GDB
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A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:28 pm

Since final RAF retirement in 1993, (after a swan song in the first Gulf War), a preserved Handley Page Victor tanker (former bomber), has done taxi runs at it's home in the UK, by it's civilian owners.

No cert. to fly then, but a few weeks ago, one such taxi run for the spectators went a bit......further than planned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3HaeYVlBw8

(Thanks to Air Net member Black Projects for finding this, we had been waiting for an actual video of this event).
 
SAAB900
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:10 pm

I'd seen the photo's in the aviation magazines but nothing prepared me for this video footage! That was scary & very close to an accident! Thanks for posting this.
Does anybody know what the CAA has said about the incident or if there is any fallout from this?
I've been to these high speed taxi runs at Bruntingthorpe in the past & they're fantastic,the whole ground shakes & the noise is amazing, but surely these must be in jeopardy now? Allthough I hope not!
Full credit to the pilot for getting it back down safely in one piece!

Dave(SAAB900)
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:08 pm

I had seen this unintentional flight mentioned in the media, but had assumed that it was literally a short straight hop. The film was certainly an eye opener, and appeared to give the impression that the incident was a "brown pants all round" affair
This appears to be a disaster, averted by a great degree of piloting skill. One does of course have to consider if the initial high speed run was a little over done.
 
bennett123
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:01 am

Reminds me of when I "landed" a Tristar on the European Aviation simulator at Bournemouth Airport in 2000.
 
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Ryan h
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:23 am

Didn't know there was also a taxi able Victor there. Saw one taxi at Elvington a couple of years back.
Lucky to get it back on the ground.
South Australian Spotter www.ryanhothersall.net
 
Kiwirob
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:29 pm

Would the plane have broken up had it actually taken off? Would it be difficult to get it airworthy?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:49 pm

Hmmm...it looks like the trim is set nose up (stabilizer leading edge slight down angle), and they were not at VR (rotate) speed yet. After the airplane leaves the ground effect, it nearly stalls, leveled, then flown back into ground affect, slight climb, then nearly stalls again before recovery and landing. Outstanding piloting skills saved the airplane and their lives.

It has been many years since I have scene a Victor Tanker, and I am glad they saved this one. I'm sure there is an investigation as to what really happened, since she was not cleared to fly.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:14 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
Would the plane have broken up had it actually taken off? Would it be difficult to get it airworthy?

I think its fair to say that if it could survive this form of not taking off, a full circuit would probably have been safer
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:32 pm

From another angle;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh2YSzBdWFg

Thanks again to Black Projects .
As he said - 'cleaning lady to the cockpit please'.
 
michlis
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:46 pm

Holy sh-t!  wideeyed 
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
 
KennyK
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:18 pm

Bit quick for a taxi run, then again, a very light aircraft, full power and a maybe a bit of a breeze and maybe this is the result. It's a pitty there isn't a Valiant around that does taxi runs, we could have all 3 of the old V-force airborne this year!!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:11 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 8):
From another angle;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh2YS...BdWFg

From that angle, it looks like he landed in the grass (dirt being blown up on landing), then rolled back onto the runway.

Was there any damage to the airplane?
 
arluna
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:55 am

Hello all,

It looked to me like the old lady really wanted to fly, she wanted to be in her nautral habitat!

Excellent airmanship!

J
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:16 pm

Which is the uglier airplane? The Victor bomber/tanker or the A-10 Warthog?
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:12 pm

UGLY! Ugly? The Victor is ugly you say?
Sacrilege!!!

The Victor is one of the most beautiful bombers ever built! (Accepting that such types are at an inherent disadvantage to say fighters).

Now the Valiant, that was....somewhat..... workmanlike.

Perhaps though, 'striking' is a better word to describe the Victor.
In a Penelope Cruz 'should not look great, but does', sort of way.

When it appeared at a Farnborough Airshow in the 1950's, some USAF officers were so taken with it's appearance, they asked to visit the factory.
Did they ever get a shock, they were expecting a version of Wichita transplanted into England, what they saw was basically a huge shed.

After it's combat swansong in the 1991 Gulf war, a Victor was visiting an airshow in the US.
Many who go to airshows are not aviation nuts as such, for many it's a family day out. Bearing in mind the Victor was not well known outside the UK (and not so well known here either, being rather overshadowed by the Vulcan), some of the visitors saw this large aircraft on static display, looking menacing, in a toned down camo livery, all curves, even the wings, odd looking to be sure.
Some asked if this was some kind of British stealth bomber.
The crews were flattered, they answered that yes it had once been a bomber, a good one too, but for the previous 20 years it had been a refueling aircraft.
 
