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Topics - sickbag_andy

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Engineering / Positive news re hangar funding in the latest e-mail!
« on: July 12, 2018, 05:33:50 PM »

For the past six months, since full planning approval was obtained late in December, the Trust has been in discussions with an investor - who does not wish to be named at this stage - who has offered to fund the majority of the costs of constructing the Trust's New Hangar at Doncaster Sheffield Airport on land that has now been purchased by the Airport. 

In parallel, building contractors have provided costs for the build, and a small amount of preparatory work at the site has been carried out. Having agreed in principle the terms of the investment, our discussions have now moved on to detailed negotiations between sets of solicitors. 

When this process is completed, we will be able to make further announcements including our planned timescale. We do however hope that the hangar will open and have access to XH558 available in 2019. In addition, we are in discussions with others for the remainder of the funding required to turn the new hangar into an exciting visitor attraction for South Yorkshire. 

We are very grateful for the patience of our supporters during this long and involved process, on which by its nature has meant we have been unable to offer frequent, detailed updates. We are confident that this plan will allow us to fulfil our aspirations of honouring the past and inspiring the future, while giving XH558 a fitting, relevant and secure home in the very long term. 

something positive at last!

Aviation Waffle / possible ferry flight today?
« on: April 01, 2018, 08:47:45 AM »
Is it true? - heard a rumour of a secret ferry flight for 558 to Bruntingthorpe later this morning. They certainly kept that under wraps even moreso than the final flight in 2015.

doubt I could make Doncaster in time but might just make Brunty

XH558 Photo and Video Channel / My Vulcan chasing travels 2008 -2015
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:09:04 PM »
It's too cold to go out this week so I've been going through old photos and realised how many different places I visited watching and supporting XH558. I've put them together in chronological order with a bit of a story to go with them.....

I'd been a club member since 2003 and the first time I saw a post restoration flight was 9th June 2008 (I think it was the 5th flight) I'd written a cryptic quiz for the Trust to use (never did) and took that and a £50 prize to Bruntingthorpe on the day of the flight - what good timing ;), anyway it was out on to the airfield where I met amongst others Jane and Malcolm for the first time.

so here was my first sight of the lady that was going to dominate my aviation enthusiasm for the next 8 years, taxiing out for thatflight (in those days I only had a digital compact so excuse the quality)
XH558 brunty 9-6-08, 03 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

I didn't take any during the flight - just watched in awe but here's one of the landing:
XH558 brunty 9-6-08, 09 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then it was Farnborough the same year, one of the take off, everything stopped and it all went quiet as she taxied out, just showed the pull of the aircraft:
vulcanXH558 take off, Farnborough 19-07-2008 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and being pushed back afterwards
vulcan XH558, Farnborough 19-07-2008 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

I only saw her once more in 2008 and that was at duxford and without my camera, then in 2009 funds were dire (not the first or last time) and the Vulcan Scramble was thought up, I was sent to coventry (well volunteered, not as far as the team drove but a 250ish mile round trip for me, some of the supporters that turned up along with the helpers and drivers:
vulcan scramble 22-02-2009 the coventry contingent by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then I manned a club stand at Marshalls, Cambridge and the only flight I saw that year. On to 2010 and I had my first DSLR, now I was in business! This was a missed approach at Marham families day where she stayed overnight and appeared at Lowestoft the next day where I saw hr again
Vulcan XH558 marham 12-8-2010 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

In 2011 my first display was at Southend on 28th May:
Vulcan XH558 appearing over the pier Southend 28-05-2011 9671 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

next day saw 558's last ever appearance at Bruntingthorpe and I did a ground tour if only to see the first of many 'plaque' appeals' on this occasion complete with my name on it, in the bomb bay (in those days you could support one of these appeals and actually get to see your name rather than it being hidden away in a damp field)
Vulcan XH558 bomb bay plaque,  winter service 2011 Bruntingthorpe 29-5-2011 9703 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and then she departed Bruntingthorpe for was was ultimately the last time....
Bruntingthorpe 29-5-2011 XH558 nosewheel up_9871 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Bruntingthorpe 29-05-2011 XH558 lift off_9873 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

