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XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:10 am
by XM606
Here are some pictures I took back in July of 2006 of XM606 at the 8th Air Force Museum on Barksdale AFB in Louisana. There were some rumors ciruclating a year ago that she might be scrapped but as far as I know there are no plans to do so. Unfortunately though she is not in the best of health. As you may notice from the photos her nose is drooping down do to some structual issues with the aircraft. Do to this the crew entry hatch is welded shut to prevent people from entering the aircraft.

Although the rumors circulating about her being on the scrappers list a year ago are untrue, she is probably the most endangered Vulcan in North America. The 8th Air Force Museum is underfunded and its entire aircraft collection is displayed outside. The museum curator has been trying for years to raise the money to build a hangar to put the museum's collection in, but has recieved little support from the City of Bossier. Unfortunately it looks as though XM606's future is bleak at best, she will more then likely continue to deteriorate in the harsh Louisana enivornment until she one day meets her demise at the scrapper's hand.

Fittingly XM606 sits next to two of her American counterparts, a B-52D and a B-52G, and is situated about 200 yards from the old SAC Alert Facility on Barksdale AFB. The Alert Facility is much like the RAF's ORP. I have many memories from when I was younger, visiting my father at the Alert Facility at Barksdale, Dyess, and Grand Forks. It saddens me to see strategic bombers like the Vulcan and B-52 not being preserved as they should, they are memorials to the Cold War Warriors like my father and should be preserved as such.

I remember first seeing the Vulcan in the Bond movie Thunderball, and I first saw a Vulcan in person at the Duxford Museum. At the time my father made a few jokes about the rear crew not having ejection seats, which being a back seater himself in B-52s and B-1Bs, did not sit well with him.

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Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:12 am
by Hihonyr8811
Awwww bless her :(
Thank you for posting the pics, I'll certainly never be able to get over there tp see her :((

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:38 am
by Xplumberlives
Thanks for the pictures XM, rear seater survival chances were not great, I always wondered just how they convinced the guys to do the job.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:57 am
by Jigsaw
Thanks for posting those.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:42 am
by XM606
Xplumberlives wrote:Thanks for the pictures XM, rear seater survival chances were not great, I always wondered just how they convinced the guys to do the job.


Well I'm sure it had something to do with the mentality of 'it will never happen to me.' My father told me once how back in the day in the B-52 squadrons they used to pile 10+ guys into the aircraft for sorties at the end of the month just to make sure everyone got their hours before the end of the month. Being that the B-52 only had six ejection seats and back in the early 80s B-52s flew low level penetration sorties, survival chances were not great if you were not in an ejction seat. On top of that the Nav and the Radar Nav in a B-52 eject downwards, which means you need to be at a good altitude to bail out.

Its a bit more understandable though when you think about the fact that the Vulcan and the B-52 were originally envisioned to be dropping bombs from 50,000 plus, and not from 300 or less.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:34 am
by Xplumberlives
XM606 wrote:
Xplumberlives wrote:Thanks for the pictures XM, rear seater survival chances were not great, I always wondered just how they convinced the guys to do the job.


Well I'm sure it had something to do with the mentality of 'it will never happen to me.' My father told me once how back in the day in the B-52 squadrons they used to pile 10+ guys into the aircraft for sorties at the end of the month just to make sure everyone got their hours before the end of the month. Being that the B-52 only had six ejection seats and back in the early 80s B-52s flew low level penetration sorties, survival chances were not great if you were not in an ejction seat. On top of that the Nav and the Radar Nav in a B-52 eject downwards, which means you need to be at a good altitude to bail out.

Its a bit more understandable though when you think about the fact that the Vulcan and the B-52 were originally envisioned to be dropping bombs from 50,000 plus, and not from 300 or less.



Indeed, perhaps it all comes down to the "We'll get it done" attitude of professional servicemen! :ymapplause:

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:59 am
by Olicat
That's a nice looking museum :)

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:13 pm
by Sooty655
XM606 wrote:As you may notice from the photos her nose is drooping down do to some structual issues with the aircraft. Do to this the crew entry hatch is welded shut to prevent people from entering the aircraft.


It appears from the pics that the nosewheel oleo has collapsed. :(

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:46 pm
by Lucas1860
Some nice stuff, great old aircraft.

Jim

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:32 pm
by XM606
Xplumberlives wrote:Indeed, perhaps it all comes down to the "We'll get it done" attitude of professional servicemen! :ymapplause:


Very true.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:40 pm
by Nickolas
Sooty655 wrote:
XM606 wrote:As you may notice from the photos her nose is drooping down do to some structual issues with the aircraft. Do to this the crew entry hatch is welded shut to prevent people from entering the aircraft.


It appears from the pics that the nosewheel oleo has collapsed. :(


Structurally from the outside all the paint lines look good so the droop as you suggest looks like U/c not A/c.
There appears to be no degradation of the skins and no ripples to suggest structural failure.

Bloody shame though, looks like a nice collection that's about to head south!!

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:57 pm
by XM606
Nickolas wrote:Bloody shame though, looks like a nice collection that's about to head south!!


