Talk:Avro Vulcan/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2

Operation Black Buck

The Operation Black Buck page says that Vulcan 597 also reached the Falklands [Black Buck Six] whereas here it says only 607 got there. Anyone know which is correct?

Now only 19 Vulcans?

"There are 21 Vulcans still relatively intact at air museums around the world."

Someone bought the Vulcan which was a gate guardian at Blackpool Airport, but it proved to be too badly corroded to be moved, so today it was broken up for scrap on the spot by one of those building-demolishers' long-reach concrete-crunchers that has a mouth like a Tyrannosaurus's. Anthony Appleyard 23:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Now only 20 Vulcans?

Sadly 603 was broken up late last year. Many usable parts were taken for use on XH558. 603 Had previously been restored and maintained by a team of volunteers, and had been thought a likely candidate to be made air-worthy again.

(Insert rant about "BAE Systems ...useless jerks who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes." Here) 13:59, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

603 does still exist, the airframe still sits at BAe Woodford, however most of the parts have been removed, and the airframe is expected to be removed in the near future due to corrosion. At what point do we count the aircraft as "deceased"?
WARlrus 17:21, 3 December 2007 (UTC)


Is it really true that the B1 versions had up to 54,000 lbs of thrust per engine, whereas the later ones only had 17,000 lbs, i.e. about 1/3rd? It doesn't seem much of a "development". Maybe someone has confused thrust per engine with total thrust? Carl w 20:42, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

  • B1. Olympus 101 11000lb, Olympus 102 12000lb, Olympus 104 13500lb. 101 fitted to early aircraft. 102 fitted to later aircraft and modified to 104 standard on overhaul. Suriving aircraft with 104 engines modified to B1A standard. B1 XA895 is often quoted as converted to a B1A but it was used for trials and was not completed to B1A standard - it retained Olympus 101s and was not rewired to enable carriage of Yellow Sun.
  • B2. XH533 Olympus 200 16000lb, remainder Olympus 201/202 17000lb or 301 20000lb (for a period derated to 18000lb). 201 became 202 on fitting of Rotax rapid air starter.(XJ784 11:24, 10 February 2007 (UTC))

Introduction paragraph correction

"The Vulcan was part of the RAF's V bomber force, which fulfilled the rule of nuclear deterrence..."

this should read: "The Vulcan was part of the RAF's V bomber force, which fulfilled the role of nuclear deterrence..."

Aerial firefighting?!

"Some retired Vulcan aircraft are now used for the role of aerial firefighting."

Where did this information come from?! (I wish it >was< true, mind you...) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:15, 10 May 2006

Pic under specifications

Is that some sort of fuel tank in the bomb bay?GraemeLeggett 15:55, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes it is a fuel tank. I'll find the dimly remembered source and post it here shortly. Brian.Burnell 00:06, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Found some sources. Try: [1]and click on Vulcan history. And [2] and similar tanks shown in a super Victor pic in the book by Andrew Brookes: Handley Page Victor. Published 1988 by Ian Allen ISBN 0-7110-1803-0 page 101. Brian.Burnell 01:13, 10 September 2006 (UTC)


This article doesn't seem to describe the differences between the MkI, MkIb and MkII.

Also the early ones (eg 617 squadron) were painted in anti-radiation white. (and polished by hand using "Wadpol" for Farnborough below - no mean feat)

There was a later tour of New Zealand where one caught the "step" at the beginning of the runway and was stranded for a year while it was decided whether it was cheaper to ship it back, repair it on the spot or scrap it.

There was another event at Farnborough during the period of the "Four minute warning" when some MkIs were converted to four engine start. Although they were kept fully armed during this period, the problem was the time needed to start them up. Normally this was done using a PE set for the first engine, which then started the others in turn. Ground supply connectors were provided for each engine to which dozens of lead acid batteries on a bomb trolley were plugged in. This was what was demonstrated at Farnborough and they still keep showing the television news footage from time to time. Something of a gimmick perhaps, but it became impoosible to do with the Mk2's as they were air started using a Rover gas turbine, with an on-board Palouste if a ground supply was not available.

  • I can't speak for the early days but during the 1970's it wasn't possible to start the engines from the Rover AAPU. They were started as a rule using a Palouste Trolley (the Palouste wasn't onboard). An outboard engine was started, run up to 80% RPM and then the air was cross fed from that engine to start the other engines. The other method was to use the 'Rapid Start' system which used compressed air and fuel fed into a combustion chamber attached to the Rotax starter on the engine. Again the started engine was run up to 80% and etc... Although the system had been designed to enable all four engines to be started at once (there was a 'Mass Start' button on the cockpit engine start panel) it wasn't used that way - possibly went out with the end of the 'Four minute' days. Gawthorpe Dave 09:05, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Sorry I got the Rover and the Palouste the wrong way round. Memory you know. Chevin 09:45, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Many 'Paloustes' were actually STADs built by H & S Aviation. Paloustes [French Turbomeca design] were built by Blackburn. If a Palouste or STAD were available, then memory serves we would start all engines using it. If no trolley was available, then one engine would be rapid started, run at 80% and air cross fed to the other engines for starting in turn using the engine air switches. You could run the rapid-started engine at 93% and start the others simultaneously. Mass rapids were not performed in my time but it was common enough practice on scrambles - if all rapids were serviceable - to rapid start the engines at one second intervals. I believe the Rover AAPP had originally been able to generate starting air but had been disconnected. The Rotax 'rapid' starter was developed for the Olympus 301. 201s became 202s when fitted with the Rotax starter. XJ784 16:51, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

XH558 (ex Waddington?) has this morning received an anonymous donation after appeals on BBC East Midlands TV were supplemented by one on BBC Breakfast News and it will be restored to air worthiness. Chevin 08:42, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone hav a source for "Pilots were supposed to sign out the keys for the Vulcan prior to a mission, this proved to be inconvenient until they discovered that it was possible to obtain spare keys from Halfords, a car spares shop"? I'm not sure if it's really worthy of inclusion anyway, but if it's there it should be sourced. --Guinnog 09:38, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't remember any keys. Perhaps they were kept with the golden rivet. Possibly the people who are restoring XH558 would know. Chevin 15:30, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I've deleted it for now. --Guinnog 15:34, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
There were indeed keys for the aircraft. All crewchiefs (at least on 27 Sqn for the 8 years I was on it) carried their own but the aircraft was always open when the crew arrived. (The key was used to lock the handle that opened the entrance door.) Gawthorpe Dave 09:25, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


Should something about it's quite staggering agility, esp at high altitude. be added? I've read some sources that state that at operation altitudes it could actually outmanouver contemporary fighters.Hdw 18:03, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

For something that size, it was pretty nimble at near-zero altitude too! I'm just reading an excellent account of the use of Vulcans in the Falklands War in the 1980s (it's called Vulcan 607, by Rowland White) which should provide some quotes I could add, and give the reference for. I'll suggest some on here once I've picked a few out :) – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 18:07, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Seeing one do low level aerobatics over the airfield at about chimney height one Christmas standby (strictly forbidden really!) was something not easily forgotten. Chevin 19:13, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I read Vulcan 607 recently. It's very good, despite its endorsement by Jeremy Clarkson! --Guinnog 19:17, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

How many built?

Some confusion here about how many were built. The infobox says 134. Near the bottom of the article it says 138. Adding up the article's figures for each mark (and ignoring conversions) I get 110. Can someone clarify and correct please. Emeraude 11:52, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I will check the figures again and then update. I suspect I have put the B.2A as conversions instead of builds. Unfortunately the total number built does vary dependiing on source. This is due to nobody apparrently being sure how many fatigue test-rig airframes were built. Gawthorpe Dave 10:04, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Have checked the numbers again and updated. Was only able to find serial numbers for 44 B.1's but have left as 45 as this is the most quoted number. Removed B.2A number of conversions as there is a discrepancy in numbers between sources - 28 and 33 being given.
  • Prototypes VX 770 777 (2), B1/B1A XA889-913, XH475-483, 497-506, 532 (45), B2 XH533-539, XH554-563, XJ780-784, XJ823-825, XL317-320, XL359-361, XL384-392, XL425-427, XL443-446, XM569-576, 594, 595, [596 fatigue test] 597-612, 645-657 (87+1 fts). Total 134 (135). Other FTSs without a serial may have existed. The Mk2A Vulcan is a myth. The designations B.Mk2 (Blue Steel) and B.Mk.2 (Free Fall) were sometimes adopted. XH539 was used for Blue Steel trials. XL317-320, 359-361, 392, XL425-427, XL443-446, XM569-576, 594 & 595 (25) were delivered to Scampton as B2(BS). The remainder were delivered free fall. XL384-390 (7) were converted from FF to BS and replaced XL445, 446, XM569-573 (7) which were converted to FF. Total number of B2 aircraft that could carry Blue Steel at one time or another = 33. After Blue Steel was phased out, all surviving B2(BS) converted to FF. B2(BS) XM574-576, 594, 595 were delivered with Olympus 301s. XL384-390 were re-engined with Olympus 301 on conversion to B2(BS). Remainder of B2(BS) fitted with Olympus 201 or 202. (XJ784 11:25, 10 February 2007 (UTC))

You Tube Videos

Several people, including me, have psoted video clips of Vulcans on You Tube and Veoh. One of mine can be found at:

Some help required for this - which engine is being tested here? I have said it is the Olympus but it could be the Tornado RB1999 because of the twin intakes. But the clip is in B&W so it suggest an earlier test, maybe even the Conway. Just love the afterburner coming on as the beastie flies past.

PS What about the rumour that the Argentine AF was to buy surplus RAF Vulcans? Royzee 10:39, 24 February 2007 (UTC) Feb 24 07

Vulcan XA894 flight testing BOl22R (Olympus 320) for TSR2 at Farnborough in 1962. XJ784 13:53, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Popluar culture section

I removed the popular culture section, as i deemed that it contained very "in passing" references to the airplane. USer:Bzuk then restored the section, with the following edit summary: (restored section- this is an iconic aircraft and the "popular culture" references are entirely appropriate)

Rather than just removing it again, I invite people to have a discussion here at the Talk Page. My main motive for removing the section was that the references were quite tangential. I would feel different if it was, for example, a film or a book, that heavily or primarily dealt with this aircraft. That this aircraft is seen in a James Bond movie, or that a spaceship in a TV series is given the same serial number, I feel is not really relevant, the link is "too weak" if you like. Dr bab 11:26, 23 April 2007 (UTC).

