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Messages - Rover3500

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Aviation Waffle / Re: Dunsfold Aerodrome future in doubt?
« on: January 11, 2016, 04:12:47 PM »
This is inevitable if the UK votes to  stay in the European Union and accepts  300,000 + net migration every year. The pressure to develop open spaces  is only going to increase.

Engineering / Re: Engine run today
« on: November 25, 2015, 06:25:33 PM »
I just want to thank all the Engineers for today!! What an amazing, stonking, freaking awesome experience!!!
Ive heard the Howl before and always my usual comment is 'Better than sex!'
Well let me tell you until youve stood right underneath the Bomb-Bay doors and Taff flips her to full power and the noise vibrates right into your SOUL and the floor moves!!! You aint heard nothing yet!!
If you have the money like i did,, GO!!ITS DEFINATELY BETTER THAN SEX!!!!!

Be careful with that..a jet engine at 100ft can produce 140dB which is the loudest recommended noise exposure WITH hearing protection.

New Members Sign In Here / Re: Final Flight
« on: November 01, 2015, 09:11:02 PM »

That's because it would have been 'into the unknown'. Doesn't matter how many theoretical hours Avro certified, that was a long, long time ago and the one thing the Fatigue Test Specimen couldn't simulate or predict was the effect of age and corrosion on the airframe. The end has been forced on us sooner that most would like, but I understand the reasoning.

But are we really  'going into the unknown' anymore than back in 2007 when XH558 had covered 8% more flying hours than any other Vulcan and had not flown for over 13 years?. It still remains unclear why the line has been drawn here after such a costly, comprehensive  and skilful restoration.

The advanced  'age' of the Vulcan  airframe seems to be a powerful and well used  argument  but I know of no mechanism by which age alone can have any effect on aircraft strength and durability . The CAA routinely accept FI limits set by fatigue test specimens  for many aircraft of advanced age - if ageing alone had any significant effect on safety, FI  limits would be revised down for age?.

Stress corrosion cracking is another matter and is of course age related. A combination  of factors  regarding susceptible  materials, operating environment and mechanical stress have to be met for it to be a concern . As far as I know, no detailed assessment of the likelihood of SCC occurring to XH558 has been made to justify the decision to end flight.

It's been reported that back in 2007 the  Vulcan was   'deskinned – the magnesium alloy panels removed – so that every vital part inside could be meticulously inspected. If it  was found that the  aircraft’s main spars – the skeleton of the airframe – had proven to be cracked or badly corroded, all this work would have been in vain. Thankfully, only a very small section of one spar was found to be affected. That tiny part was carefully removed'.

It's hard to envisage that after just 346 hrs of fair weather flight  with careful storage and maintenance , the airframe has lapsed from  into unsafe territory because of corrosion.

Not inexplicable at all. 2,000 hours were certified in RAF service, when the engines would have been straight back on an aircraft after overhaul. 558's engines had been in storage for over 20 years, scarcely any wonder RR were cautious, over cautious maybe but again understandable.

I can only comment on the information in the public domain but I understand the engines were correctly stored with silica gel bags etc. so it seems hard to understand the rationale on this. I know of no mechanism whereby steel and titanium alloys can degrade in a  reasonably warm and dry environment.
I understand that the engines were inspected   and found to be free from significant corrosion which would seem to confirm that good storage practices had been adhered to.

New Members Sign In Here / Re: Final Flight
« on: October 30, 2015, 11:50:34 PM »
It was just bizarre  the secret final flight - how many 10,000's  of  people did the authorities expect to turn up on a weekday on a dreary winter day in October. While XH558 is hugely popular and has a huge following it is sadly  not as popular as   Manchester United. Totally over the top.

 I viewed the farewell to flight landing  from  Finningley....I managed to park my car, walk a short distance to a convenient viewing area (that had ample space) then drive home again in free flowing traffic.  There was no 'gridlock'. People on this occasion were allowed to  use their common sense and judgement.

To an observer like me it does seem to confirm that knee jerk risk aversion, not logic or reason is ruling the day.

