XM655 Maintenance and Preservation Society



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Wings and Wheels 2016

DE HAVILLAND VAMPIRE T11

Subject to no prior sale - possibly last time in UK.

wings and wheels 2016

Not long to go now

22 Days 10 Hrs

For latest news of Wings & Wheels 2016 see our Facebook Page

Entrance fee is once again only £5 per person (paid at the gate), accompanied under 14s free.

MaPS Members free (tickets will be posted to Members in advance)

We are pleased to announce that Barnes Coaches of Swindon have chosen Wellesbourne Wings and Wheels as one of their Fathers' Day Treats. Bookings can be made here. Please note that the admission included in the trip price only includes entry to the event. Customers who also wish to take advantage of our VIP area will still need to purchase VIP passes online in advance.

Classic cars and motorcycles – if pre-booked before 30th May 2016 entry fee is £5.00, each entry will receive 2 adult tickets for the event and will be able to park in exhibitors area. Military vehicles are free of charge the pre-booking date still applies to receive 2 tickets. Download and complete the form here and return to Bryan Hull at classicvehicles@xm655.com (phone contact 07804 686222)

Trade Stands — contact Anne-Marie Walduck at exhibits@xm655.com

Fly-ins and static aircraft display — contact Shaun Thomas at wwairsidedsp@xm655.com

General enquiries about Wings & Wheels 2016 send a mail to wingsandwheels@xm655.com

Note: all exhibits are subject to availability and aircraft participation subject to weather conditions and serviceability on the day.

Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield situation Update

You may have read scare stories in the local press regarding the closure of Wellesbourne Airfield and eviction of the tenants. We can re-assure you that 655MaPS have not received an eviction notice, nor do we expect one.

No planning application has been submitted for development of the site, and the local council have made it clear that they wish to encourage further development as an active airfield. Whilst we cannot rule out the possibility the airfield may eventually close, we expect to be able to continue with our present activities for many years to come.

Wings and Wheels 2015 DVD

DVD Sleeve

Our new dvd, which includes Wings and Wheels 2015, the V-Force Tour visit to Wellesbourne by XH558, and exclusive footage of XM655 is now available from our Merchandise page in both DVD and Blu-ray formats. The DVD costs £16.99, and the Blu-ray costs £24.99.

 

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.

27/02/2016 Those Magnificent Men ...

...or perhaps more appropriately, Those Magnificent Machines, when the Triumph Trophy Owners Club arrived with 17 of those beautiful British motorcycles. Wg Cdr Mike Pollitt (RAF Retd.) came over to give all the cockpit tours. As a keen motorcyclist himself, we suspect that Mike was as interested in the bikes as our visitors were in the Vulcan!

the Triumph Trophies
The 17 Triumph Trophy Motorcycles
Copyright © Len Hewitt

The systems demonstration was carried out by Isi as AEO, Len as P1 and Roger on the long lead as crew chief. The tours of the exterior of the aircraft were covered by Len giving the background of nuclear deterrence, the weapons carried by the Vulcan, and its defensive mechanisms of chaff, flares and Electronic Counter Measures. One of our visitors had actually served with Len on a 9 Sqn. "Sunspot" detachment to Malta back in 1977! James told our visitors all about the Falklands Black Buck raids, Bob the engineering work in progress, Damaris the Vulcan history and Anne and Jackie looked after the shop and hot drinks, possibly the most popular, being out of the ice cold and biting east wind.

the Triumph Trophy Owners Club
The Club members with their machines
Copyright © Len Hewitt

Our visitors own write-up on their website can be seen at fortheride.com

13/02/2016 Spice Group Visit

Our first group visit of 2016 saw 15 hardy members of the Spice Group eager to see XM655, despite the bone-chilling easterly wind.

Group Photo
The Spice Group Photo
Copyright© Len Hewitt

Once Charles and Len had run the systems demonstration, including running the Airborne Auxiliary Power Pack(AAPP) (with Anne lending a hand in the P2 seat), they passed the aircraft over to our regular pilot, Wg Cdr Mike Pollitt (RAF Retd.), who once again had been 'volunteered' to conduct all the cockpit tours. At least he spent the morning out of the wind!

