Why the Vulcan?

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Why the Vulcan?

Postby Mayfly » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:01 am

Seeing the route the Lightning thread has taken and the mention of 558 and why she is so popular, I thought I would ask what is it about Vulcans that has you captured.....

For me I was 6-8 years old playing on the lawn when 3 three white triangular shapes flew over head quite high line astern. I asked my brother [11] what they were and he said 'Vulcans'.

I watched until I could no longer see them and I was just mesmerised. I remember that day as tho' it was yesterday. I have to say that the display doesn't and never has done a lot for me but when she flies over head on her way to/from the East coast and I can see her approaching miles out I fall in love all over again. If 558 [read Vulcans] were a person there would be nothing I wouldn't forgive her for.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby 10680 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:36 am

I think looks has got a lot to do with it. The Vulcan just looks good. (Even better in anti-flash.)

Think Spitfire v Hurricane. It doesn't matter how much commentators say more kills in the Battle of Britain, it is still the "glamorous" Spitfire that people associate with the battle of Britain.

How many transport aircraft get preserved? Not got the looks!
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Jigsaw » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:25 am

I loved everything about the Vulcan also from a young age, growing up at Marham. The shape, the NOISE and for such a large aircraft she (they are) is very majestic.
I remember standing in front of the officers quarters and 3 or 4 came from behind us. Made a few people jump :))
Have to say I also have a passion for the Victor for the same reasons as above (and mostly every aircraft of that era).

The Vulcan has always had that special something. Must have or I wouldn't drive to RHA so often ;)
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Aceyone » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:27 am

I think it's just the ultimate package ,size-looks and that sound ! I first saw it at The RAF Biggin Hill At Home days and it was always a highlight for me,apart from the other 2 V bombers there was nothing else quite like it !
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Hihonyr8811 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:18 pm

For me it's almost like a mythical creature, I've lived in the same house my whole life (almost 30 years) and mum and dad have lived there since 1980, so they lived with the Vulcan's in and out of Waddington/Scampton. Add to that both my parents are also Lincoln(shire) born and bred, my Dad loved his aviation so I grew up knowing about Vulcan's. Mum's always talking about stopping at the lights at Waddo in the 60s/70s and seeing the smoky take offs and as I said somewhere else, they used to come over our house. but I don't remember ever seeing one fly, even though I must have done because I've been at air shows where 558 displayed on more than one occasion when I was younger, I just can't remember :(( :((

We also have this
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On the wall, which my dad got from Coningsby some time just after the Black Buck raid (and he got a tour round/in a Vulcan). It's older than I am :)) so I've grown up looking at it, never thought I'd ever see one fly (again), so it's really exciting for me when we see 558, BECAUSE I don't remember her.

I can't explain it really. I dn't even know if any of that makes sense :))
I've always said that mum's the fan, I was just the one who knew how to use a computer :)) because prior to 2007 I had no idea what to expect.


I'm the same Pam, the exciting part for me is seeing her in distance. It's nice to see her display (even though I haven't actually seen her DISPLAY this year believe it or not :)) ), but the most excited I've been was when she flew over our house :ymapplause: :ymapplause: and when I saw her for the very first time in 2008 when we were at Rutland water and she flew over us very high (going to Cottesmore).

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1st time I ever saw her, I may have been jumping around the car park screaming but we won't mention that bit ;) =))

BTW transport aircraft DO have the looks, the DC-3/C-47/Dakota is probably one of the best looking aircraft full stop (IMO), the proportions are spot on, they are just perfect :p =)) with the exception of the turbo prop versions [-X and not only are they preserved, they are still in service :D
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Dougs » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:47 pm

went to an airshow @ arround age 12 (28ish years ago) saw a vulcan flying it is the only plane i rember clearly from that day "its just THAT good!!!"
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby 10680 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:55 pm

Hihonyr8811 wrote:BTW transport aircraft DO have the looks, the DC-3/C-47/Dakota is probably one of the best looking aircraft full stop (IMO), the proportions are spot on, they are just perfect :p =)) with the exception of the turbo prop versions [-X and not only are they preserved, they are still in service :D


But DC3 was designed as an airliner! :-P So it doesn't count
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Nickolas » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:03 pm

It just batters all your senses at once
Visually stunning,
audible like no other
Earth shattering resonance that rattles you inner being.

Word are hard to find to cover all the emotions that you go through when you see one display.

I suppose orgasmic probably comes closest. ;)
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby 10680 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:32 pm

Mayfly wrote:.......
I watched until I could no longer see them and I was just mesmerised. ........I can see her approaching miles out I fall in love all over again...



