Vulcan XH558 was the last flying Vulcan, and it was a terrific display aircraft. It is kept in flying condition at Bruntingthorpe,
Leicestershire. The owner of XH558 is negotiating with the CAA and British Aerospace with the aim of getting this great
aircraft in the air again.
XH558 is in the most deeply-stripped state that she has been in since manufacture: there is no going back - the only way now is forward.
The next phase of the Major Service is formal Inspection of every part of the aircraft by approved technicians under the control of Marshall Aerospace, the Engineering Authority. For this to commence, the organisation and procedures proposed by Marshall Aerospace must be approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Draft documentation (the "A8-20 Exposition") is being presented to both the CAA and to the Design Authority, BAE Systems for approval, which is expected within the next two months.
The hangar facilities at Bruntingthorpe will also be audited and formally approved by the CAA for the Major Service.
A technical issue remains, arising out of concern for the integrity of the electrical wiring, given the profile of this issue on older aircraft. The main focus of the investigation is on the quality of electrical terminations in exposed parts of the aircraft such as the undercarriage bays. An action plan to create appropriate inspection criteria and rectification procedures is under way.
A draft Organisational Control Manual (OCM) describing the way that the VOC intends to operate the aircraft has been submitted to the CAA, and some very valuable initial feedback has been received.
Project Timescales Assuming that necessary financial assistance becomes available before April 2002, the VOC believes that the Restoration phase of the project will be completed in time for a first test flight of XH558 in early 2003.
'The Vulcan to the Sky team is aghast at this decision, and feels a huge sense of frustration that this should happen. Why, one has to ask? It feels so unjust. So much has been achieved, but it seems that at the moment we may well not be able to take the programme any further.'
If you wish to make your feelings about their decision known directly to the HLF, then please ring them on 0207 591 6046 or 0207 591 6041, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, copying email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Anthea Case, Director, Heritage Lottery Fund, 7 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NR as soon as you are able. Alternatively, you can e-mail Anthea Case directly at email@example.com or fax on 0207 591 6013.
'Phase one is complete' says Dr Robert Pleming Project Director of Vulcan to the Sky (VTS)'This is an astonishing achievement and our thanks to all those, including 15,000 'Friend' of VTS who have contributed. We have been at the crossroads of the Campaign since last November when the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) turned down our application for a grant to fund the restoration of this unique British Heritage Asset. Following discussion the HLF has suggested that VTS should reapply. We have evaluated the project and decided that we must undertake this opportunity. We have, therefore, prepared a new application, embracing all the points and more, that the HLF raised in their debrief session. Phase one the Preparation is complete: phase two the Restoration awaits the decision of the HLF; phase three her Display Life which will follow and gives the most extraordinary access to millions who may see her overhead, a unique and sobering lifetime experience. Phase four, her Retirement will place her in a national museum safe and available forever for anyone who wishes access.'
'We have been warmed by the tremendous support we have received from so many who have expressed their dismay at the rejection to the HLF. We now wish to move on and turn this feeling into positive support for the reapplication and in so doing ask everyone who believes in the unique quality of the VTS project to contribute to the Save our Heritage Campaign. Everyone who contributes will receive a SOH badge and in addition to being a 'Friend' of VTS and having contributed to the preparation of XH558 by contributing to Phase One will also be part of Phase Two. Phase Two is the restoration of the unique programme of saving the heritage of the nation. The Vulcan was fundamental in the Cold War, the initiative that kept peace in the world throughout a time of conflict and diplomatic discussion. She is unique to our heritage and I hope that you will, with me, rally to persuade the HLF that she is an irreplaceable part of our national heritage' says Felicity Irwin Campaign Director of VTS.
1. The Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) to secure the aircraft for the nation;
2. The VTST to carry out the stewardship of XH558 throughout 10-15 years of display life and ensure visibility to the widest possible audience linked to a programme of interpretation, education and training;
3. The VTST to ensure a sustainable programme through a realistic business plan, and a minimum risk programme through very high technical standards;
4. XH558 to ultimately retire to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford as the finest aircraft of her era in the world, available to many generations in perpetuity.