In 2010 I had run a photo competition to raise funds for 558, by mid 2011 the winner's prize still hadn't been arranged so I dipped into my own pocket to save the day and my embarrassment to purchase a canvas for the winner, little did I realise that it would also be the start of a still ongoing friendship with the winner, Andrew Brown! I thought I would try to get it signed by the crews so I thought who can I ask - step forward Sam Evans! Sam said 'don't send it to me, bring it and Andy up to Doncaster and spend a day with us - you both deserve it!' I hummed and harred for 2 seconds and it was on!
so here we are Sam with Andy (and his wife Tara) in front of 558, you could say the theatre of dreams (sorry Dee)
sam,tara&andy  Doncaster 30-07-2011 2276 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr
What I hadn't told Andy was that Sam was going to take him on board - that took him totally by surprise and for once he put his camera down!
some of mine from the day...
Vulcan XH558 front view from stairs Doncaster 30-11-2011 2286 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then he received his canvas from the crew for the day...
Vulcan XH558 photo comp winner canvas presentation Doncaster 30-07-2011 2781 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

the 2011 vulcan team
the Vulcan team line up  Doncaster 30-07-2011 2427 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Sam with his wires crossed (sorry Sam, couldnt resist it)
sam Doncaster 30-07-2011 2459 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and safely home
XH558 safely home Doncaster 30-07-2011 2743 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then later that year it was back to Doncaster for the club day under 558, remeber those days when the club was always welcome there?
When the club was welcome, VTST club day Doncaster 29-10-2011 7252 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

2012 and another seaside show, this time the long drive to Eastbourne, up on the Beachy Head cliffs on 11th August (first show with another new camera)
round the lighthouse
0711 vulcan over lighthouse by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

my favourite of all my Vulcan photos, looking down at her from the cliffs
0721 plan view vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

spectators all armed with cameras...
0725 bloody photographers by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and banking away in front of us
0828 vulcan underside slighly inverted by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

still at the seaside, clacton 23rd August
Vulcan XH558 clacton 23-08-2012, wind power and raw power 1772 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

then Duxford on 8th September
Vulcanxh558 over airspace hangar, Duxford 08-09-2012 4382 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

Vulcan xh558 Duxford 08-09-2012 4327 by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

that's episode 1, the second half to follow shortly

Ways To Raise Funding / Funding the new hangar - how?
« on: September 23, 2017, 08:48:38 AM »
2 extracts from this week's newsletter (

1: From Dr. Pleming's statement:
The work done on the design of the new hangar also generated an estimate for the total cost of construction and fit-out – some £2.8million, including start-up working capital. Unlike many other charities, the Trust does not have an endowment or capital reserves, so the plan is to find an investor or consortium to fund the build, with the added attraction of contributing to the development of the Airport.

In parallel with the planning activity, a Business Plan for the Heritage Hangar has been created, based on the successful business model in Hangar 3 of visitor tours, events, merchandising and catering. This Business Plan has been to subject of extensive review and will continue to be updated, as we need it to be as robust as possible. The Business Plan is aimed at demonstrating that an investor funding the construction of the new Heritage Hangar will be assured of an acceptable return on an investment.

We are already talking to prospective investors, and expect to gain valuable feedback on optimising the attractiveness of our proposition over coming weeks. As with any charity embarking on a new direction, we are drawing on advice from various quarters, especially from those who have experience of similar projects.  It’s difficult to be definite on timescales, but we very much hope to open for business in the new Heritage Hangar in 2018. If there is anyone reading this who believes they have the relevant experience to help, please contact me

and 2: from the Q&A section of the same (answers by Trustee Dr. Stephen Liddle)
At the moment, the Trust is working with the airport to deliver a new home for XH558 where she will be permanently under cover and accessible, much like she was in H3. The aircraft are currently outside, which given that they will be maintained, is acceptable for the short time proposed. The design for the hangar is complete and we anticipate planning permission to be achieved in the coming months. At the same time, the Trust is very actively pursuing the funding required to complete the project. The model proposed would see the hangar constructed and then leased to us for a period of at least ten years. There is a clear business case for this proposal, in that the developer would have a valuable commercial building on the site of a growing airport at the end. By that time, the Trust would expect to move to the final phase of the Etna project, in a new building that will be planned at the airport

The construction of the new hangar will take about one year in total. The Trust is confident from its experience of H3 that the costs of the lease can be met from the attraction itself.

