Vulcan to the skies - restoration and operation of XH558

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Posted by APM on 23rd Feb 2011

On Tuesday 15th February, East of England Branch hosted Kevin Taff Stone, who gave a brilliant presentation about the restoration and operation of the Vulcan Bomber XH558.

It was a fascinating talk beginning with XH558 on the scrapheap and the challenges faced in rescuing and restoring this magnificent machine. The Business Case alone took 2 years to prepare before the Vulcan was stripped and refurbished. Every part on the plane had to be removed and checked before being replaced. Perished wires, engines not in tip top condition and rust on the under carriage were just a few of the problems facing the engineers. Instrument panels have been brought into the 21st Century and 8 engines, which had lain dormant for a quarter of a century, were located and purchased.

Taffs presentation included many slides and culminated in a 9 minute film of the Vulcan in full flight. Everyone remained transfixed by this sight, despite the evening over running due to the many questions asked!

It was good to welcome some members from the Vulcan 558 club who raise funds to keep the Vulcan flying. It costs around 30,000 for each flight and XH558 visits airshows during the summer season, so the purchases of pens, calendars, photos etc; made after the event will go a little way to help.

The XH558 has indeed been a major project for Taff and the team.

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