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Only flying Vulcan bomber grounded after silica gel mishap

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posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 10:39 PM
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I did a quick search and didn't see anything about this. It seems the only flying Vulcan bomber may have narrowly avoided disaster recently. The crew was just starting their take off run on a training flight, when the number one engine appears to have ingested several packets of silica gel. The engine suffered a low pressure blade failure, which sent debris into number two engine, and destroyed both engines.


Oh dear, it's bad news for the world's last flyable Avro Vulcan, with two of XH558's Rolls-Royce Olympus engines having been destroyed during an incident on the ground on 28 May.

Things of course go wrong on classic aircraft, but initial indications point to the mishap at Robin Hood airport (which serves Doncaster and Sheffield and in a previous life housed Vulcans as RAF Finningley) having been down to old-fashioned human error.

Vulcan Mishap




posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 12:35 AM
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Lucky - and also shoddy - preflight checks should have spotted anything lying in the intakes, and if you put something in the intake of a jet engine it should be brightly coloured and have a long bright ribbon hanging from it!!



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 01:42 AM
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Luckily they have 4 engines.
I find the "Damaged beyond repair" statement a bit hard to fathom.
Yes they are old engines, but so are Spitfires Merlins and they rebuild those.
Im sure Rolls Royce still have the blueprints somewhere, Unless those Damn Jerrys pinched them when they bought the business..(luckily they only bought the car side of the business).

I remember seeing the Vulcan fly in 1971, loudest jet plane Ive ever heard.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 02:13 AM
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reply to post by gort51
 


Jets are a bit more complicated than piston engines - there might only be 1 moving assembly, but that assembly is made up of thousands of bits, and many of them are quite lightly built compared to, say, a piston or an engine block - if they are too damaged then hey are, literally, unrepairable.

And they are also often made to much finer tolerances and from stranger materials than piston engine parts - so even if the drawings are available it may be prohibitively expensive to manufacture new items.

Eg - I own a Triumph Stag - a British 4 seat v-8 convertible tourer from the early 1970's - a year or so ago someone managed to make some brand new aluminium heads that have been a problem for he marque - and now anyone can purchase them.......but the cost is about as much as I bought the whole car for!! And that's just for some cast and machined aluminium - if you start talking about heat resistant steels it could be a lot worse.
edit on 9-6-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 02:27 AM
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There's an air worthy vulcan based at an airport near me. Southend on sea airport in Essex UK. It does taxi runs and if it had the funds could easily fly again. Amazing aircraft along with the Hanley Page Victors, I read about the huge operation it took to get one Vulcan bomber to the Falklands using loads of victor refuelling planes ... Ah the good old days when we had an airforce



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 05:56 AM
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Oh dear ! I wouldn't want to be the person responsible for leaving the desicant in the intake, I've seen this old girl fly and its quite impressive so I hope they get things sorted.
I'd be suprised if they couldn't source parts for the olympus or even a couple of replacement engines, but its all down to the cash £££
Anyone remember the Doctor FOD videos???



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by gort51
Luckily they have 4 engines.
I find the "Damaged beyond repair" statement a bit hard to fathom.
Yes they are old engines, but so are Spitfires Merlins and they rebuild those.
Im sure Rolls Royce still have the blueprints somewhere, Unless those Damn Jerrys pinched them when they bought the business..(luckily they only bought the car side of the business).


The fact that they have four engines didn't actually help here as the aircraft wasn't airborne - infact, if the Vulcan only had two engines, less damage would have been caused, as the second engine was damaged by the first engine coming apart.

And yes, these particular engines will be far beyond repair - the only people capable of repairing them (actually a rebuild from the ground up) would be Rolls Royce, and they disposed of the jigs, toolings and patterns for spare parts for the last available derivative of this engine when Concorde was retired (the Olympus 593s were based off the same engine, but were not completely identical).

Vulcan To The Sky started their restoration with eight zero hour engines total - four to return the aircraft to the sky, one was replaced due to undue overheating and wear and now two due to engine failure. One spare engine left, thats it.

If it flies again this season, do all you can to go and see it - because I have a terrible feeling that thats it, no more Vulcan past 2012.

And yes, people are rebulding Merlins - but there were well over 200,000 built (150,000 Merlins and over 55,000 Packard variants). The Bristol Olympus engines were produced in far less numbers, and have much less scope for restoration - they have to be maintained by the engine manufacturers.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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Originally posted by ThePeaceMaker
There's an air worthy vulcan based at an airport near me. Southend on sea airport in Essex UK. It does taxi runs and if it had the funds could easily fly again. Amazing aircraft along with the Hanley Page Victors, I read about the huge operation it took to get one Vulcan bomber to the Falklands using loads of victor refuelling planes ... Ah the good old days when we had an airforce


XL426 isn't maintained in an airworthy state - it does not have regular inspections of the wing spars and ribs, and the engines aren't maintained to a standard where they could be certified for continuous use. There is also a lack of deep maintenance carried out over the years, so the CAA would never certify her for flight.

Sorry, shes not airworthy - keeping an aircraft in taxiing condition is a significantly lower effort than keeping one in flying condition.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 09:50 AM
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i assume we're talking about something considerably more substantial then the little packets you get in your new shoes?



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 12:18 PM
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reply to post by maintainright
 


Yeah, they're decent sized. I don't remember exactly how big, but they're quite a bit bigger than those.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 02:42 PM
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The very day before this happened me and a pal were at the airport perimeter when XH558 was coming in to land. She had to go around three times that day and I thought something might be wrong with the engines as the sound was a little "off" compared to other times. I was thinking about this when I was texted that she had shat 2 engines all over the runway, but this bit about ingesting gel packs is completely different, very strange.



posted on Jun, 9 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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Damn.

I love that plane. Seriously. I have a love affair with that Vulcan that stretches back into childhood. Heres hoping she gets back in the air sooner rather than later, and that the engines are recondition able.



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 12:21 AM
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The good news is that there was no structural damage, and the Sky Trust has a few more engines in their stock, so they are going to replace the two damaged engines with a couple from their supply. The Sky Trust safety review team is investigating, but the AAIB said that they will not investigate, as the damage to the engines was contained, so it's not reportable to them.



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 08:13 PM
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reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Hey thanks for the reply I didn't know it was in that poor of a state I only presumed it was air worthy has my dad saw one fly last year. I thought it was at Southend air show but it may of been Biggin Hill. However I do remember seeing vulcans at other air shows many years ago as kid. Also saw my first plane crash, 2 MIG 29s at RAF Fairford both pilots where ok though



posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by maintainright
 


Some images of the Silica packs used in Vulcan XH558





The Vulcan completed a test flight today and is expected to fly a number of times before departing for the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.



posted on Jul, 3 2012 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by tommyjo
 

Ouch - that's exactly the sort of thing should be in nice big orange bags with long ribbons to hang out the intakes and/or exhausts!!



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 05:16 AM
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Glad to hear she's back in the air, here's a snap I was waiting to post




posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 06:50 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


Gorgeous pic Waynos! I'm glad to hear that she's up again as well.



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