Author Topic: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!  (Read 16626 times)

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Offline Vulcanatic

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Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« on: October 12, 2015, 06:36:22 PM »
Avro VULCAN XH558 enjoys enormous, possibly unprecedented, public support - as does the charitable Trust behind its return to flight.

Yet we are to lose this incredibly popular & treasured National resource from our skies forever.  People seem prepared to simply accept this as a fait accompli. There doesn't seem to be anyone anywhere fighting to stop this happening.

Anyone who reads this is presumably a massive VULCAN fan, are you content so have seen the last of a VULCAN in flight?

This VULCAN has been termed The Spirit of Great Britain, now Britain is set to lose it's Spirit.

No-one really understands why XH558 is to be lost, there have not been any comprehensible statements put in the public domain other that some mumblings about there being " ... no upside ... " for them from the Technical Authority companies which I would take to mean " We're not making enough of a profit."  The upside should just be having your company's name spoken in the same breath as VULCAN!

http://www.vulcantothesky.org/history/eof-q-a.html

Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group appears to have been the prime mover in 'shutting down' XH558's flying future.

I understand from the Trust's posts that there is another company waiting in the wings ready to act as Technical Authority but they cannot work without the vital original A V Roe Technical documentation held by BAE - which BAE refuses to share.  So not only is BAE refusing to help keep XH558 aloft, it's obstructing another accredited competent company from doing so.

This entire state of affairs is absolutely appalling!

I turned out to see VULCAN on the Farewell Tour Southern leg, I was on the Severn Bridge, (which the pilot eventually remembered he was supposed to visit), this enormous stretch of bridge was rammed solid with people wanting to witness VULCAN in flight, as was every venue across the UK during this weekend. So many people obviously love this plane, (is there any single person in the UK who could lay claim to such widespread adoration?), yet we are set to lose XH558 for no apparent good reason. 

OK - money may be a central issue here, it's probably why the 'Technical Authority' companies want to distance themselves as things stand.
Just think of all the public money that gets poured into lame / ridiculous causes every year which don't enjoy great, (or any), public support.  Surely money could, (and should), be found to back a cause which enjoys HUGE public support?!

Yes, we can still go to visit a diminished XH558 in storage but how would you rather remember your hero? Speaking personally, I'd rather have watched seen Sugar Ray Robinson in his greatest ever fight against LaMotta than have met him when dementia had reduced him.  In much the same way, this beautiful aeroplane was created to fly and to overawe so 99% of the VULCAN experience is in watching the grace in flight, feeling the vibration through your feet and, most of all, the noise - that incredible noise when the 4-throttle levers are wrenched open to free the howl!

The weekend before the 'Farewell Tour' a famous £20M racing Aston Martin of the 1950's was badly damaged in a smash at the Castle Combe racetrack.  The owner, Adrian Beecroft, is someone who obviously appreciates that this car was created to race, not sit glumly in an auto museum somewhere. The same is true of XH558!

I think that it's vital that as many people as possible sign & 'viralise' this e-petition which has already been promoted by 'Steve W' in these forums.
Sign, forward the link to everyone you know, ask them to sign & forward it to everyone they know, etc.
https://www.change.org/p/rolls-royce-bae-systems-marshall-aviation-reverse-your-decision-not-to-release-vital-information-and-documentation-to-enable-other-willing-parties-to-take-over-as-the-technical-authorities-on-vulcan-xh558-g-vlcn

This year has seen the quote, (disputedly attributed to Dr Seuss), “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  It's a very good and applicable phrase but after the tears I just feel anger, I don't want to smile, this SHOULDN'T be over, there is NO NEED for this to end.  Not quite yet at any rate!

So you've signed the e-petition, what now?

Well I think we need to look towards the corporate entities behind these tragic decisions and the people inside these companies.  Get in touch with these companies, the head honcho's, let them know what Vulcan means to you - let them know their decision is wrong!

Anything else you can do? Well yes there is actually, you could buy a share in BAE / Rolls Royce.  Owning just one share entitles you to attend their AGM and it entitles you to question the Board. YOU can hold them to account for this decision!  Details / links below.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is a tangible, living memorial to the brave fliers who participated in WWII, many of whom did not survive. The relatives, including great grand-children can watch Spitfires & the Lancaster bomber aloft knowing they are watching a tribute to and paying tribute to their brave relations.

