Iconic machines – AVRO Vulcan – Pencil with ink outline on Bristol Board
Joe Tomlinson’s recent posting of a B25
(May 20th http://www.skineart.com/art/22277/been-reading-catch-22/#comments )
re-awakened my life long interest in all things flying. I wondered what my favourite aircraft might be and decided that the Vulcan might come near the top of my list The Vulcan was in the vanguard of the UK’s , 1950′s and 1960′s , Cold War nuclear deterrent. Early Vulcans were true delta winged but the later variants, like this B2, had a “cranked winged leading edge”. This was designed to offer a greater range of performance at different speeds, especially at low level. The early machines were also painted in “anti – flash” white as they were meant to operate at high altitude where the huge wing area gave it an edge in manoeuvrability over interceptor fighters. The white paint was supposed to reflect the radiation from exploding nuclear weapons. (At this time, people were seriously told that “brown paper” applied to window glass, could also offer protection). When surface to air missiles became more sophisticated, see (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Gary_Powers )
this edge was lost so a low level, with stand-off” weapons, role was introduced . This is the reason that the surfaces were camouflaged to confuse enemy fighter aircraft attacking from above.
This is a Vulcan B2 and is the only airworthy example flying today. Its serial no. is XH558 and began service, with the RAF, in 1960. Today it is maintained by charitable donations. It’s great to see at least one of these aircraft still flying. I remember seeing my first one in the early 1960s at the Leuchars Air Show. If you have never seen this, in real life, grab the chance. The noise, on a scrambled take-off, is something else. This view shows the machine in typical, high speed take-off mode. Shortly after it becomes unstuck, it rises almost vertically to a few thousand feet, then does a “wing-over” to change direction and level out. Impressive – even for an old lady.
Do any other Moleskiners have favourite machines?