that anything is better than the wall of silence that so many of us screamed and shouted about not so many months ago.


forum
I haven't looked myself for a wee while, but I am aware that there are a few squabbles going on at present.

I can't say much about the banter really as I've been an instigator of much of it myself!

what I think should be realised though is that there is nowhere near as much genuine 558 stuff as there was two years ago - for obvious reasons. what is good about it though is that it still represents a valuable 'place' for 558's core supporters to chat - without that the project would have died a long time ago. Rusty & Co never appreciated just how indispensible the forum is for continued core support.


progress
again, I think that there is very little to report. I know that there are some feverish goings-on in the background to get things organised - particularly with respect to finances/creditors etc. the 'new team' certainly did as promised before Christmas and published the figures that we have begged and begged and begged for. I know from my own conversations that this was considered long overdue, and the general 'sweep it under the carpet' routine has been reversed as a matter of urgency.

I personally don't expect to hear much in the short term, so I won't be disappointed if we don't!


HLF
what were you hoping for? as far as I'm aware, the HLF involvement is done and dusted. I think it foolhardy for anyone to assume that they have any control over 558; the HLF have given millions to countless causes that have fallen by the wayside. I'm no HLF expert by any means, but I think that those three letters have to be forgotten about - unless of course another application is made, but that's a different matter entirely!

overall, as long as we can all sit tight and see 558 through this current hiatus, she stands a much better chance of displaying this year that she did this time last year!

cracks appeared a long time ago - they went unchecked and steadily became gaping chasms, despite some very conserted efforts from the supporters to keep it going. now there is a very real chance of fixing these, but with a small pallette knife and a tiny tub of Polyfila, it won't happen overnight!

sm

Last edited by saracenman; 28th Jan 2009 at 00:37. Reason: spellink and general idiocy
saracenman is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2009, 01:08
  #2100 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
Thanks for the very full reply - good to finally be getting down to some serious discussion at last!

Press office - well I would agree that he will only be as good as the information he's given, but I hope that doesn't mean that he's going to simply act as a "mouthpiece" for the rest of the team. Heaven-forbid that the management found yet another excuse to avoid actually communicating with anyone! Does this also mean that if/when he is approched with new ideas to help TVOC, the offers won't simply be ignored now? I very much hope so. However, my main worry is that I haven't seen the new "press office" translate into any press coverage anywhere. I hope that whoever the guy is, he understands that a press officer has to be proactive not merely reactive.

Forum - Oh wel 'nuff said. I agree that the forum serves a useful purpose in enabling supporters to talk to each other but in a wider sense, I doubt if it's had any effect on the amount of money going into the programme. In fact I worry slightly that reading endless squabbles over nothing actually deters people from making dontaions!

Progress - I'm not quite so convinced that everything's fine. I think Dr.Pleming has made it very clear that there's a serious shortfall of money still outstanding so unless this money looks like being found (and I assume that it doesn't look like being found?) then I don't see much to be enthusiastic about? Fundamentally, no matter what changes might or might not be made to TVOC, if ther money still isn't there, it's a waste of time.

HLF - Well, as I've said in previous posts, HLF is the only obvious way in which longer-term funding for the aircraft could be secured. As you say, the HLF involvement appears to be "done and dusted" which seems - to put it mildly - completely crazy! Surely, if TVOC are doing anything worthwhile to seriously find funding, then they should be putting a lot of effort into trying to persuade HLF to provide it. I've already explained why, and if they haven't done that, then surely it's time that someone was asking them why not?

Oh well, the saga continues...
Tim McLelland is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.