I am concerned!
Back in or around early 2015 I posed a question about the funding and building of ETNA and the reply was that it was planned by acquiring funds was at an early stage with near to nothing actually raised - it was okay being optomistic abut was that being realistic? - it appears no.

Now we see a planning submission for a smaller establishment with promises that it will be ready by 2018, but once again the Trust is looking for investors so really it's deja-vu but the 'vu' is somewhat smaller. So that 2018 date, although it's planned has little or nothing in hard cash to make it happen at this stage. The submission has only just been presented so planning permission is probably going to take 2 months IF it's straight forward with no objections (i.e. end of November at the earliest), then assuming the funds are there to build it by then a contract has to be awarded - probably at least another 2 months (based on how long contract awards used to take in my days of civil engineering) so that's end of January. The newsletter/update says 12 month construction period so that immediately takes it with a sensible optomistic approach to end of January 2019. So how has 2018 been proposed?

The Trust is talking to prospective investors over the coming weeks - surely that should have been done before now, IF planning permission is granted (and I personally think it will be) albeit with a delayed start even if funding is in place then the funds need to be in place soon to avoid a year's delay. Why? those pesky newts:
from the government website (they have an extensive list of dos and donts re newts):
trap between mid-February and mid-June to remove breeding adults
remove vegetation that supports eggs

so it will be end of June before construction can actually start so unless that 12 month period includes the 4 months to remove the newts then it will be mid June 2019 before the hangar is completed.

The plan relies on an investor accepting a reasonable return for 10 years before ETNA is ready - so now it's 10 years for ETNA, can the Trust really predict 10 years ahead with any confidence? Supposing they get the investor for this hangar but after 10 years they are 'out on their ear' with no ETNA then it will have just gone  a 10 year full circle albeit with much higher costs. It seems that after almost 3 years since my question there is still no investor coming forward even for something which will have commercial benefit in both the short and long term for that investor or more importantly for ETNA - isn't this just delaying the inevitable?
 In 10 years time most of us who remember the Vulcan will either be dead, in nursing homes or (if young enough) will be watching other aircraft rather than one that has been generally stuck in a hangar forgotten by the many and only seen running by the rich few, in short I don't think the funding or the enthusiasm from the public will be there.

Previously I said I believed Doncaster was the right place during the flying phase but once flying finished then a commercial base was risky. There have been good reasons put forward for not going to Bruntingthorpe or Elvington and the commercial aspect applies certainly to the former but to try to create a one aircraft museum from nothing was over optomisitc I'm afraid. 558 should have gone to an existing collection even if it were only able to fast taxi in the short to medium term, lets face it , there hasn't been much taxiing to date and that was seen as a big carrot for being preserved at Doncaster, had she been somewhere in an existing collection where taxi runs could have gone on from the start at modest cost (not with the constraints of a commercial civil airport) then the interest at least during the short/medium term would have been greater and the chance of raising money to fund some sort of hangar (if one wasn't already available) would have been far greater.

We have to accept that moving 558 now is unrealistic unless she is dismantled and then reassembled as a static exhibit but if  the new hangar can't be funded (and it appears difficult) then maybe that is the best option as at least she can be back in some sort of public eye. I hope the funds materialse but to be honest to me the signs are not optomistic.

Well it's about funds so I thought this would be the best place to post this. some food for thought (and discussion). I thought that as it's a different topic than any of the others it's better to start a new one rather than drag an existing one 'off topic'

There’s been some discussion on the 2016 accounts of late and I’ve had a bit of a look through them and have found a few points which puzzle me a bit…..
On the income and expenditure statement (page 15) I’ve picked out a few things that concern me a bit for the years ahead:
There is a marked drop in the donations/legacies and charitable activities incomes – around 40% on each, I think we all realised that donations would drop significantly once flying stopped but bear in mind the final flights were at the end of October 2015 so this account probably picked up a fair amount of income in the last months of 2015 with the euphoria that was generated during those final few months of flying so those figures will surely drop significantly in the next year’s accounts as people cancelled their direct debits etc.

