Save Vulcan Petition

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Thoughtful_Flyer
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Thoughtful_Flyer »

XR219 wrote:
JetA1 wrote:The OEM reason has been pushed by the TVOC this year I feel to disguise the fact and take the blame instead of the airframe and engines being out out of life. The airframes done more hrs than any other, and there are no more mods to extend the flying time past her (very low for civilian aircraft) 7500 flying hrs. And then the engines are limited to 1200 cycles which according to them they use 6 each per flying hour. So that makes 200 flying hrs per set, and 2 were destroyed by silica gel. So 8 years was about as good as we could have hoped or expected.

I'll miss the old girl, I got into the industry because of the Vulcan, but no matter how many petitions we do, or how much money could be raised, the airframe and engines are out of life. Warbirds still fly because piston engines can be relatively easily overhauled with a lathe and milling machine. An Olympus turbine blades a completely kettle of fish! All the tooling and skills ended in 1982.



So unfortunately it is not true to say that the aircraft ran out of life due to the reduction to six available engines; that would have taken her out to 2017. Flying has to stop this year because OEM support will stop.


So, have the OEMs backtracked from an original commitment of ten seasons or was this figure just wishful thinking on VTTS's part?

Whilst I can fully understand why the commercial organisations might want out it would be disappointing if they are reneging on their original commitments. Unless of course there are good technical reasons that could not reasonably have been foreseen.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Brevet Cable »

Think it's more down to the fact that given the age of their employees qualified to work on XH558 or it's components , the OEMs say they simply won't have sufficient qualified employees for much longer.

As for the '10 year plan' , yes it was originally hoped to be 10 years , but that effectively went out of the window when they lunched the two engines , not to mention the iffy spare ( I can't remember if it was eventually authorised for use ) and the one with the high mag-chip count ( although I think they were eventually authorised to re-use that one )
They could still have made 10 years , but they'd have had to limit the number of flights per year to do so.
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Thoughtful_Flyer
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Thoughtful_Flyer »

Brevet Cable wrote:Think it's more down to the fact that given the age of their employees qualified to work on XH558 or it's components , the OEMs say they simply won't have sufficient qualified employees for much longer.

As for the '10 year plan' , yes it was originally hoped to be 10 years , but that effectively went out of the window when they lunched the two engines , not to mention the iffy spare ( I can't remember if it was eventually authorised for use ) and the one with the high mag-chip count ( although I think they were eventually authorised to re-use that one )
They could still have made 10 years , but they'd have had to limit the number of flights per year to do so.


What I'm asking is was ten years actually promised or was it just wishful thinking on the part of VTTS? Employees, like everybody else, age each year! That was as predictable as night following day. So did the OEM's make a firm commitment they now can't or won't keep? Presumably younger people could have been trained (at a cost). If the OEM's had a firm contract with the MOD they would have had to have found a way so I wonder if this was never properly tied down, perhaps because nobody really believed it would get this far?

I don't see how wrecking two engines affects this. Obviously it reduces the number of cycles available but as you say they could just do fewer flights per year.

Where we seem to be ending up is with engine cycles and airframe life left over and wasted either because of a lack of a proper agreement or a commercial decision to renege on their obligations.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Brevet Cable »

Thoughtful_Flyer wrote:What I'm asking is was ten years actually promised or was it just wishful thinking on the part of VTTS?

From the FAQs on their website :
We are hoping to operate XH558 for an envisaged 10 year display period. Our Olympus engines are limited to 1200 cycles each by their Design Authority, Rolls-Royce. Cycles are a measure of engine fatigue life - one cycle is counted each time the engine goes from idle to 100% and back again. Smaller changes of RPM add to the cycles consumed. We are monitoring the engine cycle consumption by recording engine RPM.

We are trying to conserve the cycles used in a year by carefully limiting the number of flying hours, and by adopting flying techniques which reduce the cycle consumption. At the moment we are experiencing an exchange rate on average of about 6 cycles per flying hour, which translates into an actual engine life of 1200/6 = 200 flying hours. We have two sets of four engines giving us about 400 hours in total. Over ten years that comes out to about 40 hours flying per year.

