Avro 698 Vulcan
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Avro 698 Vulcan

The first jet bomber to employ the delta-wing configuration. The original Avro 698 Vulcan prototype was developed to Air Ministry Specification B.35/46, issued on 1 January 1947, flying for the first time on 30 August 1952. It was then fitted with four Rolls-Royce Avon turbojets, but was later re-engined with Bristol Siddeley Sapphires and subsequently Rolls-Royce Conways.

A second prototype powered by four Bristol Siddeley Olympus 100 - with a slightly longer fuselage to eliminate the need for shortening the nose-wheel leg during retraction - made its first flight on 3 September 1953. It was later fitted with wings having a redesigned leading edge with compound sweepback and it made its first flight in this form on 5 October 1955. On 31 August 1957 it began flight testing the larger wing of the Vulcan B.2.

All production Vulcans were fitted with wings having the revised leading-edge configuration and two main versions were produced. The first production version was the Vulcan B.1, powered by Olympus Mk 101 or Olympus Mk 102 engines. All of these engines were converted later to Olympus Mk 104 standard. Planned re-equipment of three Bomber Command squadrons of the RAF with this version was completed in 1960. The B.1A version was given electronics in a bulged tail-cone, like the B.2. A total of 45 B.1/1A were built. The B.2 was a developed version with Olympus Mk 201 or 301 engines, wing of increased span (with elevon controls) and the ability to carry the Blue Steel stand-off nuclear bomb. The first production B.2 flew on 30 August 1958. Production was completed in 1964.

Avro 698 Vulcan

 ENGINE4 x BS/RR "Olympus 301", 89.0kN
    Take-off weight91000 kg200622 lb
    Wingspan33.8 m111 ft 11 in
    Length30.5 m100 ft 1 in
    Height8.3 m27 ft 3 in
    Wing area368.3 m23964.34 sq ft
    Ceiling18300 m60050 ft
    Range w/max.fuel6400 km3977 miles
 ARMAMENTone guided missile or bombs

Avro 698 VulcanA three-view drawing (690 x 548)

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Daniel Meakin, 27.06.2015

The Avro 698 Vulcan is the nicest aircraft ever!

Sorry to see it go too.

Daniel Meakin, 26.06.2015

Can I say that the Avro 698 Vulcab is a fantastic Aircraft

Don Bramwell, 25.06.2015

Living close to Woodford at the time, I saw the 1st test flight in 1952. Something dropped off the airframe and a Meteor T7( I think ) flew beneath it presumably to have a check. I was at Farnborough in 1953 when it flew in formation with the 707s. I hope to make it to Woodford tomorrow to see the last flight. How sad.

Brian Lee, 02.02.2015

I worked in the Instrument Bay at RAF Scampton from Jan 1966 to Jan 1968. I worked on the General Instrument systems, oxygen equipment and some safety equipment. As part of my duties I was occasionally part of the QRA servicing team preparing the Vulcan B2s in case hostilities kicked off.
Went off to other postings and aircraft until 1971 when I was posted to Offutt AFB, Nebraska, USA. This time carrying out 1st line servicing and rectification on the Vulcans and other Royal Air Force aircraft that visited the base. The Vulcans were there to take part in Oilburner Exercises on the Nevada electronic bombing ranges.
There is no doubt that during the period I was at Offutt that the highlight of the Offutt Open Day each year was the Vulcan Display, I remember hearing one USAF serviceman say "Look at that SOB go"!! I reckon he got that right.
It is good to know that so many people have such good memories of a great aircraft.

Les Aylott, 23.09.2014

I think it is about time I added my opinion of this quite outstanding aircraft.

I had been instructing at London UAS on the Chipmunk when I was posted to the Vulcan OCU as a student at RAF Finningley.

I remember walking around to do the external checks with Wally George before my first flight. I Thought at the time that such a large aircraft at least would not be very difficult to keep up with during the take off. That was my first mistake. Wally in his usual manner,having got me to do all the checks for start up and and made me taxy the aircraft to the runway threshold said that having got that far, that I might as well do the first take-off!

I lined up and opened up to 70% power as I was told and set off. I could not believe the acceleration from an aircraft of that size, and the unstick was more like a jump off the ground at the training fuel weight. My next shock was when I was told to turn for the climbing lane and the aircraft response to the flying controls was so positive and the controls so easy to use. That was when I instantly fell in love with the aircraft, a feeling which never changed during the years when I flew it.

It was a revelation to fly it at low level for the first time. It felt like a much smaller aircraft and the manoeuverabiliy was quite amazing, so easy to fly down the valleys etc. It was a machine that I actively looked forward to flying every time.

Nothing is perfect of course and there were shortcomings in the visibility at low level and the slight restriction looking through the windscreen because of the gold film screening. It was something that we got used to though.

I found that I very much enjoyed flying with a crew as well. I was very lucky in that I had two very good crews during my flying tours, they were all particularly good from the operating point of view and it was always an absolute pleasure to fly with them. They all worked hard to achieve the best possible operational abilities.

I was lucky enough to be allowed to do air displays which I did for quite some time. The Vulcan handled in an exceptional manner for such a large machine and it was quite something to look forward to when flying at a display. One could perform quite impressive manoeuvers for an aircraft of that size. The flying controls were light enough and also very effective. The aircraft felt surprisingly aerobatic but being pretty large it would not be difficu8lt to get into a ticklish situation if flown without sensible care. We were forbidden to roll it which was a wise restriction. Even though it would have been an easy manoeuver it would be only too easy to get into a nose low attitude during recovery and to find that the aircraft would be very difficult to recover to level flight. It would have been only too easy to overstress it.

