Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Vulcan at Manchester Airport

The Vulcan did of course provide a fly through at Manchester Airport at the weekend as part of it's final flight of the 2009 Airshow season, and here thanks to Gaj38 on Youtube is a clip which features the howl of the Vulcan on the pull up during the power climb...

Monday, 28 September 2009

Airshow season complete for XH558

Well that's it then, after the first display at Cosford, and 25 displays, and many fly pasts at various locations later, XH558's crew can now put their feet up and rest for a few months, as the engineers now prepare to get stuck in to their tasks involved with the winter service.

A busy day yesterday saw a few "last day of the season" flypasts at RAF Cottesmore & RAF Conningsby, as well as a flyover at Woodford on it's way to banking round to do a fly past and power climb at a crowded Manchester Airport where many had gathered to see the Delta Lady on her way to Southport.

So, off to Southport she went to complete the display season, and a cracker of a howl at the end of the display sent everyone home happy, and the crew made their way back to Lyneham.

So, now following a fantastic year of displays by the Vulcan Team, the questions now start to be asked about what funding plans are in place by the Vulcan to the Sky team, which are expected to be released very soon, and the much vaunted winter service, which all in all is expected to take in the requirements from the CAA, who insisted that certain tests were carried out on components on the Vulcan at Woodford before a new permit would be given.

Let's just hope that that's not XH558's final display ever, remember £2.5m is needed to see her through the winter and into 2010, so a lot of money raising needs to be done, let's keep all our fingers crossed that sponsors come forward.

Remember you can play your part too, by donating via the Vulcan to the Sky website - so let's keep her in the air for what will be her 50th anniversary!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Vulcan Howl

As the season nears its end for XH558, finally I've managed to get the video of the Vulcan Howl edited, with big thanks to Dave Beech of Northern Accent TV, who helped to edit it.

Unfortunately the footage isn't the best due to the camcorder being an old one, and losing focus when trying to zoom in, but hopefully the best thing is that the howl has been captured both on take off, and also towards the end of the display, as it produced the trademark power climb.

We were in a great position to view the Delta Lady's take off - the Brize Norton control tower balcony!

Enjoy the howl!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Vulcan ready for Southport & Manchester

It's the final weekend of the airshow season for Vulcan XH558, and all is ready and on plan for her final appearances of the season tomorrow.

You will be able to see the Vulcan at Southport, but before that, and en route to Southport you should be able to catch a glimpse of the Vulcan at Manchester Airport.

The timings for tomorrow?

Well nothing official has been released as yet, but it is expected to be along the lines of 3.45pm at Manchester Airport, whilst a 4pm slot at Southport could be on the cards.

Let's hope for a fitting finale to the Delta Lady's season tomorrow, and that as many people as possible get to see her final display of 2009!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

An Unbelievable Vulcan Experience!

Well where do I start with this post???

About a month ago, I got in touch with Dr Robert Pleming to see if he could be Jim'll Fix It, and give my mother the pleasure of seeing Avro Vulcan XH558 taking off with the famous howl.

The reason was simple, a few years ago, my mother had a serious heart operation, which was a triple bypass which got complicated and ended up a 7-way bypass, and thanks to the efforts of the hospital staff, she pulled through.

It was at that point that I wanted to do something special for her at some point during the rest of her life, and to cut the story short, it was my mum who introduced me to the Vulcan at a very young age, and that moment was decisive in my life as the day I got hooked on what's well known as "The Vulcan Effect".

So, it was that I got in touch with Dr Pleming, and to my delight, he responded, and offered his help in making this special treat come true for my mum.

It was after that, that I received contact from Mike Pollitt, who invited us, and in particular my mother, to come down to RAF Brize Norton on Saturday just gone, and to be their guests to meet the aircrew, view the aircraft, and watch the Vulcan not only take off, but actually display in front of us, as the charity day at Brize took place.

Well without any further ado, I made sure my mum had nothing planned for that day, and if she had, I would have cancelled it for her anyway!!!

So, we made the journey down from Chester to Brize Norton early Saturday morning, and arrived at lunchtime to be met by Mike Pollitt, and little did we know what was in store for us the rest of the day!

