On Sunday 10 April, we welcomed visitors to the first engine ground-run of 2022 – Feel The Howl!
A short journey by coach took visitors from the meeting point, through airport security and on to the airfield where XH558 is parked. Our guests were able to watch the ground crew prepare the aircraft for her day’s exercise. They then followed her on the coach to the engine running bay.
At the engine running bay everyone witnessed the aircraft come to life as the control surfaces – elevons and rudder – were exercised in preparation for all Olympus engines being started.
The engines were then started up and her powerful Rolls-Royce Olympus 202 turbojet engines sprung to life. The engines were put through the SP401 servicing procedure to bring them out of winter storage. SP401 involves the engines running for approximately one hour with individual engines put through the paces from idle, through 50% to 75%, then guests were able to Feel the Howl as engines were pushed to 100%. During the ground-run this happened several times.
During the SP401 procedure XH558 has all her systems checked for consistency and operation, with visitors able to see the operation of the bomb-bay doors, air-brakes, landing lights and auxiliary power unit.
After XH558 was put through her paces guests were able to spend time under the Vulcan’s huge delta-wing and climb the crew ladder to visit the cockpit for a photo opportunity.
The first engine ground-run of the year was made even more special with a marriage proposal taking place in the cockpit. Candi, one of VTST’s amazing volunteers, was surprised by her now fiancé Andrew. While Candi was distracted Andrew made his way to the cockpit. When all was set, Candi was ushered up the crew step ladder where Andrew was waiting to surprise her. While they were in the cockpit visitors were told of what was happening and the happy couple emerged to a round of applause. If the day wasn’t special enough, it was also Candi’s 50th birthday.
They celebrated their day by experiencing the howl while under the aircraft with the engineering team. To top an amazing day off, all the guests sang “Happy Birthday” to Candi on the way back to the meeting point. Candi says she’s “still grinning now” and “It was truly one of the very best days I have ever had. I laughed and laughed and smiled from ear to ear for most of the day”.
Congratulations Andrew and Candi!