This month we welcomed visitors to five event sessions, including a special Veterans visit.
Early in May we held two sessions of the popular Vulcan XH558 Airside Tours and later in the month we carried out two Vulcan XH558 Engine Ground-Runs.
On Sunday 8 May, our volunteer team welcomed visitors to the Vulcan XH558 Airside Tours. Visitors met at the Harvey Arms meeting point to check-in and be issued security passes. They then boarded the coach to take them to the airfield via airport security.
While the Volunteer team were busy cleaning the aircraft, replacing fuses and preparing for a fuel pump change, guests enjoyed seeing the aircraft up-close and hearing about the history of the aircraft type. They were also able to ask questions about work being carried out on the aircraft that day.
The engineering team also carried out investigation work on a faulty powered flying control unit (PFCU).
During their visit XH558’s fans were given a demonstration of the elevons, they were able to view the huge bomb-bay space and spent time looking at the names under the wing before returning by coach to the meeting point.
On Sunday 22 May, visitors to the airfield enjoyed morning and afternoon sessions of Vulcan XH558 Engine Ground-Runs.
Before the Olympus engines were started, visitors stood behind the aircraft and watched as the Volunteer Engineering Team exercised the elevons and rudder.
They then moved to the side of the Vulcan for a full side-profile photo opportunity of XH558, before continuing around the aircraft to face the nose. At the front, safely away from the jet pipes, they listened to the engines power up until the sound of the famous Vulcan howl could be heard, even through ear defenders.
While at the front of the aircraft guests watched the operation of the bomb-bay doors and the airbrakes were exercised.
On each Vulcan XH558 Engine Ground-Run event there is an opportunity for one person, from the people who have booked, to upgrade to the Vulcan XH558 Cockpit Experience. The Cockpit Experience guest is given a pair of crew coveralls for the session and becomes part of the Vulcan XH558 ground crew for the day. They are involved in preparing the aircraft for the ground-run by checking oil levels and tyre pressures and hooking up the power and air to the jet. During the run they are fitted with a headset to enable them to listen to the chat with the tower and all the instructions needed to bring XH558 to life.
When the engines are running they get to hear the howl from inside the cockpit, before moving under the aircraft to experience the power of the Vulcan’s engines and hear, and feel, the howl from beneath XH558’s massive delta-wing.
The Cockpit Experience guests on the morning and afternoon sessions thoroughly enjoyed their experience.
After the team had shut down the engines visitors were invited under the aircraft, where they chatted to the team and viewed the thousands of names that are applied under XH558’s wing . They spoke to the Volunteer team about the Vulcan, hearing the history of the aircraft and sharing their own stories about the aircraft.
XH558 is based on a live international airport, so visitors on the afternoon session had front row seats to watch a Boeing 737 taxying to the runway for a flight to Pathos.
Guests on both the morning and afternoon ground-run sessions returned to the meeting point with smiles on their faces, and after a day of hearing ‘558 howling our team were equally as pleased with their day.