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:33 pm

(Sorry about the multiple posts, it seems that 'edit post' is acting as the spellchecker was yesterday)

A pic of the 'unplanned flight'


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Photo © James P Matthews



Victors in action;


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Photo © S. M. Reeves




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Photo © Alex Christie




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Photo © Glenn Beasley




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Photo © Geoff Hibbert - Global Aviation Resource

 
connies4ever
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:34 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 14):
UGLY! Ugly? The Victor is ugly you say?
Sacrilege!!!

The Victor is one of the most beautiful bombers ever built! (Accepting that such types are at an inherent disadvantage to say fighters).

Agree 100% GDB. KC135TopBoom crossed a line there. The HP crescent-wing design was one of the most elegant creations ever.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
bennett123
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:34 pm

How much risk it there of this happening on these taxi runs.
 
ThirtyEcho
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:29 am



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 18):
How much risk it there of this happening on these taxi runs.

Ask Howard Hughes.
 
dl021
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:47 pm

The Handley Page Victor is one of the most graceful and beautiful airplanes ever made to fly. It looks menacing and gorgeous at the same time, and still looks futuristic today, 40 or 50 years after it was designed.

I'm glad it flew, even if unintentionally, just to prove it could. More glad it was landed safely. I can only imagine the pucker factor when it lifted off without enough airspeed to stay aloft.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:35 pm

During the 1960's, a RAF maintenance engineer was performing ground runs on a BAC Lightening fighter.
The aircraft jumped it's chocks and sped down the runway, the hapless engineer in the cockpit was going to end up hitting something so, with only a few hours years before on a little DH Chipmunk trainer, rotated it and managed to to bring it down for a safe landing.
But then that machine did have a hell of a power to weight ratio for it's time!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:08 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 14):
UGLY! Ugly? The Victor is ugly you say?
Sacrilege!!!

The Victor is one of the most beautiful bombers ever built!

Want a great looking Bomber?

B-17

B-47

Lancaster

Vulcan

B-2

Sorry, the Victor, while one of the RAFs famous "V" bombers, still looks ugly to me. But, ugly is a good thing to have on a combat airplane. Just look at the uglyness of the A-10. Look how much it is loved (feared?) by the bad guys.
 
connies4ever
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:18 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 22):
Sorry, the Victor, while one of the RAFs famous "V" bombers, still looks ugly to me. But, ugly is a good thing to have on a combat airplane. Just look at the uglyness of the A-10. Look how much it is loved (feared?) by the bad guy.

Clearly you know nothing of the grace and beauty of a crescent wing, or anything at all one might suppose about what advantages it brings.  banghead 
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:51 pm



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 23):
Clearly you know nothing of the grace and beauty of a crescent wing, or anything at all one might suppose about what advantages it brings.

Maybe I don't. But I do know that neither Boeing, LM, NG, or Airbus use the cresent wing design.
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:57 pm

[quote=Connies4ever,reply=23]Clearly you know nothing of the grace and beauty of a crescent wing, or anything at all one might suppose about what advantages it brings.

True, though after the V-force adopted low level attack profiles from the mid 60's, the Crescent wing was at a disadvantage structurally life wise.
(Not as bad as the Valiant though).

In every other respect, the Victor outperformed the Vulcan.
Faster, flew higher, longer range, 35,000lb bomb load to the Vulcan's 21,000 lb.
Just as well it was replaced by Polaris, Victor bomber operations ending in 1968.
 
LMP737
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:09 pm

At the 1991 NAS Miramar air show there was Victor on static display. I wouldn't call her ugly, just that she had some unique lines.  Wink
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GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:45 pm

The Crescent wing was very advanced for it's time (remember we are talking about an aircraft conceived in the late 1940's/early 1950's, from a specification drawn up just two years after WW2 ended).

It's no surprise then that Avro and HP, went for innovative aerodynamic solutions, they had to fit a lot of capability into a medium sized aircraft, that could penetrate Russian airspace, for at least 10 years after service entry, deliver an atomic weapon and in theory, return. (Though what to if they were ever used?)
One RAF Vulcan pilot said the best advice I was ever given, was to keep going East, bail out and settle down with a large Mongolian woman!

HP did propose a highly modified Victor, as an airliner (as did Avro with the Vulcan).
But the history of adapting bomber aircraft for airliner use is not a happy one (as the British found, when for several years after WW2, with no transport aircraft development during the war, they had to make do with such types).

The crescent wing, as well as the delta on the Vulcan, did greatly advance the aerodynamic knowledge of the UK industry back then, which had been lagging not only the US, but the USSR too, in swept wing development.
 
hangarrat
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:15 pm

Ugly's too blunt a term.

Gothic is the term that comes to mind. The Victor is brutal and utilitarian -- a bunch of shapes kludged together in the way they need to be in order for the aircraft to do what it's designers wanted it to do -- fly fast, drop bombs and get home, if it could.

