Where has XH558 thread gone?

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HeyfordDave111
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by HeyfordDave111 »

Well Dan, i’m Sure those vinyl ‘plaques’ with the names printed on will be credited with protecting the paint job on the underside. :grin:
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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

HeyfordDave111 wrote:Well Dan, i’m Sure those vinyl ‘plaques’ with the names printed on will be credited with protecting the paint job on the underside. :grin:


And at least the poster stresses that there's free parking at Bruntingthorpe.

VTTS have missed a trick there...

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by MicrolightDriver »

Mention in this week's Newsletter of engineering work and an indication of forthcoming public events:-

Taff commented: “This weekend, we concentrated on functional checks, with the winter maintenance inspections and lubrications completed, it was bleeding of the hydraulics (brakes, bomb doors, u/c doors etc.) and system functionals - including airbrakes, flying controls, bomb bay doors, nose wheel steering and intercom etc.

All that’s left to do is change the AAPP starter motor and check the engines (borescope and full ground runs) prior to the first public runs that we will set a date for soon.”

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flashman8
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by flashman8 »

MicrolightDriver wrote:Mention in this week's Newsletter of engineering work and an indication of forthcoming public events:-

Taff commented: “This weekend, we concentrated on functional checks, with the winter maintenance inspections and lubrications completed, it was bleeding of the hydraulics (brakes, bomb doors, u/c doors etc.) and system functionals - including airbrakes, flying controls, bomb bay doors, nose wheel steering and intercom etc.

All that’s left to do is change the AAPP starter motor and check the engines (borescope and full ground runs) prior to the first public runs that we will set a date for soon.”


Invited guests or a limited number paying a huge price...................... :whistle:
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aviodromefriend
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by aviodromefriend »

flashman8 wrote:Invited guests or a limited number paying a huge price..... :whistle:
I would imagine it will be guests to be invited to pay a huge price.
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Georgeconna
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Georgeconna »

aviodromefriend wrote:
flashman8 wrote:Invited guests or a limited number paying a huge price..... :whistle:
I would imagine it will be guests to be invited to pay a huge price.


Hah hah ho ho hah, Doubled over laughing at that one :lol: , how original.
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by IgnatiusJReilly »

aviodromefriend wrote:I would imagine it will be guests to be invited to pay a huge price.


Those consultants invoices need paying somehow...
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flashman8
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by flashman8 »

Georgeconna wrote:
aviodromefriend wrote:
flashman8 wrote:Invited guests or a limited number paying a huge price..... :whistle:
I would imagine it will be guests to be invited to pay a huge price.


Hah hah ho ho hah, Doubled over laughing at that one :lol: , how original.


well, look at it, there is no chance of a large number of `the public` who gave many thousands of pounds towards` the peoples aircraft getting to witness, what will no doubt, be an engine run as there is no chance of a fast taxi......... :biggrin:
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Xm657
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Xm657 »

vulcan558 wrote:
Brevet Cable wrote:
Xm657 wrote:...where everyone wanted 558 to be apart from VttST

Except it wasn't 'everyone'.

Correct it was only around 74% that wanted Bruntingthorpe.


Indeed I slightly exaggerated. But I seem to remember most of the votes NOT for Bruntingthorpe were for Elvington, which would have been very suitable too. If I remember rightly Doncaster was the least popular choice amongst the fans and contributors yet Doncaster was where she went. Mr Pleming knows best...

Anyway what's done is done and hopefully something can be salvaged from the Doncaster stupidity. This event though just rubs salt in the wounds. I like your wording DanO: "look what you could have won". That really does sum it up.

Skymonster
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Skymonster »

DSA has just released its master plan for the period up to 2037.

Good news? The Vulcan is still shown on the plan, in the sewerage farm, in 2037. The document says a hangar for VTTS is 'under construction' :shock:
Bad news? Does that mean the airport doesn't have much faith in / room for the Etna concept if it still expects VTTS to be up there in 20 years time? :question:
Bad news? Core growth to 4.6m passengers by 2037 (or 7.2m in a high growth scenario), and 70,000tonnes (170,000tonnes) of cargo, does not augur well for taxi runs :grin:

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Xm657 »

Who would like to predict 558's future as far as 2037?

I think anyone with any common sense will know Etna is a pipe dream that will never happen. I don't see any reason why 558 will never taxi run on the main runway - afterall 426 has been allowed to at Southend recently.

