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Tanker Ops

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Cacophonix
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Re: Tanker Ops

#61 Post by Cacophonix » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:38 am

I have read Vulcan Pilot by Tony Blackman and am currently reading his Victor Boys (written with Gary O'Keefe) and was wondering whether anybody who posts here, either pilot, ground crew or in any other relevant role, who has had experience of flying, fettling, operating, dispatching etc. these two aircraft types, would care to opine on their efficacy in their primary intended roles, namely as high-altitude strategic bombers. Also did the Victor finally prove itself more useful and a better aircraft than the Vulcan (and the Valiant for that matter) by being more flexible than the Vulcan in that it could be converted to the tanker role and by outliving the Vulcan in RAF service by some years?

It seems that the Vulcan lives on and is closer to the public heart in modern times due to its futuristic delta shape and its temporary renaissance on the display circuit in the form of Avro Vulcan XH558 Spirit of Great Britain, whereas the Victor has faded from modern memory to some extent, save in the minds of those cognoscenti who operated and worked with the type.

Bit of a nerdy question I know but that's the way that Caco rolls sometimes.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#62 Post by Pontius Navigator » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:15 pm

If this was TOP I would say read the other threads. As it isn't . . .

The Victor 1 was underpowered compared with the Vulcan but could carry far more bombs not very far. The Victor 2 could fly higher and faster and was more stable but was never a bomber. It was recce and missile carrier. Its greater wing span made it unsuitable at low level.

Re engineered as a tanker is was more stable and had a greater fuel offload capability.

In my opinion the Vulcan was more maneuverable and rigid for low level ops. Initially, as a recce platform it was less stable and airflow as a tanker was supposedly too difficult but at the end Vulcans were used as tankers.

Above all the Vulcan was a bomber and the Victor wasn't.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#63 Post by llondel » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:31 pm

Didn't the Victor officially manage to go supersonic in a test once, whereas the Vulcan only ever did it unofficially and by accident? I did once have a chat with someone who was ground crew on a V bomber squadron and he told me some fun tales of Vulcan activities, especially in their interaction with Americans.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#64 Post by Cacophonix » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:32 pm

Appreciate your considered opinion Pontius Navigator.

Must admit that TOP is the last place I think of looking for answers to questions like this. Silly of me I suppose, but given the amount of bull I have encountered there over the years I am apt to listen to the opinions of people whose credentials I have grown to trust here, like yours, with respect.

I guess you still post over there but I am not au fait with your moniker there so your repeat of something previously posted over there, here, is much appreciated.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#65 Post by Cacophonix » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:40 pm

llondel wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:31 pm
Didn't the Victor officially manage to go supersonic in a test once, whereas the Vulcan only ever did it unofficially and by accident? I did once have a chat with someone who was ground crew on a V bomber squadron and he told me some fun tales of Vulcan activities, especially in their interaction with Americans.
A tale of inadvertant supersonic flight to be found here...

http://jsaxon.org/bluesteel/books/victorin.htm

Also.. comments on the K2 tanker vis a vis the Victor B1
Our first test point was at 50,000ft where we established that, at our particular weight, 0.9 IMN (indicated mach number) was just ‘buffet free’ and that 0.88 IMN enabled buffet free gentle turns to be made. We recorded cruise fuel flow measurements at 0.88, 0.86, and 0.84 IMN from which, after many more test points, operational range charts would also be established. This procedure was repeated at 45,000 and 40,000ft at which level the aircraft could be flown and manoeuvred clear of buffet at 0.95 IMN – or 95% of the speed of sound. This represented the ‘never exceed’ mach number for squadron service although on development we were cleared to fly at 0.96 IMN which was the highest mach number at which the Victor K2 remained clear of buffet. Although the achievement of 96% of the speed of sound in level flight required much less than full power, sadly not for us was the supersonic flying of the Victor B1 which had no massive underwing fuel tanks and also had much slimmer and lower drag engine intakes for its considerably smaller Sapphire engines. I suspect that, if pushed, the Victor K2 probably could have gone supersonic – but it would have been a very buffety ride which would certainly have done the structure no good at all. Further buffet boundary measurements would need to be made for a whole series of weights before the aircraft ODM (operating data manual) could be established. Indeed the vast majority of development test flying consists of hours and hours of such routine measurements which may sound rather mundane and boring – but none of us ever found flying the Victor either mundane or boring.
Blackman, Tony. Victor Boys: True Stories from Forty Memorable Years of the Last V Bomber

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Re: Tanker Ops

#66 Post by Pontius Navigator » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:14 pm

I was not aware of a Vulcan going supersonic. The Mk 1, no ECM, was supposed the fastest at 0.98 IMO. The Mk 2 with 201 engines was 0.93 and I think the 301 was 0.92.

Once. with Auto Mach Trim disengaged, we did around 0.96. I 'watched' the nav crate rising and falling. As I knew it was fixed and I was strapped in l deduced it was my eyeballs. The aircraft was doing high frequency pitch oscillations about 50 feet or more.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#67 Post by llondel » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:59 pm

The tale I heard was of one that apparently did in a dive, and suffered severe structural damage as a result.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#68 Post by Cacophonix » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:03 pm

llondel wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:59 pm
The tale I heard was of one that apparently did in a dive, and suffered severe structural damage as a result.
As described in John Saxon's link above.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#69 Post by llondel » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:21 pm

Cacophonix wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:03 pm
llondel wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:59 pm
The tale I heard was of one that apparently did in a dive, and suffered severe structural damage as a result.
As described in John Saxon's link above.