Mike then took us through as guests of the Station Commander, who had kindly authorised access to the base for us, something we'll be forever thankful for.

It was then, that we were taken to where the Vulcan was sitting, where we took some photos, and were given a tour around the outside of 558, catching sight of the "Gibbon" in the window of the bubble underneath the cockpit!

To my utter amazement, Mike then asked if we'd like to have a look inside the cock pit, so we climbed the ladder, and up we went, thank god my mum had put her size 4 trainers on!!!

I couldn't believe we were actually sitting in the cock pit of the world's only flying Vulcan, to say we were privilidged would be the biggest understatement of the century!

Mike was great, giving us a history of 558, and also pointing out various aspects of the instruments, but what struck us most was the cramped conditions the crew must have had in that tiny cock pit, with it's extremely small windows. I dread to think how they coped on their way to and from the Falklands in '82!

Following the tour, our amazement continued, when we were taken up to the Flight Planning room, where we met Martin Withers, Bill Perrin, and Barry Masefield, yep, we were actually now talking with the Vulcan air crew, and listening to their pre flight brief.

Soon, they would disappear to head for XH558, to start their pre flight checks, and it was at this point that Mike then said he would take us over to the other side of the airfield, we thought to just head to where the rest of the people who were in for "Party in the Park" were situated, but how wrong could I be...

Before we got on the transport to take us to our new destination, we looked over and saw soldiers disembarking what seemed a passenger jet, it was in fact soldiers in their desert gear, arriving back from Afghanistan, how they were going to enjoy themselves as soon as they got back to their loved ones.

Anyway, we climbed aboard the minibus which stopped en-route, to pick up none other than Dr Pleming, who greeted my mother, another great moment to meet the number one man behind the Vulcan to the Sky team.

We continued our journey, and were "gobsmacked" when we arrived at the Brize Norton Control Tower, to which we were taken inside, and met the air traffic controllers doing their Saturday shifts, this was completely unexpected to say the least.

Whilst there we saw another lot of soldiers this time leave for Afghanistan on one of the base's Tristars, a round of "Good Luck Lads" was said when it lifted off from the runway, I hope they all return safely.

Next, we heard the instructions for the Vulcan to taxi, and subsequently made it's way to the end of the runway to get ready for take off - it was just at this point that we moved outside to the balcony of the control tower, as the moment I'd hoped my mother would see, was finally arriving.

A teasing couple of minutes sat there, and then the power went up, we could see the Vulcan move, and then the howl made its way up the runway - possibly one of the best howls I can ever recall - and it lifted off just in front of us on it's usual steep climb, and then headed off for the Goodwood Revival.

In between we were treated to a couple of VC10's taking off for Cyprus, and also the departure of a C17 Globemaster, who was limbering up for a flypast, which would take place along with a VC10 following the Vulcan display, once it had returned from it's display sequence.

Return it did, having flown at RAF Kemble, which was hastily arranged thanks to the bonus of the CAA representative being present at Kemble that day, which allowed Martin Withers to display the aircraft and obtain a Display Authorisation for 2010.

So, the Vulcan came flying round in front of us, and whilst it did, we noticed that soldiers were beginning to come off a VC10 that had just parked up by the control tower, they weren't rushing to get to the coach that was waiting for them though, instead they were all looking up to the skies where they were being treated to a "welcome home" from the Vulcan, great timing!

We were treated to a display in what felt like a private airshow for my mum, obviously we knew it wasn't as the Party in the Park was taking place, but up there on the control tower balcony, it was such a fantastic place to be watching the Delta Lady blast through the skies!

One final howl on the power climb out, and then she drifted off (that's 558, not my mum!) to take part in a photoshoot before heading back to base.

Even then, the flying didn't stop as the Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight roared across the airfield, and over our heads whilst doing his display.

It was prior to landing that Mike Pollitt then took us back over to the terminal, where we were taken to the roof to get a great view of the landing - could this get any better? The answer to that was a resounding yes.

We were taken over back the apron to see the Vulcan taxi in to her final resting position for the day, with the piercing sound of those engines making sweet music in our ears!!

