Straight & Level 9 July

Here V go again for the Vulcan

It is the heritage aircraft that refuses to die… thanks to the generosity of supporters and its appeal to air show audiences year after year.

The charity that operates the last flying Avro Vulcan is confident it can keep the V bomber flying another two summer seasons after this one, if it can raise £400,000 ($607,000) for a modification to its wings.

XH558 was due to retire this summer, but Operation 2015 will involve strengthening the leading edge of its wings to extend the airframe’s fatigue life. The mod was developed by Avro while the Vulcans were in service, but none of the original manufacturing tools or key drawings survive, says the Vulcan to the Sky Trust.

However, heritage aircraft boffins at Cranfield Aerospace – which also supports the UK’s last flying Avro Lancaster – have reverse engineered the critical components. Work should begin on installing the new panels later this year.

If the Vulcan continues to the end of 2015, it will have flown about 80h more than hoped when the original restoration was completed in 2007.

“We will have beaten all our targets by a significant margin,” says trust chief executive Dr Robert Pleming. “XH558 is now enjoyed by around three million people every year.”

Plus Tardy

Now Airbus Military appears to have put the A400M’s long delays behind it, the new man entrusted- as chief financial officer – with ensuring the business’s payments are up to speed? Monsieur Tardy.

Not her type

It never does any harm to invite a star of Sex and the City to add some glamour to your new aircraft arrival ceremony.

However, BA might have avoided confusion by not photographing regular transatlantic commuter Kim Cattrall (left) welcoming the flag carrier’s first Boeing 787 in front of what looks very much like the back end of a 777.

260257.jpgNew Welly

It’s not the sort of experience you expect when you turn up at a new $3 billion airport, but this was the rather damp scene that greeted passengers last month when the monsoon rains arrived early at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport.

Wonder how long they had to wade for their plane? Thanks to Blogpost India for the picture.

BM39iX7CQAAz_m5_(1).jpgAll fired up

Ian Goold alerts us to a press release from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft which informs us that the airframer behind the Superjet has “singed a letter of intent” with Bahrain leasing company AeroLease. “That’s what comes of doing business in the Gulf in the  searing heat of summer, I suppose,” he says.


aw189.photo1.jpg“Now, that’s some handy low flying, Hoskins.”


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