Caco
That one was a Victor, the one I referred to was a Vulcan. I have no supporting evidence for it though, just the tale from the ground crew chap.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#70 Post by Cacophonix » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:12 am

llondel wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:21 pm
Cacophonix wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:03 pm
llondel wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:59 pm
The tale I heard was of one that apparently did in a dive, and suffered severe structural damage as a result.
As described in John Saxon's link above.

Caco
That one was a Victor, the one I referred to was a Vulcan. I have no supporting evidence for it though, just the tale from the ground crew chap.


Ah I understand.

From Wiki
In 1957, a Vulcan B.1 XA892 attached to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down for acceptance testing was unintentionally flown to an Indicated Mach Number (IMN) above 1.04, alarming the crew that it had reached supersonic speed. XA892's commander, Flt Lt Milt Cottee (RAAF), and co-pilot, Flt Lt Ray Bray (RAF), were tasked to fly at 478 mph (769 km/h) and 0.98 IMN, taking the aircraft to a load factor of 3 g. It climbed to 35,000 ft (11,000 m) and then dived, intending to reach the target speed at 27,000 ft (8,200 m). Approaching the target altitude, the throttles were closed and full up-elevator applied, but XA892 continued to pitch nose-down. Cottee contemplated pushing forward to go inverted and then rolling upright; instead, he opened the speed brakes. Although the airspeed was above their maximum operating speed, the speed brakes were undamaged and did slow the aircraft, which came back past the vertical at about 18,000 ft (5,500 m) and leveled off at 8,000 ft (2,400 m). There were no reports of a sonic boom, it is unlikely a true Mach Number of 1.0 was reached.[N 10] Afterwards, a rear bulkhead was found to be deformed
From Tony Blackman's 'Vulcan Test Pilot'
Vulcan1.JPG
Vulcan2.JPG

The incident that Tony Blackman describes is Chapter 7 involved this aircraft, now on display at the Solway Aviation Museum at Carlisle Airport (now accessible by air again, the runway having been repaired and was offering to waive landing fees to light aircraft when I was last there).




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Re: Tanker Ops

#71 Post by ian16th » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:52 am

There was a former Nav of the Victor OCU, who was a former Boy Entrant and a member of the RAFOBE Association that claimed it was normal to test new Victors on their delivery flight and some did achieve Mach 1.0

The guy has passed away, so cannot ask him, but I will search the archive.
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Re: Tanker Ops

#72 Post by Pontius Navigator » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:17 am

llondel wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:59 pm
The tale I heard was of one that apparently did in a dive, and suffered severe structural damage as a result.
If I am right it was a IX Sqn Vulcan in Cyprus in 72 or maybe 73. I can't remember the Captain's name or precise details but it was something like this:

They had a malfunction in the high 40s, something like an auto mach trim runaway. As the aircraft accelerated the shockwave caused a pitch down moment with a consequent speed increase. I don't know what the MNo was but the instrument had a range limited at 1.06.

The pilots pulled as hard as they could which led to the overstress and the aircraft recovered in the low 30s.

The brain box criticised the Captain saying the aircraft would have recovered in the thicker air. I don't think the overstress was unrepairable.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#73 Post by Cacophonix » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:01 pm

Some good photos from the book noted above.. Well worth a read.
Victor1.JPG
Victor2.JPG
Victor3.JPG
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Re: Tanker Ops

#74 Post by Cacophonix » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:02 pm

Victor4.JPG
Victor5.JPG
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Re: Tanker Ops

#75 Post by ian16th » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:50 pm

Some Valiants
Attachments
Valiant & Vulcan Mk1.jpg
Valiant & Vulcan Mk1.jpg (10.74 KiB) Viewed 119 times
Valiant & Javalin.jpg
Valiant & Javalin.jpg (9.93 KiB) Viewed 119 times
Valiant & Argosy.jpg
Valiant & Argosy.jpg (14.16 KiB) Viewed 119 times
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Re: Tanker Ops

#76 Post by k3k3 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:59 pm

I didn't know Argosy's were AAR capable.

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Re: Tanker Ops

#77 Post by ian16th » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:50 am

This one was when 214 did 'compatibility trials' with the FAA.

A copy of this was on the crew room notice board with a cartoon balloon from the Sea Vixen saying; 'Please Don't Suck?'
Sea Vixen and XD858.jpg
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Re: Tanker Ops

#78 Post by ian16th » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:31 pm

Found a B&W version, a little clearer.
Sea - Vixen to Valiant B&W.jpg
Sea - Vixen to Valiant B&W.jpg (21.85 KiB) Viewed 103 times
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Re: Tanker Ops

#79 Post by fareastdriver » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:32 pm

Just before the Kiwis disposed of their Skyhawks a RAF KC 10 did a visit. Somewhere there is a picture of a 10 plugged into a A4.

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