Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 2:17 am

Hi guys.

I have some questions about the 2 photos of the Avro Vulcan B2 bomber below.

In the first pix, you see the Vulcan sitting in a field, (out of service), on June 14, 2000.

Then, in the second pix, you see the same Vulcan up and running, doing a "high speed taxi" on Sept 15, 2001, only 4 days after the terrorist attacks on the U.S.A.!!

Do you think this Vulcan's "sudden" activities are strickly a Coincidence in timing? Or do you think the RAF is planning to use this Vulcan (and others) to help bomb the Taliban regime in Afghanistan?


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Barry Rauck



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Tim Beach


P.S. Can someone tell me what type of Nuclear weapons the Avro Vulcan B2 can carry?

Thanks guys.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
LY744
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 5:10 am

Those a/c can be used as tankers, right?

Anyways, that might be a privately-owned a/c.

LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 5:52 am

Hi LY744.

Thanks for your reply. I don't know if they're ever used as tankers, however, I would'nt doubt it.

The one photo of the Vulcan in the field does say it's privately owned. If it's airworthy, the RAF might have bought it back, and are now getting it ready for some missions.

I just think it's quite the coincidence to see this Vulcan doing what appears to be some tests, only 4 days after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Although, when someone doesn't know all the facts...it's easy to assume things.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
LY744
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 7:00 am

At least 6 Vulcans were converted to the K mk. 2 tanker version. The Vulcan left service with the RAF in 1982.

LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
MIG54
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 7:51 am

I believe there is one airworthy Vulcan maintained by enthusiasts much like the famed Battle of Britain flight that makes appearances at UK airshows. All Vulcans are long since retired from operational service.
 
duke
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 8:06 am

Interesting post. No, I'd doubt it. That would be the last Vulcan that would be airworthy, and it will probably remain a preserved aircraft.
 
speedbird001
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 5:02 pm

Its quite possible that the person who owns the a/craft is getting ready for a mission. If quite unlikely that the RAF would go back to old aircraft when they have plenty of good fighters.
The Vulcan was a great a/craft in its day, but I cant see it in military service somehow!
 
ckw
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Wed Oct 03, 2001 9:45 pm

AFIK there are NO Vulcans currently cleared for flight. There is one which is being maintained by volunteers and is nearly ready for flight - currently used for ground runs only, but it is hoped to get it back in the air.

I think that switching from high to low level mission profiles pretty well exhausted the fatigue life of the airframe.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
GDB
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Thu Oct 04, 2001 1:06 am

The Vulcan's retirement was a long drawn out process, on the cards for years but delays in it's replacement, (Tornado GR.1) kept the birds operational. Because of this, it was never really updated like the B-52's. Some essential modifications were done in the early 1970's when Terrain-Avoidance Radar was fitted and the Radar Warning Equipment was updated.
There were just enough around to take part in the Falklands, after the long-deleted in-flight refuelling probes were re-installed, along with omega nav. gear and on some aircraft, wing-pylons for Shrike Anti-Radar missiles.
Afterwards, as already stated, 6 were converted to a temporary tanker configuration to ease the pressures on the overworked Victors on the South Atlantic run.
Once ex-airline VC-10's entered service, after several years of conversion in 1984, the Vulcan was finally retired.
As stated, one is being prepared, with charitable donations, for flight again, so the engine runs/taxing are regular events, not related to Sept.11th.
The switch to low-level operations in the late 60's didn't wipe-out the Vulcans fatique life, but it did affect the Victors. But they were soon re-built as tankers in the early 70's.
The first V-Bomber to 'go-low', the Valiant, was seriously affected very quickly, and withdrawn in 1965 after one aircraft's main spar went.
The Vulan is/was a much-loved aircraft over here, I remember seeing the RAF aircraft at airshows, they ran a preserved one for shows until 1993.
Pity they weren't fully updated, a couple of squadrons would still be useful now, carrying Tomahawks and other stand-off weapons in the bomb-bay and on the wing-pylons.