The HLF have ring fenced £2.5M, which will be released when Stage Two is passed.
The £500,000 that we have been targeting for December has reached £370,000, and is increasing daily. This was needed for the Stage One Pass. It does, however, leave us with a further £600,000 to raise to complete our full funding commitment of 29% of the required funding. £1.3million has been raised through donations, support in kind and pledges to date and we will continue to seek pledges and funding for the Stage Two Pass decision.
Thank you to everyone for their support so far. We need it more than ever now to raise the final £600,000 to conclude our matched funding target.
What a result and so well deserved. Everyone has given 110% effort to the project to return Avro Vulcan XH558 to flight. This includes everyone who has donated and supported but particular mention must be due to the Walton family, The Vulcan 558 Club, 'The Friends' of VTS and all those who are partners in our application.
The Stage One Pass means that we still have hoops to jump through before the grant is released but it is fantastic and makes the project financially viable. For the VTS team the real business has just begun.
For supporters until now victory is within sight and restoration and the realisation of flight will be the next milestone. We can only move forward and take the whole of the nation with us. Please continue to send your pledges we simply have to reach the £600,000 for the Stage Two Pass.
As Liz Forgan Chairman of the HLF says: "In the normal way of things we do not restore aircraft to flight but The Heritage Lottery Fund was really impressed with the imaginative way in which the Trust's new proposal will let as many people as possible learn about this important part of their heritage. The Vulcan could soon take to the skies again, thanks to this exceptional award made possible by lottery players' money. Now a whole new generation will be able to see this unique and much loved aircraft restored and in action before it retires to the nationally important Imperial War Museum, Duxford."
This news at the start of National Aviation week and in the Centennial Year of Powered Flight is truly significant also it comes exactly a decade after XH558 landed at Bruntingthorpe. The next decade will herald the flight of XH558 and the story of The Cold War will be told to all. Exciting times.
Thank you everyone. Just one more step!
Robert Pleming Felicity Irwin
The 'Flying Plan' is to have the Vulcan appear at RAF Waddington and the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford along with appearances at three major seafront and airfield based events while also doing several flypasts while on training flights or en-route to airshows. With eight zero-hours Olympus engines available and Rolls Royce giving a life of 1,200 maximum power engine cycles, it is believed that XH558 can be flown 25-30 hours a year for 10 years.
£2,738,000 of funds granted to Vulcan to the Sky (VTS) will ensure that Avro Vulcan XH558 passes to the nation for restoration, 10-15 years of display flight and to the Imperial War Museum, Duxford in perpetuity. The grant also enables a new programme of education, which will convey the story of The Cold War to the widest possible audience, many for the first time.
This grant of £2,738,000 together with the partnership funding raised by donation, corporate support and fundraising will make up the £3,970,000 required for the project.
'This is indeed history in the making,' said Dr Robert Pleming, Project Director of VTS ' Although we have thought that this day would come it seems to have taken forever and it is hard to really believe that at last we can commence the work on XH558 to return her to her rightful place in the sky. Emotions are running high but we will soon come back to earth and begin the very serious work of recreating an airworthy Vulcan.'
Vulcan XH558 is hangared at Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire and work to prepare the hangar and recruit specialist engineers to work with Marshall of Cambridge to begin the restoration will commence as soon as possible. An A8-20 is required from the CAA and after that, provided the partnership funding is there, it will be all systems go!
