2007-10-18

XH558 back in the air!



Avro Vulcan XH558 has returned to the air! I saw (and heard!) it do high-speed taxis at Bruntingthorpe in 1995 when it seemed it would never fly again. It is now absolutely mandatory to go to England during next summer's airshow season.

10 comments:

Martin said...

A 1952 model. Tell us why you love it!

kai said...

Ooh, how can æesthetics be explained? Well, let's try anyway: The Vulcan has this delta wing with a continuously curving leading edge, smoothly blending into a circular-section fuselage, engines mostly hidden inside the wings, creating this soft, smooth, organic shape. Originally they were all anti-radiation white, but then they were painted in grey-green disruptive camouflage, adding even more sinuous curves to the shape.

And then, it is a huge aircraft, easily filling most of your field of view, imposing on you, grabbing your attention, not least with the huge roar of the engines. You just can't avoid looking at it.

Arguably, it is a very English construction, elegance and beauty on the outside, mechanical complexity and suboptimal ergonomics on the inside.

Lars L said...

And - the name: The Vulcan. Isn´t that great!?

kai said...

Quite so, the other two V-bombers, the Victor and the Valiant, are standard martial names, but the Vulcan, with its references to Roman mythology, raises the bar to a more sophisticated level.

Martin said...

Very lyrical! In what sense was the white paint "anti-radiation"? Was it lead oxide, could it stop gamma?

kai said...

I actually don't know for sure. I've always assumed that it was simply a very glossy white that would take up a minimum of heat from nuclear explosions nearby. This is supported by the national insignia also being painted in very pale red and blue—if there had been any lead or something in the paint, it would still have been there underneath the insignia and they could have kept the standard colour saturation.

Lars L said...

Kai: The shape of the plane makes me think of something from a Batman comic or a Batman movie. Extremely cool. By the way, are you into tanks as well? :-)

kai said...

Ground targets? Nah. :-)

Actually I do have a German Puma armoured car on my to-build pile, but it will likely be a while before I get around to doing anything with it—I have some WWI fighters to finish first.

Lars L said...

A few years ago I presented the idea to the father of my godson that the boy, then at five years of age, was mature enough to get to know the beauty of a remote controlled Königstiger. My suggestion was rejected, with som emphasis... God knows why. The tank could actually shoot plastic bullets over 25 meters!!

kai said...

Hehe. I have friends who have a Tamiya Tiger/Sherman pair that they drive around with. Those admittedly just shoot with infrared, but they have very realistic recoil action and engine sounds.