The actual intention - if I recall correctly - is stated in the VTST accounts published on the Charities Comission website.

...So did the OEM's make a firm commitment they now can't or won't keep? Presumably younger people could have been trained (at a cost). If the OEM's had a firm contract with the MOD they would have had to have found a way so I wonder if this was never properly tied down, perhaps because nobody really believed it would get this far?

That question would have to be directed at the OEMs or VTST , as it's not something that people uninvolved with either organisations could answer.

Regardless , as long as funding was found to complete the required airframe modifications the limiting factor has always been the engines -- RR don't refurbish them & none of the outside companies who do refurbish Olympus engines are certificated to do so with the aircraft version.
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Thoughtful_Flyer
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Thoughtful_Flyer »

Yes, I understand all of that.

However, barring a major failure, there will be at least some engine life left at the end of this season. Had the OEM's not pulled the plug and assuming money could be raised for routine servicing then some flying would have been possible next year. So I would still like to know why the OEM's have made this seemingly fairly arbitrary decision now rather than last year or next?

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Brevet Cable »

As per my previous -- that question can only be answered by addressing it to either VTST or the OEMs , as it's not something they publish in their newsletters.
The only thing you have is the following from their news release :
Having evaluated a great many factors, the three expert companies on whom XH558 depends – known as the ‘technical authorities’ - have together decided to cease their support at the end of this flying season. Without that support, under Civil Aviation Authority regulations, she is prohibited from flying.

“This is for entirely pragmatic and well-argued reasons related to the age of her airframe and engines and the growing difficulty sourcing otherwise redundant skills,” explains engineering director Andrew Edmondson. “I cannot emphasise highly enough that this is not in any way a comment on XH558’s safety this year. She has proven to be as reliable as most modern military jets and is maintained to the CAA’s rigorous standards which are amongst the highest in the world.”

At the heart of their decision are two factors. First, although XH558 is currently as safe as any aircraft flying today, her structure and systems are already more than ten percent beyond the flying hours of any other Vulcan, so knowing where to look for any possible failure will become more difficult. Second, maintaining her superb safety record requires expertise that is increasingly difficult to find.

“Our technical partners already bring specialists out of retirement specifically to work on XH558; a solution that is increasingly impractical for those businesses as the necessary skills become distant in their collective memories,” explains Edmondson. “We have recently been made aware that the skills issue is particularly acute as our engines age and will require a considerable amount of additional (and costly) inspection and assessment.”

The Trust has worked hard to see if another year may be possible. Unfortunately, following extensive discussion with the technical authorities, some of the challenges have proven to be insurmountable.
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stratocaster
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by stratocaster »

Signed! :biggrin: :up:
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Gregg
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Gregg »

Thoughtful_Flyer wrote:Yes, I understand all of that.

However, barring a major failure, there will be at least some engine life left at the end of this season. Had the OEM's not pulled the plug and assuming money could be raised for routine servicing then some flying would have been possible next year. So I would still like to know why the OEM's have made this seemingly fairly arbitrary decision now rather than last year or next?


Yes, some would be possible.

The only answer you'll get to the OEM's reasoning is the ones given. If there's other reasons then we're not likely to find out.

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Wissam24
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Wissam24 »

Paul_Reflex wrote:I can't believe that people are buying this OEM support nonsense. Surely we all know the real reason for the decision to ground the vulcan - the sentimental fatigue life of Sean Maffett.

Since being retired by the RAF decades ago Sean has been a permanent fixture on the airshow circuit, but too many RIAT DVD commentaries where he told us how manoeuvrable the G222 is for an aircraft of its size sees him now running out of service life.

Its remarkable that he was restored as the vulcan commentator 8 yeaes ago, but the fatigue caused by referring to the vulcan as a sort of Spitfire/Princess Diana hybrid is extensive and it's not clear that there are enough available Dr Seuss quotes to keep him going.