Very many brave men & women put themselves in harm's way to keep us safe at the height of the Cold War, they started a day of their duty not knowing if it would be their last, indeed many were lost when these planes came down to earth with a bump.

These Cold War fliers, as much as the WWII fliers, deserve a tangible living memorial - XH558 The Spirit of Great Britain is / was that Memorial.  Their great-grandchilden deserve to witness this tribute in flight.

Refusing to help maintain this memorial, or standing in the way of those who would, is unpatriotic and the grossest insult to the memory & sacrifice of the legion of brave servicemen & women who served in or around VULCAN.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BAE SYSTEMS:
Directors -
http://www.baesystems.com/en/our-company/our-people/board-of-directors
Execs -
http://www.baesystems.com/en/our-company/our-people/executive-committee

Stirling Square, 6 Carlton Gardens, London SW1Y 5AD

01252 373232

baesystemsinfo@baesystems.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ROLLS ROYCE:
Directors -
http://www.rolls-royce.com/about/who-we-are/board.aspx
Execs -
http://www.rolls-royce.com/about/who-we-are/executive-leadership-team.aspx

Head Office
62 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AT

020 7222 9020E

UK_enquiries@rolls-royce.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MARSHALL AEROSPACE & DEFENCE GROUP:(no shares)

Execs -
http://marshalladg.com/about/executive-team/
http://marshalladg.com/locations/

(Head Office)
The Airport
Newmarket Road
Cambridge
CB5 8RX
United Kingdom

01223 373737

email addresses here are definitely fomulaic, e.g.
glen.clark@marshalladg.com
Chris

Offline Mattk303

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 07:52:32 PM »
Many have tried. I appreciate the engineering arguments but there is still plenty of life left in her.

I think the ideal situation would be that a special arrangement is made to get the Vulcan airborne maybe once or twice a year and not do full seasons of flight which would of course require considerable effort and time from the companies concerned. The main worry is that once grounded, all vital information related to maintaining the Vulcan will mysteriously vanish from the archives of RR and BAE (this has happened with other aircraft). This must not be allowed to happen.
Who knows where technology will be in 5 years time relating to the testing of airframes, who knows how far on the technology of 3d printing will be.

I know this is pie in the sky but we must not allow short sightedness to put us in a situation where a few years down the line we say "oh if only we had...."

My MP seems quite agreeable to the idea of opening discussions with these companies on behalf of the public, all we need is a few people that really know what they're talking about. Sadly these have been loathe to come forward which honestly is the most depressing thing. I too was at Severn Beach watching XH558 miss its published flightplan and avoid the bridges.

Offline Vulcanatic

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 08:08:28 PM »
Re.
Many have tried. I appreciate the engineering arguments but there is still plenty of life left in her.

I think the ideal situation would be that a special arrangement is made to get the Vulcan airborne maybe once or twice a year and not do full seasons of flight which would of course require considerable effort and time from the companies concerned. The main worry is that once grounded, all vital information related to maintaining the Vulcan will mysteriously vanish from the archives of RR and BAE (this has happened with other aircraft). This must not be allowed to happen.
Who knows where technology will be in 5 years time relating to the testing of airframes, who knows how far on the technology of 3d printing will be.

I know this is pie in the sky but we must not allow short sightedness to put us in a situation where a few years down the line we say "oh if only we had...."

My MP seems quite agreeable to the idea of opening discussions with these companies on behalf of the public, all we need is a few people that really know what they're talking about. Sadly these have been loathe to come forward which honestly is the most depressing thing. I too was at Severn Beach watching XH558 miss its published flightplan and avoid the bridges.

Hi Mattk303,

It's a bit like the lottery grand prize, the odds are really stacked against winning but if you don't have a ticket you definitely ain't banking those millions!

A fight to keep XH558 in flight? We probably won't win but if we don't try we definitely won't win!

Yesterday, he did come around eventually but a lot of people had given up and were wandering off the bridge.  He also had the wrong bridge, he was supposed to come in over the new bridge then bank East towards Filton instead he came over the old bridge, (where I was sat hoping to get a good long-distance shot of him approaching / banking), so the crowds on the new bridge must really have been seething.

