The Vulcan XH558 & General Aviation Thread

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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by Renegadenemo » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:31 am

It would be interesting to know exactly what the CAA insist upon in terms of engineering and management support before they'll sign off on letting that weapon of mass destruction leave the ground. I have absolutely no idea but it could be that there's no way they could fly the thing without a 650K wages bill and, let's be fair, if you work your way to the level where the CAA will trust you on such an undertaking you damn-well want to be paid for your efforts.
And another thing... having crawled about an example of said machine for an afternoon I now know why it took a government to keep such a thing flying and making one work these days makes our tin boat project look as trivial and simple as making a cheese sandwich!
Let's not be too harsh on these people, at least until we understand what they're up against. Personally, I think they've made an outstanding job of mending their plane and garnering public subscription to pay for it. I've spoken to Dr Pleming a time or two and he seems like a good enough bloke to me. I'd certainly not want his job so maybe - just maybe - he actually works for his dosh?
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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by captainbear » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:09 pm

Couldn’t agree more with Bill’s last posting. I saw the Vulcan flying at the Sunderland airshow and it is a magnificent, amazing sight/sound. The big problem, as I see it, is that the British government never seems to look further forward than the life of a single parliament, so to spend money on long-term projects like these is totally beyond their comprehension. There are only two flying Lancasters left in the world (out of many thousands) and how we wish there could be more now. Concorde has gone the same way. They chop up historic ships for fun and refuse to help groups that are prepared to do something about preserving our history before it’s too late (unless of course it’s the Mary Rose or the Cutty Sark).
Bureaucracy has always been expensive and people that can work out how to get results from it are few and far between. So if there are people out there that will spend their own time and their money on projects like XH558, Concorde and K7 etc, all the very best to them. And if they have to be paid for doing it, I reckon that’s a small price to pay to stop these machines from disappearing from living memory. When they’re gone, they’re gone for ever.
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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by orgster1 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:41 pm

I agree that things like 558 should be cherished and looked after as a reminder of our once great technological nation, and yes I agree Vulcan’s are an awe inspiring spectacle having seen them first hand when they were still in service and having to halt procedures during motorcycle racing to let them land and take off, and I have also been privy to climbing all over one at Blackpool airport not long after it was parked there and took in what a huge feat of engineering it was. But my response was to Mikes post about having to raise 75k then pay 72k to one person, and that they are already behind before they even leave the starting blocks next year. And as regards to bureaucracy coming at a high price that’s one of my main points! As long as we keep accepting it then people will just keep putting their price up until saturation point comes and the thing will never get off the ground because of the human factor. This reminds me of the (Alleged) joke picture doing the rounds on the internet where you have 12 blokes stood around a hole in the road all with fancy titles like IT consultant manager and Manager in charge of Human resources etc, and then one bloke in the hole doing the digging named BLOKE FROM POLAND. To me that sums up everything from things like 558 all the way up to having to bail banks out with our hard earned cash only to see them award themselves money for the privilege. Every day I work in an environment that’s full of OK we need to have a meeting before we can make the coffee so that we can bring in a consultant to see if the kettle can hold enough water and bring in another department to make sure we have enough cups to go around and then I get dragged into it because I have letters after my name. (Yes I have heard all the jokes what you’re thinking) But I sit there wondering exactly how much off all the rubbish actually gets the job done so that we can have a simple cup of coffee. Anyway I’m waffling here. Make sure you all dig deep next year to keep 558 around for 2012 and I hope they don’t rely too much on the public as they may be spending all their money on little Olympic fluffy toys and plastic horns to make a din with.


Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by orgster1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:09 am

Thanks for that Mike. That made interesting reading especially when you read between the lines. At least he was up front where a lot of the money went and although no figures were mentioned I know from experience from running a motorcycle racing team that it didn’t come cheap, especially for them to get very little if any return.

An example being= we worked on an assumption that around 80% of our revenue would be based on sponsorship income. Now, we didn't make that figure up, that figure was based on expert advice from sponsorship professionals who told us we could achieve it. The fact of the matter is that our revenue from sponsorship has actually been nearer something like 20-30%

I bet that EXPERT professional (consultants?) Advice didn’t come cheap. (Notice the WE COULD and not MAYBE WE COULD) so if they could then why didn't they? And why did they end up with the reverse of what they were quoted? 80% is a very large chunk of the revenue and to only end up with 20 to 30% needs some answers because I know damn well I would have to find answers if I ever came up with that scenario.

Yep I read quite a lot in that link and think I pretty much have this Vulcan project sussed out by my previous post, and as hinted in the link 2013 will see 558 on the ground and doing fast taxiing demonstrations or stuffed and mounted.
Or perish the thought - end up in RED BULL colours and doing the shows like a circus side show.

Hope I’m proved totally wrong I really do.

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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by klingon » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:38 am

Honest to God-I would rather see the aircraft painted pink and purple polka dots and still flying than see another "Plane on a stick"-I know that may offend purists but a paint job is easily changed back-10 years corroding to death on a plinth is a bit harder to fix!-horses for courses-sponsorship is sometimes a necessary "evil" just to survive-even DC had sponsors with K7. :)
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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by orgster1 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:33 am

It would be a great shame to see 558 either end up all faded and on blocks or a stick shoved up its jet pipes whilst trying to make it look as close to flying as possible. But as it was mentioned in that link Mike posted about pensions and swansongs I think the times coming when the only option to keep it airborne is with the likes of RED BULL or some other company who wants a flying bill board, and trying to imagine it painted as RED BULL or BUDWEISER or whoever makes for a very sad picture in the mind. But if that’s the only way then so be it, but for me it will be like John Lennon getting his hands on that Rolls Royce and painting flowers all over it.
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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by Piston Broke » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:53 am

Mike Bull wrote:Ultimately, the aircraft simply won't fly beyond 2012 or so because it has an absolutely finite fatigue life left on it, and likewise all the available engines only have so many hours on them too- so in the end, the aircraft will ground herself no matter what.
There're plenty of dataplate spitfires flying perhaps we could see a dataplate vulcan flying if there was enough support highly unlikely I would imagine
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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by orgster1 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:53 am

This is what happened to XL391. I climbed all over this Vulcan in the early 80's a very short time after it was parked at Blackpool, and still looked as fresh as the day it was taken out of service. Sad it had to end it's days the way it did.
An Interesting little part of it's history further down the link. ... =&t=234566

And to bring the link back onto 558. As I was reading up on Black Buck and the Falklands I came across this. ... elift.html

Still trying to work out the part = The plane is expected to fly displays for the next 15 years, attracting admirers with its unique delta wing design.

Seems as though the sums have never quite added up with 558 from day one.

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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by Richie » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:02 am

oops........ perhaps not the best way to generate funds in my humble opinion
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Re: Vulcan XH558

Post by Pullman99 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:05 am

Richie wrote:oops........ perhaps not the best way to generate funds in my humble opinion
They're still looking for £350,000 by the end of May with an update due to be announced on their site later today.
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