Just for good measure whilst the checks were being completed, the C17 & VC10 flew past as part of the day's celebrations.

Eventually all the post flight checks were complete, and we managed to get photos of the crew, who were of course, the crew who completed the Black Buck mission, so great to catch them all together on the same day!

It was after this point that we made our farewells, on what was possible one of the greatest days of my mum's life - a magical day that she would never ever forget.

Never did I believe when I tried to get in contact with Dr Pleming did I realise that one month later, my mum would not only get to see the Vulcan take off again, but also meet the aircrew, see the pre flight briefing, go inside the cock pit, end up in the tower control, and have pride of place on the balcony with a full view of the runway, see the take off, display, and landing, before then having the opportunity to greet the crew again, and get a picture of them.

It was simply a wonderful day, and as my mother said, "that was a magical experience, one that will never be bettered".

My sincere thanks go to Mike Pollitt for his brilliant hosting, to the aircrew for allowing us the opportunity to get close & inside XH558, and of course to Dr Robert Pleming for making the whole thing possible, I think it's fair to say we were all overwhelmed with what happened on our day, and it made the 3 hour journey back home a lot quicker thanks to those memories we took back with us.

Once I get the footage of that famous howl on the take off, onto the pc, I will post it both here and on Youtube, it's certainly a howl not to be missed!

Vulcan at Manchester Airport!

Yes, that's right, the latest news is that the Vulcan will appear at Manchester Airport this coming Sunday, as it travels from RAF Lyneham up to Southport.

Fans of the Vulcan who can't make the trip to Sunny Southport will I'm sure head instead to Manchester to see XH558 do a missed approach, followed by a power climb, which will be a treat for spectators at the airport.

This will be the Vulcan's final trip of the year, and will land at as yet an unknown, but secure location complete with hangar to keep her warm (and dry) in the winter!

Roll on Sunday!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Vulcan at Southport Airshow confirmed

The news has just filtered through that 558 fans will be able to see the Vulcan bomber at Southport Airshow next Sunday, in what will be the final appearance of the year for XH558.

We had been waiting, and hoping that a sponsor would come forward to get the Vulcan up to the North West, and weather and serviceability permitting, that's exactly what's going to happn.

It looks doubtful that it will appear at Southport on the Saturday, but Vulcan fans will be made up to see that it's going to appear on at least one of the days.

So, the North West will look forward to the final appearance of the year from the Vulcan crew!

Support the Vulcan by clicking this link

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Busy weekend complete for Vulcan

Looking at the timetable it looked a busy weekend for 558 and so it proved, as several appearances were the order of the day both on Saturday & Sunday.

Saturday saw the first of the sequence, as the Delta Lady departed RAF Brize Norton at 3.15pm, and many who may have been waiting to see the Vulcan take off over them, saw the opposite, which was down to the fact the Vulcan crew wanted to remain on time for their commitments, and hurriedly got going to a trademark loud take off, but would return to Brize for a display later in the afternoon.

So, it made its way over to Goodwood for the Revival, and a great display was given, before making their way to Kemble for a display sequence, before the crew made their way back to Brize Norton to complete their third and final display of the day at the "Party in the Park" charity day, and prior to landing had a photoshoot take place, looking forward to seeing those images soon, after which Martin Withers, Bill Perrins, and Barry Masefield guided her back down safely and parked up at Brize.

On Sunday, another testing schedule, as firstly, Belgium was the destination for the first display, and despite doubts over the weather on Saturday, things turned out for the better, and the crew made their way Sanicole.

An hour later, and it was back to Goodwood once again for their final Revival day, and again their display was faultless, and for good measure flypasts at Cambridge, Turweston & Silverstone were carried out before the Vulcan landed at RAF Lyneham.

So, a hectic weekend for the Vulcan, and is it the last of the airshow season for the crew, well hopefully not, as the Southport Airshow takes place this coming weekend, but as yet, the Vulcan's appearance remains unconfirmed, although hopes are high for at least one performance over the weekend, if not both days, but whichever way possible it would be great to see the Vulcan at Southport once again.

