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  • PSA: Guy Martin and the Vulcan Bomber
  • When the Vulcan came to Kemble in late ’00s it used to turn above my house when doing its demonstration – bonkers loud, sat with kids in the garden watching it – just amazing British engineering – pity we’re not world leaders in creative engineering anymore, well I suppose the Dyson factory is down the road in Malmesbury, noise of those things doesn’t create the same emotions though!

    jambalaya
    Member

    Indeed @Harry, without getting too over the top with the “bromance” he is a real man’s man, husband and father to three great daughters too. Must ask if he has any photos to share from his time in service

    ahwiles
    Member

    dickyhepburn – Member

    pity we’re not world leaders in creative engineering anymore,

    i’ll refer you to the other thread…

    uk engineering isn’t dead

    Uk engineering is now 2(?) generations more advanced, there’s some very impressive stuff out there…

    I find it a little strange that there is so much love for a bomber somewhere there is no appetite for bombing.

    I have no love for war and violence in general but the Vulcan appeals as it’s an amazing engineering feat considering the technology available at the time. Modern computer designed war planes do not have the same wonder for me. It has nothing to do with the fact it could drop nuclear bombs. It’s an unfortunate fact that some of the greatest leaps in technology have happened during wartime.

    On a similar note I find old churches, cathedrals, mosques, temples etc amazing places. The skill and effort that went in to building them is incredible, and that’s what I appreciate. Not the religious mumbo jumbo that they were built for.

    Back on topic – I saw Guy was rocking some ST merchandise 🙂

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Mentioned that the Spitfire was 20 years older than the Vulcan during the programme…

    Seeing the two flying together, thats quite a techno jump in a short time.

    jambalaya
    Member

    Agreed with what @cheers says about old buildings, the feats of engineering are quite amazing

    boblo
    Member

    Hmmmmm. Typical Guy Martin fronted show; heavy on tea, ‘chief’ and repeating the same line several times with an additional ‘spot on’ as punctuation. He’s a bloke’s bloke but about as in depth as Playschool. Sorry 🙁

    The Vulcan is (was) a lovely aircraft. I remember seeing them doing (presumably) practice low level bomb runs down Rutland Water in the early ’80’s. The shit they threw out the back at full gas would have the eco woolies pooing their pants now 😀

    natrix
    Member

    In the height of the cold war they were permanently fuelled, loaded with the primary weapon and ready to go.

    When he was in the RAF my dad used to work on the Vulcans and never tired of telling us that he had his tea break sat on an atom bomb.

    Lionheart
    Member

    Great programme of a great aircraft. I thought they keep a pretty good balance of keeping to aircraft the star, after a while I forgot Guy was there but I did like his input. Really enjoyed the ‘keepers of the Spirit’ being on there as well.
    Well done ITV4, well done matey and my hat is off to those that kept her going and a damp eye for 558.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I thought it was a good show. The last 5 minutes was a bit naff I thought, rather rushed.

    I saw the Vulcan at the NI Airshow in 2013. The memory of it doing its final pass down between Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh was unreal. Still makes the hair on my neck stand up thinking about it. I share the thoughts of admiring it more for its engineering feat rather than it being a killing machine.

    bigyinn
    Member

    I was REALLY looking forward to this, especially after spending the weekend making and modifying kitchen cabinets.
    I’d set the recorder up to do its thing, so I didnt have to worry about missing the start.
    So what does the bastard thing do? It misses the first half hour. **** thing. Will need to wait until everyone has buggered off from work so I can watch the bit it missed.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    There is the glass half empty vs. glass half full regarding it being a ‘killing machine’. Arguably it was a tool for stabilising and causing and sustaining peace and the fact the cold war never turned hot is a testament to how effective it and the other V bombers were. They were so successful that they were never actually deployed in their primary mission – the ultimate stalemate. It was an exercise in international willy waving more than anything else.

    We also were on the hook to develop this technology to secure our position on the world stage and maintain our influence in the world as much as creating real military tools, and it is in that venture that we ultimately succeeded and are still reaping the benefits.

    ScottChegg
    Member

    Arguably it was a tool for stabilising and causing and sustaining peace and the fact the cold war never turned hot is a testament to how effective it and the other V bombers were. They were so successful that they were never actually deployed in their primary mission – the ultimate stalemate.

    Maybe someone could make Jezza Corbyn watch it, and help him with the bits he doesn’t understand.

    The tale from the crewman during the Cuban crisis, “If you hear us take off, get the kids in the car and drive to Skye; you should be safe there” was chilling.

    As was the keep ‘flying east, there will be nothing to come back to’.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I’m not sure how much of those kinda comments I really believe. Maybe I just don’t want to believe them.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Can someone with a bit of airframe knowledge explain to me why it had to be let off it’s jacks quite so carefully? Presumably it would take a fair bit of force through the landing gear on a difficult landing, so why the care from 18″ in a nice warm hanger?

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    I’m not sure how much of those kinda comments I really believe. Maybe I just don’t want to believe them.

    Different times.

