|With TVOC(The Vulcan Operating Company) Vulcan at RAF Cottesmore for calibration of it’s navigation kit I made the trip over to catch it leaving; along with a lot of other people! I’ve never seen Cottesmore so busy but it was especially good to see people who aren’t aviation enthusiasts, photographers or spotters turn up; many with their families.
The weather was better than forecast but still far from ideal. Cloud cover was the order of the day and made it had not to underexpose the images.
The Vulcan made a brisk taxi down to the threshold of runway 22.
Holding at runway 22 for a few minutes allowing the massed crowd of photographers to get numerous shots before turning onto the runway.
XH558 leaped into the sky, surprising a lot of people of how little of the runway it required. As part of the rebuild the Vulcan had been lightened by almost 10 tonnes by the removal of unneeded equipment since it’s no longer a bomber allowing take off with less runway.
As XH558 climbed away the sleek delta wing shape was interrupted by the starboard undercarriage door. It had failed to shut. A circuit was made whilst it was attempted to close the door. With this failed, a second circuit was made to check the landing gear lowered correctly.
The landing gear did lower correctly and a third circuit was carried out with the gear down. This was then raised but again the starboard door refused to close.
With the starboard undercarriage door open XH558 aborted the planned test flight and flew back to Bruntingthorpe (it’s home airfield) where it made a safe landing.
The fault is believed to be a faulty micro switch.
If you would like to help to keep XH558 in the sky then get over to TVOC and make a donation!