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Vulcan Minimum Aircrew?

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Vulcan Minimum Aircrew?

Old 1st Aug 2018, 15:22
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Vulcan Minimum Aircrew?

Good Afternoon All

Apart from XH558 3 man crew, what was the known minimum aircrew inflight on a Vulcan in the 70's & 80's.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 15:39
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4. One of the navigators could get out for night pilot circuits. And it was never me!
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 17:42
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Originally Posted by GLIDER 90 View Post
Good Afternoon All

Apart from XH558 3 man crew, what was the known minimum aircrew inflight on a Vulcan in the 70's & 80's.
A 4 man crew with a suitably qualified navigator - usually a Nav plotter
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 17:50
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Indeed the Vulcan lost at Chicago Glenview only had four aboard, the Nav Plotter ( and Sqn Commander) having gone to the display venue.





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Old 1st Aug 2018, 18:19
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In Tony Blackman's book, he mentions flying single-pilot, but needed a nav ruler to reach some switches!
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 18:31
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Did Roly Falk fly it solo?
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 18:57
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I think that the Vulcan's original design only had a single pilot. That's why the cockpit was so small.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 21:30
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I had done single nav a few times, longest was Cyprus to UKUK and I was a nav rad.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 21:33
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
Indeed the Vulcan lost at Chicago Glenview only had four aboard, the Nav Plotter ( and Sqn Commander) having gone to the display venue.
Absolutely awful with a mixture of relief and guilt.
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 22:59
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Did Roly Falk fly it solo?
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I think I remember also reading that either Tony Blackman or Roly Falk flew a Vulcan back to Avro's base after Farnborough with their wife in the other seat!
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 10:26
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If you are interested Glider90 it was a similar setup on Victor tankers. Checking my logbook I see numerous entries where I flew single nav (like P-N I was a nav radar too). These were usually trips like pilot IRTs, air tests etc where there would be no refuelling so one navigator was sufficient. These trips were usually given to nav radars so that they could keep their hand in doing some actual navigating/plotting, as opposed to operating the radar and the refuelling kit. Later on of course the Victor K2s were converted to single nav and operated with a four man crew, which made sense.
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 10:34
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John Farley mentions in his book A View to a Hover, carrying out local circuits at Bedford in a Vulcan.
As a Test Pilot there, he had occasion to fly some civil pilots in the RHS demonstrating a new FLight Instrument system. No mention of other crew so “single (qualified) pilot”?
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 12:29
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Originally Posted by cessnapete View Post
John Farley mentions in his book A View to a Hover, carrying out local circuits at Bedford in a Vulcan.
As a Test Pilot there, he had occasion to fly some civil pilots in the RHS demonstrating a new FLight Instrument system. No mention of other crew so “single (qualified) pilot”?
I very much doubt that you could operate a Vulcan without an AEO at least. Pilots sometimes forget to mention the rest of the crew!
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 12:59
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I think both Tony Blackman and Roly Falk flew it solo. Tony Blackman says in his book that he flew his wife Farnborough to Woodford in the RHS because she was annoyed that Roly Falk's wife had had the pleasure and she hadn't.

Whether Roly rolled it single pilot is a matter for conjecture.
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 15:06
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post

I very much doubt that you could operate a Vulcan without an AEO at least. Pilots sometimes forget to mention the rest of the crew!
Not having Vulcan experience, but why would you need an AEO if on a circuit detail??
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 15:25
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Originally Posted by Timelord View Post

I very much doubt that you could operate a Vulcan without an AEO at least. Pilots sometimes forget to mention the rest of the crew!
Indeed, i just had to go and check the crew compliment on op Black Buck (and it was 6) because in my memory of watching the documentary the pilots never hinted that there were any more than 2 crew in the interviews as far as i remember
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 15:31
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Originally Posted by hoss183 View Post
Indeed, i just had to go and check the crew compliment on op Black Buck (and it was 6) because in my memory of watching the documentary the pilots never hinted that there were any more than 2 crew in the interviews as far as i remember
Yep 5 crew plus a Victor AARI in the jump seat, for those tricky AAR brackets.
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 16:50
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Originally Posted by cessnapete View Post


Not having Vulcan experience, but why would you need an AEO if on a circuit detail??
To manage the electrics which were very complicated, very important and which had no controls accessible to the pilots. Some of his functions were more Flt Eng than EWO
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 16:56
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Anyway someone had to read the check lists!
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 17:01
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Sorry. The pilots could deploy tha RAT!
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