Author Topic: The Vulcan 'smell'  (Read 18859 times)

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Offline Pujgnie

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The Vulcan 'smell'
« on: September 24, 2011, 10:50:05 PM »
Why is the smell of a Vulcan cockpit so unique, and what makes it that way ?  :lol:

I have been in a few (whilst on duty in my RAF days) VC10s, Britannia, Hercules, Argosys' and Vulcans. The Vulcan seems to have an aroma of its' own.

Having been privvy to get inside 558 a few years ago... the 'aroma' is wonderful to breathe in. It seems to be impregnated. Much the same goes for 537 @ Bournemouth Aviation Museum - she still has that 'Vulcan smell' to this day, despite being a static cockpit of old.

Anyone else aware of that certain Vulcan smell ?
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Offline cocker

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2011, 01:34:14 AM »
yes I   agree XM575 also smells distinctly odour Vulcan ,cologne de
 avro methinks ;)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 09:59:08 AM by cocker »

Offline dee

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 09:18:08 AM »
I was ecstatic to be able to go in the cockpit of 558, and i think after the shock of how small and tight the area is, its the smell that you notice.
Wonderful experience and many thanks to Sam for making it possible!
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Offline jocelyn

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2011, 09:20:54 AM »
No doubt about it. Visitors to 655 often comment on it when touring the cockpit. Cant think why but all Vulcans have it. Wonderful smell :D
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Offline Zero One

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2011, 05:14:49 PM »
Quote from: "jocelyn"
No doubt about it. Visitors to 655 often comment on it when touring the cockpit. Cant think why but all Vulcans have it. Wonderful smell :D

The "Vulcan smell" emanates from the laque finish on the wiring insulation...shelac they used to call it.... very similar to the older GPO telephone exchanges of the 1950s vintage which smelt very similar and were contructed in the same fashion also were the Vulcans contemperies
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Offline DAVE T

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2011, 07:31:05 PM »
Perhaps they think Oh S..T, that's what I thought when I first sat in the right hand seat as a sprog 21yr. old.
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Offline chocaholic6

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 07:54:11 PM »
i went in the cockpit of 624 and i noticed the smell straight away its that smell i would never forget
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Offline eagle770

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 08:35:41 PM »
Maybe the smell of us old aircrew  :?  :?  :? It was a little steamy in an immersion suit after a long sortie  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:
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Offline Pujgnie

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2011, 08:37:06 PM »
Quote from: "Zero One"

The "Vulcan smell" emanates from the laque finish on the wiring insulation...shelac they used to call it.... very similar to the older GPO telephone exchanges of the 1950s vintage which smelt very similar and were contructed in the same fashion also were the Vulcans contemperies

Thanks for that Denis.

You learn something new every day  :D
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Offline djrose007

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 07:04:17 PM »
Ah, those old Strowger telephone switches, what memories that invokes!
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Offline Mags

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 07:17:07 PM »
Quote from: "eagle770"
Maybe the smell of us old aircrew  :?  :?  :? It was a little steamy in an immersion suit after a long sortie  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:

Think I feel a cartoon coming on! :o
I'll save it for later  - too busy with a potential jigsaw
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Offline Zero One

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2011, 07:15:05 AM »
Quote from: "djrose007"
Ah, those old Strowger telephone switches, what memories that invokes!


UGH!!! Too noisy....give me the Repeater Station Transmission Racks/Trunk Switching Units anytime..... gentle hums and a few ticks & clicks..and the odd Motor-Uni in the back ground.. happy days
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Offline djrose007

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2011, 07:22:17 AM »
Quote from: "Zero One"
Quote from: "djrose007"
Ah, those old Strowger telephone switches, what memories that invokes!
UGH!!! Too noisy....give me the Repeater Station Transmission Racks/Trunk Switching Units anytime..... gentle hums and a few clicks.... happy days

Ah, no, I didn't say I liked them but they do invoke memories! At RAF Boddington we had a Strowger based message switching system, STC ATS102 installed in 1953, which took up a room about 50 x 20 feet. Around 1974 it was replaced by something the size of a dining room sideboard (ITT ADX6400). Not so thought provoking but a damn site quieter!
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Offline deeleyt

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2011, 10:38:37 AM »
Worked for Lucas Aero for years and had to put up with that smell throughout the factory, with the girls on the line de-potting the units used on Concorde, and the spraying of the cards used in various control units (Tornado, Osprey, RB211, et al...), we became permiated with the smell.

Just as a thought, has the CMFS, that was removed been, fixed yet, and if so what was the problem.
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Offline Socrates

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Re: The Vulcan 'smell'
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 11:02:18 PM »
I think EAGLE770 is a little closer to the truth about the Vulcan smell. With 5 crew in the aircraft there were spills of all sorts from time to time, plus condensation on the inner skin. Although I never had to clean any up, there were a number of instances from leaking "P" tubes, spilled drinks to wine bottle leaks. The fluids would find there way to the lowest part if the cockpit area which just happened to be the bubble with the window in it.

As a Comms guy, on a BF it was one of my tasks to loosen three screws just adjacent to the lower UHF Antenna to drain of any condensation etc. that accumulated. I always took care to be out of the line of fire when I did the job.

The smell never left and I'm sure if I got into 558 that I would be transported back to those days.