I do find it alarming how much the income v expenditure has swung in 12 months from a £223k profit to a £198k loss i.e. a swing of £421k and funds carried forward to the 2017 trading year of £1036k. That leaves just over 5 years before it runs out at that loss rate however they redundancy axe hit around the end of March(?) 2017, 5 months after the accounts date when the other cost savings measures were also introduced so there is likely to be a continued loss of around £83k up to that time based on a pro rata figure from the 2016 accounts.

BUT returning to that 5 years before it runs out that assumes that all assets could be realised and on page 16 it splits fixed and current assets and the current assets value is £450k so the time scale could be far less if losses continue even at a lower rate unless of course they dig into their fixed assets and sell one Vulcan bomber (purchaser to arrange collection?)
Now that loss does concern me, it is slightly confusing because the income is divided into donations and legacies, charitable activities, other trading activities and the mysterious ‘other’ in all totalling £1240k. Expenditure is broken down into raising funds (£1376k), charitable activities and a bit of tax, in all totalling £2598k and thus bringing about the £198k loss. Assuming that donations are mainly standing orders which surely need minimal administration (otherwise they aren’t worth doing) and legacies need an equally small amount of expenditure so lets assume that the majority of those costs went on the charitable activities, other trading activities and ‘other’ that’s a cost of £2598k to raise £1355k errr? Okay there’s a small bit attributable to the donations and legacies but that’s a heck of a loss and one has to ask why so much was spent to raise funds and ‘others’ for an essentially static airframe.

So why operate at such a loss in an attempt to raise funds when existing funds theoretically will be needed to equip a new hangar in a few months? I’ve heard of speculate to accumulate but this seems more like speculate to degenerate.
Donations (and legacies) are broken down on p.23 and shows a significant drop in percentage terms on most items, 2015 figures in brackets):
 Regular donations 184,026 (250,848) -26%
One off donations 73,792 (419,753) -83%
Corporate donations and sponsorship 200,000 (246,994) -19%
Other donations 258,435 (315,128) -18%
Gift aid recovered 31,795 (148,726) -79%
Legacies 297045 (nil)
So it would appear that a substantial number of standing orders were cancelled once flying ceased, something I think everybody expected (I hope my ‘everybody’ included the Trust), I wonder how many more have gone in the last 10 months with all the uncertainty over the project. I don’t suppose they have increased and as the chances of taxi runs and general enthusiasm diminished I anticipate that the next accounts will show a similar significant drop. Again with the one off donations, how many came in the first few months post flying, that’s a big drop over the year and I will stick my neck out and say it will be down to a trickle in the next account especially with the hangar appeal – people may have given to that and only that this year. I won’t discuss corporate, I don’t understand it apart from the fact that without Eddie F’s support it would never have got this far (thanks Eddie), ‘other’ donations dropped around 18%  - I don’t know what ‘other’ includes so what will happen to that this year I’ve no idea but can’t see the figure going back up. There’s a massive drop in gift aid presumably because in 2015  a lot of that was from Operation 2015 and it’s a bit harder to collect it from the one offs and others. One plus in 2016 was a large legacy sum (or several smaller but significant ones) from nothing the previous year but can we really expect that to continue year on year? I really do worry that these figures will drop similarly year on year and there will be a rapid dry up of funds. Okay some staff have gone to reduce costs but for a charity there still seems to be an incredible percentage of overheads.
On page 28 one thing that does strike home is raffle income down from £323k in 2015 to £109k in 2016 – approx. 2/3 down. That really does hit home, all those raffle tickets sent out but so many not returned, that is (to me) a big sign that even in early 2016 people were starting to forget the Vulcan  - out of sight, out of mind and surely those big raffle windfalls will rapidly dwindle away to become hardly worthwhile and that funding stream will soon dry up. Hands up – I admit I haven’t bought any this year and don’t remember if I bought many if any at all last year, in the flying era I always bought all that were mailed out - maybe I’m just another joe public now.

