Vulcan Bomber XH558 (The last fly-past)

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Peter Clare, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Important news on the future of XH558

    Oct 12, 2012 by Ian Homer.
    [​IMG]Chief Executive writes on the future of Vulcan XH558


    You're probably aware that the Vulcan has a finite safe flying life and that XH558 is already beyond the hours flown by any other aircraft of her type. At the end of the 2013 flying season, she will need a challenging modification to both her wings to strengthen a section that would otherwise be at the end of its safe life.

    I know that XH558's supporters would do their utmost to fund this work, which is estimated at around £200,000 (in addition to the normal Winter Service costs), but for a number of reasons that are explained later in our End of Flight leaflet, I have decided not to ask you to take this risk at this time.

    Whilst it may be theoretically possible to continue flying for two or three more years, the factors that control whether XH558 can continue flying are such that even if the wing modification was completed successfully, it is quite possible that she would have to stop flying early in 2014. We continue to explore ways to ensure that we can continue flying for longer, but the position today is that we cannot see how spending £200,000 of supporters' funds on a short-lived airframe upgrade could be justified.

    Few will be able to deny that returning XH558 to flight and operating her at air displays for six years in front of millions of adoring spectators will be seen as a huge achievement.

    It is therefore with particular sadness that I have to tell you that we are planning for next year to be XH558's final flying year, and so, consequently, 2013 may well be your last opportunity to see a Vulcan fly.

    Critically, there now exists a large question mark over our ability to reach the 2013 season. Once again, we need to raise enough money to get through the winter service period, with £400,000 being needed ahead of Christmas over and above the income that we can currently see. Our projections show that a further £300,000 is needed to then reach the new airshow season when XH558 is able to start earning her keep!

    This might sound daunting to many of our newer followers, but it is no different from the funding challenges that we have overcome in previous years through the great generosity of XH558's supporters, with donations coming from every part of the world. There is certainly huge love and affection for XH558. It would be almost criminal not to do our best to ensure XH558 is able to fly to the limit of her airworthy life.

    Please remember that we have an annual operating budget that we have managed to keep down to £2million despite escalating costs. With no government or RAF backing, we have to rely on funding from public appeals, some core corporate sponsorship and our own commercial trading of official merchandise.

  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Just looking at the costs to keep the Vulcan running, thats some amount of money.In these times I'd say we will see more and more aircraft being grounded for lack of funds and thats a sad thing. Even for smaller aircraft the costs must be quite prohibitive.
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    XH 558 status as announced by the VTST

    Airframe mods to the wing leading edge reinforcement plates should ensure that XH 558 can continue flying until the end of 2015.This has been accomplished with help from specialists at Cranfield Aerospace.......practical design data that was required,apparently, no longer existed.

    Looks as if there is no spare engine so should one fail it would mean that the aircraft would be grounded if the engine was not recoverable.(Seems strange that there are not spare engines to be had.)

    Seen last weekend flying over the Newark area.Apparently it had already had two outings this year,the first being on May 18 and has been declared ready for this year's display programme.
  8. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Just received the Autumn 2013 Vulcan newsletter

    Major concern on immediate funding £150,000 required by the end of October 2013.
    The Vulcan is still in fine health but requires on-going maintenance.
    Further funding required to achieve 2 more years of flight.

  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Just received the Summer 2014 Vulcan newsletter

    They require £200,000 for the Final Season Service.
    The 2015 season will be the last time that Vulcan XH558 flies.
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

  12. South

    South Member

    I haven't had the opportunity to see the Vulcan fly yet, so I'm really looking forward to it flying over here. We had a Spitfire fly past here last week and had a great view from the back garden,but I'm tempted to go on to camp for this one.

    Thanks for posting the link, I hadn't realised they had a webpage specifically for this.
  13. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  14. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    It flew over my house at about 1500 this afternoon.


  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    According to the VTST,the technical support for which the owners use to comply with the Civil Aviation Authority legislation is being withdrawn.

    Further it would appear that this aircraft's flying hours have exceeded any other Vulcan by 10% and wear and tear on the engines will require increased condition monitoring of the airframe and in engine maintenance.Since a service Vulcan has never achieved the display aircraft flying hours,there is not the operational experience to hand of what to expect as the airframe ages. .

    Two special Farewell to Flight sorties are planned before the aircraft flies on its last flight.
  16. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

  17. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    As a avionics engineer in the Fleet Air Arm I used to be on the flight line at airshows and can vouch for the awesome power and noise of the Vulcan as it climbed vertically off the deck. But the best memory was a trip to the Falklands by Hercules just after the war.

    The Hercibird was fully loaded with max cargo (and bods) and min fuel on the last leg from Ascension. One hour after TO we did the first air2air refuel. The only trouble was that the slowest speed of the Vulcan was faster than the fastest speed in level flight of the Hercules. So the technique was to put both aricraft into a shallow dive and then connect and refuel.

    This gave the Hercules enough range to get to Stanley but not enough to return to Ascension. So the ballet dancing in the sky was repeated one hour out of Stanley. In between topping up the Hercules the Vulcan had to be refueled by a Victor.

    On my trip the Hercules had just been refueled after 11 hours of flight when the weather in Stanley turned from clear sunny to thick fog. We turned around and landed in Ascencion 22 hours after taking off. It was a long uncomfortable day.

    Hopefully the weather at Throckmorton airshow next weekend will be kind to us.
    CL1 likes this.
  18. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member

    Vulcan Pictures from Throckmorton airshow with added benefits of Blenheim and Griffon motor, very windy day which was entertaining for the crowd as pilots weaved and wobbled around.

    Attached Files:

    Capt.Sensible and CL1 like this.
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Saw the Vulcan at 1520 hours on Friday afternoon making its way leisurely down the Trent...engines pulled back on its way to Finningley.....pity no camera to hand.
  20. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

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