The beauty comes as an accident -- the curve of the wing, the sweep of the empenage and the bulges of the engine nacelles and fuel tanks all make it a striking object to behold.
Spell check is a false dog
 
bennett123
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:27 pm

GDB it was at Lyneham at 33MU(?) in 1967/1968(?).

I think it was an F1.
 
bennett123
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:43 pm

 
757gb
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:46 pm

I don't know how to define the look... it DOES have personality. I can't call her beautiful but I do like that design a lot. Love looking at it. As somebody said, I was proud to see her fly, given that she landed safely.
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
hangarrat
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:04 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
I'm sorry to to say, my son, you are blind.

I never said it wasn't beautiful. It's just a different "language" than most of use are used to.
Spell check is a false dog
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:34 am

Thanks Bennett, your searching succeeded where mine failed!

Victor was better looking than the B-52.
But I think that a better comparison is with the TU-95 Bear.
When I got to see one close up, at RIAT in the early 1990's, it looked like a vast mechanical Preying Mantis to me. The very high undercarriage making this so.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:12 pm



Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 19):
Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 18):
How much risk it there of this happening on these taxi runs.

Ask Howard Hughes.

Light gross weight, stab trim set for TO, full thrust?

Was Hughes in the Victor too? That would really stink up the cockpit.

 duck   duck   duck 

Quoting GDB (Reply 34):
Victor was better looking than the B-52.

There is a reason the B-52 is called "BUFF" (Big Ugly Flying F#@&er).

Quoting GDB (Reply 34):
But I think that a better comparison is with the TU-95 Bear.
When I got to see one close up, at RIAT in the early 1990's, it looked like a vast mechanical Preying Mantis to me. The very high undercarriage making this so.

Yes, the Bear does look ungainly while on the ground. Inflight she looks very graceful (but very loud, too).
 
GDB
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:57 pm

I doubt I will, but I'd love to hear a TU-95 in flight.
It's said that those props emit an odd harmonic sound.

But having seen Vulcan's and Victors many times, though the obviously more directly photogenic Vulcan commands attention more easily, the Victor had a strange unworldliness about it.
Which I do think is aerodynamically beautiful.

One role now almost forgotten about, from the Victor's service, was the SR.2 recon version operated by 543 Sqn between the mid 60's and 70's.
With it's very high ceiling and battery of cameras in the bomb bay, a single aircraft could cover vast areas in one sortie.
As the RAF once demonstrated when a Victor basically photographed the who Mediterranean in one go!
They also carried atmospheric samplers for nuclear tests, which by then, after the above ground test ban treaty, meant the French ones! Based out of, oddly enough, Peru.

However, the refusal of Handley Page to join with the early 60's rationalization of UK aircraft companies in the mid 60's (but not, at least then, a nationalization), meant that production of the MK.2 Victor, with the more powerful R/R Conway engines, was limited.
So when the RAF needed to replace it's first generation MK.1 Victor tankers, with the less powerful Sapphire engines, they needed all the MK.2 Victors they had.
So the SR.2's went into the tanker conversion effort too.

But there was a sort of swansong in that role too.
Though the Victor force was needed, almost in it's entirety, to support the Falklands operation from Ascension Island, before the first RN units reached the South Atlantic, a Victor was sent on a radar recon mission to spot any Argentine major naval units.
The old H2S bombing radar was tweaked (as had been done for the SR.2's), and on a epic sortie the whole area around the Falklands and South Georgia was screened.
Nothing was found.

As it turned out, it would be over a week later before that fleet came out, with the results we are familiar with.
But even after that, a test fitting of a MARTEL Anti Radar missile was carried out on a Victor, replacing the wing mounted refueling pods,
Though the need for tankers meant this role, eventually with Shrike missiles, was carried out by Vulcans.
 
David L
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RE: A Brief, Unplanned, Flight Of An HP Victor

Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:58 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 33):
Victor was better looking than the B-52.

 checkmark  I'd say it was also better looking than...

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 22):
B-47

Lancaster

The Lancaster looked functional, menacing, business-like, "impressive"; every bump, straight line and right-angle serving a purpose but I'd struggle to call it good looking. The B-47 looked good compared to its prop-powered contemporaries but I'd struggle to call it good looking. It just seems like the bare minimum you'd expect from an aircraft that required jet engines, swept wings and a less angular shape. I mean... a bubble canopy on something that size...  duck   biggrin 

Quoting GDB (Reply 14):
Now the Valiant, that was....somewhat..... workmanlike.

 checkmark  It just looked... exceedingly average, the type of bland design a local council would come up with to avoid offending anyone. It's hard to believe it emerged from the same stable as the Spitfire (sort of) and the VC-10. Give me the Victor and the Vulcan any day!  Smile

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