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Latest update on XL388

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: Engineering

at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Vulcan to the Sky Trust volunteer Sam Scrimshaw reports on the continuing cockpit refurbishment of Vulcan XL388 at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.

It’s been ‘all systems go’ on XL388 since our last update in these newsletters and we’ve made some great progress. With the weather having turned colder, most of the tasks carried out have been focussed inside the cockpit so that when the warmer weather returns, we will be able to capitalise fully.

The replacement of the bomb aimer’s blister has been completed, with the inner skins having been put back in place, along with the Bomb Aimers Window and the floor. This represented probably the most challenging aspect of XL388’s restoration and everyone involved is really happy with the outcome.


We’ve continued to make good progress with refitting the internal equipment to the cockpit, but in some cases this was easier said than done! The two upper instrument panels for the rear crew were missing, and we have had to manufacture our own panels. Bob is doing excellent work making the panels, and he has almost completed the first of the two panels.

We have also been busy creating plates to replace the missing wiring loom covers alongside the AEO’s position. Dave has been busy working away to make these and he’s done a great job!


After liberating the entrance door from its place on display in the museum’s Hangar, we have also been able to complete the work needed to bring it back to use. It might not seem like the most important item to have, but it will allow us to offer a more authentic experience to cockpit visitors in future. To return the door to use, we have had to remove the outer skin to allow us access to remove the old, cut hinges. Using the old hinges as a template, new ones were made and refitted to the door. With that complete, the skin was reinstalled and we have now done a full test of the door!


With the door on its hinges, we have installed it and have been able to lift it closed and lock it before opening it from the inside and outside of the cockpit. There has been a lot of work done to be able to get to this point, as upon start of the project almost a year ago, the entrance door mechanism was completely seized and it looked as though there was no hope of it functioning again. Thanks to Tony and his hard work and perseverance, life has been restored to the system.


We hope to be in a position to open the cockpit of XL388 up to visitors in time for the museums first  open cockpits weekend of 2018, happening on the 12th and 13th May, and it would be fantastic to see some of you there! For more details on this, visit

If you would like to support the project, please visit

If you have any parts or instruments that may be of use in the restoration of XL388 please do get in touch via email:

You can keep up to date with all of the latest developments by visiting and

Please note: No money is being diverted from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, XH558 or WK163. VTTS are providing manpower in the form of the hangar volunteer team.

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