Will the hangar ever be built, if it is how long will she be in it for? My guess is by 2037 she'll either be outside dormant or being kept running by volunteers (like 426 and 655), or have been dismantled and moved somewhere else some years earlier.

I wonder if 655 or 426 will still be runnable by then? And what will be the status of the jets at Bruntingthorpe and Elvington? A crystal ball would be handy!

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Skymonster »

Xm657 wrote:I don't see any reason why 558 will never taxi run on the main runway - afterall 426 has been allowed to at Southend recently.

Southend doesn't have 4.7m passengers per year - and I bet when it does, like DSA, the Vulcan won't be allowed anywhere near the runway because there will be too many commercial aircraft movements.

Xm657 wrote:Who would like to predict 558's future as far as 2037?

I thought that the VTTS's objective in the context of the lottery grant was to preserve the aircraft for at least that long.

Xm657 wrote:A crystal ball would be handy

Yep, shame VTTS didn't have one when they decided on Finningley. Because the airport's newly revealed growth ambitions just lend more credence to those who suggest it was sheer folly to park 558 there in the first place.

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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

Skymonster wrote:
Xm657 wrote:I don't see any reason why 558 will never taxi run on the main runway - afterall 426 has been allowed to at Southend recently.

Southend doesn't have 4.7m passengers per year - and I bet when it does, like DSA, the Vulcan won't be allowed anywhere near the runway because there will be too many commercial aircraft movements.

Xm657 wrote:Who would like to predict 558's future as far as 2037?

I thought that the VTTS's objective in the context of the lottery grant was to preserve the aircraft for at least that long.

Xm657 wrote:A crystal ball would be handy

Yep, shame VTTS didn't have one when they decided on Finningley. Because the airport's newly revealed growth ambitions just lend more credence to those who suggest it was sheer folly to park 558 there in the first place.


When did 426 last use Southend's main runway? I'd wager it was over a decade ago. Especially for a fast run.

Dumping 558 at Doncaster was signing the machine's death warrant. The only sensible decision was to fly it to a private facility, such as Bruntingthorpe or Elvington where it could live without the squeeze of a creeping commercial airport, and where it would be maintained by unpaid volunteers. This was plain from the beginning.

That final landing in 2015 should be seen for what it was - a two fingered salute to those who believed the airframe's long term future was more important than paying wages and pensions in the short.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Xm657 »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:When did 426 last use Southend's main runway? I'd wager it was over a decade ago. Especially for a fast run.


Dan,

426 did a slow speed taxi along the main runway on 3rd Dec 2017, engaging full power and making a howl briefly. (Amazing what can be achieved even without a bunch of salaried employees).

If anyone is interested and has Facebook, here is a video they took of her on the main runway:
https://www.facebook.com/VulcanRestorat ... 195235138/

and of 426 taxing back to her hangar afterwards:
https://www.facebook.com/VulcanRestorat ... 338586457/

However the BIG caveat to this good news was that the taxi run was not announced to the public - it was kept very secret and only announced on their Facebook page afterward. Does this sound at all familiar? I think the big issue with Vulcans at busy commercial airports is public access. Southend are very supportive but they don't want crowds of people blocking access or disrupting their usual business. When 558 overflew Southend in her first tour there was chaos at Southend, which meant 558 did not visit on the farewell tour despite routing very near (actually flew over my house which is only 20 miles away from Southend).

Southend is quite similar in size/traffic/passenger numbers, and is growing faster as its a "London" airport taking up excess demand from Stansted and Luton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busiest_a ... _2017_data

I don't see why 558 won't taxi at Doncaster, but whether it will be a mass event open to the public I dont know. Although the Bawtry Road viewing point would surely be a good spot, would Doncaster allow it? I suspect if she ever does taxi, it will be a private, secret event - how they would sell tickets (to pay for the fuel) without giving away when it was, would be a problem.

The contraints the VRT have to work with now that Southend is a full scale international airport (rather than just quiet general aviation it was 10 years ago) should have been a warning sign to Mr Pleming of the problems he would face at Doncaster. Like you say, the obvious safe bet of Bruntingthorpe or Elvington was passed over for a pipe dream that has proved to be as foolish as most thought it was in 2015.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Gregg »

Doncaster doesn't want 558 taxying on the runway now, so forget when it gets busier. They're concearned about the runway being blocked should the thing break.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by IgnatiusJReilly »

Personally, I can't see them ever getting permission for a fast taxi at Doncaster.
Just supposing that they did. I would expect the airport would want to restrict the numbers attending, in which case it's really, probably, better that they don't bother.
There's no way that they could advertise the event without the local area being swamped with people watching from outside the fence.
Which means it would have to be a secret, invitation only event, limited to a small number of VTTS clique favourites.
Maybe that wouldn't bother VTTS, who knows?
I'd like to think that even they would be sensitive to the message that that would send.