My last recollection of VULCAN in flight will probably be one of extreme annoyance as, having had an hour to set up for the perfect shot, I was frantically rummaging for my camera, trying to re-adjust it and ended up with a rotten 5 second view of XH558's shapely butt disappearing into the distance!  >:(
Chris

Offline Paddy Langdown

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 10:39:02 PM »
Re.
Many have tried. I appreciate the engineering arguments but there is still plenty of life left in her.

I think the ideal situation would be that a special arrangement is made to get the Vulcan airborne maybe once or twice a year and not do full seasons of flight which would of course require considerable effort and time from the companies concerned. The main worry is that once grounded, all vital information related to maintaining the Vulcan will mysteriously vanish from the archives of RR and BAE (this has happened with other aircraft). This must not be allowed to happen.
Who knows where technology will be in 5 years time relating to the testing of airframes, who knows how far on the technology of 3d printing will be.

I know this is pie in the sky but we must not allow short sightedness to put us in a situation where a few years down the line we say "oh if only we had...."

My MP seems quite agreeable to the idea of opening discussions with these companies on behalf of the public, all we need is a few people that really know what they're talking about. Sadly these have been loathe to come forward which honestly is the most depressing thing. I too was at Severn Beach watching XH558 miss its published flightplan and avoid the bridges.

Hi Mattk303,

It's a bit like the lottery grand prize, the odds are really stacked against winning but if you don't have a ticket you definitely ain't banking those millions!

A fight to keep XH558 in flight? We probably won't win but if we don't try we definitely won't win!

Yesterday, he did come around eventually but a lot of people had given up and were wandering off the bridge.  He also had the wrong bridge, he was supposed to come in over the new bridge then bank East towards Filton instead he came over the old bridge, (where I was sat hoping to get a good long-distance shot of him approaching / banking), so the crowds on the new bridge must really have been seething.

My last recollection of VULCAN in flight will probably be one of extreme annoyance as, having had an hour to set up for the perfect shot, I was frantically rummaging for my camera, trying to re-adjust it and ended up with a rotten 5 second view of XH558's shapely butt disappearing into the distance!  >:(

He? You mean "she"!

Offline Mattk303

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 11:46:32 PM »
"He" the pilot, "she" the aeroplane. "She" didn't make the last minute unpublished routing change, that was "he"... At least i hope it was or we're all in trouble

Offline Rover3500

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 01:22:21 AM »
I wish you well in your quest to reverse  the decision... I share your frustration that XH558 has to cease to be a living breathing aircraft.

After hearing  views  from  chaps that have worked on XH558 for the trust ...their gut feeling seems to be that it's time to end flight which is a major setback. If  we had more active  support within the camp to keep XH558 flying post 2015  there would be more hope but the trust and authorities are in agreement it's time to call it a day and we have to respect their judgement.
 It's not us asking a crew  to sit on 10 tonnes of jet A with 4 obsolete jet engines strapped behind so I give them huge credit for having the confidence to do that.

I have previously  tried to  sketch out my  justifications for continuation of flight  (driven more by enthusiasm for XH558 than aviation knowledge admittedly) but we can't change the fact that Rolls Royce only certified the engines for a further  7 year service life back in 2008.  It's all in the CAA report :-

http://www.caa.co.uk/aandocs/27038/27038000000.pdf

We would need to lobby Rolls to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions to be able to re-manufacture turbine discs etc...or ask them to re-evaluate their inspection  report to allow a little more precious flying time. I can't see them bending their rule book very far where safety is concerned.
Alternatively some kind of advanced inspection and overhaul would be needed to certify the engines as being safe.

The airframe itself has had many expensive modifications done to increase it's service life.
Since we don't know the current FI of the airframe as of September 2015  I can only estimate this.

I'm sure someone better informed than me will correct my errors!.  :-\

Briefly XH558 had covered 7386 flying hours when sold by the RAF and consumed 236 FI (Fatigue index) units.
So that's  236/7386 which works out at  0.03 FI units per hour of flight in RAF service.

Now XH558 has covered say 40 hours per year for 8 years which is 320 hours after return to flight.

Using past RAF usage as a yardstick this means she will have used around  320 X 0.03= 10 FI units in ex RAF  service as of 2015.

So my guess is XH558 has completed around 246 FI today . Could be more or less-  RAF flew at higher altitude with less buffeting but  we know RAF displays were more dramatic.