In response, the editor above has a track record of removing "popular culture" sections or articles. I don't share the reasoning behind the abject removal of these submissions and I know that there is a current discussion regarding this controversy, see Popular culture. His assertion that the inclusion of the Avro Vulcan in the James Bond actioneer "Thunderball" is "tangential" is belied by the fact that the Avro Vulcan is the key to the plot as it contained two nuclear bombs that were being hijacked. The film's producers went to great efforts to obtain the aircraft and any viewer of the film will note its role is not incidental but crucial to the film's authenticity. In the original novel, a fictional bomber is identified but the film producers noted that the Vulcan had an immediate recognition factor and opted for its use rather than a studio "mock-up." I have researched the use of the Avro Vulcan XH558 for the BBC2 television series, Hyperdrive where the spaceship HMS Camden Lock bears the serial number XH558. The set and prop designer, model maker Andrew Glazebrook is quoted that,"Its registration number XH558 is actually that of the Royal Air Force's 'Avro Vulcan' bomber and was suggested by the show's writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil." This direct involvement with the Avro Vulcan and its role as a military aircraft is clearly connected to its science-fiction counterpart.
Irregardless of the arguments that can be posed in defence of the popular culture submissions in the Avro Vulcan article is the fact that sub-group WPAir has already dealt with the topic in length and has resolved that popular culture sections are appropriate and do exist in this form within many substantive articles including the following: Supermarine Spitfire, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh just to name a few in the many aviation and aviation-related Wikipedia articles.
My final comments deal with the "drop in" factor of some editors who have "causes" or "areas of concern" that they champion. I have seen Wikipedia editors that are only interested in removing questionable images, or have set up a page or article that links to their own published work and then insert "ad-promos" throughout Wikipedia articles or even some editors who have no interest in the relevance of the original research but grab onto that one issue that they are passionate about. I believe (but I may be wrong) that this is the case in this recent deletion of the popular culture section in a truly iconic aircraft. I noted that the editor who made the original removal had never contributed to the article but made the statement the he/she knows that the submissions were trivial and tangential and had been "weak" although the issue had not been discussed previously in the discussion page. The usual or "standard" to introducing a major deletion or change in the article in question is to discuss it, which is being done now (after the fact). FYI, I have not added the original entries in the popular culture section and in cursory research, identified that the original posters had done their research well and had identified a link to the Avro Vulcan in contemporary cultural references. When I had seen that the cultural references were not trivial (the "trivia" section, however is a concern as most of the Avro Vulcan entries there can be incorporated within the body of an essentially formal encyclopedic work) and that the editors were genuinely adding to the information base, then there should not be a problem with popular culture being retained. IMHO Bzuk 12:34, 23 April 2007 (UTC).
First of all, let me admit that I am opposed to popular culture sections in general. They are not always a bad thing, but far too often they consist of very trivial and tangential references, and tend to grow larger than the actual article they are in. My concern here was, as I stated before, the appearances of the aircraft seemed rather "in passing", and not the main focus of the quoted popular work. As an example: "Mentioning that the aircraft in Top Gun are F-14's seem appropriate, since that film is about flying and the aircraft play such a major role. Mentioning what make Tom Cruise's motorbike is in the same movie, I feel is too tangential".
As Bzuk mentions, the relevance of "in popular culture" sections, articles and items is a matter of much debate, and finding an agreement is often difficult. Some people might agree with me on the Top Gun example above, some would say that Top Gun should not even be linked to at the F-14 page, some would not only include the make of mr. Cruise's motorcycle, but also the brand of his jeans. Where to draw the line here is difficult, as there are no existing general guidelines.
With respect to the "dropping by and deleting our work" comments: "In popular culture" sections tend to act as magnets for people wishing to add all sorts of useless trivia. Since the section contained, in my opinion, references to the aircraft that was rather vague, I decided to delete the whole thing. When the popular culture section is not there, it is that much harder for people to start adding to it.
However, with vigilant editors like Bzuk monitoring this page, I probably had nothing to fear, as meaningless trivia would no doubt be kept out of this article, and the popular culture section kept small enough not to dominate the article. Dr bab 16:02, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

<deindent>I seem to recall seeing them on Dr Who (A rather obscure reference, I know). But made all the more amusing by the Brigadier's insistance that the only way to deal with the giant alien plant before it destroyed the house and got away was to hit the house with several V-bombers worth of incendiery...Narson 14:01, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Avro finally falls to the bulldozer

Avro finally falls to the bulldozer

"Recently Destroyed Examples"

I think we may have a minor NPOV violation here, but I'm not too sure. The word "destroyed" seems inappropriatly harsh - something like scrapped would sound more neutral, but I'm not sure if I'm just biased against the edit on the grounds of the edit summary "Added "Recently Destroyed Examples"... F***ing Bew Britain and it's "comittment to herritage"" left by user (talk · contribs · WHOIS). What do other users think. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 21:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

With hindsight the edit summary was NOT neutral. I defend the use of the word "Destroyed" as neither aircraft now exists in any immediate sense, although parts of 603 will be incorporated into some of the remaining survivors, the actual airframes that for all usefull purposes were XM603 and XL391 no longer exist. The term "Detroyed" is no less neutral than the term "survivor".
This is incorrect, the airframe of 603 DOES still exist at Woodford, it can still be seen from a nearby road! All parts have been stripped from it, and the airframe is expected to be scrapped soon WARlrus 17:23, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I have to say that I find the term "former survivor" a contradition in terms. I suggest that this section is renamed to "Aircraft scrapped from preservation" to distinguish it from aircraft that were lost in service or scrapped on their exit from service. There are a number of other vulcans (Including the last of the B1s) that were scrapped after entering preservation. 12:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
How far back does a list of former survivors go? I am not sure that the recently scrapped aircraft should appear, the list of survivors should stand as it is. It could be a slippery slope into listing the history and fate of every example. MilborneOne 14:17, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm only suggesting that we list the aircraft that were scrapped _after_ they entered a preservation scheme. I believe they are relevant to the list of aircraft still in preservation as it illustrates that those aircraft are not necessarily preserved with any certainty. Even XH558 has had a close call!
I don't suggest that the fate of each constructed aircraft be traced, (This was done in Tim Lamming's Book BTW) Even if I were, very few vulcans were built compared to other military planes. 15:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I have added aircraft to the article that had in the past been preserved and/or on public display - not that many but sadly gone. MilborneOne 17:52, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I run a site titled Air Vectors that covers military aircraft and gets cited here and there on Wikipedia. I don't normally touch wikipedia articles other than to correct typos and the like, but I just found out about a site named "" which is also cited here and there on Wikipedia (for example in this article) ... but whose aviation articles are largely or entirely downloads of Air Vectors articles -- advertized as "original content & images" though they also lifted many of my photos and artwork.

I have no fuss to make. I just want to make sure the Wikipedia community knowns that is a ripoff operation. Cheers / MrG 02:52, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up, Greg. FWIW Bzuk 16:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC).

Popular Culture

Just noticed that Bzuk has added back in two bits in the popular culture section. On the Alien entry I would just like to know why Vulcan rudder pedals are notable and the comment kept. Not sure about the Hyperdrive bit either not even a small bit just using a serial from one sounds like fancruft that is already mentioned in the Hyperdrive article. Not exactly a mainstream popular television program. Any comments please ? MilborneOne (talk) 20:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Not my original entry but the issue was discussed previously and I was mainly restoring an agreed-upon submission. Since in the reference sources that are available there had been an indication of how the Avro Vulcan and its iconic nature was reflected in the specific use of the reclaimed or surplus parts in creating movie/television models, it was a clear connection to the Avro Vulcan. In each case, the Vulcan was utilized as an homage to a "glorious" past as the Vulcan represented a watershed in aerospace development that was being recognized. FWIW, large sections of Vulcans were used in creating a "feel" in the models, I just mentioned some note/quotes to give more detail. Bzuk (talk) 20:50, 22 December 2007 (UTC).
Re-using the rudder pedals and some scrapped bits does not appear to be notable. Aircraft scrap have been used for tv and film props for years. Perhaps we need a list of rudder pedals etc seen on Scrapyard Challenge. A homage to glorious past just sound like fans of a little watched BBC2 programme trying to raise its profile. OK I have made my point we will just have to agree to disagree. MilborneOne (talk) 21:15, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
As I said earlier, I have no abiding interest in the statement, I was just trying to resurrect what I considered a well-meaning submission. I agree that reusing bits and pieces of a salvaged airframe is not notable, but what is meaningful is that the Vulcan in both cases was chosen to be remembered. I can't comment on the BBC2 program although it probably wasn't that popular as you say, what was important was that the Avro Vulcan was being memorialized. Bzuk (talk) 00:56, 23 December 2007 (UTC).

Alien / Aliens

Is there any evidence for Vulcans being used as set-dressing in the first 1979 film "Alien"? The APC controls from the 2nd film "Aliens" are quite clear. Any appearance in the first film though would mean a rather earlier date for a scrapped Vulcan. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:55, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Bits of surplus aircraft equipment particularly control panels and the like have been used by the film industry for a number of years. So unless they used a complete real Vulcan the the use of odd bits and pieces is hardly notable. MilborneOne (talk) 12:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Maiden flight

The article states that the Vulcan first flew on 1952-08-31, but my references give the maiden flight as on 1952-08-30. (Checking in Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation, ISBN 1 85170 324 1; Air Power, ISBN 0 7026 0047 4; The World's Greatest Aircraft ISBN 0-7858-1185-0.) Where does the date of the 31st come from? (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 09:35, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

The article's first flight date of 31 August 1952 is not supported by a cited reference, so if you have a reference that you can cite then please do change the date and cite the reference! - Ahunt (talk) 12:09, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Provided reference for 30 August. --Cheesy Mike (talk) 14:53, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
Super work - you beat me to looking it up! - Ahunt (talk) 19:45, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Accidents and Incidents.