Well I can promise a cracking Vulcan howl from a video that I took at Brize Norton the other day, once that is edited, I'll get it onto hear, a perfect howl with silence surrounding the base.

Support the Vulcan by clicking this link

Friday, 18 September 2009

Vulcan all set for busy weekend

Well the crew will be arriving at RAF Brize Norton tomorrow knowing they have a busy time ahead, with the displays at Goodwood, Kemble, and Brize to complete, before moving on to Sanicole in Belgium on Sunday, and Goodwood before returning to do flypasts at Cambridge, and a late addition, at Turweston for the Vintage Aircraft Meet.

Timings for Sunday released:

2.00pm - Sanicole, Belgium (BST) (Display)
3.10pm - Goodwood (Display)
3.50pm - Cambridge (Flypast)
4.00pm - Turweston (Flypast)

I'm off down to Brize Norton tomorrow for a special day which I will report on once I'm back!

Support the Vulcan by clicking this link

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Timings for Saturday released

It's potentially the final weekend for the Vulcan air show season this weekend, depending of course on what happens up at Southport regarding funding for the airshow that is due to take place on the 26th & 27th September.

The timings have been released for this Saturday, which sees an extra display at RAF Brize Norton, where they are holding their Party in the Park charity show.


19th Sept - Take Off from Brize @ 3.15pm
19th Sept - Display at Goodwood @ 3.35pm
19th Sept - Display at Kemble @ 4.00pm
19th Sept - Display at Brize @ 4.15pm

Then of course it's finish off on Sunday @ Sanicole in Belgium as the Vulcan mini tour of Europe comes to an end, before completing the day at Goodwood, not quite sure whether Cambridge is still on the plan, as no confirmation has been released on that, but based on it being a private event, it may still be on.

Support the Vulcan by clicking this link

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Vulcan take off at Leuchars

Thanks to Murkocdx from Youtube who filmed this classic Vulcan take off at the RAF Leuchars Airshow on Saturday...

You can view Murkocdx's Youtube channel by clicking on the link below:

Remember, you can help keep XH558 in the skies, by donating via the Vulcan to the Sky website, which can be found via this link

Monday, 14 September 2009

Vulcan at Leuchars

With thanks to the poster "Nelsdir" on Youtube, here's some footage of the Vulcan at Leuchars, against the backdrop of clear blue skies...

Another great weekend for the Vulcan!

Sunny skies together with another great display form the Vulcan crew ensured RAF Leuchars were treated to a full display, which included take off and landing at the base.

Thousands of people lined up along the crowd line to witness XH558 against the blue skies of Fife, and what a sight it must have been for the Scottish fans.

Last year, the skies were full of rain clouds which denied the locals the chance to the Vulcan at Leuchars, but this year, completely the opposite, with perfect weather supplementing the show.

It's been another great weekend for the Vulcan pliots and fans, as the nation continue to enjoy the cold war bomber in different areas of the UK & Europe.

This weekend coming is 'currently' scheduled to be the last weekend of it's Airshow season, as it has three appearances to make both in the UK & Europe.

On Saturday, it is due to attend the Goodwood Revival, and hopefully the weather will stay fine for that display, and the same can be hoped for Sunday, as the Delta Lady takes off once again for a tour of three displays, Sanicole in Belgium first, before returning to the UK for displays at Goodwood Revival, before finishing off with a private display in Cambridge, believed to be at Marshalls Aerospace.

So, another busy weekend, as I said, it could very well be the final weekend of the Vulcan season, but Southport still remains a very slight possibility, depending on funding.

I'll hopefully get a video of the RAF Leuchars Vulcan display posted later today.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Timings for Leuchars weekend

A bit late, so apologies to anyone reading this who was wanting to know, but here are the timings released by the Vulcan crew via their Twitter feed:

1.27pm - Take off & Display, Land

1.05pm - Take off & leave RAF Leuchars
1.30pm - Flypast @ Elvington & Sywell
1.35pm - Land @ RAF Brize Norton

Friday, 11 September 2009

Vulcan off to bonnie Scotland!

Today is the latest leg of the Vulcan tour, as it flies up to Scotland for the RAF Leuchars Air Show, and visitors to the base today will be the lucky ones as they will see XH558 arrive towards midday, complete with a display, which following last year's washout will be a boost to the locals.