Red Arrows Squadron Leader Carl 'Spike' Jepson has announced his team for the 2004 Air Show season
Red 1 Squadron Leader Carl 'Spike' Jepson Team Leader
Red 2 Flight Lieutenant Matt Jarvis
Red 3 Flight Lieutenant Si Stevens
Red 4 Flight Lieutenant Dave Slow
Red 5 Flight Lieutenant Dunc Mason
Red 6 Squadron Leader David Thomas Synchro Leader
Red 7 Flight Lieutenant Dan Simmons Synchro Two
Red 8 Flight Lieutenant Jez Griggs
Red 9 Squadron Leader John Green Squadron Executive Officer
Red 10 Flight Lieutenant Steve Underwood Road Manager
The three new pilots, Matt Jarvis, Si Stevens and Dave Slow, will begin full - time training with the Team on return from the Red Arrows Middle and Far Eastern Tour at the end of October
The spectacularly-painted 'Blue Lightning' German Luftwaffe Tornado IDS from Fighter Bomber Wing 31 'Boelke' will be seen on the European Airshow circuit again in 2004. This Tornado will continue to appear at Airshows until about June 2004 when it is expected to reach its fatigue index total. Blue Lightning will then go on permanent display outside FBW 31's base at Norvenich. Blue Lightning was created to celebrate FBW 31's 45th anniversary at Norvenich and 20 years of the Tornado in Luftwaffe service.
A Tornado F.3 was forced to do a wheels-up landing at RAF Leuchars, on Thursday 4th December 2003, after the pilot discovered that the undercarriage wasn't working correctly and burning off excess fuel over the North Sea.
The pilot and navigator walked away from the crash unhurt. An RAF spokesman said they did a "very professional job" to get themselves and the aircraft down safely.
The Tornado was from 56 Squadron, the OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), at Leuchars, where pilots undergo final advanced training before joining a squadron.
On December 17th 1903, the Wright brothers' successfully flew a powered heavier-than-air craft in a sustained and controlled flight which lasted just 12 seconds and covered 120 feet but would change the world forever!
At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17th 2003, a 100th-anniversary attempt to re-create the Wright brothers' famous flight took place. On a rainy day when the wind was uncharacteristically calm the attempt began, however the first flight flopped when the delicate, wood-and-muslin replica failed to get off the ground and splashed into a mud puddle. The plane, created at a cost of $1.2 million, twisted awkwardly before stopping with its right wing pushed into the sand, leaving a snapped crosswire and broken fitting.
About three hours later, after repairs to the engine and front wing assembly, organizers rolled the plane out to its runway to wait for the rain to ease and the wind to pick up. Using a crew including Wright descendants to help move the plane into position, Kochersberger, wearing a crash helmet and 1903-era necktie, lay with his hands on the controls, waiting for a gust of wind that never came. Kochersberger shrugged with resignation as the team called it quits and let the engine sputter to a stop.
The plane had achieved flight twice before in three practice runs, covering 100 and 115 feet but not today. The re-enactors had planned for years to launch the airplane at 10:35 a.m., 100 years to the minute from when the Wrights first ascended into the skies under motor power. That plan was scrapped not only because of the drenching, scattered rains, but also because winds on the normally breezy Outer Banks dipped below the minimum 10 mph needed.
President George Bush arrived by helicopter at the Wright Brothers National Memorial and assured the shivering crowd that a touch of bad weather had not stopped the Wright brothers. "On the day they did fly, just like today, the conditions were not ideal," Bush said. "The Wright brothers hit some disappointments along the way. "There must have been times when they had to fight their own doubts," he said. "They pressed on, believing in the great work they had begun and in their own capacity to see it though. We would not know their names today if these men had been pessimists."
A Gannet T5 (XT752) has been purchased from the Polar Air Museum in the USA by Harry Odone, a British warbird enthusiast. The aircraft is in immaculate condition, maintained to a high standard and is in airworthy condition. It is hoped that it will be flown across the Atlantic via Iceland to Lossiemouth at the end of May or beginning of June. It is not yet known where it will be based in the UK.
This aircraft has been listed as attending the Kemble Air Day on 20th June 2004 on static display.
The Swiss Super Constellation Flyers Association (SCFA) are to bring their Swiss Super Constellation C-121C (N73544) over to Europe in May 2004 via Keflavik, Iceland then Prestwick, on to Paris-Le Bourget, and to Basel in Switzerland. It should take part in the Jersey 'Battle of Britain' airshow on 9th September 2004. It is scheduled to appear at the Flying Legends airshow at Duxford on 10th-11th July 2004.