There was plenty of latitude during a display to impress with the ability of such a large aircraft to whirl around the sky without danger and a steep wingover to the inverted at the top was always good to see as long as care was taken during the approach to the recovery mode.

I have been lucky enough to fly quite a large number of different aircraft of all types but the Vulcan still leaves me with the most unforgettable memory of one of the most impressive all round aircraft to fly. I miss it a great deal and regularly think about it and how wonderful it would be do another display followed by a series of roller landings even if it did drive the rest of the crew crackers!

Les Aylott

George Haloulakos, CFA, 25.06.2014

The quintessential Cold War bomber that excelled in the RED FLAG war game exercises between USAF and RAF strategic aircraft. The strategy and tactics used by the Vulcan to help win the Falkland Islands War is discussed in chapter 5 of my new book. Here is the info.:

Aviation as a Teaching Tool for Finance,
Strategy and American Exceptionalism
By George A. Haloulakos, MBA, CFA
ISBN: 9780-1007-2738-0
Order your copy online at: ucsandiegobookstore.com
Or by phone: 858-534-4557
“Partial proceeds support aviation heritage”

Redherringz, 27.01.2014

I used to knock off school to watch the Vulcan Concorde engine testbed fly over then head (I assume)for the Bristol channel. The engine made a noise like frying bacon as it started to accelerate away.

Ron, 06.12.2013

Circa 1962 a Vulcan was being used as a flying test bed for the Bristol 593 engine (Concord), at the Filton/Patchway facitity. We watched from our office building after the test engine exploded rupturing a fuel tank resulting in the aircraft being destroyed by the fuel fire. One of the fire engines parked on the down slope where the fuel had leaked resulting in it also being engulfed in fire.

carl mann, 13.09.2013

22 years 1956 78 avionics technician R.A.F. "many" hour spent on Vulcans 12 Sqd including flying Involved when "V" force went low level "Gary Powers" Flying at LOW level experience never to be foregotten

mike slingo, 15.02.2013

I saw this aircraft taking off from an airfield in Lincolnshire when I was I young lad.it has stayed in my memory ever since. WOW I was with my dad picking up my future brother inlaw could not have impressed a young lad any better. Also only combat was in the Falklands they bombed the airfield, only one hit but that was enough to do the job.

James Snyder, 10.01.2013

One of the most outstanding memories of my AF career was getting a tour of the interior of one of these great aircraft while TDY to Goose Bay Canada in the early 1980s.

James Snyder, 10.01.2013

One of the most outstanding memories of my AF career was getting a tour of the interior of one of these great aircraft while TDY to Goose Bay Canada in the early 1980s.

tim, 03.12.2012

Vulcan xh558 is based at doncaster airport uk,£35 gets you a v.i.p tour of the aircraft.....

Reg Lamb, 02.12.2012

I stood under these wonderfull aircraft at Waddington in 1964. Although at the time they were not my faverite but now I think that they and the only one left flying is the most iconic aircraft going.

Philip Oliver, 22.04.2012

As a cadet in 1962 at Coningsby I was camped near the runway where they had practice alerts night and day,left a big impression.Granada tv did a documentary which went out on national TV,Does anyone know anything about this.

DWWhalen, 21.03.2012

In the early 80s my pilot, Bernie Smith, and I (RSO/Nav) flew our SR-71 home from Andrews AFB after the annual "Open House". Another crew flew it in. The RAF was there with their spectacular Vulcan. I recall watching in dumbstruck awe as it took off and flew what we'd call a "low show". The performance was magnificent! The SR is normally quite the crowd pleaser, but while the Vulcan performed nobody, including us, payed any attention to our jet. The Vulcan crew could not buy a drink that evening in the club. Might be the most gorgeous aircraft ever to fly?!

Dave Hutchinson, 19.11.2011

In 1965 we took Vulcans on detatchment From Scampton to Lossiemouth & Kinloss, sometimes on excercise and sometimes scrambled in panic when Fylingdales malfunctioned. MAGNIFICENT does not exagerate, UNBEATABLE at the time.

Ian, 29.09.2011

I fondly remember sitting up in the cockpit of at St. Athan on the open day back in the late '70's. The guy inside was very informative & told us that the 3 crew not in the cockpit didn't have ejection seats & escaped thru a floor hatch, the one we used to enter, which was situated in front of the nosewheel. also that this hatch would not open unless the landing gear was down! Is this true or was he pulling my leg?

roger cooper, 27.08.2011

Les Aylott your co-pilot of 1977 -1980 has been trying to find you for 30 years. You made me love flying the Vulcan and taught me more about flying than anyone else. Hence I spent 16 years as a QFI. I remember many things - F101 Voodoos, Mad Dog, Filey RNLI post card for display centre, Red Flag etc etc
Please get in touch

roger cooper, 27.08.2011

For kevin you did see a Vulcan display at Cleveland in 1979. I was the co-pilot with Les Aylott as the Captain. We were doing both Cleveland and Toronto. As I remember one day at Cleveland the weather was awful with ultra low cloud and very poor visibility.Les managed to provide an ad hoc 5 minute display -what a pilot.Les get in touch!!

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