The group split themselves up into 5 smaller groups of 2, 3, or 4 and whilst one group took the cockpit tour, the others went in turn to Len who talked about the Cold War and the Vulcan in service, James, who told them all about the 1982 Black Buck Falklands raid, Damaris who filled in the history of the V-Force and finally Anne and Jackie who were looking after the shop. In view of the outside air temperature and wind chill factor, the nicely warm shop was a particularly popular venue!

12/12/2015 Peterborough Advanced Motorcyclists

In view of the atrocious weather, we were not surprised when only four stalwarts of the Peterborough Advanced Motorcyclists turned up on their bikes. They were joined by a fifth member who had sensibly opted to come by car! Once the systems demonstration was completed, with Isi as A.E.O., Len as P1 and Ben on the long lead outside as Crew Chief, Len gave three members a cockpit tour whilst Damaris told the other two all about the Falklands Black Buck Operation. The two groups then swapped over with Len staying in the cockpit for the second cockpit tour.

With such a small group, Len then took all five together to talk about the bombing system, chaff and flare dispensers, auto stabiliser and autopilot systems, tail warning and passive warning radars and finally the Electronic Counter Measures (ECM). The explanations were enhanced by the fact that one of our visitors had been a radar technician on the Scampton Vulcans and another had been an armourer at Wittering where he had 'bombed-up' the Vulcans which had dispersed to Wittering during a TACEVAL (Tactical Evaluation Exercise).

Peterborough Advance Motorcyclists
Peterborough Advance Motorcyclists
Copyright © Av Magill


21/11/2015 Friends of the Tank Museum/SWEIG

Our 24 visitors, a combination of friends of the Tank Museum and the South West Engineering Interest Group, arrived on a sunny but cold morning, and following the introduction and briefing, assembled in front of the aircraft for the group photograph.


The Group Photograph
Copyright © Av Magill


Once that was done, our visitors got to see a systems demonstration, before being given their cockpit visits and tours around the rest of the aircraft.


Watching the Systems Demonstration
Copyright © Av Magill


14/11/2015 Christopher Ward Forum

With our visitors being nine watch enthusiasts from the Christopher Ward Forum, we were confident that the visit would start on time! Following an introduction from Charles (also listened to by 3 visiting Air Cadets), the group watched a systems demonstration, followed by cockpit visits and tours of the rest of the aircraft

Charles does the introduction
Charles does the introduction.
Copyright © Av Magill


Finally the group lined up with some of our volunteers for their photograph with XM655

The Group Photograph
The Group Photograph.
Copyright © Av Magill


17/10/2015 Spice Group Visit

One of our regular visitor groups, the Spice Group, were smaller in number than when they had visited us on previous occasions, probably because it was a cold and blustery October morning. Once the group photo had been taken they were treated to the usual systems demonstration, followed by cockpit tours.

The Group Photograph
The Group Photograph.
Copyright © James Pritchard


Following the cockpit tours. the volunteers showed them the bomb bay and Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) bay and told them about the various defensive systems such as the Red Steer tail warning and Passive Warning (PWR) radars and Infrared (IRD) and chaff dispensers.

Len talks about the 1000lb bomb
Len talks about the 1000lb bomb.
A 28lb. 'Smoke and Flash' practice bomb can be seen alongside the 1000lb. bomb

Copyright © James Prichard


10/10/2015 Neil Grant Group Visit

Our regular visits organiser, Neil Grant provided us with a full day of visits with 22 folks in the morning and a full group of 24 in the afternoon

The visits followed the normal routine of briefing followed by group photograph, systems demonstration and then in sub-groups of not more than 4, cockpit tour, a talk about the Vulcan in service including history as a nuclear and conventional bomber, defensive systems, the Falklands Black Buck raids, propulsion systems and ongoing engineering.

The Morning Group
The morning group.
Copyright © Av Magill


The Afternoon Group
The Afternoon Group.
Copyright © Clive Hanley


12/09/2015 HSV Monaro Club

The HSV-Monaro club (Holden Special Vehicle - Vauxhall Monaro) brought their muscle cars along to Wellesbourne and arrived with the weather looking very threatening. Our 15 petrolheads (they wouldn't mind being referred to as that!) lined up with Terry Wilson an ex-9 Sqn Vulcan navigator who volunteered to do all the cockpit visits.