I have said before that after modifications 2222,2429,2430 & 2221, XH558's airframe  was certified by AVRO  for many more hours of flight than the 346 hrs XH558 completed post restoration. Yet we keep being told that the trust would be 'flying into the unknown'.

Rolls Royce certified the Olympus for 2000 flying hours when they were overhauled..then inexplicably changed this to 1200 cycles that left the engines near their end of their working life after just a few hundred hours...

The live video was okay but not really something to tell the grandkids about....

(sitting  under dining table with saucepan on head)

Aviation Waffle / Re: The VULCAN effect
« on: October 19, 2015, 11:20:46 PM »
QUOTE: I want as many people today to witness what I did...the chance to be inspired, to see what this country could do before we lost our nerve. Yes it's potentially  dangerous as it always has been  and an accident could happen but it's worth the risk. 
We could seek to eliminate all risk from or lives (as we so often do)  ...but would our lives still be worth living ?

I wonder if the Aircrew would agree on the above :-\

I believe that the aircrew would  see the risks in context - an airframe that is within the Fatigue index  limits set by fatigue testing is recognised  to be safe to the Civil Aviation Authority  providing that no significant  corrosion has  occurred and inspections are made.
There is no de-rate on permitted airframe life  for aircraft age I am aware of.  Airframes it seem do not 'age' or degrade with time  (unless corrosion occurs,)  but just wear out .

Vulcan XH558 has covered '10% more flying hours than any other Vulcan' which seems to have been used as a justification for ending flight. The current flying hours are 7386 (logged in 2007) +  approx. 200 hrs since return to flight which is a total of  7586 hrs.

This means that the next longest serving Vulcan has 10% less or 6827 HRS.

So when XH558  returned to flight in 2008 it could be said the aircraft then  had  covered over  '8% more flying hours than any other Vulcan'.  Which puts the 10% figure in perspective if indeed it is significant.

Aviation Waffle / Re: The VULCAN effect
« on: October 17, 2015, 10:43:18 AM »
I remember being dragged along to Finningley  as a rather bored small boy by my brother  back in the days of RAF Vulcan operation. Nothing compared to the Vulcan that day it made it's mark on me and I still remember the display  like it was yesterday .
I literally couldn't believe what I was seeing it was just fantastic!. The smoke from using copious amounts of full power, noise, control it was in a class of it's own.  I  never forgot that day and have wanted to work in Engineering ever since.

I guess that's part of the reason  why i'd like XH558 to use every last scrap of airframe and engine life although that possibility  has slipped away now it seems.

I want as many people today to witness what I did...the chance to be inspired, to see what this country could do before we lost our nerve. Yes it's potentially  dangerous as it always has been  and an accident could happen but it's worth the risk. 
We could seek to eliminate all risk from or lives (as we so often do)  ...but would our lives still be worth living ?


Engineering / Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« on: October 16, 2015, 11:53:51 PM »
Indeed.  No amount of getting angry, lobbying politicians & companies, signing petitions or involving Royals & celebrities is going to make any difference.

Sure, she could theoretically go on for a few more years, but the unknowns make it too much of a risk.  The experts have made their assessments based on all available evidence and it's time to call it a day gracefully while she is ahead, before something unexpected happens. Hands up those who'd like to see her end on a technical issue or after some sort of emergency...

Incidentally, I did see some photos of the wing spars of another well-known Vulcan recently, and it's fair to say that it was 'quite bent'.  Not that this means that 558 is the same, but she is not immune to fatigue.

I've accepted it's time to say farewell.  Time we all did, I think.

I think it's important to compare apples with apples - XH558 benefits from more structural modifications and development than any other Vulcan....probably the safest Vulcan ever to fly. The few accidents and subsequent lessons learned after have all benefitted safety.

Bent spars are characteristic of overloading (perhaps accidental damage  in storage?) ...fatigue would show up as cracks occurring before the spars yield strength had been exceeded.
It's a tribute to the Avro engineers that XH558 is still able to fly safely today  - the test airframe and the modifications ,(2222,2429,2430 & 2221)were certified for many more hours of flight than XH558 attained.

Farewell  XH558 and thanks all  for the memories.

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 16, 2015, 05:55:37 PM »
I think John Shuttleworth  would say.

