During my formative years as a child, ok,ok – so I’m still forming – let me start again…
When I was a ‘younger’ I grew up on RAF Bases as my stepfather was serving. In 1975 we were posted from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Waddington was the senior of two sister bases, the other being RAF Scampton. This situation has always served the two bases well, from the bombing of the dams during WWII, when the Lancaster Bomber served there, to the ‘then’ (when we were there) present day of being Britain’s frontline airborne Nuclear Deterrent – The Vulcan Bomber.
The Vulcan, one of the original ‘Hooligans of the sky’ due to the complaint at Nellis AFB during RED FLAG by the local power company. The complaint was that a Vulcan Bomber flying at extremely low level had cut a 38 feet high power line – nothing unusual huh? Except it cut the power line with it’s tail while ascending! Not bad for a 27 ft high 80 ton bomber!
Shortly after the Falklands war the Vulcan was scrapped and while the RAF maintained one for display purposes – this too was soon destined for grounding.
There has been a society of ‘well wishers ‘ and enthusiasts (as well as former RAF crews and technicians) trying to get one such Vulcan back into service running a campaign called Vulcan To The Skys.
As of July 3rd 2008 Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558 has been given status and DISPLAY AUTHORITY.
Today, 15 years and 4 months after she left RAF Waddington, she finally returns to carry out her first public air display.
I wish I could be there but I can’t, so I wish all those who have worked tirelessly for 15 years to make her air worthy and ready for this day – the very best of luck indeed.
Specifications (Vulcan B.2)
Crew: 5; Pilot, Co-Pilot, Navigator Plotter, Navigator Radar and Air Electronics Officer
Length: 99 ft 11 in (30.45 m)
Wingspan: 111 ft 0 in (33.83 m)
Height: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
Wing area: 3965 ft² (368.4 m²)
Empty weight: lb (kg)
Loaded weight: 199,585 lb (90,530 kg)
Useful load: 21,000 lb (9,550 kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 204,000 lb (92,500 kg)
4× Rolls Royce Olympus 201/301 turbojets, 17,000 lbf/20,000 lbf (76 kN/355.9 kN) each
Maximum speed: 645 mph (1,040 km/h)
Cruise speed: 625 mph (1,005 km/h)
Range: 2,300 mi (3,700 km)
Service ceiling: 62,300 ft (19,000 m)
Wing loading: 50 lb/ft² (246 kg/m²)
1x Blue Steel cruise missile semi-recessed in the fuselage or 1x Yellow Sun Mk.2 nuclear bomb or 21x 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs. Aircraft participating in the Falklands war also carried 2x AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missiles under the wings.