Falklands' Most Daring Raid

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Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Ramshornvortex » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:12 pm

Just a heads-up that Channel 4 will be broadcasting an hour long dramatised documentary based on the first Black Buck bombing mission carried out 30 years ago next month. The programme airs at 2000 on Sunday 18 March. The programme was made by Darlow Smithson Productions and features, among others, Martin Withers, David Thomas (as technical adviser) and our very own XM655 at Wellesbourne (playing her rather more famous sister XM607!).

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

"Falklands’ Most Daring Raid brings alive a fast-paced, funny story of true grit and classic British derring-do to create a thrilling and uncharacteristically upbeat account from the Falklands War.
This gripping film tells the humorous yet heroic account of how a crumbling, Cold-War era Vulcan flew the then longest range bombing mission in history and how a WW2 vintage bomb changed the outcome of the Falklands War.
Astonishingly, this story of one of the RAF’s greatest modern feats has been downplayed into near obscurity by history.
On 30th April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission; to bomb Port Stanley’s runway, putting it out of action for invading Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Naval Task Force, steaming towards the islands, depended on its success.
But the RAF could only get a single Vulcan bomber 8,000 miles south to the Falklands and back again and even that was going to take a 16 hour continuous flight from Ascension Island and an aerial refuelling fleet of thirteen Handley Page Victor tankers.
At the heart of the RAF’s plan was the iconic but ageing Avro Vulcan bomber. But as Britain’s original Cold War nuclear deterrent, the ‘Tin Triangles’ were in the process of being scrapped. Now, just months from being decommissioned, three of the surviving nuclear bombers - one to fly the mission and two as reserve - had to be kitted out for war and retro-fitted to carry 21 x 1,000lb WW2 iron bombs. Crucial spare parts had to be scavenged from museums around the world and whilst others were found in scrap yards – one vital piece was discovered being used as an ashtray in the Officer’s Mess.
In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, something the Vulcan hadn’t done for 20 years – and described by one pilot as like ‘trying to stick wet spaghetti up a cat’s backside’ –and conventional bombing, which they hadn’t done for ten. The RAF scoured the country to find just enough WW2 bombs and refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5.00 pocket calculator.
With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF’s hopes riding ultimately on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge; fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and empty fuel tanks. Of the Vulcan’s 21 WW2 bombs, only one found the target. But that was enough to change the outcome of the war…
Based on Rowland White’s best-selling book, Vulcan 607, the documentary uses strong first-hand testimonies from the original Vulcan and Victor crews and stylised drama filmed in and around a surviving Vulcan Bomber.
It is the Dambusters for the 1980s generation."

Don't miss it.....!
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Bovril » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:22 pm

box set to record :D
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Dee » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:20 pm

Thanks for the heads up, will get son to record!
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Sploosher » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:30 pm

also noted here too................ :D
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Xplumberlives » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:38 am

Thanks Charles! :ymapplause:
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TSR-2 simply got the first 3 right. ”
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Nuuumannn » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:46 am

Shame I'm gonna miss it. I dunno why they didn't use XM597, since its another Falklands vet and its on public display. I also think the most daring was BB6 when the fuel probe broke and '597 had to divert to Rio; now that'd make interesting telly!
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Ramshornvortex » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:42 am

Nuuumannn wrote:Shame I'm gonna miss it. I dunno why they didn't use XM597, since its another Falklands vet and its on public display. I also think the most daring was BB6 when the fuel probe broke and '597 had to divert to Rio; now that'd make interesting telly!


Three reasons I think.....

One is that the film has been created as a televisual version of Rowland White's much acclaimed 'Vulcan 607' and that focused almost exclusively on the build up to, and execution of, BB1.

The second is that in order to add authenticity to the in-cockpit filming Darlow Smithson decided that they needed a live Vulcan equipped to 1980s standard - that left them with a choice of one - XM655 (as XL426 is out of action still undergoing deep maintenance at Southend).

The third reason - to control production costs Darlow Smithson were able (through great co-operation with the airfield manager and South Warwickshire Flying School) to be able to film the RAF Waddington and Ascension Island scenes all at Wellesbourne in sandy Warwickshire(!).
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Nuuumannn » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:22 pm

I was actually going to ask if the story was based on that book; I used to have that once. Good yarn.