The table is missing two major Vulcan incidents.

Val Venthams Aircraft which caught fire prior to takeoff at Scampton and burned at the end of the runway in the early to Mid 60's. All survived.

Pete Tait's Aircraft of IX(B) Squadron which had an engine blow up on climbing from a roller at Cottesmore. The aircraft crashed on its back in a field some way off the end of the runway. The pilots ejected. Only the pilots survived. Incident occured in the mid 60's.

From memory only No references offered (talk) 17:29, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Three losses that not mentioned in the article

  • XM600 Crashed near Spilsby following engine bay fire 17 Jan 77
  • XM601 Crashed on approach to RAF Coningsby 7 Oct 64
  • XM604 Crashed near Cottesmore following loss of control during overshoot 30 Jan 68

Please note that accidents and incidents are only for notable accidents which would normally include those that are fatal or have something else of note, it is not the intention to list every hull loss for every aircraft type. Your Scampton incident above for example if all the crew survived would probably not be notable. I would agree that if your Cottesmore incident involved the loss of the rear crew then it should be added - just need to find a reference source. MilborneOne (talk) 17:51, 28 December 2007 (UTC) Try "The Vulcan Story" by im Laming. ISBN: 1-85409-148-4 Palmiped (talk) 18:07, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes looked at The Vulcan Story but it lists fates of all the aircraft and it does not give detailed info on the accidents or what happened to the crew. MilborneOne (talk) 18:34, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Check external links in main article

Check links Palmiped (talk) 23:21, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Crew Numbers

According to the tables on the right of the page and other sites i have found both aircraft had a crew of 5 but under miscellaneous entries there is a report of an accident where "5 of the 7 crew were killed". Can someone confirm this? Gfad1 18:08, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Knowing the inside of a Vulcan cockpit fairly well, there is only space for the normal crew of five. If a Vulcan was to carry two further people, they would most like have to stand for the entire flight. Personally, I'd suggest it was mistaken reporting somewhere along the lines. Perhaps the rear three crew (who didn't have ejector seats) were killed and the pilot and co-pilot were able to eject. --Pvtparts 02:26, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

The normal crew of the Vulcan was indeed five. When it was scheduled to land away from base, one or two crew chiefs were carried. In the rear cockpit were fixed stowage boxes either side which had safety harness fitted. These were used for the 6th and 7th seat members. Rather uncomfortable for long trips. The crew chief would spend quite some time standing on the ladder between the two pilots so he could see out of the windscreen. (Crewchief)

IIRC, Avro originally designed the Vulcan cockpit for only one pilot, similar to the Lancaster - RAF bombers had one Pilot and a Flight Engineer at the time. The second pilot alongside the first was added later and that accounts for the somewhat cramped cockpit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

...apart from the propaganda value ...

I feel very uneasy about this statement. It seems somhow out of place here, being more relevant to politics. While its true that only one bomb on the first Black Buck raid hit the runway, that statement needs to be qualified, because the Vulcan was on a heading that took it at right angles to the runway, and a hit in those circumstances is most unlikely, as the crew would know. One purpose of the raids were to encourage the Argentine forces to switch on their radar so that they could then be targeted with anti-radiation missiles also carried by the Vulcan. The disabled radar would then be exploited by carrier-based aircraft. It seems that this cat-and-mouse game between the Vulcan and the air defence radar was a prime raison d'etre for these raids. Another principal reason for the raids was to demonstrate to the Argentines (before the naval task force arrived in the area) that the British forces had a very long reach, and also to begin the process of damaging their morale and fighting spirit; and we all saw how well that was achieved with Port Stanley being surrendered with hardly a shot fired by its garrison. Of course there are some who rejoice in the lack of a bomb hit on the runway, but then there are always those who won't let the truth get in the way of a good story. This isn't the place for political games. Brian.Burnell 16:09, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

The factual result of the RAF's long distance Vulcan mission(s) was one bomb crater on the runway. Although two anti-radar missles were fired no Argentinian radar locations were destroyed. While no one would deny the logistic achievement in completing the operations and their political impact, the fact is that material damage was negligible.

'Political games' I'm afraid was exactly what the Black Buck missions were; Mention could also be made of the inter-service rivalry between the RAF and Royal Navy over the Falklands operations, with the former determined not to let the latter 'run the show'. A wholly organised and co-ordinated RAF operation was deemed paramount to show the public (and more importantly the politicians holding the purse strings in the post-Falklands defence budgets) that the Air Force could contribute something to the conflict. Harryurz 09:21, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Clearly you have missed the point. Not all military operations are concerned primarily with material damage. Inducing fear and apprehension in an opponent has a long military tradition and history is littered with examples. One comes to mind; the Allied bombing raids on the Calais area in the months preceding the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Those raids contributed nothing materially to the success of D-Day: the raids did not put one bomb on the Normandy beach defences. But they helped persuade the Nazi war machine to focus on an area remote from the intended landing sites, and very many Allied soldiers are alive today because of those raids.
So there was only one bomb hit on the Stanley runway that wasn't capable of operating fast jets anyway. So what! That hardly matters when set against the other outcomes, one of which was to persuade the radar operators to leave their radar switched off for fear of having it disabled. Radar switched off is as useful as a chocolate teapot, or even as useful as a destroyed radar set. At that point, when the Argentines were radar-blind a Sea Harrier strike went in; which rather disproves the assertion that inter-service rivally had a meaningful role in Black Buck.
If there is any real hard evidence of behind-the-scenes political manipulation by the RAF then let us all see it. However, in the very nature of these alleged 'behind-the-scenes' events, no one who wasn't themseves 'behind-the-scenes' can possibly know. This isn't the place for juvenile political point-scoring; and it can be a two-edged sword. Some of us have also 'been there - done that', didn't like the smell, and don't want to go there again. Brian.Burnell 12:15, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Reference for the inter-service rivalry see "Sea Harrier Over the Falklands: A Maverick at War" (Cassell Military Paperbacks S.) by Commander "Sharkey" Ward ; although the account is very much a personal one from the view of a senior Harrier Squadron commander it does have a breadth of vision regarding the often hindering tactical and strategic contraints the task force were put under in 1982. Thanks Harryurz 14:35, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

The point about the Black Buck raids was not that they did 'minor' damage to the runway at Port Stanley. It was to show the Argentinians that if it was wished, despite the great distances involved, strikes by bombers like the Vulcan could be carried out against the Argentinian mainland, and that it was only because it had not been decided-to that they weren't. It's a question of proving something that many people on the other side may have doubted, the ability to take the war, if necessary, to the Argentinian homeland, which the Argentinian Government may not have taken into account when they started the war. It's about sowing doubt into the enemy's mind. Many countries start wars thinking that they will be safe 'at home', and the Black Buck raids proved to the Argentinian Government that they weren't. As a result, the Argentinians withdrew the majority of their air power to the mainland, or changed their minds about reinforcing the air contingent on the Falklands because they then had to consider the air defence of Argentina itself. That was all the Black Buck raids needed to do. The material damage was immaterial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:28, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Merger from The Avro Vulcan Adventure

How on earth do you merge an article on an aircraft type with an article on a book? - Ahunt (talk) 15:19, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

With great difficulty, anyway, part has been merged. However the CASEVAC seems to be an issue. Invariably a book about the Avro Vulcan is going to overlap with information already in the article. It also seems that a unique part of the book were or are the photographs. This isn’t surprising as the author is known for unique photographs in his books and is a very good historian, but that is hardly helpful in this article.--BSTemple (talk) 16:00, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree! It is like merging articles on Hippopotamus and Potato! I think since the book is already a reference in this article that I consider the job already done. - Ahunt (talk) 16:57, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Not sure we should add information from a novel to a factual article I presume nobody at the deletion debate thought to ask here. I am not sure that any of it has to be added here as most of it appears to be unreliable and unsourced. MilborneOne (talk) 19:48, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
No it was not a novel, and knowing the author it would be reliable and very well researched. But that is not the issue. I've redirected the page to the Avro Vulcan. The book has been used as a source and also part used on the page about the author. Just remaining ... The Vucan as a CASEVAC. I would still like to have used this, but other Editors would not. --BSTemple (talk) 19:58, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
No doubt the Halpenny is a good historian and author but I still dont think it is a reliable source in wikipedia terms does the book have sources and references. It just appears to be a big effort to promote a new novel by adding as many references as possible. MilborneOne (talk) 20:18, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


It appears that every move of XH558 is notable and needs to be included is it time the fine old lady had an article of her own as this article is a bit unbalanced as more and more information about her is added. Any thoughts MilborneOne (talk) 11:30, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with MilborneOne. Restoration of XH558 has proved successful and it will continue to generate news that is almost independent of the Avro Vulcan aircraft type. I would be in favour of a new article, possibly called Restoration of Avro Vulcan XH558. Dolphin51 (talk) 11:54, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I am also in favour of a new article about XH558 as it will no doubt make further news, and it would be interesting to have more detail on its story. Poltair (talk) 12:05, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I also support XH558 as a separate article. It's notable as a Vulcan example, it's equally notable as a major resto. project in the museum space. I think I'd keep the name simple though, maybe Avro Vulcan XH558.
I'd even be well-inclined towards a separate article on the survivors in general (see my user page for some notes and Google Maps links.)
Andy Dingley (talk) 12:08, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree - it should be split into a separate article. The aircraft is noteworthy on its own, but it is starting to overwhelm the history of the whole type in this article. - Ahunt (talk) 12:16, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

New article Avro Vulcan XH558 created - could do with a tidy up and some of her early RAF history added. MilborneOne (talk) 20:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks MilborneOne. This is a good arrangement. The new article looks very good. Dolphin51 (talk) 22:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Although it is mentioned in the following paragraph (with a link to its own article), XH558 isn't in the list of survivors. Am I the only one to consider this a paradox? --TraceyR (talk) 09:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I have tweaked the heading to the alternate Aircraft on display and raised the XH558 to its own para, hope that looks better. MilborneOne (talk) 17:25, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Perfect! --TraceyR (talk) 18:06, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Comments on the Avro Vulcan revisions

Please see clarification: here FWiW, the other article in which I had a not-too-delightful experience, was the Avro Canada CF-103. Bzuk (talk) 17:29, 28 August 2010 (UTC).

