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RAF Vulcan Callsigns 1970's.

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RAF Vulcan Callsigns 1970's.

Old 21st Feb 2018, 10:01
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Ah, the added complexity of local training callsigns. Manby/Strubby used J (JP) and V (Varsity) followed by the instructor/student 2-digit personal callsign. If going 'elsewhere' they would use the station trigraph, followed by that number. I guess the SpecN/StaffN Canberras [and later Dominies] used C/D if doing local training, but generally they were going 'away' and would thus use the trigraph!

So ... you used the FIRST letter of the trigraph when 'away'? ... and the LAST when playing at home? Ignoring local peculiarities, I may therefore have been correct in post #12 after all [exempt local flying training activity].

Gawd, what a complex shambles!!
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 10:31
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Question Vulcan Formation Call Signs?

With recently seeing the detachment of B-52's call signs, I wondered what the Vulcans used when in formation on flypasts or exercise's?

Regards

Boeing Jet
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Old 7th Oct 2020, 14:27
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I don’t recall them ever using those types of callsign during my time there in ATC. But then they tended to operate as singletons most of the time.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 07:19
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The shortening of the Trigraph was at the discretion of ATC. When I was IND 01, the full trigraph was used on initial contact, ATC then replied with the reduced trigraph they wanted you to use, chosen to avoid any confusion with any other callsign on frequency, usually I 01 but could be D 01 or in extremis retain the full trigraph.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 07:30
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I'm pretty sure we used a station trigraph for exercises, as well as for bog-standard BTR trips.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 07:49
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Callsogns could be problematical - none more so than during the changeover from Mil (Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog etc.) to ICAO phonetic. Coupled with the use of 5 letter registrations, confusion reigned - in one reported case --VSF becoming Victor Sylvester Foxtrot ! ( Sad old wrinklies will understand!)
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 09:42
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
. Coupled with the use of 5 letter registrations, confusion reigned - in one reported case --VSF becoming Victor Sylvester Foxtrot ! ( Sad old wrinklies will understand!)
Haha......
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 10:14
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In the 1960's on IX Sqn we used trigraph call signs with I think our own 3 number suffix. This was always shortened to last letter + 3 number after initial contact. At some point the use of the last letter changed to the first letter + number as that was what I used through the 90's and 00's. As a side comment when on BFTS we used our instructors callsign on our first solo and were allocated our own number after that. In my case this caused a minor incident as another instructor played a funny on me as I lined up causing a red very to be fired which in my nervousness I could not remember if that meant abort or something else. Fortunately a switched on controller gave me instructions.

ACW
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 10:40
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S0S

I remember walking into Kinloss Ops one day, for a local Maritime Crew Training sortie, to find we'd been allocated the 3-cipher Sierra Zero Sierra; the Captain obviously requested a change before we left (not that Maritime crews are superstitious about these things or anything lol).
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 13:32
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I was at both Scampton and Waddington between 1974 and 1979. Each room had a station trigraph which was changed from time to time. Sorties were allocated a two-figure suffix by the ops clerks. On 44R, a certain captain who had a rapport with the clerks invariably persuaded them to allocate him “69”.

At this time, rangers going west were allocated a RAFAIR callsign whilst those going east were allocated a five letter callsign beginning with M.

I am uncertain about the Round the World pushes which were just fizzling out.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 13:42
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51 Sqn Nimrods used "Vulcan 51" for non-operational sorties.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 14:53
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Callsigns

OK. Whilst we are talking callsigns can anybody explain why we got 'Sierra' AND 'Zero'. Caused endless confusion when we used 'Sierra' for Standards. So 'Sierra Zero Four' could come back as anything! (Solved by changing to 'Tango). Anybody else had similar problems?

Last edited by Four Turbo; 8th Oct 2020 at 15:10. Reason: Spelling
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 16:39
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I was acting as station DI staff at laughing Laarbruch during ‘lion heart’ and listening to the sectors checking in prior to the survival launch. Went something like this CoC “Gold formation check in?” Reply “Gold 1 affirm, Gold 2, affirm, Gold 3....” etc etc

it came to one of the Buccaneer Sqns in Copper sector it was “Copper formation check in?” It became “Copper 1, allo, Copper 2, Allo Allo, Copper 3 Allo, Allo, Allo! ...

oh how we laughed...🤣
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 19:48
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VERY typical Bucc force! And a fine bunch too.
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Old 8th Oct 2020, 20:32
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
I blame aged memory cell, or perhaps the system changed?

