Friday, 9 September 2011

Everyone do the Sun Dance!

It's set to be the final scheduled weekend of flying for the Vulcan crew, with the planned trip to RAF Leuchars tomorrow, but will the weather once again spoil the end of season party?

Having checked the various websites, the forecast doesn't look good, and I think we all may need to to a Sun Dance to help shift the clouds for what will be the final air show at RAF Leuchars, and I'm sure there will be many sad to say that tomorrow.

It has been a great display year for XH558 - only blemished by the last month with both technical and weather difficulties getting in the way of what would have been a fantastic season's reord of flying, but there you go, it's not been perfect but show me a display team that has been this season!

Good Luck to everyone heading up to Leuchars this weekend, and I hope you get to see some sunshine and a cracking display - remember that the blue skies arrived at Fairford in the end, so stick with it if it doesn't start the morning looking like you're going to need the sun cream!

I'm sure all the Vulcan crew will be giving the display run the best chance they can, last weekend proved that with most of their day spent waiting around hoping for better weather that sadly never arrived, and prevented them getting off the ground at RAF Conningsby.

So, finishing this Blog off with a Vulcan video from RAF Leuchars, a special one from last year's Leuchars show, but also a video that captures both a great flypast, and at the same time possibly the worst timing of a Vulcan take off as far as a person filming it goes! That's the gamble of being outside the base I guess!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Frustrating weekend for Vulcan fans

Following a week in which the ground crew and engineers pulled their plums out for the cause (not the best description, but I feel that's exactly what they did), it was a great shame that the Great British weather ruined what would have been a fine achievement on Sunday.

Great effort by the ground crew
With the big job of fixing the Vulcan following its hydraulic issues a week earlier, it seemed impossible that the aircraft would appear at both Cosby & Portrush on Sunday, but with the hours put in by an amazing group of people, on Saturday we heard that XH558 was indeed serviceable - incredible.

So, all eyes on Sunday then, and the crew of course making their way back to RAF Conninsgby, where they had made an emergency landing only a week earlier, and hopes were high of a jaunt out down to Leicestershire before heading over to Northern Ireland.

This particular poster was getting a bit excited thinking that the Vulcan may actually pass over the skies of Chester on what was a nice sunny afternoon, one where in the end I was walking round the famous City Walls, so it would have been even better to see the tin triangle up in the skies too.

Alas, the bad news filtered through, nothing technical this time, but the fact that the weather had actually closed in, in Lincolnshire, all this whilst walking in blue skies in Chester, gasping for a drink, in shorts, the works basically for a nice summer's day, yet only 3 driving hours away the opposite it seems was happening and the Vulcan was trapped on the runway, with rain and miserable skies - do we really live in the same Country????

Beaten by the weather =(
So, the news filtered through that despite the waiting around by the crew, it was a cancellation that stole the headlines, with the rain forcing the no-go for the Vulcan team, whcih I'm sure cost yet more revenue, and also leaves the team now with just the one more appearance - at Leuchars this week - to impress before it's seemingly time to concentrate on funding the winter service, which I'm sure will need another appeal based on the past month's cancellations.

How the public react to that appeal is another matter, some will diss it, some will realise what's needed and continue to put their money where their mouth is, and support the Vulcan to the Sky team for as long as it's needed, and that's the category I'll fall in to too, as the only result I want to see is a flying Vulcan in 2012.

So, if you haven't done so already, please consider a donation to the cause (text Vulcan to 70558 - texts costs a fiver donation), or why noyt set up a monthly standing order for £5.58 like many others have done - if you smoke 20 a day, then that monthly amount is just one pack of fags (so why not stretch one packet over 2 days and donate the rest), or a couple of pints, come on give it a shot!

Either way, hopefully the majority of people will embrace the fact that XH558 needs OUR help to see her through to Summer 2012!

Fingers crossed for the weather on Saturday, for the final appearance of the season, at Leuchars.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Decision Day for Vulcan

In what has been another busy week for the Vulcan to the Sky team, all eyes will be on the newsletter today and Twitter feed to see if the planned weekend displays at Portrush and Cosby will take place or not.

Investigations have been taking place this week to understand what caused the hydraulic problem that the aircraft experienced last Sunday en route to Dunsfold, which forced the cancellation of the said display.

Following a practice display at Cottesmore, the fault was found, and the crew had to divert to RAF Conningsby based on the fact that there was a long runway at the base, which helped the Vulcan, which also used the parachute to assist with the landing.

According to official reports yesterday, they were awaiting the delivery of lifting jacks, which were being delivered from Doncaster, with everything else in place to find the actual cause of the fault.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the faults are found, and resolved, and that the team can proceed with their displays on Sunday, as it would be a crying shame to miss out on both, and of course what at the moment is the last scheduled sortie of the season, a week tomorrow at RAF Leuchars.

You cannot of course legislate for things like this to happen, and hamper the display schedule, but as we all know, especially in light of recent events, safety is completely paramount.

On the whole it's been a successful season bar the last couple of weeks, with displays being seen at most of the major airshows up and down the country, and with the addition of the cork-screw to the display, it's certainly been a year to remember, but more about that in a few weeks, once the season has officially ended for the Vulcan.

Keeping everything crossed for Sunday!