    I used to work with a guy who was special forces back in 1962. He spent 4 days during the missile crises sat in the back of an aircraft in his diving kit waiting for the signal to go. His mission… to get dropped in the sea with his mates, sneak past submarine nets, attach mines to Russian ships and then swim for it. There was no real plan to get him out afterwards. Who would be left to pick him up?

    He said he ate, peed and shat in the suit, didn’t get a lot of sleep and was mighty relieved when they were stood down.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Because the landing gear is designed to take the hits, with tyres/suspension etc. The jacking points have no such cushioning so any force goes direct to the frame. Is how I reckon…

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    But they were dropping it back onto the landing gear, with all those lovely dampers and such.

    I could see the point of putting the jacks under it carefully for the reasons you give.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    I think the problem was if they dropped a jack and it didn’t hit the floor, thus transferring the weight to the other points and potentially twisting the airframe.

    I would have thought getting it up on ramps, propping it and lowering the ramps would have been less risky. Or maybe the risk of the jacking exercise had been overplayed by the script editor and the breathless narrator (his voice and delivery really grinds my gears BTW).

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    I think the problem was if they dropped a jack and it didn’t hit the floor, thus transferring the weight to the other points and potentially twisting the airframe.

    Yeah, that actually.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Different times.

    my old man had one of those eye patches as a Lightening driver. (the amount of pirates at fancy dress parties… 🙄 ) The “plan” was to go up, shoot as many russians as you could, head back west (he was stationed at Gutersloh) and land at any available airfield, go back up repeat until you were either shot down, or there were no airfields to land on…

    It was as stupid a plan then as it sounds now…

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    so unevenly distributing the weight across 3 points at different distances from the CofG. That sounds plausible, buy I still find it difficulty to believe piss poor landing wouldn’t cause more force.

    Perhaps they did get bent occasionally, but back then there would have been spares I suppose.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott
    Subscriber

    Talking to my dad and other people of his generation there was proper genuine fear around the early days of the Cold War and certainly around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, people genuinely feared WW3. I think the reality is that if WW3 did kick off the chances of any of our nuclear retaliations succeeding would have been very slim. It would have been reduced to an ICBM exchange.

    The issue on the jacking points is that the jacking points on the airframe are point loads as opposed to forces from the undercarriage and wings that are spread over a much larger proportion of the airframe. Though the jacking points are reinforced they are designed to share the load across all of the points. If you lower one part quicker than the other, then you are increasing the load on that jacking point relative to the others, and ultimately can increase the load above allowable levels and cause deformation and damage to the primary structure of the fuselage/wing box which would be uneconomical to repair. So that is why each person manually lowering each jack had to do it very slowly to ensure they all lowered at the same rate maintaining the aircraft as flat as possible until the weight is on the undercarridge. If you ever get close up to a large aircraft you’ll see the sheer amount of structure that the undercarriage is connected to, it wouldn’t be feasible to have the same structure on the jacking point – it would be too much weight, so the load the jacking points see when in use has to be carefully controlled.

    So the bit with Guy operating the Jack was a bit hammed up but it is a very sensitive operation (if it was than difficult and critical they wouldn’t have put Guy on the Jack). Not sure if you noticed but there was a collar on a screw thread. If they were doing it properly they should set the collar such that if the hydraulics of the jack failed or if the operator sneezed and pulled on the hydraulic release and that jack dropped then it would only fall a short way – quarter of an inch or so, and prevent it from dropping all the way and damaging the airframe or even pulling the aircraft off all the jacks.

    lerk
    Member

    tthew – Member
    Can someone with a bit of airframe knowledge explain to me why it had to be let off it’s jacks quite so carefully? Presumably it would take a fair bit of force through the landing gear on a difficult landing, so why the care from 18″ in a nice warm hanger?

    My assumption was that if it slid off the jacks, the jack head would make a lovely additional air intake for the engines, but on the underside of the wing!
    Hence, not so much gently – but level, which also fits in with the plumbob and datum plate…

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Perhaps they did get bent occasionally, but back then there would have been spares I suppose.

    True. The thing was designed for a one off one way mission and they managed to stuff 15 of them in training accidents. I guess when they were designing it they didn’t really give two hoots about a flying museum exhibit 60 years into the future.

    I wonder what the design life of a Lancaster or Spitfire was? Hours I guess.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    What a fantastic programme. I was about 45 mins in when Mrs. Jay came home from work, she said “Oh I’m glad this is on, did you record it for me?”

    I had, but as it was so good, and I’m nice like that – I started it from the beginning.

    I have to admit I watched it because I like GM rather than the subject matter per se, I didn’t really know much about the Vulcan other than it was going to be grounded and that a lot of people who are into Planes really like it. I was staggered how old it was, I assumed it was 80’s era, not 50’s!

    As for the whole nuclear weapon thing – I’m glad we no longer need it, or the others they built, but it’s still a wonderful to look at the learn about.

    As for

    100kg of air per second per engine.

    Is that a lot

    It sounds a lot, but it’s hard to visualise as air floats so to my mind doesn’t actually weigh anything.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Thanks wobblicott, that’s a spot on explanation.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I wonder what the design life of a Lancaster or Spitfire was? Hours I guess.

    200 hours for a spitfire, probably not much longer for Lancs

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