Well the somewhat good news is that the base commander has taken a keen interest in preserving the museum and its collection. There are a lot of historically significant aircraft. For example the B-52G on display flew 32 combat missions over Iraq in Desert Storm. The museum is home to an SR-71 and the only B-24 still in exsistence that was built by Ford Motor Company during the war. Inside the museum they have a wide collection of artifacts from the 8th Air Force's history.

However non-the-less the place is still underfunded. One thing the museum has done to offset the cost is to have the USAF squadrons on the base adopt an aircraft in the museum. In doing so the squadron becomes responsible for helping preserve the aircraft they chose to adopt. I do not believe all the aircraft have been adopted yet.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:13 pm
by Sooty655
XM606 wrote:However non-the-less the place is still underfunded. One thing the museum has done to offset the cost is to have the USAF squadrons on the base adopt an aircraft in the museum. In doing so the squadron becomes responsible for helping preserve the aircraft they chose to adopt. I do not believe all the aircraft have been adopted yet.

We are rather too far away for a weekend of volunteering to be a viable proposition, but if they ever need any information they can always call on their fellow 300-series Vulcan at xm655MaPS@aol.com

Perhaps XM606 could let them know we'd be happy to help.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:41 pm
by Jigsaw
:ymapplause: :ymapplause: I KNEW that was coming Sooty :D :ymapplause:

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:45 pm
by RLN
Anything Vulcan , ask 655 MAPS. They are the kiddies

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:10 pm
by Sploosher
despite the sagging at the front, she looks in really good nick............. \:D/


shame they cant get a hanger around her and get it sorted........... :((

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:19 am
by XM606
Sooty655 wrote:
XM606 wrote:However non-the-less the place is still underfunded. One thing the museum has done to offset the cost is to have the USAF squadrons on the base adopt an aircraft in the museum. In doing so the squadron becomes responsible for helping preserve the aircraft they chose to adopt. I do not believe all the aircraft have been adopted yet.

We are rather too far away for a weekend of volunteering to be a viable proposition, but if they ever need any information they can always call on their fellow 300-series Vulcan at xm655MaPS@aol.com

Perhaps XM606 could let them know we'd be happy to help.


I've been trying to get in contact with the Museum curator, who is a family friend, lately but with the holidays its been tough. I actually live in Texas but I keep in touch with the curator when I can. I've been trying to get a hold of him to see if he has a flight or maintenance log for XM606 as I recently started researching the history of the Vulcans on display in North America. I've worked out so far that XM606 spent time in No. 9, No. 35, and No. 44 Squadrons. I also have pic of XM606 at RAAF Butterworth in Malayisa circa 1965.

Interestingly enough I was reading up on the Vulcan displayed in California and during the Falklands War the RAF sent techs over to remove several parts from the aircraft for Vulcans fighting in the war and then after the war returned the parts to the aircraft in California.

I'll let you know when I get in contact with the curator.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:18 am
by Avro683
No structural issue with it at all, it is just the nose oleo that has lost pressure and ran down. Nothing a service and recharge wouldnt put right. That and a whiff of nitrogen back into the tires as well! ;)

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:35 pm
by Bovril
655 MaPS road trip (well airtrip)?

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:48 pm
by Xplumberlives
Bovril wrote:655 MaPS road trip (well airtrip)?



Three men and an accumulator! ;)

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:17 pm
by Jigsaw
Xplumberlives wrote:
Bovril wrote:655 MaPS road trip (well airtrip)?



Three men and an accumulator! ;)


:ymapplause:

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:34 pm
by Kermit
Lovely photos, hope we can all help somehow! After her first flight on 28.11.63 she was allocated to 12 squadron then served with 9, 35, 44, 50 and 101 squadrons. Only pics - have seen were from the Giant Voice exercises in 1974 in the USA, have you got them ?could try to locate them if needed.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:39 am
by XM606
Kermit wrote:Lovely photos, hope we can all help somehow! After her first flight on 28.11.63 she was allocated to 12 squadron then served with 9, 35, 44, 50 and 101 squadrons. Only pics - have seen were from the Giant Voice exercises in 1974 in the USA, have you got them ?could try to locate them if needed.


I have some pics from the Giant Voice Ex in '74 in a book but they are at a bad angle, you cannot see the tail number. Thanks for the info though. There was and still is a lot of professional cooperation and friendship between the RAF and the USAF, and that part of history needs to be preserved. I see part of preserving that history, as preserving the history of the Vulcans on display in the USA, since they were gifted to us by Her Majesty and the RAF as signs of friendship. Much like the B-52 at Duxford.

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:44 am
by Avro683
That would be amazing co-operation between Maps and Barksdale AFB. Get some much needed repairs and attention done to XM606 and also could exchange parts that could help her sister back home continue to live on?

Re: XM606 - Louisana's Vulcan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:18 am
by Kermit
Would indeed be great ! And precisely why I joined 655MaPS in the first place, its the aircraft that matter and seeing a Vulcan kept in good nick through sheer hard work and determination is just wonderful.and its fun too. As Bovril said, its only a plane trip away to 606 !!!