Staff costs – pages 27 and 28 show staff costs, p.27 shows activities carried out directly costs and p.28 support staff costs .
Direct costs in 2016 were £698239 (£831020 in 2015)  and Support costs 2016 were £246600 (£38134 in 2015). Add those together and the total for 2016 was £854839 and for 2015 £869154, for an aircraft that basically sat in the hangar and occasionally went out for a brief engine run – to me that’s an awful lot of money for very little return. Okay with the redundancies we should see those costs drop on the 2017 accounts but isn’t that shutting the stable door once the horse has bolted (with a fat bag of cash tied to it’s saddle)? Sorry but for that sort of money I really think we could/should have expected slightly more. Yes we can point the finger at the airport operators being stringent about operating procedures IF taxi runs were to be allowed, procedures which would have been far more relaxed at a non commercial airport but surely that should have been foreseen such that for a wage bill only £150k short of £1 million we saw nothing in the way of taxi runs in return, I said a while back that Doncaster was the correct choice while the aircraft was flying but not once it ceased and I think those figures bear that out AND don’t say hindsight is a wonderful thing – it was bleedin’ obvious from well before the final flight.
Staff numbers – the report gives the average for the year but we all know that there were large scale redundancies in March, the report gives the following figures:
The average monthly number of employees during the year was (2015 in brackets):
 Management and administration 22 (14) , Aircraft crew 14 (20);  total 36 (34)  so a reduction in aircrew (understandable really as it doesn’t fly now) by 6 persons and an increase in management / admin of 8 persons i.e. a nett increase of 2. Okay that has been addressed now but WHY do you need more staff for a non flying aircraft that has an aversion to sunlight such that it spends most of it’s time in a hangar or more latterly it’s shooting the breeze coming off the sewage works with a tarpaulin to keep the sun off it’s cockpit.  Sorry but unless somebody can explain the rationale behind this then it appears that one of those many mangers made a monumental cock up that has made an enormous hole in the funds. I really would like an explanation of the thinking behind that.

The trust spent in excess of £50k on the Canberra and after questions were raised when I donated I understood that I was contributing to the upkeep of the Vulcan and that all raised funds were ring fenced for the upkeep of ‘558 as restricted funds. When I look through the accounts I see that the only restricted funds are £60 as a left over from ’Operation 2015’ (see page 37) and this £60 seems to be the figure that crops up every time restricted funds are mentioned.
SO – answers please:
1: were there ever any other restricted funds?
2: What happened to them i.e. did they fund the Canberra purchase?
3: And why aren’t the remaining funds restricted in such a way? A good proportion of the money was raised on the back of ‘558 with donators assuming they were supporting that aircraft surely the public (those that still care) should expect to be assured that their donations went to where they intended them to go i.e. to the upkeep of Vulcan XH558.

Page 39 states a loss on operating activities of £328204 – for what? As far as I can make out there were virtually no operating activities in that year, just the last 3 flights and then stuck in a hangar with the occasional venture into the open for a private engine run with the sounding of an e-fanfare in the twice weekly newsletter AND why did we still have 2 per week for so long and why do we even need one per week now – just send one out when there is something significant to report, that way it will gain more attention and save on production costs (yes I know it’s e-mailed but someone must get paid for writing it).
The money that is being spent here on an aircraft that can’t fly, can barely move without all sorts of procedures and controls in place and is hidden away from the public for the foreseeable future (yes I know, we keep being told that plans are in for a hangar but with the level of funds available I don’t see it as sustainable for very long) defies all logic, that budget probably equates to virtually all the funds spent on all the other preserved aircraft in the country. Surely it’s time to throw in the towel and run it solely on a volunteer basis as per all other grounded preserved aircraft. Carrying on at this level of expenditure is simply a recipe for disaster.

A quote from the report:
 Heritage The aircraft has developed a loyal following of many thousands of supporters. She is and will remain the best preserved all-British four-engined jet aircraft anywhere in the world still capable of powered ground runs. XH558 has to be maintained in the current working state, albeit not flying, under the terms of the Trust’s contract with the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) until 6 February 2085.
I think ‘has’ can be deleted from the first line as that loyal following has largely dissipated. She may well be the best preserved aircraft but what is the point if she is never allowed to do taxi runs, there is always a reason why not, you could have a bingo card game with the excuses on it and cross them off until you fill a line there are so many of them (watch out here comes another fund raiser now I’ve opened my e-mouth). The two other running Vulcans in the uk / world are maintained to a sufficient standard to enable them to actually taxi and at a fraction of the cost and in the case of ‘655 in front of a watching crowd in close proximity so maybe the Trust need to look at them and consider if they are ever going to meet all the conditions and if so is a volyuntary team the way foreward. If it’s not because the airport want a ‘professional’ team to maintain the aircraft then that has already failed and the Trust must hold their hands up and say that post flying, Doncaster was the wrong choice.

