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First ground test

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: Engineering

completes volunteer training.

Ground handling course completed as Vulcan XH558 fires up her Olympus engines. 

Last Saturday was earmarked as the final training session in ground handling for our volunteer ground-handling team and with great progress being made, Chief Engineer Taff Stone decided that the team were ready to practice the engine start procedure on XH558, in preparation for the public events we will be announcing shortly.

With the weather fine and sunny, and after manoeuvring XH558 to the apron, the air intake covers were removed and all other checks completed, before Taff sat in the pilots position to slowly bring each of the Olympus engines back to life, culminating in running all four at idle RPM for 15 minutes to clear out the inhibiting oils that were added to the engines’ fuel systems over the winter storage period. Here is a photo report on the day.

XH558 in the hangar with bright sunshine streaming through .... time to wake her up!


An unusual view looking backwards from the port cockpit window as she is towed out.

The view from the brake mans position. 


Out on the apron, the team prepare the aircraft.


Another unusual angle looking out from the straboard air intake.


The team all ready for engine start.

Taff at the controls with checklist to work through.


One by one, all four Olympus engines are brought to life and are run at low power for 15 minutes.


A passing front caused a downpour that quickly dried, delaying proceeedings a little.


A few hours later the team assemble for a photo-call with their charge.  


With testing complete and everyone well-rehearsed, it was time to connect the tug...


... and head back towards Hangar 1. 


Returning after a long but very rewarding day. Ground-handling course nearly complete. 

Taff reports that everything was working perfectly and that only a few minor adjustments were needed. XH558 will be towed to back down onto the engine ground-running bay later this month for scheduled public access.

Do look out for news soon as places will be limited.

Well done to our team of volunteers on their dedication and commitment to support XH558.

Much appreciated by all. 


Images courtesy of Sam Scrimshaw and Taff Stone.

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