The Vulcan crew are set to leave Brize Norton at 10.20am this morning, and head on a tour of flypasts on the way up North, with the list as follows:

Leave Brize @ 10.20am

Flypast @ Sywell

Flypast @ Elvington

Flypast @ Carlisle (approx 11.30am)

Display on Arrival @ Leuchars (11.55am)

Then of course it's the Vulcan at RAF Leuchars display tomorrow, so Scotland will I'm sure be in for a treat, especially if the weather is good, and the forecasts show it to be sunny all day tomorrow, so it looks all set for a great day for Vulcan fans in Scotland!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Vulcan Effect

Well I think it's clear to see that The Vulcan Effect has been well and truly in full steam this summer, with the exception of Waddington where we had the controversy over the Permit To Fly, and the cancellations at Biggin Hill & Yeovilton, this season has been a great one for Vulcan fans.

Following last year's technical and weather difficulties, 2009 has been a pleasure to see the Delta Lady in the air as much as possible, with cracking displays at RAF Cosford, the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford, Lake Windermere, which resulted in some oh so special Vulcan photos, at the Blackpool Airshow, where we had a brilliant howl.

The display at Dawlish where the Red Arrows teamed up with the Vulcan was also one to savour, as was the 3 day event on the Bournemouth Seafront, where the Vulcan displayed each day for the hundreds of thousands of fans watching.

Plus most recently the Vulcan at Broughton, for the Airbus 40th birthday celebrations, where we were treated to a simulated take off producing a massive howl, which was captured on YouTube by many!

In fact the Vulcan on YouTube is probably one of the most popular searches, with many great displays this Summer, and it's not over yet, as RAF Leuchars in Scotland will be hoping for better weather than last year, so everyone can see a full Vulcan display, which will include take off and landing - how lucky are they!

Finally, the Vulcan crew potentially round off a great season, with three events on the same day, travelling abroad for the second time this season, as they head to Sanicole, Belgium, before returning to the UK to display at both the Goodwood Revival and also a private event in Cambridge.

Still there is hope that we'll see the Vulcan at Southport, as the Southport Airshow takes place on the final weekend of September, it's pencilled in right now, but as yet unconfirmed, hopefully that status will change over the next couple of weeks, to confirmed, and the people of Southport, and the surrounding areas, will again see the arrival of the Vulcan!

Monday, 7 September 2009

More of the Vulcan 'howling'

Another great video here too, showing the Vulcan's display and the Vulcan's howl at the Airbus celebrations

Click on the link to see it!

Vulcan howling in Broughton

Much to my own disappointment, I was situated in a position where I didn't hear the howl, but fortunately many caught it on video - this being one of them from my friend, who was situated in the Business Park field right by the end of the runway.

A great howl!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Cosby bombed & Broughton delighted!

It was another great day for the Vulcan yesterday as it treated two different air displays to completely different shows of it's fantastic-ness, is that a word? probably not, but I have just added it to the Dictionary if it's not already in there!

Cosby were left bombed out after the Delta Lady had full pyros going off during a simulated bombing run, whilst at Broughton, it gave us all a treat with a different kind of display due to the restrictions in force at the airfield.

The restriction being that factories were on both sides of the runway, it was not able to do the usual bomb bay doors open routine, but instead we were treated to a display which included a wheels down, ready to land sequence, only then to pull up and rip into the sky on the final pass.

On it's other fly bys, a few powerful climbs were the order of the day, and ensured plenty of thunder was in the air surrounding Broughton & Hawarden!

Even the crowd at Chester City FC started clapping when the Vulcan made it's turn close to the ground, see it gets everyone involved!

Everyone at the Airbus celebration was delighted to see 558 rip through the skies in her usual brilliant way, and the excitement was there for all to see as the Vulcan To The Sky tent became very very busy after the tin triangle had departed!

Overall a great display then, and next up for the Vulcan, is a trip to RAF Leuchars for the Scotland Airshow, departing on the 11th, displaying on the 12th.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

The day has arrived!