Looking at the list of lifed components on page 5 shows how extensive the testing by AVRO was.   Most components have plenty of FI remaining. For example, the front spar web is good for another 210 FI  or 7000 hours of flight.
 Of those that are nearing the end of fatigue life, modifications have been completed that will give ample additional fatigue life  to allow in excess of what is required to complete  another few seasons of flight.

Unfortunately the CAA report doesn't set out what the FI limit is after modification 2429 to the 'Front spar bottom boom'. We know this was completed but what was the life extension ?.

So on paper the fatigue situation with the airframe looks good with all the modifications in place....
I just hope that the  'stress corrosion cracking' issue flagged up by the trust isn't serious....

Sorry for rambling on....

Comments welcome !

Offline Vulcanatic

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 04:30:16 AM »
"He" the pilot, "she" the aeroplane. "She" didn't make the last minute unpublished routing change, that was "he"... At least i hope it was or we're all in trouble

I'm grateful for someone clarifying the 'he' / 'she' issue here without me having to become involved.  :)

As for VULCAN being a 'she', nah I don't think so but I'm not comfortable with 'he' either.
I know it's customary to refer to your car / boat / plane etc. as as 'she' but this has never sat comfortably with me.  Because of the "VULCAN" origin conflicting with the 'she' thing I have mentally assigned VULCAN's a uniquely androgenous quality.
My first post in these forums was entitled 'Salute' an ode to our XH588, I struggled all the way through this to avoid assigning gender.
Of all the things I see written, VULCAN is not;
Lord (or even Lady) of the air.
Queen (or even King) of the clouds.
Empress (or even Emperor) of the skies.
VULCAN is GOD (NOT Goddess) of Fire, Forge & Machinery (which I think trumps Lord, Queen or Empress).
Just wanted to get that out of the way. ;D
Chris

Offline Vulcanatic

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 05:11:55 AM »
I wish you well in your quest to reverse  the decision... I share your frustration that XH558 has to cease to be a living breathing aircraft.

After hearing  views  from  chaps that have worked on XH558 for the trust ...their gut feeling seems to be that it's time to end flight which is a major setback. If  we had more active  support within the camp to keep XH558 flying post 2015  there would be more hope but the trust and authorities are in agreement it's time to call it a day and we have to respect their judgement.
 It's not us asking a crew  to sit on 10 tonnes of jet A with 4 obsolete jet engines strapped behind so I give them huge credit for having the confidence to do that.

I have previously  tried to  sketch out my  justifications for continuation of flight  (driven more by enthusiasm for XH558 than aviation knowledge admittedly) but we can't change the fact that Rolls Royce only certified the engines for a further  7 year service life back in 2008.  It's all in the CAA report :-

http://www.caa.co.uk/aandocs/27038/27038000000.pdf

We would need to lobby Rolls to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions to be able to re-manufacture turbine discs etc...or ask them to re-evaluate their inspection  report to allow a little more precious flying time. I can't see them bending their rule book very far where safety is concerned.
Alternatively some kind of advanced inspection and overhaul would be needed to certify the engines as being safe.

The airframe itself has had many expensive modifications done to increase it's service life.
Since we don't know the current FI of the airframe as of September 2015  I can only estimate this.

I'm sure someone better informed than me will correct my errors!.  :-\

Briefly XH558 had covered 7386 flying hours when sold by the RAF and consumed 236 FI (Fatigue index) units.
So that's  236/7386 which works out at  0.03 FI units per hour of flight in RAF service.

Now XH558 has covered say 40 hours per year for 8 years which is 320 hours after return to flight.

Using past RAF usage as a yardstick this means she will have used around  320 X 0.03= 10 FI units in ex RAF  service as of 2015.

So my guess is XH558 has completed around 246 FI today . Could be more or less-  RAF flew at higher altitude with less buffeting but  we know RAF displays were more dramatic.

Looking at the list of lifed components on page 5 shows how extensive the testing by AVRO was.   Most components have plenty of FI remaining. For example, the front spar web is good for another 210 FI  or 7000 hours of flight.
 Of those that are nearing the end of fatigue life, modifications have been completed that will give ample additional fatigue life  to allow in excess of what is required to complete  another few seasons of flight.

Unfortunately the CAA report doesn't set out what the FI limit is after modification 2429 to the 'Front spar bottom boom'. We know this was completed but what was the life extension ?.