Re the 2085 date – with all the sell offs of spares surely there won’t be any left to maintain it until 2025 let alone 2085 and being realistic how could she ever be, all those with the necessary expertise will have been pushing up the daisies for many years come 2085. And anyway, even if they want to run her, fossil fuels will have run out way before then so there will be nothing to run the engines with unless of course the sewage farm is still there and they can manufacture a biofuel!  But really, expecting to still be doing engine runs in 68 years time is just not realistic and surely the heritage fund will realise that so surely that condition can be bargained out.

Final thoughts:
My personal analysis of the last year is that far from the eviction from hangar 3 being a disaster for the aircraft it more likely actually prevented a disaster as it brought the Trust to it’s senses and realised that the draining of funds at that rate was unsustainable even in the short term let alone 85 years and forced their hand into doing something, sadly involving making a tribe of Indians redundant although a disproportionate number of chiefs remained. Whether that was a large enough reduction will remain to be seen but I personally just can’t see it being enough. Eventually the Trust will have to face the inevitable and make it a wholly voluntary operation.


I had heard (and seen elsewhere) that photobucket were doing this and while I was on my Scottish steam train and whisky jolly, photobucket have got round to my account, removed all my photos and mucked up my signature by disabling my account! that's an awful lot of of photos suddenly not visible. I started re-hosting some on Flickr before I went but loads more to do from 2013 and earlier. I doubt I will ever do all of them, just too much time involved but I will try to get a good selection of my Vulcan pics back as soon as I can so there is a record on here (just hope the forum lasts). I've got hundreds if not thousands on the Civilian Aviation forum (where I'm an admin!) to do and some I will just upload to flickr and post a link to the album rather than individual photos (I have done some of the older airshows on there already).

They are gradually doing this to everyone who links from their photobucket accounts and asking for an annual fee of around $300, I feel that's just holding people to ransom so I'll just use flickr instead and maybe go 'Pro' on there and pay them a subscription - I don't like being bullied so PB won't get my money I'm afraid.

Anyway, if anybody else uses Photobucket as their photo host then be aware that it may soon happen to you too. Flickr's quality is much better anyway.

Rant over!

Has anybody else seen this :

They have been helped with a hangar but are trying to raise £10k to help kit it out to make it visitor and engineering friendly.Great to see her finally inside after all these years, I've made a small donation this evening and they are already over 10% of the way there.

their website:


XH558 Photo and Video Channel / sywell 13-10-2015
« on: October 14, 2015, 10:27:45 AM »
some of my pics from Sywell yesterday

best view in the house! Vulcan stops work

and about 2 hours later after three sets of blades flight she finally departed and i watched until she was just a dot in the distance, I could still see her through my camera viewfinder and this was my final view of 558 in flight - thank you for all the memories, a great 8 years

Guy Martin was one of the Blades passengers on the first round of flights, he got talking to Jane and ended up posing for photos with some club members outside the restaurant

then the blades display

a great day and a nice surprise to meet some other club members,
hope you like the pics