Today, Airbus Broughton celebrates its 40th year, and to celebrate they are having a Family day, with tours of the plant in the morning & lunchtime.

The real action though starts at 1pm when the three hour flying display takes off, if you'll forgive the pun there!

The flying display has not yet been released, but is expected to contain a Spitfire, Team Guinot, BBMF, Vampire, Venom, Red Arrows (flypast), Beluga, A380 (flypast), and the Vulcan bomber of course!

The skies are currently okay over Broughton, with high cloud, and partially blue sky, and the BBC forecast has changed yet again, and shows Sunny Intervals, exactly what we want to see!

The Vulcan is expected at Broughton at 3.20pm today, and that follows another display at Cosby, where a special display will be seen today, as they are going to simulate a bombing run, with full pyros on the ground, so they will certainly be in for a treat there!

The forecast for Cosby is just as good with maybe a bit more cloud, but it's certainly forecast to be dry, so all is ready for a great day for Vulcan fans, providing all is well with 558 herself of course!

So, fingers crossed once more as we await to see the Vulcan for the first time in 20 years over Chester!

Friday, 4 September 2009

The excitement builds for Broughton visit

With only one more day to go before the visit of the Vulcan to Broughton, near Hawarden, the area is getting more excited as the days go on, and now just over 24 hours to go until the day the Vulcan (hopefully) flies back over the City of Chester once again.

The Families Day at Broughton takes place tomorrow up here in Sunny Chester, but will it be sunny tomorrow, well despite it saying that all week for Saturday on the weather forecasts, guess what, it's changed again!

Now the Beeb are saying that it will be Light Rain, although their 24 hour slide show doesn't give any clues as to what will happen between 1-4pm tomorrow. MetCheck shows just cloud, whereas the MetOffice shows rainclouds but the chances of rain likely later in the afternoon, let's hope that means after 4pm!

So, the wait is nearly over, Cosby will be also looking forward to a special display too, as they are having pyro going on there, when the Vulcan does it's first pass there, it will be simulating a bombing run, should be some great footage from that!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

2 Days to Go!

Just another couple of days to go before the Vulcan (hopefully) revisits the skies of Chester, as the irbus 40th celebrations gear up for the visit of 558, along with other iconic aircraft, including the new Airbus A380.

The timings have been released for Saturday as far as the Vulcan is concerned:

2.45pm - Cosby Victory Show, Leics
3.20pm - Hawarden (Airbus Broughton)

A check of the weather forecasts show it promising for Saturday, with sunny intervals showing on the Beeb, and MetCheck, with Met Office showing it as cloudy - that'll do, just keep the rain away, it's been raining all week here in Chester, so hopefully it will have rained itself out by the time Saturday arrives!

The excitement up here continues to build!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

3 days to go!

Well another day closer to the "private event" that all Vulcan fans in and around the Chester area are looking forward to, and the latest weather checks again show mixed forecasts!

Why can't they ever agree on what it's going to do???

Looking at the BBC weather for Chester, on Saturday, it shows Cloudy with sunny intervals, now that's great, I'll settle for that, however, MetCheck shows that it will be light rain during the afternoon, the complete opposite to what it was telling us yesterday!

Moving over to the MetOffice, and we are in between cloud/sun & rain, so again, how frustrating!!

I guess we'll just have to keep everything crossed!

Meanwhile, here's another great video of the Vulcan, this time landing at RAF Waddington!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

A Day Closer!

Well, there are just 4 days to now, as the countdown to Airbus' 40th anniversary takes place, and the area is just willing the clouds away as they await to see the Vulcan Bomber.

The Vulcan is set to attend a "private event" believed to be the Airbus celebration at Hawarden, but all eyes are on the weather forecasts, which at present show rain each day of the week, with Saturday showing as 'light rain', but other forecast sites show that 1-4pm is set to be fair weather with sunshine, but what do the weathermen know hey???

Anyway, all things are crossed for the Vulcan's appearance over Chester once again, the first time in 20 years!

Other items rumoured to be at the Families Day, are the Vampire, Venom, Yaks, and a fly through from the new Airbus A380.

There is also the possibility that the Beluga may be part of proceedings too.