....but Ken it's crazy!... we can't have TWO Vulcans on the go that can only taxy due to a load of red tape..It's a nightmare scenario! .

I will do the gig but I want my own private car parking space and an assurance that Doncaster police won't attempt to 'lock down' the whole of West Yorkshire if it might get a bit busy etc.
... plus free and unfettered use of the tea urn.

plus  petrol money and it's a done deal.

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 16, 2015, 05:44:57 PM »
Very nice but a bit rich for me at £6100..but  if it was the Wolseley with illuminated badge and quad headlamps! :)

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 16, 2015, 01:01:51 PM »

I think John Shuttleworth  would say.

....but Ken it's crazy!... we can't have TWO Vulcans on the go that can only taxy due to a load of red tape..It's a nightmare scenario! .

I will do the gig but I want my own private car parking space and an assurance that Doncaster police won't attempt to 'lock down' the whole of West Yorkshire if it might get a bit busy etc.

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 16, 2015, 11:23:49 AM »
Ooof no that space is reserved for the Austin Ambassador ..mine was  a Y reg in beige :)
Thanks for that, my Dad had an Austin Ambassador VanDen Plas, I think that was a 'Y' Reg!

Ooh they  were properly  posh ..2 litre O series power and velour seats! :)

Just a thought ... John Shuttleworth could record a version of  'Pigeons in Flight' for XH558 called 'Avro Vulcan in Flight' to raise awareness and  keep XH558 in the air!. A fun track with a knockabout quality that could be just what's needed to keep Vulcan in the public eye!

Have a listen, join in when you feel comfortable and punch the  air for added emphasis !

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 15, 2015, 11:49:30 PM »
I had an Austin Princess !! does that count in the hall of fame,it was a lovely car and felt like a limo to drive



I'm sure I was talking about an aeroplane or summat need to get back on track. Ah Austin Princess...

Ooof no that space is reserved for the Austin Ambassador ..mine was  a Y reg in beige :)

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 15, 2015, 12:28:30 AM »
Re. Lovely car the P5B but's for me it's got to be the   SD1 3500  with the  manual gearbox :)

I hope it's the Vitesse.  If it's twin plenum they're getting as rare as hens teeth these days!

No just a 3500  Vanden Plas unfortunately...much nicer car than that awful re-badged Honda thing!
I would love a Vitesse twin plenum   ..but then I wouldn't have a pair of twin Stromberg carburettors to play with on Sunday mornings and it still makes a lovely noise!.

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 15, 2015, 12:13:31 AM »
Engine hours in terms of cycles depends entirely on how the crew use the engines, an engine cycle is from idol -100% and back to idol, that rarely happens in display flying, 100%-50%-75%-40%-100% the trick is using these part cycles efficiently to maximize the full cycle usage, which is why the crew use alot of momentum rather than power to fly displays, less cycles, over the last 2 season non display takeoffs were at a low power settings, to conserve cycles. Current on wing time about 200 hours, that doesn't mean there is 1800 hours missing life, RR said they would support the engines for 1200 cycles irrespective of previous RAF usage, the trust have had numerous conversation with RR about increasing the number of available cycles, but the answer has always been no 1200 is what you have mo more no less.

Thanks for the additional information - I can see the rationale in changing to cycle based monitoring to reflect changing temperatures and loads. Commercial airline jets running at steady loads for long periods  must have a much easier life.

If RR's 1200 cycle limit only corresponds to around 200 Vulcan flying  hours that's only 10% of the hours that the engine would have been permitted  to run  in the 80's and 90's. It would be interesting to see the reasoning for such a drastic reduction. RR quote a  0.00001% chance   of a 'hazardous  engine failure' per flying hour for an engne operating  less than 1200 cycles...that's about the same chance as me being killed as a pedestrian next year ie acceptably low.  Are all CAA certified aircraft held to this standard  ?

I remember in 1993 it was reported in the press that XH558 was at the end of it's airframe life ...engine life wasn't mentioned then as far as I know as a factor.   

