XM655 Maintenance and Preservation Society

Countdown to Wings and Wheels 2015

Avro Vulcan B.Mk2 XM655 News

XM655 Under Threat!

Wellesbourne Matters

Wellesbourne Airfield is under the very real threat of being closed to make way for a very large housing development. You can help to prevent that from happening.

Ben Lovering formates on XH558
for a photo-shoot

See here for the full story and stunning photographs!

About Avro Vulcan B.Mk2 XM655

Avro Vulcan XM655 was third from last of the Vulcan bombers produced for the Royal Air Force, being delivered in late 1964, and was part of the UK's nuclear deterrent force throughout the 1960s and 1970s. It is now owned by Wellesbourne Airfield, and is looked after by 655 Maintenance and Preservation Society (655MaPS) which is a volunteer organisation of Vulcan enthusiasts.

XM655 is one of the few Vulcans remaining in ground running condition, the only one with the most powerful of the engine variants (Bristol Olympus 301s) and 655MaPS aim to keep it running for as long as possible. The aircraft systems are powered up and exercised regularly, engine ground runs are carried out several times every year, and a "Fast Taxi" event is carried out every summer to show off the aircraft and raise funds to support its preservation.

XM655 is maintained by a small team of skilled and dedicated volunteers, many of whom are ex-RAF, (some even ex-V-Force personnel and one of whom actually worked on XM655 in service), who give up their Saturdays to preserving XM655.

28/02/2015 Tewkesbury and Dowty ATC Squadrons Visit

Two ATC squadrons, 785 (Tewkesbury) and 2322 (Dowty) Sqns. joined forces this week to visit XM655. The 4 Dowty Sqn cadets were tasked by Charles to find Dowty plates on the aircraft.

As it was an ATC visit, our regular captain, Wg Cdr Mike Pollitt RAF (Retd.) joined us to give the cadets their cockpit tours, whilst one group were shown around a Cessna at the South Warwickshire Flying School and Len gave those not in the cockpit or at SWFS, a tour of the exterior and told them something of the Vulcan in service, its armaments and counter measures.

the briefing
Charles welcomes the 9 cadets and 2 instructors whilst Mike Pollitt (right) warms up with a coffee!
Copyright © Av Magill

As the cadets watched the operation of the air brakes during the systems demonstration, all their mobiles appeared as they took their photographs!

the systems demo
Photo Opportunity!
Copyright © Av Magill

Dowty Sqn Cadets
The 2322 (Dowty) Sqn cadets with Charles
Copyright © Av Magill

Tewkesbury Sqn Cadets
The 785 (Tewkesbury) Sqn cadets with their two instructors.
Copyright © Av Magill

The photo of the Tewkesbury cadets unusually also shows the upper-surface air brakes and the deployed ram air turbine (RAT).

All Cadets
Both Squadrons along with their two instructors.
Copyright © Av Magill

21/02/2015 Megapixles Visit

The 21st of February saw XM655 at the mercy of an invasion of cameras as the Megapixles photography group visited

Eric opted to host most of the cockpit tours on this occasion, (possibly because it was quite cold outside!) whilst 'Bovril' took the middle visit

Charles' Briefing
Eric waits for Charles to finish his briefing so he can get out of the wind!
Copyright © Av Magill

However, before Eric could install himself in the cockpit, he had the additional task of being crew chief for the systems demonstration. In addition to the usual routine of flying controls, exterior lights, air brakes and bomb doors, Isi also ran the Rover AAPP (Airborne Auxiliary Power Pack) whilst Charles looked on

Once the systems demonstration was complete, the group split themselves into smaller groups of four for the cockpit tours with Eric, whilst those not in the cockpit endeavoured to find a shot of the Vulcan that nobody else had!

Photographers Galore!
Photographers Galore!
Copyright © Av Magill

A rather less than formal group shot completed the visit with a little mutual snapping taking place!

Mutual Admiration!
Av both snaps and gets snapped!
Copyright © Av Magill

14/02/2015 Winter Spice

The mayhem of the 30-car crash on the M40, which closed the North-bound carriageway for several hours both delayed our first Spice visit of the year, and slightly reduced the number in the group. However, 12 of the expected 16 members eventually made it to Wellesbourne and the visit was only delayed by some 45 minutes.

Spice Group Visitors
The ones who made it!
Copyright © Av Magill

Damaris demonstrates the Bomb Bay
Damaris impresses the visitors with her knowledge of H.E.Bombs!
Copyright © Av Magill

With Eric and Charles both being absent, little engineering work was done during the day, and Isi was called on to be AEO for the systems demonstration, a role that she performed admirably...!.

Phil explains the Palouste
Phil explains the Palouste and engine starting.
Copyright © Av Magill

06/12/2014 Two 'Flying Visits'

The first Saturday in December, the first really frosty morning since last winter and as each first Saturday in the month, we were joined by cadets from 150 (City of Oxford) and 240 (Darlaston) Sqns ATC

There was plenty for them to help out with as the office area was being gutted and converted into a shop for our merchandise

Darlaston Cadets
Darlaston Cadets Cdt Cpl Fieldhouse, Cdt Marks, Cdt Pugh and Cdt Lees.
Copyright © Roger Nock

One of the Oxford cadets, Cdt Cpl Ben Goodall, arrived in style getting a lift in a HeliAir Robinson helicopter!

Ben Goodall
Cdt Cpl Ben Goodall from 150 (Oxford) Squadron ATC arrives in style!
Copyright © Roger Nock

Little and Large
Little and Large as the HeliAir Robinson hovers over XM655.
Copyright © Roger Nock

We were also treated to a fleeting visit by Peter Teichman in his Mustang,

Peter Teichman
Peter Teichman gives us a wave as he passes.
Copyright © Roger Nock

Mustang Take-off
Peter Teichman takes off in his Mustang.
Copyright © Roger Nock

01/11/2014 Vulcan to the Sky Club Visit

The start of November saw our largest visit of the year, so large that it was necessary to hold separate morning and afternoon sessions as with a total of some 50 visitors, we would not have had nearly sufficient volunteers to show them all round.

Charles welcomes the visitors
Charles welcomes the morning group
Copyright © Av Magill

Two of our regular aircrew, Mike Pollitt and Nick Dennis came along to give the cockpit tours and splitting the task between them, once the systems demonstration was completed.

The systems Demo
Our visitors watch as the elevons are exercised
Copyright © Av Magill

Whilst the cockpit tours were happening each volunteer showed their group around the rest of the aircraft

Once all the tours were completed, the volunteers grabbed the chance to have lunch sitting in the sun on a bomb trolley before the afternoon group arrived.

Grabbing a bite!
Copyright © Bob Jackson

The afternoon group arrived and were immediately marshalled in front of XM655 for the group photo because it was likely to be dark by the time all the cockpit tours were completed.

Group shot
The group photo-shoot
Copyright © Av Magill

For the systems demonstration, Bob shepherded the group from one viewpoint to another so they could see what was happening.

Watching the air brakes
The group watch the airbrakes moving to high drag
Copyright © Av Magill

For Past News Items please see the Archives page

follow @XM655MaPS on twitter find us on facebook

Follow @XM655MaPS on TwitterFind us on Facebook

Back to top of page

Site design and contents copyright© 1998-2015 XM655MaPS