Sunshine but a very dark sky
The photo call, managed in the sunshine but with a threatening sky.
Copyright © Av Magill


Charles did both AEO and P1 jobs for the systems demonstration whilst Len took on the Crew Chief job and Bry shepherded the group to the best vantage points.

The group look on as Bry and Dave prepare to insert the bomb door stay
The group look on as Bry and Dave prepare to insert the bomb door stay
Copyright © Av Magill


Of course, what the group was really waiting for, was a chance to line up their cars in front of XM655 for a photo! Fortunately, by this time the cloud had cleared and we had bright sunshine.

The eight visiting 'muscle cars'
The eight visiting "muscle cars" with their owners!
Copyright © Av Magill


05/09/2015 The 19 Signals Regt. Association

The 19 Signals Regt. Association arrived in a coach, and as they had arranged to also visit Wellesbourne's Wartime Museum, a WW2 underground control room, one half came to see us whilst the remainder were taken up to the museum

As they were visiting two venues (albeit close to each other) in one morning, each cockpit tour was limited to a mere 10 minutes as were the talks about the Falklands missions, the Cold War and the ongoing engineering.

The 19 Signals Regt. Association visitors with Derek Powell, curator of the Wellesbourne Wartime Museum on the left, and Charles on the right
The 19 Signals Regt. Association visitors with Derek Powell, curator of the Wellesbourne Wartime Museum on the left, and Charles on the right
Copyright © Av Magill


Meantime the coach had dropped off the museum group and returned to the XM655 car park as there was no parking at the museum. At 11:30 the 1st group had to return to the coach to be taken up to the museum, where the coach dropped them off and collected the 2nd, group back for their Vulcan visit.

15/08/2015 Triumph Sports 6 Club

A group of 17 members of the Triumph Sports Six Club (tssc.org.uk), a club for all Triumph car enthusiast visited us on a sunny and warm Saturday. Following the photo call, and systems demonstration, Charles undertook all 4 cockpit visits whilst Damaris talked about the Cold War and Jon the Falklands Black Buck missions

The Photo Call
The Photo Call
Copyright © Av Magill


Jon gives his Falklands talk
Jon gives his Falklands talk
Copyright © Av Magill


The Cars
The cars - A Porsche 944, Triumph Tr7, 1972 Triumph Spitfire and a 1973 Triumph Stag
Copyright © Av Magill


.

08/08/2015 Royal Air Force Association

When the Royal Air Force Association visited us, there were even fewer volunteers available than the previous week, but fortunately it was a small group.

As a result, Bry took the P1 position and Isi acted as AEO whilst Ben was Crew Chief.

Bry does the pre-200 Volt checks from the P1 seat
Bry does the pre-200 Volt checks from the P1 seat
Copyright © Av Magill


Isi uses the periscope to watch the air brakes extending
Isi uses the periscope to watch the bomb doors opening
Copyright © Av Magill


Following the Systems demonstration, with such a small group half went with Jon and the other half with Damaris for their cockpit tours, a chat about the Falklands and the Cold War.

Some of the group
Some of the group stop before XM655 before their cockpit visit
Copyright © Av Magill


.

01/08/2015 Spice Group Returns

Eighteen members of one of the most regular organisations to visit XM655, the Spice Group, returned to see us on August 1st. We always tend to be short of our usual crew of volunteers in August due to holidays being taken, so once Charles had introduced the group to the volunteers present, and arranged the usual photo call in front of XM655, he not only acted as AEO for the systems demonstration but also as P1, and did all the cockpit tours.

Charles introduces XM655 to the visitors
Charles introduces XM655 to the visitors
Copyright © Av Magill


The Photo Call
The Photo Call
Copyright © Av Magill


Bry points out what's happening during the Systems Demo
Bry points out what's happening during the Systems Demo
Copyright © Av Magill


Following the Systems demonstration, Jon talked about the Falklands Black Buck missions, Damaris the Cold War and Bry the engineering currently under way.

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