But then again, they're holding an XH558 celebration at Brunty, so... :whistle:
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Xm657 »

I would tend to agree gents. What an absolute mess this is when you think about it. Mr Pleming has completely screwed this up.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by DonaldGrump »

My problem with the fast taxi issue is this. Most of her most active and loyal supporters would I guess have said that the chance to go and see fast taxi and listen to howls as would have been possible at Bruntingthorpe would have been high if not the highest priority upon her retirement to a post flying home.

I do not believe that one single person in authority at VTS had any doubt that fulfilling that promise at Doncaster was a complete non starter. Infact any enthusiast who can tell the difference between a Spitfire and a Hurricane or a Vulcan and a Victor knew full well several thousand people descending upon Robin Hood to watch a 4 engined jet bomber maintained by well meaning enthusiasts roar up the runway was ever going to happen.

I personally asked about the fast taxi as soon as Robin Hood was mentioned, infact I brought it up with several VTS people and on each occasion the answer was no answer as the question was kicked into the long grass or swept under the carpet.

Whether the people in charge chose Doncaster for the reasons suggested by some on here...ie continued income for the chosen ones or because they genuinely felt the best future for the aircraft was at Doncaster each of us will no doubt hold an opinion.

One thing we can be certain of is that very few of those who supported the project both during the restoration and through her second flying life are happy with what has taken place since the decision to retire to Doncaster was taken. It is also clear that not one bit of notice was taken of those who supported.

The bottom line is that for whatever reason this aircraft has been taken from the people to whom it was claimed she belonged, there can be no argument about that, nor can there be any argument about the fact that is very wrong.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Xm657 »

That's a depressing summary Donald. I naively thought the intension was to fast taxi, and the problem was just utter incompetence that nobody thought to check with Robin Hood it was going to be allowed, before stranding 558 there. Even if taxi runs were going to be possible, it would been a poor comparison to Bruntingthorpe - miles away behind a high fence on Old Bawtry Road. If you are correct, and they never had much intension of bothering anyway, it is the ultimate betrayal.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by vulcan558 »

How did the Bruntingthorpes event go today.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Gregg »

Xm657 wrote:That's a depressing summary Donald. I naively thought the intension was to fast taxi, and the problem was just utter incompetence that nobody thought to check with Robin Hood it was going to be allowed, before stranding 558 there. Even if taxi runs were going to be possible, it would been a poor comparison to Bruntingthorpe - miles away behind a high fence on Old Bawtry Road. If you are correct, and they never had much intension of bothering anyway, it is the ultimate betrayal.



The intention absolutely was to taxi and the airport was supportive. I've no idea why they're less so now.

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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

DonaldGrump wrote:My problem with the fast taxi issue is this. Most of her most active and loyal supporters would I guess have said that the chance to go and see fast taxi and listen to howls as would have been possible at Bruntingthorpe would have been high if not the highest priority upon her retirement to a post flying home.

I do not believe that one single person in authority at VTS had any doubt that fulfilling that promise at Doncaster was a complete non starter. Infact any enthusiast who can tell the difference between a Spitfire and a Hurricane or a Vulcan and a Victor knew full well several thousand people descending upon Robin Hood to watch a 4 engined jet bomber maintained by well meaning enthusiasts roar up the runway was ever going to happen.

I personally asked about the fast taxi as soon as Robin Hood was mentioned, infact I brought it up with several VTS people and on each occasion the answer was no answer as the question was kicked into the long grass or swept under the carpet.

Whether the people in charge chose Doncaster for the reasons suggested by some on here...ie continued income for the chosen ones or because they genuinely felt the best future for the aircraft was at Doncaster each of us will no doubt hold an opinion.

One thing we can be certain of is that very few of those who supported the project both during the restoration and through her second flying life are happy with what has taken place since the decision to retire to Doncaster was taken. It is also clear that not one bit of notice was taken of those who supported.

The bottom line is that for whatever reason this aircraft has been taken from the people to whom it was claimed she belonged, there can be no argument about that, nor can there be any argument about the fact that is very wrong.