The Dutch Aviodrome museum will also be bringing its L749A Constellation (N749NL) over to the UK and is presently scheduled to appear at the RAF Waddington International Airshow on 26th-27th June 2004. It will be on static display on the Saturday and part of the flying display on Sunday. It should also appear at Biggin Hill's Battle of Britain Airshow on 18th-19th September 2004.
It is possible that both these Constellations will appear together at the Biggin Hill Show on 18th-19th September 2004.
Gloster Meteor NF11 (G-LOSM) and Vampire T55 (G-HELV) have both been purchased by Air Atlantique, keeping them in the UK, and will be joining the Air Atlantique Classic Flight (AACF) which already includes a Venom, Canberra, Anson, Rapide, Dove, Twin Pioneer, Prentice, Pembroke, Autocrat, Chipmunk, Shackleton, DC-3, DC-6, and Electra.
Plane Sailing's PBY-5A Catalina (C-FNJF) arrived at Duxford, after being ferried from its previous base on Vancouver Island, Canada, at the end March 2004. The Catalina should be displaying at the Southend-on-sea seafront display on 30th-31st May 2004, RAF Waddington International Airshow on 26th-27th June 2004, Lowestoft seafront display on 29th-30th July 2004, Shoreham airshow on 28th-29th August, and the Biggin Hill Show on 18th-19th September 2004.
It is to be placed on the British Register as G-PBYA and eventually painted in to RCAF colours.
There have been a few changes at Duxford recently with a new entrance hall complete with pay points and an expanded museum shop. During the winter, the runway was closed while resurfacing took place, however the runway has been shut again after a closer inspection of the new surface. It is not known when the runway will reopen but it should not affect any of the planned Duxford airshows as most of the Duxford-based warbirds can operate on the grass including the B-17 'Sally B'. If the runway is closed during the 6th June D-Day show then Jet aircraft will have to operate from elsewhere on that occasion.
The Shuttleworth Collection's ANEC II (G-EBJO) has now been restored and took to the air, piloted by Roger Bailey, last March for the first time in nearly 70 years. It should be taking part in various Shuttleworth shows in 2004.
Click here for a .pdf file containing 2004 Dates of various International Display Teams and military aircraft including:
Army Air Corps Aerobatics Team:
Blue Eagles (Westland Lynx AH.7 and Westland Gazelle AH.1)
Army Air Corps Historic Flight:
Army Air Corps Parachute Display Team - Silver Eagles:
Army Air Corps Solo Display:
Westland WAH-64D Apache AH1
Austrian Air Force Solo Display:
Saab 35 Draken
Saab 1005 OE
Belgian Air Force Solo Display:
Dassault Alpha Jet E
Fouga CM.170R Magister
General Dynamics F-16AM Fighting Falcon
Westland Sea King 48
Belgian Army Solo Display:
Sud Alouette II/III
Finnish Air Force Aerobatics Team:
Midnight Hawks (4x BAe Hawk 51)
French Air Force Aerobatics Team:
La Patruille de France (8x Dassault Alpha Jet A)
French Air Force Training Academy Aerobatics Team:
Cartouche Doree (3x Socata TB-30 Epsilon)
French Air Force Solo Display:
Dassault Alpha Jet A
Dassault Mirage 2000C
Mudry CAP 232
German Air Force Solo Display:
McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom
Mikoyan MiG-29G Fulcrum
Panavia Tornado IDS
German Army Solo Display:
MBB B0 105M/P
Italian Air Force Aerobatics Team:
Frecce Tricolori (10x Aermacchi MB.339CD)
Polish Air Force Aerobatics Team:
Team Iskry (9x PZL TS - 11 Iskra)
Team Orlik (9x PZL Orlik)
Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team:
Red Arrows (9x BAe Hawk T.1/A)
Royal Air Force Historic Flight:
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Avro Lancaster
2x Hawker Hurricane
5x Vickers Supermarine Spitfire
Royal Air Force Parachute Display Team:
Lockheed C-130J Hercules C.5 or Westland Puma HC.1
Royal Air Force Gliding & Soaring Association Display Team