I always thought Warwickshire was a bit desolate ;)
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Bovril » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:27 pm

Yes the programme is based on the book.

filmed over a week last september, 1 day at brunty, the rest at welles.

with some very long days for those of us involved.

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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Bovril » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:30 pm

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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Blue_2 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:12 pm

shame they didn't come north to see Lindy... :(
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Gully » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:14 pm

Blue_2 wrote:shame they didn't come north to see Lindy... :(


I believe her sister, Tina, performed for the cameras! :D

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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Mayfly » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:29 pm

Just a reminder if anyone forgot ::::::::

It's on again Channel 4+1 at 9.00pm
In memory of a very dear friend - Mike Pearson

Very fond memories of Robbie Gilvary - DTs 1st Vulcan Captain who taught DT all he knew.
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Cluny » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:58 pm

That was a bit good :ymapplause:
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Mayfly » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:05 pm

I enjoyed it - goes to show I think just how tenacious we as a nation can be [even if we don't get right in the first place]

I still don't understand why the Black Buck missions get so much flack, it was about so much more than potholing a runway.
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Sploosher » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:13 pm

Cluny wrote:That was a bit good :ymapplause:



I agree, might even watch it again online................... :D then read the book again.......... ;)
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Bensmum » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:46 pm

That was excellent. Well done to all the stars! :ymapplause:

Ben had to keep telling me to calm down - and to be quiet ... shouldn't it be the other way around! :))

So whose idea were the jaffa cakes?? :D
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Giles » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:04 pm

Well done to all those involved with tonights prog. :ymapplause:
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Hihonyr8811 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:12 pm

I've always said that I found Vulcan 607 a tedious read (don't know why, I've read plenty of other similar books and never struggled with them), took me a long time to get through it. But the program really was fantastic :ymapplause:
Bravo to all involved :ymapplause: :ymapplause:

And I think mum has finally understood the refuelling :ymapplause: which she keeps telling me she never under stood.
Recorded it so will probably watch it again at some point :ymapplause:
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Nickolas » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:50 pm

Tedious????????? Must be a girl thing. I couldn't put it down. Brilliant read. Wassamatterwithyouwoman????????? =))
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Hihonyr8811 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:56 am

My book shelf is full of books on similar subject matters, I can't help it if I find one book harder to read than another, I find reading a struggle at the best of times due to being dyslexic but I love to read so I plod alone at my own pace till I'm done. As I said, I don't know why I struggled with it, I just did.
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Mayfly » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:52 am

I know what you mean Helen - I could never get into Lord of the Rings so subsequently have never bothered to watch any of the films. I'm pleased you enjoyed the programme I think it explained a lot in simple easy to understand way that would appeal to non aviation minded people. Seeing them filming at Wellesbourne I'm pleased it turned out so well.

RHV your thread on Prune is certainly popular.
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Ramshornvortex » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:59 am

Mayfly wrote:I know what you mean Helen - I could never get into Lord of the Rings so subsequently have never bothered to watch any of the films. I'm pleased you enjoyed the programme I think it explained a lot in simple easy to understand way that would appeal to non aviation minded people. Seeing them filming at Wellesbourne I'm pleased it turned out so well.

RHV your thread on Prune is certainly popular.


Isn't it just? A bit of inevitable RN v. RAF bashing as well as the 'what did it actually achieve' questions, but what an interesting contribution from two of (what was then) the enemy as well.....

All I did was the light the touch paper and retire to a safe distance...... ;)
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Mayfly » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:40 am

Yes as I mentioned before I never have understood this - it didn't achieve anything attitude, it was so much more.

I'm always amazed at that the same line 'They only hit the runway with 1 bomb' is touted out over and over. Why would you want to destroy something you know you will need yourself God willing in the future? The Falklands was a multi faceted operation of which all played their part.
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Re: Falklands' Most Daring Raid

Postby Nickolas » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:06 am

Hihonyr8811 wrote:My book shelf is full of books on similar subject matters, I can't help it if I find one book harder to read than another, I find reading a struggle at the best of times due to being dyslexic but I love to read so I plod alone at my own pace till I'm done. As I said, I don't know why I struggled with it, I just did.
#
Sorry Helen if I caused any offence. My comment was aimed in the direction of it was such a compelling story.
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