I think that is the same with a lot of people. At Shoreham again last weekend as soon as that smoking dot is spotted everyone strains to see it, forgetting the display in front of them, then after the display they watch until they can no longer see her.
Last edited by Sooty655 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Quote fixed.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Mayfly » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:11 pm

I also think the right words are hard to find, and I also think there are many captured by her that don't realise it. 558 is the only a/c to get a mention of being airborne and where she is on route time and time again by most fora. The odd person [no not Jiggy :p ] remarks they have heard the Lanc or the Reds and where they are but 558 always gets a mention.

..and Jiggy I agree about the Victor a beautiful looking a/c.


PS: If anyone is interested there is a talk at Metheringham airfield in Oct by Kev Lawry ex-vulcan captain called - How to Fly the Vulcan - a Laymans Guide. Kev is a character himself so I am guessing this will be enteraining.
In memory of a very dear friend - Mike Pearson

Very fond memories of Robbie Gilvary - DTs 1st Vulcan Captain who taught DT all he knew.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Jigsaw » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 pm

Are you saying I am not odd Pam? I am most disappointed :-o

I suppose we are among the lucky ones that have been able to sit in the drivers seat of Vulcans, Victors (the Valiant gate guard when at Marham), Lightnings, Phantoms etc because we were in the right place at the right (and more relaxed) time. That obviously helped as well ;)
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Hazzer111 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:47 pm

I think the Vulcan is popular because
1) It's British
2) Only one is airworthy
3) Its massive
4) It is verry loud
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby RLN » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:54 pm

When I was a kid, Vulcans and Victors were always flying overhead from Finningley, and that would include 558. But, I always preferred the shape of the Victor, but since I saw a Lightning at Church Fenton, nothing has or will come close to the noise and spectacle of breaking the sound barrier in vertical flight.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Jigsaw » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:44 pm

I have to agree RLN. The Lightning is an all time favourite of mine as well. I feel priviledged to have grown up at a time when they were ever present and put on some of the best shows I have ever seen. I remember a families day at Marham. We were informed two Lightnings were inbound from the right of the runway (they arrive rather quickly eh). They patched the PA through the radios and as the aircraft stormed in we could hear one of the pilots scream YEEEEEEHAAAAAAA. They then did what they do best...vertical...NOISE and bye bye :D
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Hungry Haggis » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:25 pm

There is no explanation as to why I like the Vulcan really Always have ever since I was sent to an airfield somewhere in england (while in the services Way back in 67) and there was 4 of them on the end of the runway .My first and certanly not my last experience of the rapid start and loud departure .What a sight.
My first sight of 558 after the return to flight was when DT took her out of Leuchars in 2008

Now Lightnings They are also good at the loud rapid departure.I remember a tomorows world program with Ramond Baxter live from RAF Leuchars. The QRA Pair were scrambled (no TV required from St andrews) ,He even said live if you don't believe the noise of that departure if you know someone that lives in the town ring and ask Them.3 and a half miles and we heard them almost from startup and then watched from the window as they went north on reheat in the dusk .Was the noisiest take of I heard in 33 years of living there that I can remember.Always new when 558 was displaying there because of that howl.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby RLN » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:16 pm

Sorry, Pam. My fault...I shouldn't have mentioned Lightnings :O3 Doesn't take long though, does it?
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Ray C » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:41 pm

I think I mentioned in my introduction last year how my Dad smuggled me onto the Cottesmore airfield
In a NAFFi van, and then into a Vulcan.
I must have been early teens and I remember scrabbling up the ladder into the cabin, it was the smell
of fuel & metal that hit me first, then almost crapping myself thinking "what if she's scrambled"

Then the sheer power and distraction she could unleash hit me, I've been in 665 and just recently 603,
Those feelings came back, Wow. ;)
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Ducati Boy » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:02 pm

Never liked most jets, Hunter excepted, Vulcans just meant loads of noise and hours spent taking car park money at the annual air shows during my time in the RAF. Tried to avoid getting involved when asked to join the VTST Project, managed to succeed until 2005 when I finally weakened and went to Brunty with Phil Raymond to see what was going on still intending to have nought to do with the restoration, but........walked into the hangar, stood under those bat wings, absent mindedly stroked her skin and I was hooked. :ymblushing:
The rest as they say is history.

There is something almost alive about her. During the restoration it was almost as if she had a buzz when I worked on her, as if she knew she would fly again and couldn't wait to get to it. I am so glad and proud I got involved and was a part of all the positive energy put into her by those who helped her fly again, only wish it could last for ever. :)
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Mayfly » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:14 am

I agree about 558 being alive she has soul, she spirit and she does have a guardian angel.

Saying all that - on the ground and taxiing 655 is the business and where my allegiance would lie.
In memory of a very dear friend - Mike Pearson

Very fond memories of Robbie Gilvary - DTs 1st Vulcan Captain who taught DT all he knew.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Sooty655 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:07 am

Mayfly wrote:I agree about 558 being alive she has soul, she spirit and she does have a guardian angel.

