In 1976, 4 guys including me were sent to Hickam AFB on Hawaii to check out a Vulcan that had gone u/s.

For the most part, the military side of the airfield/airport was like a ghost town, however word spread of the Vulcan’s departure and for up to an hour before take off I’m sure that no work was done.

The area was liberally peppered with people waiting for the big event. The air was morning cool and quiet until the engine starts could be heard and the excitement grew. I’d seen many take offs at Scampton so my focus was on the spectators. The aircraft turned on to the ‘keys’ and then the engines wound up to the distinctive howl.

It was obvious that many onlookers had never heard anything like it but when the accelerating movement turned to flight and a moderate climb, the audience was spellbound, many with jaws dropped. I heard a few say, and imagined many thinking, ‘orrrrrsummm’ !