I remember a similar experience, when Concorde was auto-failed for having too many flaws in the reviewer's eyes to be fixed within seven days, in spite of the fact I fixed them all and took the message to heart in my editing sweeps of the page within three days. Naturally, it did gets its GA one month later. But I do see the process sometimes as pointless, unless you get a talkative and intensive reviewer, who really tells you what is right and wrong in long prose and discussions, like there was on the B-1 Lancer for instance, then it isn't as good, because real benifits come from real engagement and involvement, the reviewer should become involved in the article and be interested by it. A long post, but I'm glad the poor experience you've had wasn't at my hands, I am not a well behaved editor at times, but I do reflect and regret things when I get them wrong, leaving someone else disheartened is very harsh, not the type of intensity I want to be emitting and spreading at all. Thanks for talking about it with me. Kyteto (talk) 17:55, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
As to the Vulcan revisions, you have chosen some style guide that does not correspond with either a Harvard citation or other style that I recognize as well, the template introduces errors in formatting. Likewise, the APA template style chosen for the bibliography has a number of errors in it. I do not understand the predilection for rewriting citations that are correctly formatted by replacing them with templates that are not, or that have errors. Just one thing that drives me batty is the use of templates to replace correctly formatted citations and bibliographies. That was never the intention of templates which was merely an aid for those editors unfamiliar with or unable to provide reference sourcing through "scratch editing." If you wanted to do one thing to improve the referencing- look at any of the bibliographical notations and try to correct the numerous errors of omission and formatting. Start with the simple precept that titles are written in "title" form not sentence form. Due to my "wanting" to start all over, I respectfully will not participate in the rewriting of the article and wait until the process of review is finished. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 21:38, 28 August 2010 (UTC).
I'm sorry to hear the style of the article's citation is disagreed upon. What I was doing was keeping the references written consistantly, in this case consistantly wrong, and I have done some twaeking and a little bit of reading, it doesn't appear to be excessively out of line as the standard information sought in citations is included. Sometimes it is impossible to complete some citations 'properly' as the information simply isn't there, but that isn't the case with most. I'll keep tuning the titles for now, lets see what comes up. Kyteto (talk) 19:08, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
You have to remember that most of this "guff" is coming from a reference librarian with 30 years+ in the trenches, as well as a lengthy stint as an editor for publishing houses as well as being an author of 10 books. The titles have now been correctly written but if you are following a consistent: "Author, Title, Place of publishing, Publisher, Date (ISBN is entirely an aberration of Wikiworld)" style whether MLA, Chicago or even the quasi-APA style guide which the templates are using, then you are still missing information. The reason I abhor the templates is that whoever wrote them has introduced their own version of a bibliographic style guide which does not correspond exactly to any that are already in use but closest to APA, but with numerous errors built in. FWiW, if you want to use a consistent style which uses a templated MLA guide (the common style guide for the social studies), I will refer you to the SNCASE Armagnac article for an example. Bzuk (talk) 23:04, 29 August 2010 (UTC).
As to the templated Harvard citation style you have chosen, how about using: Brookes and Davey 2009, p. 9. instead of Brookes; Davey (2009). p. 9.  Missing or empty |title= (help)</ref>, the {Harvnb} which at least formats properly into a Harvard citation. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 00:09, 30 August 2010 (UTC).
Now that the article has passed its GA requirements, I would like to revise the referencing to correct multiple errors, most of them imbedded in the cite templates that were used. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 12:50, 19 October 2010 (UTC).
I tried multiple times to get {Harvnb} to activate and operate, I don't know how. I need to see a working example to understand how to lay out the code, because my trial and error methods are both unproductive and ineffective at generating the result desired. If you wish, you can impliment the coee yourself, that was I can at least see how it works and then help you adopt it across the article. Kyteto (talk) 12:56, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Please take the following comment as constructive criticism not "carping." I have been slowly laying out the parameters of a Referencing 101 primer for you in various edit comments. I come by this knowledge by dint of 30+ years as a reference librarian and for neophytes to attempt to master the vagaries of bibliographic notation, it is almost an impossible task, and that is why templates have been used for decades in cataloging. However, these templates were scrupulously developed and contain none of the multiple errors in the Wikipedia citation templates. I have tried for years to get the developers to make a stab at dealing with the formatting errors. The response was a steadfast refusal to even discuss the issue.

In a few words, the issues are:

  1. Cite templates are presently incorrectly formatted and have "bugs" that were never addressed properly by their designers.
  2. Cite templates were intended for neophytes and newcomers (certainly not you!) to have a bibliographic and referencing tool that would make references available.
  3. Cite templates were written in the simplified American Psychiatric Association (APA) style guide that was intended for short-cut editing and does not allow for multiple authors, changes in publication date/location or non-print media.
  4. Cite templates were never recommended, nor approved for use in Wikipedia, but were offered as an alternative means of referencing.
  5. Once a referencing style is in use and accepted as it was in this article, it is contingent on all other editors to maintain and follow that style guide consistently. It is a difficult thing to "mix" style guides for editing purposes and it is recommenced to establish a style guide, which was done and stick with it, unless there is an overwhelming reason to change to another style.
  6. The old canard that cite templates produced meta data that would be somehow in the future, melted into the templating systems to come is long discarded.

Please contact me for more information on the @%$#*# cite templates which I tried fruitlessly years ago to have their developers revise into the more standard publishing format of the Modern Language Association (MLA) style guide, most often used in the referencing of biographies, histories (aircraft profiles such as the Bristol Britannia) and social sciences. I established the MLA style guide for the bibliographic notations of the Bristol Britannia article so that further submissions would have a consistent style guide to follow. The actual cites themselves are written in Harvard Citation style of "author(s) (last name only) date (most recent publishing date), page accession format."

BTW, I can rewrite the cite templates into proper formatting, but it takes so much editing that it isn't worth it, so I find that writing in text is the easiest and most efficient solution: simple, identify all the key elements of the reference notation: author, title, publisher, date. FWiW, I really appreciate your efforts to append and revise significant aviation articles and consider myself "in your corner." Bzuk (talk) 14:33, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Can I just clarify that in your edit summary for this diff "multiple errors identified" refers to your opinion of the reference and citation formatting rather than material errors with the article itself (as I first read it).GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:35, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
The article itself is well written and researched, but when I had first identified the errors in formatting, it was in the midst of editing related to reaching a GA status. I was afraid that if I began to make revisions during the editing that it would hinder or slow down the review of the article, which again, I feel is worthy in terms of content. I do have some additional resources that might be used but essentially, the article stands up very well as a type account. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 17:04, 27 October 2010 (UTC).

"sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan"

Just an explaination on the talk page on this issue: the phrase Hawker Siddeley Vulcan is less commonly used today, the Avro Vulcan name is earlier and certainly more well known. However, some official sources use the former name, such as the RAF Cosford Museum's own website,(which is already a listed ref), the name is also included in 'Jane's all the world's aircraft' in 1967, and in this article in Flight International in 1969. I've even seen period posters of Hawker Siddeley promoting their company with images of the Vulcan with this name bourne below. Certainly Avro Vulcan should be the name of the article, but the alternative and lesser used name is historically and formally accurate, in lesser circulation, and officially made use of. A brief mention in the introduction, so that somebody confused as to if the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan may have been a different aircraft entirely, seems justified. Kyteto (talk) 00:23, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

The Vulcan later became a Hawker Siddeley aeroplane as did the Blackburn Buccaneer. Similarly, the English Electric Lightning later became the BAC Lightning. Strangely, I've never heard of the English Electric Canberra being referred-to as the 'BAC Canberra', although technically, for a time it was. As regards the Vulcan, I would go by who designed the aircraft and whether it entered service under that name (which it did), but then again I've seen old Flight International advertisements for Hawker Siddeley from the 1960s-70s promoting the Vulcan, so I suppose it depends on what period one is mentioning and under which name it is better known. The same goes for the Avro 748 - although most were made after it had become Hawker Siddeley and it is probably better known as the Hawker Siddeley 748. Leaving the article as it is, with the statement in the opening para that it was later made by HS is probably best - after all, it was. But it was Avro that designed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree entirely, Avor is the primary name the article should bare, they designed, developed, and got the Vulcan into operation, and produced most of them too. They're the primary historically and popularly recognised name too, so it should stick. My response was on somebody removing the "also known as" line from the introduction, as popular period alternative names should get mentioned, and the HS name is an officially used secondary name, though less popular it doesn't deserve to be removed (else uninformed people might think two seperate companies had two seperate planes by the same name, Vulcan; which wouldn't be the first time [the Lightening name is bad for this!]). Hence why I readded it and then justified my action here. Kyteto (talk) 00:17, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
It was I who removed that comment. I have since found a few references to the HS Vulcan, so I was perhaps a little hasty! Good point aboutthe multiple use of the same name as per Lightning! Thanks for the clarification above. regards, Lynbarn (talk) 00:36, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Dispersed sites

I have added a bit about the dispersed sites used for the Vulcan but it needs some refs, anybody have anything that can be used to expand as it was an important aspect of Vulcan operations. Laming has a list of 26 airfields but it is not clear if they were all used for Vulcans, I do remember being on a sleepy flying training base somewhere in England one night when four vulcans suddenly appeared from nowhere! so I know at least one of them is OK from original research. MilborneOne (talk) 21:30, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

A teeny bit of information has been added by me, not really significant though. Kyteto (talk) 01:51, 17 May 2011 (UTC)