An excellent post, and one impossible to disagree with.

The problem is that the Bisto Kids need to resign, stand down and walk away. But if they do, I see no organised team of volunteers willing to step in, so the whole enterprise will collapse, and Doncaster will have a rotting lump of Vulcan, and indeed Canberra on their land which they will want shot of as soon as possible.

The paradox is that VTTS needs the very people who are killing it. There is no viable alternative to Pleming and Edmondson, and until there is this rotten situation will go on and on, hand to mouth with nothing promises and pipe dreams.

It should NEVER have ended up at Doncaster, they were told this at the time but for whatever reason or reasons chose not to listen.

A sorry, but utterly predictable end.

By the way, is the Swift they were "looking after" still festering outside too?

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HeyfordDave111
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by HeyfordDave111 »

If anyone went to the Brunty Bash, I’d also be interested in feedback if you care to share?

Whilst agreeing with Dan’s thoughts, I’d add to it and say ‘it ain’t over yet’, but Doncaster has, in my eyes become the nightmare, not the dream.

I think that Vtts are stuck like a rabbit in the headlights with all this, and maybe have decided it’s better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. Yes, obviously while whoever on here is still contributing to the group financially, they are in essence, and certainly after 3 years, throwing their money away.

3 (if the recently restored swift is included) aircraft are now outside doing very little, with next to no access (or at least affordable access) available to get up close.

So it ain’t over yet....... well no, but yes, for Doncaster.
558 needs shifting, and before anyone says it cannot be done, we know it can. Ok it’s not easy and will probably cost 1/4 million or so to do so, but it needs to happen.
Dismantle, ship, reassemble, run. A long and arduous process, but one that’s far from impossible with the will.

Would I put my hands in my pocket to do so? Yes
Would the lottery guys do it? Well faced with the embarrassing alternative waste of public money now, i’d Say it was an ideal face saving opportunity to pull the fat from the fire.

However, while 558 is now seemingly a ‘cash cow’ pension scheme for those at the top in the Vtts on wages, they ain’t going to cut their noses off to spite their faces are they?

That’s the biggest sin. Arrogance, the ‘they know better attitude’, but I would counter that their arrogance has 558, a Canberra and possibly a swift outside now, and while they are not falling apart, it’s not a good advert for the group at all.
It can only read as an aircraft junk yard of sorts to any casual passer by, or tourist on a plane.

Doncaster has big plans, and despite the happy clappy pseudo support for 558, they can’t really say ‘good lord, this is a total mess’ at this juncture, but I bet they think it.

558, despite the great work by Taff etc, will, as the airport gets busier, hardly get a look in, and I agree about runway runs. Who will allow 558 to do these?
How will they prevent free access to see her do such things as Doncaster’s quite open for viewing from the fence?
But we miss the biggest point here......what If 558 has a problem causing Doncaster’s 1 and only runway to go ‘black’?
That’s going to cost someone a pretty penny with diversion costs alone.
With Doncaster want that to happen? No of course not, so why, in this risk adverse world, would they allow it?
The bad publicity this would cause would affect both parties.

So I think that taking her apart, moving her and let her do her stuff in a few years somewhere that will appreciate her, and where if it was to run, it’s done in a controlled, safe and risk free way to the airport or runway concerned.

If it’s not to do thunder runs, then in my opinion, that’s also fine, but not at white elephant for 558, Doncaster.
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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Marka1967 »

I very much doubt the airframe would be fit for anything other than static display if its dismantled and moved by road. Take a look at Vulcans in camera and look at XL318 being dismantled for road transport you have to split the main fuselage section which would compromise the structural integrity without doubt.

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Re: Where has XH558 thread gone?

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

I can see the logic in why Finningley was selected. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I can see it. An ex Vulcan base at which the legacy project was going to sit. I found that legacy project rather pretentious and if I'm honest a bit daft. I've never been convinced a next generation of engineers can be inspired by something so old. But VTTS were set on building it and they couldn't have done that at Bruntingthorpe.

The whole XH558 project was extremely ambitious, and again, I can see how that attitude of 'we got this far, we'll complete it, whatever hurdles we have to jump' continued to drive them on what was clearly a step too far.

I don't buy this cash cow thing, I don't think it was ever the plan. I think the intention was noble but the decision making flawed. All 558 is now is a taxiable Vulcan. Nothing unique about it at all and I think its a shame that VTTS didn't see that at the time of its last flight and plan accordingly. Because I think many of us did.
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