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Vulcan XH558

Discussion in 'Everything Else Heritage' started by Victor, May 29, 2015.

  1. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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  2. AndyY

    AndyY Member

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    The fundamental problem, I suspect, was their decision to keep what is now a non-flying aircraft at a commercial airfield rather than a museum site. Of course to move it now would be extremely difficult and expensive. Next to no chance of it ever being allowed to fly again, and dismantling a Vulcan to move it, whilst not impossible, would be a very major undertaking.

    Andy
     
  3. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. The cynic in me see's this as yet another "give us more cash or we close" ploy. Pleas for more cash, within tight time-frames, from this organisation are nothing new. Those running the show have made a very good living out the business and they now have to cut their coat according to the cloth. Why 558 could not have been retired to Bruntingthorpe on it's final flight and be free of the commercial pressures of an active airport is beyond me. It smacks of a lack of forward planning by the 558 team if they thought that the Finningley's owners wouldn't look to expand the commercial opportunities by exploiting the airfield's infrastructure.

    Dismantling and removal is a major job even when undertaken by full-time professionals - I saw 318 being dismantled at Scampton before its transfer to the RAF Museum. The subsequent road move was a major logistics task which involved all sorts of agencies and road closures and incurred significant costs - costs which VTTS would also have to pay if they took that option.

    As much as I am a fan of the Vulcan (having served with them at Scampton) I won't be helping to line people's pockets with this venture.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
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  4. GWR4707

    GWR4707 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Always taken an interest in the project albeit not closely, my initial thought on reading this was how did an organisation with a non flying aircraft end up with 22 paid members of staff!
     
  5. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member

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    A read through their accounts shows that (some of) those folks were paid handsome salaries thanks to the generosity of aviation enthusiasts and ordinary folks who's well-intentioned donations were made to help the Vulcan to fly - not line the pockets of a small group of people.

    It's time the Charities Commission took a long hard look at some "charities" which are, to all intents and purposes, a commercial business rather than a charity.
     
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  6. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's the same story as we've had with railway preservation in some areas, dedicated enthusiasts give the time and money then the men in suits take over and it becomes something else
     
  7. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    The "men in suits" masterminded the plan that gave us the inestimable pleasure of seeing '558 grace the skies again so no complaints from me on that front. Looking after a four engined Cold War bo,her is a huge commitment so no wonder many of the techs were paid rathe than volunteers. IMO had it been a purely volunteer led project, I doubt '558 would ever have flown again.
     
  8. guycarr360

    guycarr360 Member

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    And probably would not have flown for so long, after many attempts were made to ground her. Knowing when the time was up was the right decision, allied to airframe hours.

    Completely agree though, the level of professionalism and expertise shown, got her off the ground, and that costs big.

    I am sure some of the Air Techs could have earned good money elsewhere, but chose not to.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Trouble is, the appeals from VTST have a consistent ring of "cough up or xyz crisis will befall us". Much as I like the Vulcans, it's got to the point where I really don't want to give VTST money as I am starting to feel I'm being taken for a mug.
     
  10. guycarr360

    guycarr360 Member

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    I will not knock them, but last year we got called to a new customer right next to Doncaster Airport, and I thought, great, now is the chance to go and see her.

    Unfortunately, on checking the website, found you had to book to see her, as she is held in a restricted area.

    Had I been able, I am sure a entrance fee, and associated spend would have happened.

    Hopefully the new display location will allow you to just rock up, and have a look.
     
  11. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't so much the airframe hours, more the loss of two engines which were wrecked by utter incompetence despite paying significant salaries.
     
  12. Robin

    Robin Member

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    Possibly as a legacy of it having been a flying aircraft. However Wikipedia suggests there are other taxiable Vulcans around, and a look at their respective websites yields the following:

    XL426: "All engineering, fund-raising and promotional work on behalf of the Trust is carried out by volunteers." http://www.avrovulcan.com/?q=about

    XM655: "...is maintained by a small team of skilled and dedicated volunteers..." http://www.xm655.com/index.php

    Food for thought?
     
  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Conveniently ignoring the fact that those companies who held the design authority required to operate the aircraft under CAA rules withdrew their support. Without that support it was immaterial how many spare engines they had. No tech support from BAe etc., no permit to fly.
     
  14. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    XM655 taxis once a year and AFAIK XL426 taxis less often than that. AFAIK her last taxi run was 2013. Keeping one flying is several leagues above what's needed to taxi every now and again.
     
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  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    To be fair I suspect its the airport authorities to blame there as you can't have people walking around willy-nilly in a restricted zone.
     
  16. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    AFAIK some of the Techs came out of "retirement" each display season and you're quite correct is assuming that they could have earned more moony elsewhere.
     
  17. Robin

    Robin Member

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    AFAIK there are no plans to keep 558 flying or to do more than taxi her every now and again either. I appreciate the 558 trustees plan includes "to return Canberra WK163 to the airshow circuit..." which could justify keeping professional staff. However the appeal isn't "get WK163 flying", it's "Save 558".
     
  18. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    That was a done deal the moment the tech companies withdrew their backing at the end of 2015.
    The appeal is to keep '558 safe prior to housing her in a new custom built building but also secure the future for WK163 and her eventual retune to flight. No engineering g facilities, no flight.
     
  19. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    Marshall Aerospace were responsible for much of the engineering work and charged commercial rates. Despite that they were dissatisfied on the return from their involvement and were renegotiating.
     
  20. Enterprise

    Enterprise Well-Known Member

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    I have been told by a senior BAE engineer that an important reason was that confidence had been lost in the management of the support crew.
     

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