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Flight Test Engineering Update


by Vulcan Support. Posted to category: Engineering

Flight test schedule has been completed; however we are still awaiting confirmation from Marshall?s Design Office on the findings.

With all the Out Of Phase (OOP?s) up to date and a start of another month, we prepared ourselves again for yet another holiday, this time at RAF Coninsby in Lincolnshire. Prior to the Bank Holiday Weekend we refuelled the aircraft and topped up all of the gases to ease the workload on Tuesday morning when we returned.

Tuesday morning duly arrived and prior to starting work JJ and Del from MA carried out their duplicate inspections of work we had done on the OOP?s. The After Flight (AF) and Before Flight (BF) were then started and once completed the aircraft was towed outside onto the runway and prepared for flight. During the flight servicing we received the information that there was to be a fuel uplift, but before that could be done we had to carry out our fuel sample and water sediment checks on the bowser and trailer, transfer the required fuel from the trailer as we had emptied our bowser during the refuel the week before, let it settle before doing a final check before refuelling the aircraft. Once everything was serviced a couple of the TVOC Engineers set off to get to RAF Coningsby with the support equipment necessary for the aircraft so they could see it in when it arrived.

There was a slight change once again with the aircrew for this set of air test with David Thomas as Captain,Iain Young MA Chief Test Pilot as co-pilot, Barry Masefield once again as AEO and Andy Marson as observer. The refuel was completed just before the crew arrived and the crew-in went nice and smooth this time and off 558 trundled down the runway ready to take-off. She only made it half way before the crew chief was summoned to correct a minor fault (one of the magnetic dolls eye indicators was reading incorrect), after instruction on how to technically adjust it, off they went on the air test and the rest of the TVOC gave chase! The flight test schedule went well with virtually all of the required tests completed 558 landed serviceable at RAF Coningsby. Once all of the Engineers had arrived safely and booked onto camp an AF was carried out and 558 was then put to bed on the lazy runway at around 7.30pm.

Wednesday morning back at RAF Coningsby and preparing for the photo shoot, this took a little longer than expected and it wasn?t complete until lunchtime (well worth it for the picture of the two great Avro aircrafts together with the young pretender in the middle). While waiting for the photo shoot we requested the tractor so we could start to prepare the compass pan to find out that although 558 was looking in excellent shape she had to shed a few more pounds to fall into the weight category of the tractor available, therefore after the shoot we had to carry out a defuel to the correct weight before towing her over to start the swing. As stated on a number of Forums the purely magnetic compasses (two E2B type) were in fact successfully swung whilst at Cottesmore, therefore all that was required was to re-align the new gyro magnetic HSI systems. The reason for this was probably due to the atrocious weather at Cottesmore making it very difficult to achieve a steady platform, resulting in a differential between the port and starboard HSI headings after the return to Brunty.

With Glenn Stanton and Stu Bond of MA aided by Pat Bowyer and John Hufton of TVOC, they set about the necessary adjustments. Due to the late start brought about by the PR it was decided to call it a day around 7pm after setting up the course adjustments. As so much of the air test had been completed there was no pressure in completing the setup as 558 could not fly back into Bruntingthorpe until the Friday. Thursday morning the system was successfully adjusted bringing them into tolerance, the adjustment proved quite tricky and considerable effort and much patience was needed to achieve good results. The afternoon consisted of design corrections to the operation of the ADDU altitude warning system bringing it up to full operational standard and a refuel putting back on the pounds she lost along with a few more to complete the air test on her way home.

Friday morning saw a reduced TVOC crew carrying out the AF/BF for the flight home as a couple of the Engineers had been dispatched home to see her in. The crew in went well and off she went on a slightly dog leg route over to the wash to finish off the last five checks (Cranwell, Waddington and Lincoln?). Once landed at Bruntingthorpe the aircrew were de-briefed on any faults that had occurred during the fligh, there were a number of small faults (perhaps they were fed up of technically adjusting the dolls eye!) along with one of the radio?s still playing up slightly. 558 was then towed back inside and an AF carried out. Most of faults are now either fixed or in the process of being fixed while we await the decision of MA on the successful completion of the air test and application for our Permit to Fly and start the all important build up to bring XH558 back where she belongs on the Airshow Circuit.

Well that?s all for now, except I would like to thank everyone form RAF Coningsby who help us during the last week especially Nick and all of his lads from VASS who were the ideal hosts and friends.

THANK YOU ALL!!!!

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