 
fireblade
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MrSpaceman

Thu Oct 04, 2001 1:45 am

Hey Chris would you post at least one topic that i know anything about it ?  Pissed
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy Just joking a have read all your topics since Vought sikorsky thing and i find out that i don't know anything about them.
Slobodan
PS You owe me a topic about ww2 fighters
 
GDB
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Vulcan's Nukes

Thu Oct 04, 2001 3:11 am

Initially, Vulcan's carried the early UK-developed H-Bombs. In the early 1960's the Blue Steel standoff rocket propelled H-Bomb was carried semi-recessed under the fuselage.
They were to be replaced by the Douglas Skybolt missile, one carried under each wing. The programme was cancelled by the US in 1962, but the pylons were retained for later use.
With Skybolt being replaced by Polaris submarines, the writing was on the wall for the V-Bombers.
The Vulcans lost the Blue-Steel when Polaris became fully operational.
The nuclear weapons carried by the Vulcans in their last decade of service was the standard tactical WE-177 nuclear free-fall bomb, they also has a conventional capability, used in the Falklands.
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Thu Oct 04, 2001 6:47 am

Hello gentlemen.

Thank You, for all your responses. I had a feeling it was to good to be true. Meaning that a Vulcan was alive and active for the RAF. Don't get me wrong...I'd be very happy to just see one flying again at an airshow, not only in a military role.

I used to always LOVE watching the Vulcan bomber when it would fly every year at Toronto's CNE Airshow during the 70's and early 80's. It was by far my favorite! My father and I called it the "BAT" because of it's huge delta wing.

>GDB, I have a nice 1/32nd scale model of an RAF Vulcan that I built many years ago (it's actually in my dinning room, up on top of a wall unit, instead of in my den, where it belongs). I was surprised to see that the kit came with a large Nuclear Weapon that was carried semi-recessed in the belly. This must have been a Blue Steel H-Bomb that you mentioned. Dam, it's to bad I didn't attach it! It just looked to freaky!

>Fireblade, I hear you "loud and clear" regarding a WWII fighter question. I'll get my Grey Matter working and post one!

Finally guys...Did the Vulcan bomber ever receive some cool nicknames from her pilots and ground crews?

P.S. How many members here saw the "James Bond" movie from the 70's where an RAF Vulcan B2 is highjacked for her Nuclear Bombs? What was it called again?

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
GDB
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Fri Oct 05, 2001 1:47 am

The film was Thunderball.
I work with some ex-Vulcan RAF mechanics, and one of our Concorde flight-engineers is ex-RAF Vulcan crew, I'll ask them about any nicknames.
I should add that from the mid-1960's, US supplied B43/B61 nuclear free-fall bombs were available to the RAF, so probably carried by Vulcans.
The Anglo-French Martel conventional Anti-Radar missile was supposdly part of the Vulcan's weapon fit, carried on the wing pylons, but the intergration work was clearly never done, as in the Falklands US-supplied Shrikes were used in the same role.
From 1973-81, 27 Sqn used it's Vulcans for Maritime Radar Recce, the pylons intended for Skybolt were used to carry ECM equipment and air samplers for monitoring enemy nuclear tests.
True story, in the late 1960's or early 70's, an RAF Vulcan was tasked to simulate an attack on the Northern English town of Washington.
There must have been a communications foul-up, as the aircraft was fully fuelled up and carried out the simulation on Washington DC!
Presumably it landed in Canada, probably Goose Bay.
Red faces at NORAD too, apparently the US air defences never spotted the Vulcan until after it had completed it's simulated bomb-run!
 
777kicksass
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RE: Are British Vulcan Bombers Being Readied?

Fri Oct 05, 2001 3:06 am

Didnt they carry Blue Steel nuclear misiles?
 
GDB
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777kickass

Fri Oct 05, 2001 3:39 am

Yes, see my Vulcan's Nukes post.
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: GDB

Fri Oct 05, 2001 4:29 am

Hi GDB.

That's it. Thunderball! I remmember the RAF Vulcan was forced to ditch in the ocean. It sure looked like a real Vulcan cockpit when they were filming the pilots. What a WICKED aircraft!

Talk to ya real soon.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"

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