Author Topic: Test Flight report & expected flying life  (Read 35826 times)

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Offline stevew

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2010, 06:29:36 PM »
As 558 has to fly at lower heights to keep below clouds, she is flying in more turbulent air. This has eaten into her fatigue index more quickly than anticpated, hence a shorter flying life I'm afraid.
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Offline HowSlo

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2010, 06:37:08 PM »
I too was surprised to hear 4 to 5 years, in fact somewhere deep in my memory banks I thought 15 to 20 years was muted at one time...I may be wrong though.

But I've always thought funding wise that around 5 years would be more realistic.  Whatever happens, I'm a firm believer that the final season, whenever that turns out to be, should be flown with the gusto of the VDF days.  ;)
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Offline wcg

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2010, 09:29:04 PM »
I did try looking through the old Forum , but I think it's only the last 12 months have been archived.
There were , however , several posts referring to a planned 10 year display life , though.
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Offline sweetktg

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2010, 09:56:21 PM »
During our tour at Farnborough (which was brilliant by the way & made my w/e), Ian mentioned this. He said that whilst originally it was hoped for a 10yr display life, realisticly due to doing more flying time each year than originally forecasted, as well as several technical reasons, it was more likely that she'd be flying for another 4 maybe 5 years at a push before the engine hours enter unkown territory - this will mean that she should comfortably make the 2012 target & then hopefully be flying for a couple of years after that, as long as the financial side of things allows her to obviously.
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Offline Seahornet

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2010, 10:55:41 AM »
I believe that the submission to the HLF was based on a projected flying life of 10 - 15 years. :?

However, we are where we are. As always, there will be good reasons for the decision to retire her whenever the time comes, so we need to make the most of 558's flying days whilst we can! :)
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Offline speedy

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2010, 11:47:58 AM »
'Ongoing issues' don't necessarily mean doom and gloom.  As we know, the FI was eaten into rather quicker than anticipated, but then who else has experience of restoring and displaying a Vulcan with (if I recall correctly) more hours than any other ever had on it?  I was always under the impression that the ultimate end of her flying days would be a year or two after the Olympics and the planned display for that, so to hear that more years might be in the offing is good news.  I would imagine that the 'issues' would be the increased FI consumption and the change that was made to the engine life calculations.  To me, it just means that the use of the aircraft needs to be carefully managed to get the maximum use for the minimum consumption.  The trouble is, we all like the howling takeoff, power climbs and wingovers, and they are probably what consumes the most life.
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Offline Gully

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2010, 02:00:49 PM »
I guess the other elephant in the room is MONEY! It's all very well looking at fatigue life and engine cycles, but they only really become an issue if there is funding available for the next 4 or so years. And no, I'm not suggesting the aircraft is caned now!

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Offline StAthan lecky

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2010, 05:23:36 PM »
I am bound to be "Shot DownIn Flames" over the following comments but here goes anyway,if we are trying to conserve Engine and Fatigue life, why so many private events this year and what exactly do they achieve with regards to funding for the future?
I eccapt that Lyneham has hosted 558 and deserves recognition for this but what of the other two events in what is a limited flying season
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Offline MrTim

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2010, 05:52:17 PM »
I suspect it's just a fine balance between displaying and aircraft life.  Too many displays and you 'crash & burn' too early, not enough and you don't reach enough people to gain the required support to continue.  It's not just Lyneham we owe a debt of gratitude to.  It's the entire RAF really, plus many other companies.  If we could I bet we'd display at every RAF base in the country, but we'd be in ' crash & burn' territory then.  Also, Marham is pretty much en-route to Lowestoft, so this one is relatively low-cost in terms of aircraft fatigue.
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Offline vulcanlover

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2010, 06:47:56 PM »
I agree, any appearances we give to the RAF are well deserved.

As for the projected 4-5 years, if that's the way it has to be then so be it. I just hope that the careful balancing that's now being practised can stretch a bit more life out of her.
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Offline johnjosh43

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2010, 10:25:25 PM »
At the AGM FI usage was mentioned. I think there is another mod that will add more FIs when the existing bunch are done but it's never been done before and includes replacing the whole leading edge. (If my memory has failed me I apologise).
Private events are not necessarily free events. Every RAF station deserves one for the help they have given. The others are, I suspect, raising income just as any show does. It's just a reduced audience at the organisers request.
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Offline Gully

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2010, 01:46:48 PM »
Private events do not necessarily equate to no income! Plus, irrespective of the debt of thanks we owe to the RAF, they do always allow us a merchandise stand.

The further Mod discussed at the Members' Day earlier in the year was also discussed on the 'old' forum. As indicated above, it does indeed relate to the leading edge of the wing (which the eagle eyed will have spotted as being inspected / NDT'd during the last Winter servicing) and provides somewhere in the region of 30-40 FI's (can't remember the actual figure). It was only ever done on the fatigue test airframe and was the final modification embodied on that, meaning that if this Mod was applied to '558, then it wold take her airframe to the limit of its life.

However, it may be that this work is prohibitively expensive - I suspect that this is why a further flying life of 4 to 5 years is being discussed, as this will see the 15 or so FI's accessed through the front spar Mod being consumed.

Eddie F posted previously that the leading edge Mod is the one he is interested in, as that will ensure there is a race between available engine cycles and FI (assuming all 8 engines are used to their 1200 cycle limit.

As for the engines, I believe the current position is as follows:

4 no in '558
1 no requiring casing refitted (dropped and opened for inspections in 2009)
1 no removed following high oil debris count in 2008 (to be flushed and rig run, before signing off for limited hours use)
1 no as yet unused
1 no with paperwork / bag integrity query (this is just hearsay from the 'old' forum - no idea as to it's voracity)

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Offline vulcanlover

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2010, 02:33:03 PM »
Thanks Gully!
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Offline speedy

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2010, 10:40:32 PM »
Don't worry about engines, according to some wiseguy on Youtube, there's a plan to fit 558 with F15 engines that have had the afterburners removed....lol
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Offline Smudger565

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Re: Test Flight report & expected flying life
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2010, 11:49:33 PM »
Talk of displays for the RAF & for Marham

My five penny worth view is it is well desevered even more so with Marham being told in not so many words that closure of the base and Tonka's being phased out must be very depressing for the people who serve and work on the base, so our lady to do a stunning display to cheer them up is worth every penny.

PS
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