Added a breif about the RNZAF painting NZ roundels on a Vulcan they repaired - don't know if this is that interresting for others, I quite liked the story. Also, not sure whether the roundels were the modern Kiwi type, or a silver fern in red centre variety, (the Ohakea museum has a note asking for a photo of the repainted aircraft). Winstonwolfe 05:40, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I remember it coming back to us, but I don't remember any NZ roundels. Perhaps they got told to take them off again Chevin 08:44, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Sadly I have removed this story in recent days. I enjoyed it, but it needed validation of where the story came from, a valid source listed. I couldn't uncover one, so it was cut. Kyteto (talk) 22:30, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
It is a good story and probably true. Even a photo of the aircraft so marked would be a worthwhile source, if one could be found. - Ahunt (talk) 23:27, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
This is a Vulcan legend that happens to be true. It happenned to XH562 in 1972 though was nothing to do with a RNZAF repair. No doubt confused with repair to XH498 at Ohakea in 1959 which I believe was done by a contractor's working party. Photo and details at . XJ784 (talk) 10:09, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Still not really a reliable source per WP policies. - BilCat (talk) 10:43, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
It's certainly true as I know one of the guys who brought it back from NZ. Nevertheless, this is just one of numerous incidents which could fill volumes and is not really relevant to WP. Just happy to link to the image as requested. XJ784 (talk) 14:28, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

List of losses

XA897 October 1, 1956 Heathrow. Crashed on approach

VX770 September 20, 1958 Syerston. Structural failure

XA908 October 24, 1958 Michigan. USA Electrical failure

XA891 July 24, 1959 Near Hull. Electrical failure

XA894 December 3, 1962 Patchway. Ground fire

XH477 December 12, 1963 Scotland. Not known

XH535 May 11, 1964 Near Andover. Not known

XA909 July 16, 1964 Anglesey. Engine explosion

XM601 October 7, 1964 Coningsby. Crashed on landing

XM576 May 25, 1965 Scampton. Crash-landed

XM536 February 11,1966 Wales. Crashed on TFR trial

XL385 April 6, 1967 Scampton. Ground fire

XM604 January 30, 1968 Cottesmore. Engine failure, loss of control

XM610 January 8, 1971 Wingate. Engine bay fire

XJ781 May 23, 1973 Shiraz, Iran. Crash-landed

XM645 October 14, 1975 Zabbar, Malta Explosion

XM600 January 17, 1977 Near Spilsby. Engine bay fire

XL390 August 12, 1978 Glenview, USA. Crashed during air display

--palmiped |  Talk 

Do you have a point most of them are already in the article. MilborneOne (talk) 19:23, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
No --palmiped |  Talk  21:34, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Is there any reason why B1A XA904 is excluded? It crash-landed at Waddington 1 Mar 1961. Though not totally destroyed, it was damaged enough to be beyond economic repair. The cabin was saved as 7738M and used as a crew escape trainer. In a similar fashion, B2 XH556 was never repaired after its landing gear collapsed on start-up at Finningley on 19 Apr 1966. Since the section is titled 'Accidents and Incidents' then the 1959 incident to B1 XH498 at Auckland, subsequent crash landing at Ohakea, and repair deserves mention. Also the incident to VX777 at Farnborough on 27 July 1954. Also B1 XA894 destroyed in a fire at Filton 3 Dec 1962 (mentioned above). XJ784 (talk) 12:06, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Are XA904, XH556 and XA894 incidents of particular note? Where they due to particular problems with the Vulcan? Did anything change as a result of these accidents? GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:17, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
In the case of 904, new operating procedures were introduced concerning minimum landing fuel -- in my day (mid 70's) this was 10000lb which I understand had been increased from 8000lb. The 894 incident is properly related to the development of the engine to power the TSR2 but suggest that any accident or incident that led to any Vulcan being written off or struck off charge may be of note. Certainly you have to draw a line. XJ784 (talk) 13:51, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Leading vs. trailing edge typo?

The article currently contains a couple of description including the phrase "straight leading edge". I am guessing that these are just typos because most of the photos show planes with straight *trailing edges* and strongly swept leading edges. I'm no expert so I don't want to simply change it but if someone more familiar with these planes would address this, I would appreciate it. Cutelyaware (talk) 04:03, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Two prototype Vulcans (called model B.1) had truly straight leading edges. See the photograph of prototype "VX770 in 1954", and the photograph of the two prototypes accompanied by four Avro 707 research aircraft. Testing of these prototypes disclosed some undesirable aerodynamic effects that necessitated a fix. The results were various extensions to the aerofoil near the leading edge, causing the leading edge to lose its truly straight line and acquire a slightly kinked appearance. Read Avro Vulcan#Development and see any of the photographs of the production Vulcans. Dolphin (t) 04:26, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Swept can also be straight. IIRC the pre-production models had more of a pure delta with a simple straight swept leading edge, and the later planes had a kink in it, no? --John (talk) 04:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
A 'straight leading edge' is different to a 'straight wing' and describing the early Vulcan design as being a delta with a straight leading edge is accurate. There were three 'phases' of wing: (a) the original with the straight leading edge, (b) the B1 wing with a moderate leading edge kink, and (c) the B2 wing which was thinner and had the more-pronounced leading edge kink. At least two B1s first flew with straight leading edges before being retrofitted with the kinked leading edge - it was not a major rebuild. The second prototype flew with all three profiles during its life. The first prototype retained its original straight leading edge. XJ784 (talk) 11:58, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The 'kinked' leading edge was designed to eliminate buffeting during turns at high subsonic/transonic Mach numbers at high altitude, i.e., when the aeroplane was near its Critical Mach number. They also had the additional beneficial effect of increasing the usable service ceiling.
Due to the high altitudes that the B.35/46 designs were intended to fly at the reduction of the speed of sound with altitude became an important factor, resulting in designs that needed to be, in effect, almost transonic ones, despite the maximum airspeeds being only in the 550-600kts region - at high altitudes the Vulcan and Victor could reach their airframe Critical Mach numbers quite easily if power was increased and the pilots weren't paying attention to their Mach meters.
The unusual design of these two aeroplanes was a result of this need to fly at almost their Critical Mach numbers for much of their intended missions, as at 50,000ft Mach 1 is roughly 574 kts.

B2A and other legends

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend!" Having flown the beast, albeit in the 1970s, I never came across reference to a Vulcan B2A. I have subsequently visited the National Archive, nosed my way through countless APs, had it on good authority from Woodford, even searched Flight's amazing archive, etc etc and not a mention of a Vulcan B2A. There was a period when the fleet was split when files sometimes annotated 'B2(BS)' or 'B2(FF)', possibly for clarity, but never 'B2A'.

If anyone can produce any evidence that the B2A actually existed, please could you point to it. I do not mean any retrospective book or web site but an official or reliable document of the period. Cheers. XJ784 (talk) 18:11, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

The Vulcan Story (2002) by Tim Laming makes no mention of B.2A, in the production list it just mentions if the aircraft were modified as "Blue Steel modifications". Other production lists I have seen make no mention of B.2A. I also note that the Blue Steel aircraft also had 201 and 301 engines - the article implies they were all Olympus 301 powered! MilborneOne (talk) 19:05, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we've hit the WP:Verifiability, not truth conundrum. GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:25, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I really don't know how this myth started but it only takes one... The debate was made on PPRUNE some years ago and nobody who had actually flown a Vulcan had ever logged a B2A. The article regrettably has a number of "verified" myths which may become the de facto truth. In no particular order:
  • 'full' tail unit
  • fortuitously stealthy (!)
  • used TFR developed for F-111
  • low-level tactical support in support of NATO ground forces (!)
  • implication that VX770 was a test-bed for AS Sapphire
  • B1 armament spec includes Blue Steel. No mention of the US Mk-5 weapon supplied under Project E (24 at Waddington). YS2 yield incorrect.
  • B2 (BS) could be loaded with gravity bombs
XJ784 (talk) 13:19, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The B2A designation (for the Olympus 301 powered aircraft) is quoted by a few normally good reliable sources, such as the Putnam Avro Aircraft since 1908 and Bill Gunston's series of articles on the Vulcan in Aeroplane monthly, for example, but other, more recent sources don't use it (and Laming explicitly states that the B2A designation was not official). Perhaps the solution is to add a note saying that the designation B2A was somtimes used for Olympus 301 powered aircraft, but that it was not official.
For the Blue Steel armed B1 (which only appears in the specs) - I don't know where that came from. The closest to a source saying that I can find is that Avros expected an order to convert some of the B1As to carry Blue Steel, which never came. I think its reasonable to remove Blue Steel from the specs and to possibly add something to the text that fitting BS to the B1As was considered but never happened. Thoughts?Nigel Ish (talk) 17:02, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I have Avro's 1957 brochure for the B1.BS which is interesting. Trouble is that if you give space to every sensible to madcap idea proposed, you would need another page! I have amended the armament specs. With respect to the elusive B2A, if the definition was used albeit unofficially by the producers or users, then there exists a case to mention it. But if it's a later invention, then I would drop it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by XJ784 (talkcontribs) 13:00, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Unless authors Andrew Brookes and Chris Davey have got their facts wrong, and I have no good reason to disbelieve them, then the statement that the Vulcan used a TFR unit developed for the F-111 is entirely correctly. Is there any basis for slamming it as a myth? Kyteto (talk) 00:27, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
While the TFRs brought for the Mk 2 Vulcans and Victors do seem to have been made by General Dynamics, none of the sources I have say it was the same unit as used by the F-111. One differnce was that the V-bombers had no automatic terrain following function, instead the pilots had were given "up" and "down" signals, and flew the aircraft manually.Nigel Ish (talk) 10:17, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't the same TFR that was used in the F-111, however it had been developed specifically for the F-111 and got sidelined for a different unit, according to the source; this lack of appearence on the finished product perhaps explains the inferiority. Kyteto (talk) 10:50, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
The Vulcan TFR was ARI 5959 see [3]. I have found one reference equating ARI 5959 to the General Dynamics AN/APN-170. According to a very good document on TFR [4], the AN/APN-170 was developed for the A-4 [in a pod?], the B-52 and the B-58. The last was built by Convair which became GD. Compared with the TI TFR as used in the F-111A, the Vulcan's TFR fit was of an earlier generation (we were made aware of its shortcomings at Ground School) and the idea of F-111s roaring around with the Vulcan's TFR does not ring true. The article can be interpreted to read as if both aircraft had the same unit. While doubt exists, it's probably best to drop the reference. Otherwise, the next thing we will read is that the Vulcan had the same TFR as the F-111. XJ784 (talk) 10:35, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Some comments

