Wellesbourne Airfield in Warwickshire. Home to a flying school, a Saturday market and an AVRO VULCAN: XM655.

This Vulcan is the most complete of all the Vulcans remaining. Although XH558 was the last airworthy Vulcan they had to remove stuff from it to get the airworthiness certificate. Hence, XM655 is more complete and still does high speed taxi runs.

I wrote about XH558 here when I saw her perform for the last time over Coventry airport.

I think the most amusing thing about XM655 is that when it was bought from the RAF it landed at Wellesbourne, but the runway isn’t long enough for it to take off again. That does seem a touch short sighted.

If you get the chance on a Saturday to visit you most definitely should. For a donation the members of the preservation society will give you a tour of the cockpit and tell you wonderful stories about the Vulcan and her history. Did you know that all the money went into the airframe and so the navigation equipment was pretty much the same as the Lancaster? For long flights the crew had a sextant.

Vulcan cockpit
Vulcan cockpit XM655

With a crew of five, but only two ejector seats there were “design” issues  I guess. The three crew facing backwards had to jump out through the entrance door in the floor. That was probably an issue when flying low!

So, the Vulcan is a beautiful plane. It’s very loud and imposing. I am curious as to how good it was compared to other planes of its generation. We Brits love to imagine that our stuff is the best. I just wonder how much that is true.

Vulcan Rear
Vulcan Rear

This beast is graceful and wonderful. I am glad she never was used for her intended mission.