My last live controlling was in 1983
When I was at Leeming in the early days of my career (1976) all of the squadrons used the Trigraph as standard, but each one was also assigned a single letter to use when only local flying, ie with Leeming (Tower, Approach etc) SO, a trigraph of LMG27 could quite easily become Yankee 27 if only local flying. (Instructor in command, odd number, student solo even number IIRC). Perhaps your experience is a similar system. The single letter was permanent when I was there and didn't change with the trigraph. We had lots of them and I can't remember who was who but we had RFS with JPs, METS with Jetstreams, RNEFTS with Bulldogs, AEF with Chipmunks, CFS with Bulldogs and another bunch I can't remember with JPs as well, all with their own single letter so we knew who was who. We had so many aircraft we had to institute a phased flying program because we couldn't get them all on the ASP at once.

Last edited by Doctor Cruces; 8th Oct 2020 at 20:51.
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 07:57
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The 3-digit suffix for students in the FTS system changed with course progress, as HP pointed out. It was simple but very effective as the first number immediately told you what level of student experience, or competence at (eg) IF, you were dealing with as a QFI or ATCO. 'LOP826' would have been a student from Linton who was flying solo but had not yet passed the Spin/Aeros Check, and 'LOP526' would have them (ISTR) through Basic Handling Test. In practical terms, it meant you could make allowances for unpredictable behaviour in the circuit, especially if it was busy, given that one of the newbies would occasionally throw a circuit so wide it qualified as a navex or perhaps decide to call finals when downwind, just to keep people guessing.

The only time I heard a callsign go badly wrong was on the way to Akrotiri, having bounced off the tanker a couple of times and beaten our way through France, and then the initial contact with Rome . Our formation leader called, in his best fake Italian accent, "Eh! Roma Control, Roma Control..." but then unfortunately followed it with "Uniform 3 Charlie Chequers 1, 2 and 3, FL320" in perfect Epping Forest. The silence was deafening. Several other calls were ignored before we were told to 'Standby', and all subsequent requests for level, heading etc were declined until we got handed on to the next sector. I don't think he tried speaking Italian again.
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 10:53
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Some interesting replies thanks, regarding the B-52's & Vulcan call signs whilst on operations around the world. The RAF call sign system seemed more complex than the USAF from what I have been reading here. Have occasionally heard a trigraph used by the RAF when they are flying over the UK.

When an 4 x Vulcan Scramble was launched eg Waddington Open Days 1970's 1980's did they use trigraph or was it something else?

Thanks

Boeing Jet
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 21:40
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Originally Posted by Boeing Jet View Post
Some interesting replies thanks, regarding the B-52's & Vulcan call signs whilst on operations around the world. The RAF call sign system seemed more complex than the USAF from what I have been reading here. Have occasionally heard a trigraph used by the RAF when they are flying over the UK.

When an 4 x Vulcan Scramble was launched eg Waddington Open Days 1970's 1980's did they use trigraph or was it something else?

Thanks

Boeing Jet
Trigraphs. The scramble was not a formation thing, more same way same day. They would all have had the same telegraph but the scramble order woukd probably have been addressed to Waddington Combine. As for the numbers, it was just two as there were only 20 odd aircraft on a station.

​​​​​​
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 21:46
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Originally Posted by Sideshow Bob View Post
I remember walking into Kinloss Ops one day, for a local Maritime Crew Training sortie, to find we'd been allocated the 3-cipher Sierra Zero Sierra; the Captain obviously requested a change before we left (not that Maritime crews are superstitious about these things or anything lol).
I think it was a 4 character callsign. We used the same code book as the navy but in some exercises they encrypted that too. Ark on one exercise had callsign slant slant zero slant //0/ The abbreviation was slant slant.

The callsign book was AMSH1707.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 11th Oct 2020 at 12:28.
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 21:50
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
I think it was a 4 character callsign. We used the same code book as the navy but in some exercises they encrypted that too. Ark on one exercise had callsign slant slant zero slant //0/ The abbreviation was slant slant.
not in the 2000's , it was 3 characters generated at Northwood.
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