At the start of the year, Kempston Controls partnered with Eaton to provide the Vulcan to the Sky Trust with a donation of rare fuses which are essential to keep Vulcan XH558 airworthy. The Bussmann 059-0125 and 011-9127 fuses are used in the flying control motor circuits and are susceptible to fatigue due to the cycling of the motors driving the hydraulic pumps that drive the flying control surfaces.
About the Vulcan To The Sky Trust
Vulcan To The Sky Trust is a charitable organisation who in 2005 began to restore the retired Vulcan XH558 delta-winged bomber, and in 2007, after more than 14 years of being grounded, completed three successful test flights. In 2008, after another successful test flight, the Civil Aviation Authority granted permission for Vulcan XH558 to perform at the RAF Waddington Air show.
In early 2015 the trust announced that the current 2015 flying season would be it’s last. Although the goal was to keep the Vulcan flying for a few more years, at the start of 2015 the ‘technical authorities’ (BAE Systems, Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group and Rolls-Royce) legally required to support the airworthiness of the Vulcan announced the withdrawal of their support – XH558 was forced to cease flying in October 2015. Although the aircraft was safe to fly, the structure and systems were then more than 10% beyond the flying hours of any other Vulcan and the knowledge base of Vulcan-era technologies within the technical authorities was deemed to have fallen too far to support the aircraft.
Since grounding Vulcan XH558 the Trust has established an education programme which works closely with schools, colleges and other organisations. While still being kept airworthy and capable of accelerating dramatically along the runway, the Vulcan XH558 is being used to inspire and educate new generations of young people.
About the Avro Vulcan XH558
Vulcan XH558 is a jet-powered delta-winged strategic nuclear bomber operated, when in service, by the Royal Air Force during the Cold War. An iconic example of British engineering with XH558 being the last Vulcan in service until 1984 when it was retired. With an impressive list of technical achievements including being the first successful large delta wing aircraft, leading directly to Concorde and the Space Shuttle, XH588 could deliver performance and agility so close to a jet fighter’s that it was given a fighter-style control column.
The XH558 first flew in 1960, and was one of the few Vulcan models converted for a maritime reconnaissance role in 1973, and then as an air-to-air refuelling tanker in 1982. In 1984, once withdrawn, it continued with the RAF’s Vulcan Display Flight, performing until 1992.
In 1993 it was sold to C Walton Ltd who used it for ground-based displays at their Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in Leicestershire until 1999. Through a combination of public donations and lottery funding, it was restored to fully functional condition by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, who returned it to flight on 18 October 2007.
To learn more about Avro Vulcan XH558 & their current project, Operation Safeguard to build a hanger and exhibition hall, head to their website: vulcantothesky.org.
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