Royal Air Force Solo Display:
BAe Systems Harrier GR.7
BAe Systems Hawk T.1A (208Sqn/100Sqn)
BAe Systems Nimrod MR.2
BAe Systems Typhoon T.1
Grob G.115E Tutor
Lockheed C-130J Hercules C.4/C.5
Panavia Tornado F.3
Panavia Tornado GR.4
Sepecat Jaguar GR.3A
Short Tucano T.1
Westland Sea King HAR.3
Royal Navy Display Team:
Black Cats (2x Westland Lynx HAS.3S/HM.A8)
Royal Jordanian Air Force Display Team :
Royal Jordanian Falcons (4x Walter Extra EA.300)
Royal Navy Historic Flight:
Hawker Sea Fury FB.11
Hawker Sea Hawk FG.A6
Royal Navy Solo Display:
BAE Systems Sea Harrier FA.2
Westland Merlin MH.1
Westland Sea King AEW.7
Royal Netherlands Air Force Solo Display:
Agusta Bell AB - 412SP
General Dynamics F-16AM Fighting Falcon
McDonnell Douglas AH - 64D - DN Apache
Westland SH-14D Lynx
Spanish Air Force Aerobatics Team:
Patrulla Aguila (7x CASA 101EB Aviojets)
Swedish Air Force Aerobatics Team:
Team 60 (6x Saab SK.60)
Swedish Air Force Solo Display:
Saab JAS.39A Gripen
Swiss Air Force Aerobatics Team:
La Patrouille de Suisse (6x Northdrop F-5E Tiger II)
Swiss Air Force Training Academy Aerobatics Team:
PC-7 Team (10x Pilatus PC-7)
Swiss Air Force Solo Display:
Aerospatiale AS.332 Super Puma
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet
Ukrainian Air Force Solo Display
Sukhoi Su - 27P Flanker
United States Navy Solo Display
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18F Super Hornet
Civilian Display Aircraft:
Aerostars (6x Yakovlev Yak - 50)
Aircraft Restoration Company / Golden Apple Operations
Air Atlantique Classic Flight
BAC Strikemaster 87 - Global Aviation Services
Boeing B - 17G Flying Fortress - B-17 Preservation
Boeing B - 17G Flying Fortress - French Fortresse Association
Breitling Jet Team - Apache Aviation (5x Aero L - 39C Albatros)
Christian Moullec (Micro light & Geese / Cranes)
Consolidated PBY - 5A Catalina Plane Sailing
De Havilland Sea Vixen D.3
Delta Jets Classic Jet Operator
Hughes 500 -Dennis Kenyon
North American B - 25J Mitchell - Duke of Brabant Air Force
Fairey Gannet T.5
The Fighter Collection
Great War Combat Team Combat Team of Replica WW1aircraft
Grumman TBM - 3R Avenger - Anthony Haig Thomas
Hawker Hunter Aviation Hawker Hunter F.58
Hawker Hunter F.58A Miss Demeanour Heritage Aviation Developments
Historic Aircraft Collection
Hunter Flying Club Classic Jet Operator
Little Diamonds - Tiger Club (5x De Havilland Tiger Moth)
Lockheed C - 121 Constellation & Lockheed L - 749 Constellation
Matadors - Richard Goode Aerobatics (Sukhoi Su - 26 & Sukhoi Su - 31)
Miles Duo - Bristol Historic Aircraft Collection
North American P-51D Mustang - P.A. Teichman
Old Flying Machine Company Warbirds
Percival P.66 Pembroke C.1 - Percy Airlines
Real Aeroplane Company
Scandinavian Historic Flight
Team Alpine - Gold Air International (Sukhoi Su - 26 )
Turbulent Team - Tiger Club (4x Turbulent)
Utterly Butterly Barnstormers - Aerosuperbatics (1x, 2x, 3x or 4x Boeing A.75N - 1 Stearman)
Vickers Supermarine Spitfire T.9 - Carolyn Grace
Vickers Supermarine Spitfire PR XIX - Rolls Royce
Walter Extra EA.300XS - Denny Dobson Aerobatics
Xtreme Team - Ultimate High / Power Aerobatics (2x Walter Extra EA.300L)
Yakovlev Yak C - 11 - A. Soper
Yakovlevs - Nick Banard (1x Yakovlev Yak - 50 & 3x Yakovlev Yak - 52)
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) have had an unfortunate start to the UK airshow season with Spitfire PRXIX (PM631) leaking oil at the Southend Airshow on 30th May 2004 but thankfully making a safe landing despite having no oil pressure and Hurricane IIc (LF363) suffered an undercarriage collapse after landing at the Duxford D-Day anniversary airshow on the 6th June 2004 and ended up on its nose, the pilot was unhurt and immediately clambered out of the cockpit. It is hoped that both these aircraft will be back in action before too long.