I'm sure that TVOC are doing this for the best if reasons, no one wants to see some terrible disaster where Sean asks people to wave their umbrellas and ice creams at the aircraft as has happened with other commentators over the past few years.


:lol: :lol: :clap: :clap:

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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by JBartlett »

Brevet Cable wrote:Despite the fact that I was a supporter of VTST for many years , I won't be signing any of the petitions.



Same as much I enjoyed seeing the Vulcan over the years and yes it will be a shame when she stops flying but I think its time to let other aircraft in for the funds and I for one can't wait to see the Shackleton flying.

James
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B58
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by B58 »

I agree the Shackleton is a mouthwatering prospect but will not happen anytime soon. There is a danger of people's interest waning in the meantime , surely funds could continue to be raised by VTST and used to support other Classic Jets such as Midair's Canberra PR9 or the Navy's Sea Vixen . Money could also be used to purchase and fund the restoration of WK163 or even to purchase Mike Beachyheads low houred Buccaneer and it's extensive spares package pending on how much he's asking for it. Could the Lottery guys be approached again? the VTST have the team , the skills , and the successful reputation to oversee and support the Classic jet scene - all this shoudn't go to waste and end with the Vulcan.
Has anyone put this idea to them or have they themselves considered it ? comments please!

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speedbird2639
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by speedbird2639 »

B58 wrote: the VTST have the team , the skills , and the successful reputation to oversee and support the Classic jet scene - all this shoudn't go to waste and end with the Vulcan.
Has anyone put this idea to them or have they themselves considered it ? comments please!


I'm not sure VTST DO have the team. Isn't one of the contributory problems re the Vulcan that a lot of the old boys are getting to the end of the their working lives and they want to jack it in and retire? Presumably to get CAA sign off the people working on these planes have to have been through proper OEM training - not just a couple of hours each weekend like you might be able to get by with being a Guard on a heritage railway.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by Brevet Cable »

The problem with retirement isn't with VTST/TVOC's staff , it's with the OEMs' staff.
In the past , most of the work used to have to be carried out by the OEMs or signed-off by the OEMs , but over the last couple of years VTST/TVOC staff have been certificated to enable them to carry out & sign-off a lot of it without OEM involvement.
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CJS
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by CJS »

They will still be collecting money for their ground based enterprises, whatever they turn out to be, so I can't imagine the exact same team raising funds for what is - in essence - a rival.
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

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richw_82
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by richw_82 »

B58 wrote:I agree the Shackleton is a mouthwatering prospect but will not happen anytime soon.


Says who? It depends on your definition of soon. If you mean 'soon' as in a similar amount of time as it took to restore XH558 to flight, then you're talking 'sooner' than that. We said 5 years when we started down the road in late 2012, and we're doing well so far.

:smile:
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B58
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by B58 »

richw_82 wrote:
B58 wrote:I agree the Shackleton is a mouthwatering prospect but will not happen anytime soon.


Says who? It depends on your definition of soon. If you mean 'soon' as in a similar amount of time as it took to restore XH558 to flight, then you're talking 'sooner' than that. We said 5 years when we started down the road in late 2012, and we're doing well so far.

:smile:

Sorry Rich , no offence meant probably bad choice of words , the point I was trying to make was that people should be kept aware of what is happening and what " will be " if they continue to support and take interest as with the Vulcan , wetting everyone's appetite as it were rather than letting the momentum stop . I think a lot of people will think the Vulcan was a " one off " and that such a return to flight project will never happen again .
Keep up the great work, I look forward to any news.

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richw_82
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Re: Save Vulcan Petition

Post by richw_82 »

No offence taken, don't worry. Reading back I understand now what you're saying at I just couldn't quite get the 'any time soon ' bit which confuddled me (it doesn't take much! :lol: )

News? A long day spent jacking the aircraft, taking both main wheels off, all four brake sets out, stripped and rebuilt with new parts, back together again, wheels back on. Brakes now at 100%, no audible leaks. We're definitely going to be taxying next weekend for the Vulcan event. :yahoo:
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