So on paper the fatigue situation with the airframe looks good with all the modifications in place....
I just hope that the  'stress corrosion cracking' issue flagged up by the trust isn't serious....

Sorry for rambling on....

Comments welcome !

Hi,

I imagine there is a lot of information out there which someone not from an engineering background, (such as me), would struggle to digest.  Then factor in the fact the engineering team involved here have got to be in the top few % of their profession with decades of experience.

Obviously safety has got to be paramount, VULCAN is perilous and has claimed quite a few lives, (although I do wonder if you told a pilot he had a 10:1 chance of coming back from a flight in XH558 whether he'd still NEED that flight and blow the odds).

In the excellent book "Vulcan Test Pilot" by Tony Blackman he elaborates on the various modifications that XH558 had benefited from during service with RAF, primarily structural, particularly spar strengthening to take account of the additional strength required when Skybolt was being carried underwing and later use as fuel tanker.  This plane was, and probably still is, immensely structurally strong - amongst the strongest of the fleet.  Factor in the additional strengthening carried during renovation, the fact it flies unladen, the fact it is constrained to low 'G' manoeuvres during display when it was designed for higher 'G' manoeuvres, the fact it flies at much lower speeds than it was designed to and would have flown at operationally - then I think the structural failure issue is of secondary concern although it is reassuring to know that there are such rigorous & rigid fatigue calculations being attended to.

Some of the best known figures associated with XH558 describe the plane as being in fantastic condition.

It is the engine condition that I think would be of most concern, (you may recall that 4 Olympus were lost in one fell swoop).  One engine going is potentially going to bring down this aircraft.  There is, as you point out, little option at the moment for remanufacturing of major components without £Millions more being found.
I'll just point out an example I have in mind of a costly restoration - HMS Trincomalee at £5M+ - a deserved & excellent restoration.  I think I can say without fear of contradiction that awareness of and fondness for XH558 would be dozens, if not hundreds, of times more than Trincomalee.  Is XH558 any less valuable as a heritage asset because it's decades rather than Centuries old?

If it is the case that the trust is accepting that XH558 should not continue to fly then I feel that there has been some level of disingenuity here.  In the Q&A's I've read, the blame for pulling XH558 from flight appears to be directed squarely towards the Technical Authority companies with the claim of a 3rd party waiting in the wings to take over as Technical Authority except BAE won't share the toys.  If the actual position is that the Trust fully appreciate XH558 should not continue in flight and endorse this decision then I feel misled!

I haven't yet checked out the CAA report you've kindly linked to but will do so when I have a an hour or 10 to spare as I imagine this isn't light reading!
Chris

Offline Vulcanatic

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 06:37:19 AM »
Hephaestus Greek God or Vulcan to the Romans

(Not too feminine!)

- Art Picture by HardCoreDesigns
Chris

Offline MARKSIX

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 06:37:48 AM »
theres a piece on BBC Breakfast this morning about her -- due on at 6.50

Offline Vulcanatic

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2015, 02:37:14 PM »
theres a piece on BBC Breakfast this morning about her -- due on at 6.50

MARKSIX

Hi,

Not a Mk VI Lotus by any chance?
Chris

Offline scampton61

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2015, 04:24:58 PM »
you may recall that 4 Olympus were lost in one fell swoop

You may recall that, thankfully your recall doesn't make it fact. TWO engines were lost.

Offline Vulcanatic

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 12:55:34 AM »
you may recall that 4 Olympus were lost in one fell swoop

You may recall that, thankfully your recall doesn't make it fact. TWO engines were lost.

Thank you, I had corrected my error on another post.
A mere 2 irreplaceable Rolls Royce Olympus engines - obviously hardly worth mentioning!
Chris

Offline Mayfly

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 08:18:12 AM »
Not a case of trivialising the debacle but facts are facts - you simply wouldn't believe what problems have been cause on here and other fora over incorrect information being quoted as fact.

Offline PhillyJ

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Re: Don't get sad get ANGRY!!!!
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 09:46:24 AM »
Not a case of trivialising the debacle but facts are facts - you simply wouldn't believe what problems have been cause on here and other fora over incorrect information being quoted as fact.
Indeed, there were a lot of comments flying around on this forum when the unfortunate incident occurred, some of it got quite heated so that particular moment is well remembered.