Per the request for comments at WT:MILHIST, I'd like to offer the following suggestions for ways to improve this very good quality article:

  • There should be some information on how this plane came about at the start of the 'Origins' section (eg, the requirement it was intended to fill, the strategic situation for the UK at the time, etc).
  • The first sentence in the 'Introduction' section is over-long and a bit confusing. The rest of this section would benefit from a copy edit.
  • Single Integrated Operational Plan should be linked
  • "the Vulcan bombers adopted a high-low-high mission profile using a rapidly introduced parachute-retarded "laydown" bomb" - "high-low-high mission profile" and "laydown bomb" should be translated out of technical language.
  • The article should note the permanent deployment of Vulcans to Cyprus as well as the occasional deployments to Singapore and Malaysia. There was a real prospect that Vulcans would be committed to combat against Indonesia at at least one point in the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, and Britain had promised to provide nuclear-armed Vulcans to a major war in the region as part of its SEATO commitments
  • The number of external links seems excessive Nick-D (talk) 11:32, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Re external links - I've removed most of the video links and added the 1958 Flight article with the annotated cutaway - seemed like a fair swap.GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Re lede. Although it mentions the use of a test aircraft for the delta planform it doesn't put the Vulcan in perspective with the other V-bombers as the "riskiest" of the three designs for the same job. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:20, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Re introduction. I have suggested rework of the introduction, deleting mention of the 'B2A' but including the B1A. Having deleted the 'B2A', I am also suggesting an additional section. See and comment on my user page. XJ784 (talk) 14:27, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The intro is improved but the last para contains: The Vulcan lacked defensive weaponry, instead it relied on electronic countermeasures based in the tail and a low radar cross section (for its size) to make the aircraft difficult to track and therefore intercept. The B.2 featured more powerful engines, a larger wing with a greater fuel capacity, and more advanced ECM and radar systems; many were subsiquently modified to accept the Blue Steel missile.
  • The Vulcan initially relied on speed and altitude to avoid interception. ECM came later. I can find no citation in the related Design section that supports the claim that ECM and a low radar cross section made the aircraft difficult to track. All the New Scientist reference says is that the Vulcan could 'virtually vanish' at certain angles - hardly a feature to be relied upon. (There is nothing in the reference that the Vulcan was 'fortuitously stealthy' as is claimed in the Design section.) btw, I don't ever recall being told that we had 'virtually vanished'.
  • The additional fuel in the B.2 wing compared to the B.1 was 10 gallons and not material.
  • The B.2 ECM was no more advanced when it came into service than the B.1A as both entered service concurrently. Later the B.2 ECM was improved.
  • The main H2S radar was the same though Red Steer Mk2 tail-warning radar and TFR came later.
  • The aircraft modified to enable the carraige of Blue Steel were modified during production. Changing the role of these aircraft between free fall and Blue Steel was designed to be achieved at station level.
Citations on request. — Preceding unsigned comment added by XJ784 (talkcontribs) 11:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
There is now the statement in the nuclear deterrent section that "Only the Valiant carried U.S. nuclear and thermonuclear bombs assigned to NATO under the dual-key arrangements." - This seems a little confusing as the previous paragraph talks about the US owned Mk 5 fission bombs. In addition are we sure that Vulcans never got the capability of carrying US Mk 28s or later weapons when they took on the SACEUR theatre stike role?Nigel Ish (talk) 22:01, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, the whole notion of Mk 5s with the RAF doesn't seem credible anyway, as the dates don't work. Andy Dingley (talk) 22:14, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Apparently (according to the Andy Lietch Air Enthusiast reference, 72 Mk 5 bombs were supplied under Project E to the UK from 1957, with 24 each at Waddington, Honington and Marham, with if necessary V-bombers from other bases flying in to Waddington to bomb up. They were withdrawn from Honigton and Waddigton in July 1961 and April 1962, remaining in use at Marham by the SACEUR dedicated Valiants (although these were replaced by Mk 28s and Mk 43s.Nigel Ish (talk) 22:27, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Compare the claimed RAF service dates with the US withdrawal dates. Early nukes of this vintage were thoroughly disliked by the Pentagon (too unreliable, too much consumption of fissile resources, too little security) so they were withdrawn rapidly as soon as replacements were available (probably the Mk 7). Nukes aren't B-50 Washingtons -- the poor cousins might get left with the old aircraft, but you'd want those flakey old nukes back home to Amarillo ASAP. The dates claimed for this "Mk 5 on Valiants" story requires us to believe that the US kept them in service to the end just for UK service. Long after they had been withdrawn from service with the US, the RAF was using them. The final withdrawal from stockpile (i.e. dismantling) was within a month of this claim that they were still flying with the RAF. This isn't impossible, but it's stretching credibility sufficiently that I'd want to see really good sourcing for it.
I find Chuck Hansen far more reliable as a source on matters nuke. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:24, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Well feel free to delete this well cited info then - I give up with this article.Nigel Ish (talk) 23:37, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
You have no reply, so you go off in a huff? That's helpful. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:47, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Apparently RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces. The Stationery Office. 1996. pp. 262–263. ISBN 0 11 772833 0.  also refers to 72 Mark 5 bombs under project E - but I suppose that's rubbish as well.Nigel Ish (talk) 23:48, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Well that's a good start - thanks for noting it. Does it mention the withdrawal? I don't question the use of Mk 5s, or even their introduction date, but something doesn't fit at present between the withdrawal dates for US & UK service. Either the claimed Mk 5 dates are too late (and did the UK really never use the Mk 7, skipping straight from the 5 to the 28?) or else there's an interesting story to be told about how a US weapon type stayed in service for an additional year, just to serve the RAF. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
A letter from Gp Capt AJM Smith to Col HC Teulner, Director of Engineering Liaison USAF at Bushey Park dated 15 July 1960 stated that the Air Council had decided that Honington would hand over its Mk.5 bombs in June 1961 and that Waddington would retain the capability till the third quarter of 1962. This decision did not affect the provision of a Mk.28 capability for the SACEUR assigned Valiants of Bomber Command. (The Honington and Waddington weapons were nationally assigned.) There remained the Mk.7 capability for the Canberras of RAFG. (AIR2/13699)
This was a decision taken in 1960 and the actuality could have been different. According to Wynn, RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces, the actual withdrawal dates for the Mk.5 were July 1961 and April 1962. I see no pressing reason to dispute this as the 1960 letter certainly reflects the expectations of the weapon’s availability. According to the same file, the USAF had offered Bomber Command the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ to the Mk.15/39 but this had been turned this down. No doubt the USAF was keen to withdraw the Mk.5. The same file also shows that the RAF was not too impressed with the Mk.5 as it only had half the yield they had been expecting. Sadly, the figures are not stated.
The Mk.5 was an early strategic weapon and would not have been replaced directly by the Mk.7s which was a tactical weapon. As far as I can tell, the SACEUR Mk.5 bombs at Marham were directly replaced by the Mk.28 as implied in the letter. These were withdrawn when the Valiant went bust. There is absolutely no evidence that Mk.28 bombs were assigned to Vulcans. The Red Snow warhead in Yellow Sun 2 and Blue Steel was an Anglicised W28 warhead. The original Project E Memorandum of Understanding was indeed for Mk.5 to be assigned to Bomber Command and Mk.7 to RAFG. XJ784 (talk) 12:18, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, I have removed the ambiguity about the SACEUR Valiants. I have also removed the reference about Red Beard being prepositioned in Cyprus for Vulcan and Victor use. Whilst Red Beard was in Cyprus, it had three Canberra Squadrons assigned at RAF Akrotiti to carry it. The Canberras were replaced by two resident squadrons of Vulcans. XJ784 (talk) 13:04, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
What's the difference between a "strategic" and a "tactical" weapon anyway, when we're talking this far back in history? Mk5 would probably be counted as strategic (there being little else that was "more strategic", yet it had a yield that was less than some later tactical nukes. Does "strategic" at this time simply mean "too big to be used from tactical aircraft"? At this time, before the Mk 28, I'd see the Mk 5 and Mk 7 as fulfilling broadly the same role and neither as yet strongly differentiated. Incidentally, what was the yield for the UK-deployed mods?
There's also the question of high-speed carriage and dropping from an internal bomb bay. The US tried this with the Mk 5 on a B47 and failed. Did it simply work better with the Valiant? The Valiant had, AFAIR, a deployable perforated bomb shield ahead of the bay doors. Or is the US' holidng of a near-useless reserve stock of weapons they couldn't deploy from their front-line aircraft one of the reasons why they were willing to lend this particular weapon to the RAF? Andy Dingley (talk) 16:44, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
A couple of minor notes on operational history:
  • Should "maritime use" go before "conventional"? While conventional use was planned earlier, it never really happened until 1982, and this lets the section end with Black Buck then refuelling, which seems to flow better.
  • Was the Vulcan force already planned to be withdrawn from service before the Falklands happened? The article implies it was, but is a little unclear as to causation. Did this withdrawal cover both the maritime and tactical nuclear roles, or had maritime patrol already stopped?
Otherwise, as usual, an excellent piece! Shimgray | talk | 14:00, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
It depends what you mean by 'operational'. If asked the period the Vulcan was operational for, I would say 1956 to 1984. If asked what 'operations' did the Vulcan fly, I would answer 'Black Buck' and, after some thought, 'Tasman Flight' (1956). So I would imagine that 'operational' should be used in its wider sense, including training. To answer your questions, the answer to the first is 'yes'; the airframes were running out of fatigue life. Some Squadrons disbanded before the Falklands. 27 Sqn, the MRR one, disbanded in 1983, after the Falklands. XJ784 (talk) 17:34, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Further development

Text says: ... however the U.S. would cancel Skybolt's development.[35] Alternative missile systems were studied, including an accompanying six-engined Vulcan;[36] however Avro became more interested in developing a new bomber designed specifically for low level flying, the Avro 721, a smaller and more advanced aircraft that built on Avro's extensive experience with delta wings,[37] and later the Avro 730, a Mach 2.5 supersonic high altitude reconnaisance/bomber aircraft.[38]

