Avro Vulcan XM655
|Avro Vulcan XM655|
|Avro Vulcan XM655 preserved at Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield|
|Type||Avro Vulcan B2|
|Last flight||11 February 1984|
|Preserved at||Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield, England|
Avro Vulcan XM655 is one of three remaining taxiable Avro Vulcans. XM655 is currently owned by Wellesbourne Airfield and maintained by the 655 Maintenance & Preservation Society who keep the aircraft in a taxiable condition.
XM655 was the antepenultimate Vulcan to be built, and is the youngest surviving example and the only operable Avro Vulcan with the more powerful Bristol Olympus 301 engines. Commissioned at Cottesmore in 1964, XM655 initially flew with Nos. 9, 12 and 35 Squadrons, before moving to the Waddington Wing in 1967 to join Nos. 44, 50 and 101 Squadrons. In 1984, XM655 was sold off to Roy Jacobsen who intended to keep it airworthy, but the costs proved prohibitive and also the runway was too short for it to take off, and XM655 was left to deteriorate. Title of XM655 then passed onto John Littler, owner of Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield, who intended to get it to a taxiable condition, but not airworthy.
As well as MaPS maintaining it, the 150 City of Oxford Air Cadets helps to maintain it.
After restoration work, XM655 made its first public taxi run at Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield on 16 February 1997, with another two runs later that year. Since then, XM655 has made more or less annual public taxi runs, usually in June, as part of the Wellesbourne Wings and Wheels show. At various of these events, the display of XM655 has been accompanied by flypasts by the BBMF, the Red Arrows and Avro Vulcan XH558.
XM655 was also used by the crews of XH558 as required for currency and ground training.
XM655 has appeared in several video documentaries about the Aircraft type, Falklands operations and the Royal Air Force, usually she has been used as stand-in for the activities that cannot be filmed at the sites or on the aircraft featured, these are:
|Falklands War Last Raid of the Nuclear Vulcans||BBC Military and War Documentary|
|Falklands most daring raid||Darlow Smithson Productions - Channel 4|
|Guy Martin: The Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber||North One Television - Channel 4|
|RAF at 100 with Ewan and Colin McGregor||Lion Television - BBC|
|The Vulcan - RAF's 100 top Warplanes||Forces TV|
|Portillo's Hidden History of Britain - Countdown to WW3||Transparent Television, Argonon, for Channel 5 Television|
- Royal Air Force
- 655 Maintenance & Preservation Society
- Cottesmore Operations Record Books TNA AIR28 series
- Waddington Operations Record Books TNA AIR28 series
- "XM655 History". Retrieved 2008-09-03.
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