XH558 Photo and Video Channel / the final display, Old Warden 4-10-2015
« on: October 05, 2015, 08:08:17 AM »
Well this was it! After eight years of  travelling all over southern England to see my favourite aeroplane it all came to an end yesterday at Old Warden, sad but even the best things have to come to an end eventually and I can look back at lots of fantastic moments, some anguish as it looked like lack of funds would finish it far earlier, making new friends and a bit of fun along the way.
The fine weather hung on just long enough (this morning is dull damp and about to turn wet in Essex) and I drove the family to Old Warden with my 5 year old grandson excited as I’ve ever seen him – he was finally going to see the Vulcan and on the way home boy did I know it, he didn’t stop until he nodded off just a few miles from Braintree. I bet his attention span will be limited at school today! 
It was a great show all round but of course that one sad moment that had to come sometime as I watched ‘558 bank away into the distance for the last time, tears in my eyes. My long suffering wife noticed and came and put an arm round me. I said something rather naughty to her ‘Now tell me it’s just a ****ing aeroplane!’ she looked back with a tear of her own and said ‘ no it’s isn’t I know it’s far more than that’ after all these years she is finally understanding what this roller-coaster has been all about and has tagged along to a couple of shows this year because she wanted to see it, not just to give me company.
At least 2016 will return to some sort of normality if that is possible in the household of a sickbag collector!
Anyway, on with the pics, the pilot of the Bristol Monoplane M1C drew the short straw as this photo demonstrates. The aircraft is circled in the distance but nearly all the crowd is looking in the opposite direction, anybody able to say why? Answers on the back of a £5 cheque payable to the Vulcan club please!

behind the trees accompanied by the Anson for the first pass

and here she comes, car alarms going off everywhere and shouts of excitement from the crowd

then the display proper;

and that final wing over as she disappeared into the distance, probably my final photo of her in flight unless I catch up with her on the tour next weekend - fingers crossed

thanks for the memories and 8 great years!

kindest wishes to all the great friends I've made thanks to '558'

XH558 Photo and Video Channel / XH558 at Headcorn
« on: August 15, 2015, 08:46:40 PM »
a few pics of the display at Headcorn today which I attended, was nice to say hello to Jane and Malcolm for the first time for ages:

and in this pic the trees seem to be forming a heart shape to say ' we love the vulcan '

I also took a video of the final pass which I have posted on the club Facebook page


I'll have another go to see if these will go on without needing moderator approval as my original post using Flickr is waiting (seems to be a flickr thing), here are some of mine from yesterday, great display and the small venue made it even more impressive. I'm off to Headcorn next month so hoping that will be equally impressive at a smaller airfield.

and the poppy drop at the end.....

hope you like them C&C welcome


EDIT must be a flickr cookie or something which the firewall doesn't like as these went on first time, odd!

A shame as they look better via flickr (which is why I swapped to flickR in the first place)

XH558 Photo and Video Channel / XH558 at Old Warden 5-7-2051
« on: July 05, 2015, 09:19:56 PM »
here are a few of my pics of '558 at Old Warden today, an excellent display to a sell out crowd.
The tight venue made it even better - so close at times!

7309 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

7294 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

7266 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

7318 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

7326 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

with a glowing underbelly...
7348 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

and the departure wingover...
7365 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

hope you like them, there are more in my flickr album for old warden, and I will add some pics of the other participants to the album as soon as I have edited them:

C&C welcome

XH558 Photo and Video Channel / XH558 at Throckmorton 6-6-2015
« on: June 06, 2015, 10:38:01 PM »
a few pics of '558 at Throckmorton today, a long journey with bad traffic hold ups  (2 1/2 hours to get in) but worth it to see the first display of 2015

2691 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

2722 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

2763 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

2770 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

2803 vulcan by Andrew Goldsmith, on Flickr

my next viewing is planned for 5th July at Shuttleworth Trust, tickets already purchased ;D

Aviation Waffle / An225 due at Doncaster this evening (15-11-14)
« on: November 15, 2014, 10:51:49 AM »
I can't post the original link as I'm not registered with the DSAF forum so hopefully this will help anyone in the Doncaster area this evening although it will be dark, they don't come any bigger than this!

wouldn't it be nice if the vulcan could be parked beside it for a photo!!!!

Aviation Waffle / VERA to the grass - ooops, but all okay
« on: September 15, 2014, 07:03:29 PM »
from the Canadian lancaster facebook page!/CanadianWarplaneHeritageMuseum?fref=nf   :

Our Lancaster encountered a gust of crosswind on landing which caused the aircraft to momentarily leave the runway. This was quickly corrected and the aircraft is fine. To allow the brakes to cool, the Lancaster will stay overnight at Humberside. It will be returning to Coningsby in the morning to begin its last 25 hour scheduled inspection.

at least all is well that end well

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