XM655 Maintenance and Preservation Society

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.
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Ben Lovering formates on XH558
for a photo-shoot

558 with Christen Eagle

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.

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.

Lunchtime
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


26/10/2014 The Bugatti Owners Club

For a change we had a Sunday visit. Frank Ashley returned for the sixth time with a group from the Bugatti Owners Club

As a recognition of Frank's support over the years, he has now been made an honorary member of 655MaPS and presented with a certificate of recognition

Following the presentation to Frank, the visit followed our normal format of systems demonstration followed by splitting the group into fours, each with its own volunteer to stay with them for the cockpit tour, aircraft exterior, and video.

The bomb doors opening

The group watch the bomb doors opening
Copyright © Av Magill


Bob's Group

Bob's group by our 1000lb. bomb
Copyright © Av Magill

There were 24 members of the group visiting us this time, and although none had arrived with a Bugatti on this occasion, they had brought along a 1929 MG 'M' Type and a 1928 Austin 7

Group photo

Frank with his certificate and the rest of our visitors
Copyright © Av Magill

18/10/2014 Jaguar Land Rover Group

A group of 14 enthusiast from JLR arrived on the morning of the 18th. but not in a convoy of either Land Rovers or Jaguars!

Of course, as they were from JLR, we had to run the Rover Airborne Auxiliary Power pack (AAPP) as part of the systems demonstration.

Eric checks the landing lamps

Eric checks the landing lamps
Copyright © Av Magill


After the visitors had had their cockpit tours in groups of four, Eric as our Chief Engineer gave the group details on the Olympus engines.

Eric talks to the group about the engines

Eric talks to the group about the engines
Copyright © Av Magill


Group photo

The group photograph with XM655
Copyright © Av Magill


27/09/2014 Vale of Evesham Round Table

Saturday saw the Vale of Evesham Round Table members visiting XM655 and after Charles had welcomed them, we had a change from the usual crew for the systems demonstration, which found Len on the long lead performing the crew chief duties whilst Isi was in the AEO's seat and Kay as P1, with Charles in the cockpit with them lending a hand where required as neither had done a systems demonstration previously.

Charles welcomes the visitors
Charles welcomes our visitors.
Copyright©Av Magill


Without an aircrew volunteer to do the cockpit tours, we reverted to our more usual system of the volunteers taking their group of 4 through all the areas of interest.

Len talks about the nuclear capabilities
Len talks about the nuclear capabilities.
Copyright©Av Magill


Kay points out the equipment
Kay points out the equipment in the nose-wheel bay
Copyright©Av Magill

 

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