Perhaps RR use a different and more stringent  risk assessment for engines certified by the  CAA  compared to those certified for  military use ?.   Certainly RR felt able to support the elderly  Spey and Conway series engines on the MR2 Nimrod and VC-10 fleet up until 2007 and  2013 so the expertise must not be entirely extinct.

Engineering / Re: Vulcan Bottle failure
« on: October 14, 2015, 11:02:01 PM »

Hi Rover 3500,

I think you're asking a lot of pertinent questions.
Not everyone on here is ex-RAF or an engineer.
I think that it's sad that the more informed in the community, who should know better, seek to belittle you with unpleasant personal attacks.

I think there is a bigger issue here, beyond fatigue indexes on the airframe as it stands & hours / cycles left on these engines as they stand.

XH558 is a heritage asset which has absorbed considerable public money in the form of grants & money from individual donors.
For the past 5 years it has been 'ticking over' on around £2.5M a year which is a lot of money but not in terms of running an operation of this nature.
As is obvious to see XH558 enjoys unprecedented levels of public support & adulation.
We are continually seeing horrendous amounts of public money wasted on arts projects / theatre with low or no popular support.  Governmental waste running into many tens of £Billions, £100M+ alone EVERY YEAR on abortive IT schemes which never reach completion.
Buck House is due for a revamp at £150M, the Westminster renovation is due to come in at £7Bn
My guess is that all of XH558 's ills could be sorted out for £5M perhaps? That buying another 8 or 10 years of displays.
How much does it cost to keep the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in the air each year?
I think that GB OWES it to the brave servicemen & women of the Cold War to keep this living memorial aloft for as long as possible, well who christened XH558 "Spirit of Great Britain"?

Yes VULCAN as a breed is bordering on perilous, I think that during development & service nearly 18% of all the VULCAN's built fell out of the air, crashed or went up in flames.  I personally think that with CAA oversight XH558 is probably operating as safely as any VULCAN ever has.

No-one wishes to see air-crew put in harms way but by the same token I don't see anyone getting into XH558 with a gun to their head, (if the Trust offered me a flight in a back seat tomorrow with a 99% chance of crashing I'd take that flight!)

As for those who say, "Good while it lasted, over now, move on!" Some of these people may understand VULCAN in technical & engineering terms but I feel they don't 'get' VULCAN.  You obviously do.

I think that this has to be be about;
What is best for this aeroplane as a heritage asset for the UK.
What do the people of Great Britain want of XH558 going forward.

I am wondering if bolder & more imaginative leadership is needed here?

(btw) I had the 3500 in P5B Coupe, P6 & SD1

I don't mind when people say unpleasant things,  I'm used to it after working in troubleshooter type roles in   what's left of British manufacturing industry all my working life. Heard it all.
 But people all have egos and going around questioning assumptions can be misinterpreted   ..not the best way of winning friends even if you mean well.

In the US and Japan I find people much more open to new ideas and having their assumptions challenged. 
In Britain it's all a lot more cliquey with decisions often  based on who shouts loudest and has the most influence. Promotions are too often based on 'whose  face fits' rather rather   than results and competence which I find very depressing.
Group-think is absolutely rife in my view.

You may recall the scrapping of the MRA4 Nimrod in 2010.
Some very distinguished people   failed to realise that the 1960's Comet airframes on which it was to be built were   essentially 'coach built' to a non uniform standard . Something should have told them from the start it was a bad idea - but the decision had been taken and nobody wanted to rock the boat by saying 'hey wait a minute this is a terrible idea'.

 Unfortunately this made it almost impossible to fit the all new wings to the Comet fuselage - some of the mounting points differed by up to 4 inches!.

The point is that a handyman with a £2.99 tape measure could have spotted this - but the senior people  did not and in the end  4 billion pounds had to be written off. So I always check facts for myself  and if someone tells me  an argument is settled..well double check the facts  and assumptions made.

So no I would never dismiss somebody less experienced  by saying they don't know what they are talking about, are motivated by bitterness,  or need to 'move on'  - the best, the great and the good  can and do get it spectacularly wrong. Sometimes the most obvious mistakes are the hardest to spot by people at the core of a project. 

Lovely car the P5B but's for me it's got to be the   SD1 3500  with the  manual gearbox :)

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