Saying all that - on the ground and taxiing 655 is the business and where my allegiance would lie.

Thank you for that, and we love you (and DT) too. :YMHUG: :YMHUG:

I had no involvement with Vulcans or any other aircraft in early life other than the usual schoolboy interest. The first ten years or so of my working life was spent on Olympus engines, but in a marine environment. When I retired (early!) after 25 years in the Middle East oil industry, I visited 655MaPS to see if my Olympus experience was of any use to them, and I WAS HOOKED.

Don't know why, can't explain it at all. Yes, there is a majesty and grace about 558, but I was hooked long before I saw 558 fly, or even saw 655 move.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Yorkie » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:49 pm

I used to get taken to Church Fenton air show every year and saw some fantastic aircraft.

Living in Yorkshire, we had alsorts flying over (this was the 1980's)

but it was the noise of the triangles that had me hooked. the shape seemed special to a young lad.

then....... My dad took me air showirshow after dropping my sister at school in Newcastle (I presuSunderlanderland, it was about 1988 so i forget) then this little triangle i am used to seeing was huge.... and loud.....

then i went to finningly, firstThursdaythursday (I remember the day as my dad called school and said i was ill, still the only time i ever rememberblatantlylatently lying and saying for me to tell the truth) we parked down the side (facing the buacross accross the runway) and watcVulcan's vulcans taking off and lots of other jets coming in. thenSaturdaysaturday i understood why.... we wentair show airshow. there were all sorts of jets there, but it Vulcane vulcan i wanted to see.

then one day i didn't see them anymore, we got training aircraft (red and white) jet provosts and tucannos and the odd tornado (another plane that got my imaginwasn't)

It wasnt until much later (and i was much older) that i went to Elvington to see the Victor coming in.... and sinking in the grass as they came off the runway and i got back into looking at the aircraft.

we are spoiled here, we take it for granted seeing shorts tucannos every day, tornado's from Leeming daily, hawks from Linton and leeming regular, apache's from dishforth and the Vulcan (when MW is flying).

I went to see her on her first display and have seen her a few other times since. and i become that ymesmerizedgain, mesmorised by the sheer sight of her.
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Hihonyr8811 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:02 pm

10680 wrote:
Hihonyr8811 wrote:BTW transport aircraft DO have the looks, the DC-3/C-47/Dakota is probably one of the best looking aircraft full stop (IMO), the proportions are spot on, they are just perfect :p =)) with the exception of the turbo prop versions [-X and not only are they preserved, they are still in service :D


But DC3 was designed as an airliner! :-P So it doesn't count


If it moves something from one place to another it's a transporter in my book :))


Plus, the DC-3 strted out life as the DST, Douglas Sleeper TRANSPORT :p :D :))
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby 10680 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 am

Hihonyr8811 wrote:

Plus, the DC-3 strted out life as the DST, Douglas Sleeper TRANSPORT :p :D :))


The Spitfire's a seaplane then ;)

Hihonyr8811 wrote:
If it moves something from one place to another it's a transporter in my book :))



or bomber? :ymdevil:
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Howslo » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:14 am

My Vulcan memories date back to the 70s and 80s, when our tiny local airfield, Leicester Airport / Stoughton Aerodrome used to put on an annual airshow on the August bank holiday weekend. Looking back, these shows were pretty amazing and attracted some cracking aircraft - Lightnings, Starfighters, Harriers, Canberras, Buccaneers, Nimrods, even Concorde a couple of times - to name but a few. And of course, the Vulcan. Never a Victor though, but I digress...

The Vulcan somehow seemed to be the one everyone looked forward to the most (with the possible exception of The Reds). It just seemed to exude power, noise, grace and beauty. The power climbs just seemed incredible. Even more so, if you did as we sometimes did, and viewed from the fields behind the airfield, so the displays were taking place above you!

Another memory that stands out was seeing a Vulcan fly by my junior school playground at what seemed like a little above roof top level. I suspect it was somewhat higher than that, but that's how it seemed to an 11 year old. It was 1982, not long after Black Buck. What it was doing there, I've no idea. I doubt it was a recce for the airshow, as it would have been too early in the year. But either way, it's a memory imprinted on my mind.

But I think it says a lot that that is one of the few times I can remember seeing a specific aircraft type during my childhood. Well, that and the time Sally B flew over our garden at a height which I'm sure was lower than 500ft - but that's another story!
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Re: Why the Vulcan?

Postby Ducati Boy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:01 pm

Mayfly wrote:I agree about 558 being alive she has soul, she spirit and she does have a guardian angel.

Saying all that - on the ground and taxiing 655 is the business and where my allegiance would lie.


Thats only 'cos you fancy the driver! =))
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