Chasing 558

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Chasing 558

Postby Blue_2 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:51 am

Well we all know that within the next couple of weeks the last V-bomber will land for the last time. When it was announced that she would fly a farewell tour it was with some sadness that I noted that the route did not include Elvington. Can't really complain though; she has probably spent more time in our airspace than any other airfield this season! So on the Saturday I packed the camera and headed off to Brough, the nearest turning point to us and home of the Blackburn aircraft company, latterly part of BAe. We found a spot on the muddy shore of the Humber and waited.
On cue she appeared from the direction of Gainsborough, her smoke trail betraying her
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Over she came for one circuit before powering off towards Memwith Hill, her next turn point.
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And that was that. Maybe the last time I would see her fly. But then I heard from friends that the expected police deterrent at RAF Finningley (Doncaster Sheffield Airport or whatever its called this week) to move enthusiasts wanting to see the jet take off and land had not materialised, so we decided at the last minute to chance our arms and head down to see if we could catch one last takeoff. What was the worst that could happen, a ticking off and being moved along?
On arrival the lane seemed no busier than it had been on the previous occasion I had attended for a takeoff 3 years previously. There were police around, but they had no cause to have words with anyone at any point.
558 herself was outside the hangar, preparing to go
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Soon she was taxying out. The aircraft were operating from the South end of the runway on Sunday, meaning she had to taxy down past us first
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After a short hold on the threshold, she turned on to the runway
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And after another couple of minutes' pause, she started to power up. As the noise levels rose, the nose dropped as she fought the brakes. The brakes came off, the Olympuses bellowed, and off she went.
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As she had a fairly heavy fuel load on she accelerated comparatively slowly, but she still had her nose up well before halfway down the runway
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And away she went!
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Now I thought this might be my last shot of 558...
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However I was with SWMBO and her sister who took their time shopping! Consequently we were still in the Donny area when 558 returned, so I caught her in the distance, gear down, airbrakes out and preparing to land.
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So that's that. I suspect no more Vulcan for me folks...
Team leader, Meteor NF.14 WS788 restoration, YAM Elvington.
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Re: Chasing 558

Postby 34053 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:21 pm

A fantastic sequence of photos. Thank you for sharing them with us Blue. Memories to treasure.

PW
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Re: Chasing 558

Postby Ray C » Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Great sequence/write up, However....Me wonders about Lancaster-Vulacn for one last Hoorah before winter sets in... ;)
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