This is rewriting our heritage. Skybolt was cancelled in 1962. The 721 was announced in 1952. The Avro 730 was announced in 1955 and cancelled in 1957! XJ784 (talk) 16:02, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

What is needed is the correct order of the various proposals - particularly the variant with honeycomb wing structure and the "accompanying six engined Vulcan?" - those two are unknown to me, and it is unclear what is meant by "Alternative missile systems" - is that Blue Steel 2 or something else, or one of the ideas which were desperately floated after Skybolt was abandoned?Nigel Ish (talk) 17:47, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
My apologies then. The book was marvellously obscure on dates, and I assumed the order it had put things in, would be the order they had happened. I wasn't intentionally trying to rewrite our heritage, it was a honest mistake. I'm sorry, please don't react so viciously against it. I'm doing my best. I'm trying hard, I working away trying to read up dozens of books to improve the article. If I make a mistake only 5% of the time over hundreds of edits, that's still quite a few mistakes. I'm not doing it intentionally, . There's not need to condemn me so harshly, just pointing out that this is mistaken would have been enough. I'll work on it when I get the time, right now you've shaken me up pretty badly, and I'm in no state to edit now. Kyteto (talk) 15:12, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely no offence is intended and I would not want to spoil your weekend or curb your enthusiam. There are no accusations of any deliberate attempt to rewrite history. Many books are vague and some have loads of errors. It is just too easy to incorporate these errors in WP. Just because something can be referenced, it does not mean it is accurate. WP has a sadly-deserved bad reputation for accuracy and it is vital that mistakes are weeded out before incorporation. I would suggest that unless you are correcting a minor error or are 100% sure of your facts and that they are relevent, then put your proposed changes on this page or your user page for comment. My feeling is that there were so many proposed Vulcan developments, the subject deserves a page of its own. XJ784 (talk) 17:59, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Prototype section

The article described the Avro 707 as a 'scale prototype' of the Vulcan. Technically, it was a 'scale model'. The first and only 707 was the 707 prototype. I have therefore added a section on the 707 before the Prototype section. Both sections are expanded and all new citations come from Blackman or Laming. I have retained the reference to a youtube video of a 'Vulcan rolling at Farnborough' though have changed the youtube video to the correct 1955 sequence The old sequence was similar to which clearly shows a white B2. XJ784 (talk) 18:21, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

ECM, chaff and flares

Did Vulcans carry a flare system against IR-seeking AA missiles? Any details?

I don't recall one, but the big manuals aren't on a handy bookshelf, so I can't dig them out to check. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:06, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes. IIRC IRDs (infra-red decoys) stored in a modified Window box. XJ784 (talk) 18:12, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

A-class review that was not really started

This Aviation A-class review was initially started and then cleared a couple months ago. I've tagged it for speedy deletion. If someone wants to start the review, just remove the tag and add a nomination rationale. Thanks. -Fnlayson (talk) 18:21, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Nevermind on that. It was deleted just after I posted this message. -Fnlayson (talk) 18:23, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
There's also a currently open Milhist A-class review on it at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Avro Vulcan (which I really must get back to commenting on...) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 18:42, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, the level of activity to the nomination was considerably less than expected, I did what I could to respond to what there was. Kyteto (talk) 17:58, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Tailless or not

In aeronautics, the term "tailless" indicates an aeroplane lacking any horizontal stabiliser (back or front). It makes no reference to any vertical stabiliser. The Vulcan is a tailless design in the proser sense. -- Steelpillow 21:28, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry in aeronautics tailless refers to both vertical and horiontal surfaces, the B-2 is tailless the Vulcan is not and has never been refered to as tailless. I will remove the cat back and put the article back to as was. MilborneOne 21:32, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Think about it. The term "tailless delta" is widely used (not opinion, fact - google it if you don't beileve me). Delta-winged craft without vertical fins are very rare. The term "tailless delta" refers to a delta-winged craft with no horizontal stabiliser, with or without a fin. If you still do not believe me, then we need some sort of arbitration. -- Steelpillow 21:36, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but you are using a tailless cat not a tailless delta cat, the article already has a delta wing cat. MilborneOne 21:43, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, a tailless delta is both a delta and tailless, right? The alternative would be to create a 'Tailless delta' cat, but that would lead on to endless combination cats such as 'tailless cropped delta', 'tailless swept wing', 'canard delta', 'canard swept wing', 'canard straight wing' and on and on and on. I feel it best to just plonk each page in the relevant basic cats. But I guess this is the wrong place for such a discussion. -- Steelpillow 22:04, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
In the UK 'tailless' always referred to a lack of tailplane, most of the so-called designs such as the Me 163, DH 108 and the Vulcan were described as-such although they all had a fin and rudder. The presence of a fin/rudder has nothing to do with an aircraft being 'tailed'. The Vulcan was properly described as a 'tailless delta'. The Gloster Javelin used a delta wing but also had a tailplane, so unlike the Vulcan, it wasn't 'tailless'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Quite so. Though not always reliable, the WP entries for tailless aircraft and the delta wing both acknowledge the Vulcan as a "tailed delta". Perhaps entirely reliable is the testimony of Mr JAR Kay MRAeS, a director of A V Roe who wrote in 1955, "The concern of this article, however, is the choice of the tailless delta for a high altitude bomber, the Avro Vulcan." (Reproduced Laming p 14.) To read in para 2 of "Development" that the Vulcan has a "full tail" suggests the Vulcan has a tailplane or empannage, which it does not. It is true that types exist that have no fin such as the X-36 which have been described as "tailless" but that usage does not overwrite a description that has been around for 60-odd years. A "tailed delta" is a design that happens to have both a delta wing and a tailplane, eg the MiG-21. XJ784 (talk) 17:42, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, the Pilot's Notes to the Avro 707A reads: "The Avro 707A is [] designed primarily for research into the control and stability characteristics of the tail-less aircraft of delta planform." Is this statement disputed? XJ784 (talk) 13:56, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
There's an interesting programme about the Avro Vulcan here on YouTube [5] that some of you might find useful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Rockin' n' Rollin'

As someone was kind enough to relate that the Vulcan could be rolled in the Boeing 367 article, just reciprocated and added the info on the 707 prototype's roll to this article. Cheers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry I have removed it cant see mention of a foreign airliner being rolled has any relevance to the Vulcan. MilborneOne (talk) 08:39, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
The point anyway is not that it could be rolled (see List of surprisingly large aircraft that have been rolled), but that Roly Folk managed to do so having barely cleared the wheels off the tarmac. Probably whilst wearing a three-piece suit too. It says more about the engine power available than about the airframe alone. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:54, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry but I put it back, the same could be claimed about mentioning the Vulcan in the context of the Boeing 367. Surely, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:03, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I was going to remove it again, but somebody else beat me to it! It isn't relevant here, and I'm not sure the Vulccan reference on the Boeing 367 article is really relevant either. Regards, Lynbarn (talk) 22:32, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Entering into an editwar over minor issues is also not a good choice. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 03:17, 11 March 2011 (UTC).
Good, then I reentered it so that the information in both articles is now consistent. - —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Reentered it again - if it is vandalism to remove it from the 367 article, why isn't it vandalism to remove the identical information from this one? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:19, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
You behaviour now is aiming straight for a block for edit warring.
I'm sorry if you're offended by its inclusion under the Dash 80. I haven't seen that, wouldn't support the Vulcan's addition there. However repeated re-adding of disputed content like this is not how we do things. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:29, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
The context between the two articles is unequal. In one, there is a large section devoted to discussing the barrel roll, I guess it felt pertinant to mention that another large four engined jet aircraft had already pulled off that stunt earlier on, the Vulcan. However, here we do not have a section on The Barrel Roll incident, and it is mentioned in passing as a prt of the wider Development information. In this context, excessive information on Barrel Rolls hardly seems justfied, it is trivia, and dozens if not hundreds of jet aircraft have performed this stunt since the Vulcan did it, but just like nobody remembers what Buzz Aldren said when he stepped on the moon because he was second rather than first, it loses it's significance as it is no longer unique or a world-first, just a repetition of something braver, earlier men did beforehand. The comment certainly doesn't belong here, it doesn't fit in with the narritive of the section at all. Kyteto (talk) 13:29, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely agree with both Andy and K's reasoning and the fact that we have a troll on a mission, makes this whole issue irrelevant and destructive. Making a WP:Point by disrupting two articles and dragging in a legion of other editors is positively nonproductive- go write an article instead! Bzuk (talk) 14:46, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
And now we have the worst of both worlds, where an already poor article on the Vulcan goes further down the toilet, by presenting the Vulcan's roll as just a copy of the Dash 80s, when the reality was anything but. Way to go. 8-( Andy Dingley (talk) 16:26, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
It does appear that the consensus of 4/5 editors to remove the reference has been overruled. I didn't think the article was that poor though, I did put quite work work into refurbishing it as best I could with what I had available. Kyteto (talk) 17:39, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
What's included isn't too bad, but there's so much that's missing. Engines / thrust development over time and the impact on performance. The real B1/B2 performance differences. Describing Black Buck One as aborting due to a pressurization failure. The Vne and whether it was supersonic or not (and why). Avionics, crew & crew roles. It doesn't even say how many seats there were. There's still a lot wrong with this article. 18:15, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Am I considered the 5th or 6th editor? I'm certainly not the IP! And I welcome a Checkuser to prove it. - BilCat (talk) 18:13, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
The addition has been challenged and I cant see any consensus to include it, so I have removed it can we close this now. MilborneOne (talk) 17:42, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Only if you'll remove the Vulcan mention BZuk has insisted on adding to the Dash 80 article. Otherwise I will continue to raise the issue civilly. - BilCat (talk) 18:23, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of all the shenanigans that took place, this was never formally set out as a consensus issue and I was heading off the editwar that was brewing. The issue as others have framed it, is a very minor event, being crusaded by an IP with a cause. FWiw Bzuk (talk) 19:02, 11 March 2011 (UTC).
OK thats the issue closed then the Boeing article is a different issue. MilborneOne (talk) 19:34, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
By "closed" you mean the article is left with a claim that barrel rolls over-stress the airframe, supported by a ref that's an interview with a 707 pilot. I don't much care whether either article mentions rolls, or mentions the other aircraft being rolled. However if there is any mention in either, it should be a sufficiently detailed mention to actually indicate the real situation. Rolling an empty Vulcan with no bomb load and minimal fuel load was never any problem whatsoever and no _credible_ source would claim that. Rolling a 707 with long narrow wings and a design for civilian stresses only is quite another thing. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:41, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I actually asked about that last point on the Dash 80 page, but Bzuk dismissed it. I still think neither article needs to mention the other aircraft, and that the details and mention of both should be covered in the Barrel roll article. - BilCat (talk) 19:53, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Tex Johnston was told not to roll the 367-80 on the grounds that it was considered a dangerous manoeuver, although he insisted that the "barrel roll" flight was safe. No one is making any convergent points here. The SBAC according to one source was miffed that the Vulcan was flown in an "unseemly" manner but the aerobatics that the company and RAF pilots delighted in doing were put to an end because of a safety concern. Tony Blackman's article on test flying the Vulcan that appeared in Aeroplane chronicles the lengthy period of aerobatic and demonstration use of the type that was curtailed in 1958. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 21:19, 11 March 2011 (UTC).
Sorry to Andy I didnt see the Boeing reference I have been to busy adding content to the article instead! - I still dont see any need to reference the Boeing. MilborneOne (talk) 21:25, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I've looked at BZuk's latest changes to the Dash 80 article, and I'm fine with the way he addressed the issue there. I'll drop the stick now, as the horse starting to stink. :) - BilCat (talk) 21:33, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
The contention that barrel rolls were unsafe in large aircraft can be linked to the restriction that was placed on the 367-80, although the Vulcan was demonstrably able to perform the feat, eventually all low-level aerobatics with the type were banned in 1958, when a leading edge failure led to a crash. See Blackman's description of aerobatic flying in the Vulcan. Bzuk (talk) 21:37, 11 March 2011 (UTC).
Performed properly a barrel roll imposes no great additional stress on an aircraft, as when done properly the airframe only experiences more-or-less the same +G as when in straight and level flight. That's why comparatively large aircraft have been barrel rolled. Done like this it's possible to make a roll so gentle that the occupants aren't even aware of it, unless they happen to be looking out the canopy/window. The trick is to use the elevators to keep the normal +1G throughout the roll. This is why the barrel roll manoeuvre is more common than the 'proper' roll by piston-engined light aircraft without inverted fuel systems - the normal +1G should keep the fuel flowing.
BTW, I know it's often referred to as a 'barrel roll' but the Vulcan roll performed by Falk wasn't - it was a 'proper' 360-degree roll, with the aeroplane rotating about its longitudinal axis. You can see this on the video of the roll on YouTube. A 'barrel roll' possesses the rocking motion observed in a rolling (e.g. beer) barrel, with the nose and tail of the aeroplane describing opposing circular paths around the axis, hence the name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Heathrow accident