A Tornado GR4, from RAF Marham in Norfolk, crashed on Thursday 22/7/04, at 1100 BST, into the sea about 10 miles east of Craster, Northumberland, around 30 miles away from Newcastle. The airmen were conscious and found by the helicopter from RAF Boulmer, in Northumberland, which located their distress beacon, and they were taken to hospital within around 30 minutes. An RAF spokeswoman said three Sea King helicopters and the Northumbria Police helicopter were now searching for the wreckage in the sea. It will be recovered and analysed by investigators at a later date. She said: "They were in their dinghies and we winched them out and took them to hospital. "When they sit in their aircraft, they are connected to their dinghy and that automatically comes out with them if they eject."
All Grob Tutor training aircraft were grounded in late June 2004 following the forced landing of a Boscombe Down based Southampton UAS example. The aircraft reportedly lost a propeller blade in flight.
RAF MILDENHALL, England — Air show enthusiasts may see the return next year (2005) of one of Europe's largest air shows — OR something similar.
The 100th Air Refueling Wing is still pondering the possibility of hosting Air Fete in 2005 after a three-year absence, although it could be smaller than the two-day event of past years. "We are planning on doing a big community relations event of some type in late spring or early summer," said Col. Richard Devereaux, the wing commander.One possibility being considered is Air Fete, which hasn't been held since 2001 because of security concerns and operational tempo since the start of the war on terror. Another option being considered is an event limited to residents of local villages and towns where American airmen live. That could be a small event for invitees only or a larger event with some sort of pass program that would welcome up to 20,000 residents of the local villages and towns. Those events would include base tours, static aircraft displays and, perhaps, some sort of flying show, Devereaux said.
"I think it is important that we do a big event here," said Devereaux, to lower barriers that have been raised between the base and the local communities. Ken Thompson, a local businessman and member of the British-American Committee on the base, agreed that something should be done. "It's got to the point where it's inside-the-fence and outside-the- fence," he said. "That's horrible. I think that's rubbish." Devereaux said the base is talking with local governments, Suffolk County police, the Ministry of Defence and U.S. Air Forces in Europe while it considers which option will work best. The wing must look at the potential mission tempo for next spring and early summer and consider security requirements for any event. "Cost is going to be a factor in any of the options we look at," he said.
A Canberra T4 crashed on the runway at RAF Marham in Norfolk at about 2230hrs on 2nd September 2004 during a routine training flight. Two crew were killed and a third crew member was seriously injured and airlifted to hospital.
The T4 is the dual-control variant used for training to support 39 Squadron's operational PR9 aircraft, which have provided a unique reconnaissance capability on operations, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Squadron Leader Mike Lence, deputy commander of 39 Squadron - the Canberra squadron - paid tribute to the men who lost their lives. He said: "The squadron is in a state of shock over the loss of two valued men. I knew them personally and they will be sorely missed. Our thoughts at the moment are with their families." The squadron leader added that the three men involved in the accident were all experienced aircrew.