RAF aircraft were not equipped to use the Instrument Landing System installed at Heathrow and other civil airports so a Ground-controlled approach was carried out. Doesnt say so but it implies that the use of a GCA approach was a factor in the accident, do we have any evidence that a GCA approach was unusual in 1956 for civil or any aircraft in 1956, we sort of imply that everbody else was doing ILS approaches. Reports discussing the experience of the GCA controller dont appear to show it was a rare event. Perhaps we need to tweak as the GCA approach itself was not a factor, although it was probably the first done in a Vulcan in crap weather conditions. MilborneOne (talk) 18:00, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

There is a 1955 film Out of the Clouds that was largely filmed at Heathrow. It features a BOAC Stratocruiser making a GCA approach in fog. The pilot calls up for an ILS but receives a GCA. Presumably the interaction of the controller and the pilot plus the talkdown on the soundtrack were more interesting cinema than the pilot chasing needles. The GCA controllers did not sit in a darkened room in the tower but in mobile vehicles parked on the airfield. The talkdown and the aircraft instrumentation were bang on - the technical advisors were much better than usual. The talkdown was both in elevation and azimuth (ie glidepath and centreline — Precision Approach Radar) and probably higher in quality than an RAF GCA which might then have been in azimuth only (Surveillance Radar Approach) with a higher decision height, leaving it up to the controller or pilot to determine the glidepath by the distance to touchdown. There were still plenty of aircraft operating in the mid 50's out of Heathrow which may not have had ILS fitted. I recall our shiny Comet parked next to a York c 1960. Originally, the airport had 12 (if you count the reciprocals) runways. I doubt if all had ILS so GCAs may have been quite usual. I read in an old Flight that ILS was the prime aid and GCA was for standby and monitoring. The main difference for the Vulcan would be the increased approach speed. If you read the accident report, the controller received some flack for allowing the Vulcan to get below the glidepath. The result of the Board was never very satisfactory from an aircrew point of view who would say the prime cause was due to pressing on with the approach below decision height when they should have overshot and diverted. Though Howard was captain, his co-pilot was a very senior officer who was presumably anxious to get to the VIP reception. Had he been flying with the fully trained on type spare pilot, who was languishing down the back, then they might have landed quite safely or taken timely overshoot action. I don't know if XA897 was fitted with ILS at the time but the sets fitted to the B2 had IIRC 14 studded frequencies which rendered many civilian installations inoperative.
I note that amendment action on this topic has already been taken. Seems a bit premature if a topic is up for discussion and concencus but I guess appropriate because of the number of factors that contributed to the accident. Perhaps Operation Tasman Flight and its aftermath deserve a WP page of its own. Generally I would say that some of the accidents related on this page have too much trivia within. XJ784 (talk) 11:27, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
IIRC, the cause of the accident was the aircraft descending at a rate-of-descent that exceeded the capabilities of the GCA system in use at the time. In short, the lag inherent in the (manual) GCA system allowed the pilot to descend lower than he thought, as a result, the aircraft impacted the ground. Ironically, the Vulcan was later one of the first aircraft to be certified for Autoland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I should perhaps point out that with the air brakes extended a Vulcan would be capable of normal rates-of-descent much greater than any likely to have been encountered before by a civilian GCA controller more used to the relatively sedate long, shallow approaches of civilian airliners. That may have been a factor, simply landing in unfavourable conditions at an airfield unfamiliar with the characteristics of the type. I suspect the GCA controller may have been taken unawares by the higher approach speed and rate-of-descent of the Vulcan, which is understandable if he'd never had to guide one down before. Assuming this is correct, then it was probably not a good idea to try and land at an unfamiliar civilian airport under these conditions. They may have gotten away with it at an RAF one accustomed to the Vulcan, but not a civilian one more used to handling airliners with quite different flight characteristics. Unfortunately, this is one of those sort of problems that only becomes apparent with hindsight; one GCA being as good as any other GCA - but not always, especially when the aircraft being talked down responds to instructions correctly but then behaves by deviating from the normal glidepath in a way the controller doesn't expect it to, and where the pilot thinks he is being guided down onto a runway in an approach normal for his type of aeroplane, a probably unreasonable assumption given the unusual nature of the type.
The accident could probably have been avoided if the pilot had flown an approach more suited to a civilian airport, rather than the much steeper descent flown, which it was probably unreasonable to expect a civilian GCA controller to be able to anticipate. It's probably fair to say that an inappropriate approach was flown for the particular airport, but it is also probably unfair to expect a serving pilot to be that far sighted, in that most would simply assume that all GCA installations would be the same and equally usable for any given aircraft type regardless of approach characteristics. Thus although a decision to divert would have been a prudent one, there was no anticipation on-board the aircraft of the GCA problem that eventfully ensued, nor in fairness, could it have been reasonably foreseen. So any eagerness by any 'VIP' member on board to get to a Reception on the ground would not have materially influenced the pilot one way or another, because as far as he was concerned, it was going to be just another, normal, GCA landing. That's why they decided to land at Heathrow as-planned rather than divert.
Pathé News report of the accident on YouTube here: [6] - BTW, the report mentions that the Vulcan hit an obstruction on or near the runway and the two pilots ejected. Apparently the Vulcan landed ~2,000ft short of the runway very heavily, wiping off the undercarriage and severing the controls, then, out of control, rose back ~800ft into the air where the two front seaters then ejected, the rear crew being unable to get out, the wreckage then falling onto the runway. One factor in the accident was an altimeter that was reading 200ft too high, i.e., 200ft AGL when it should have read "0ft", so this would have mislead the pilot as to his height on the approach, although this was only discovered after the accident. The other factor was the time taken for the controller to report back the altitude figures to the Vulcan, such that the aeroplane was always ahead of (i.e., lower than) the controller's latest broadcast figures. Basically the Vulcan's unfamiliar high rate-of-descent was greater than the controller could keep up with, and report back to, the aircraft in real time. This was the 'lag' mentioned.
It may be as well to point out that the Comet had been withdrawn from service due to the fatigue problems several years earlier, and so Heathrow's controllers would have been unfamiliar with large, fast jets, such as the Vulcan. They would have been more used to Yorks, Lancastrians, DC-4s, Stratocruisers, Constellations, etc., and the pace of these aircraft would have governed how often the GCA controller gave his position reports to the landing aircraft. The Vulcan was however descending much too quickly such that the controller could not keep up. In the time it took him to read a height figure, mentally digest it, and then finish reporting it over the air, the aircraft had already descended way past the figure he had just given, and he then had to take another reading, digest it, ... etc. Remember that this was a civilian GCA controller and so radioed commands would have needed to have been spoken in full, unlike specialised abbreviations that may have been used at RAF stations. There just wasn't enough time available for the GCA controller to do his job properly and safely with the Vulcan's chosen approach and rapid rate-of-descent. The Vulcan crew didn't know this of course, otherwise they would have chosen a more shallow approach with a lower rate-of-descent. Presumably the pilot didn't carry out a missed approach or diversion because he didn't realise the decision height had been reached, never mind passed, due to the mis-reading radio altimeter and lagging altitude reports from the ground.
Like so many air accidents, the cause was not one factor, but many, combined and interlinked, and so it's really not appropriate to put the blame on anyone. Sometimes it's just a result of an unfortunate chain of unforeseen events.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:14, 29 September 2012 (UTC)