Fascinating historical images from 1965 at RAAF Butterworth, Malaysia.

Vulcans and a Lancaster feature in pictures from Malaysia in 1965




Vulcans and a Lancaster feature in pictures from Malaysia in 1965
Thanks to some extended scanning and editing by Richard Harcourt, he has been able to provide us with a wide range of images from his time in the service.

He was certainly stationed at some varied and interesting locations and always seemed to keep a camera handy. We will be featuring many of his images over the coming months.
For today, we start with some rare images of Vulcans and even Lancaster G-ASXX on location at RAAF Butterworth, which still operates today, but as part of the Royal Malaysia Air Force.

G-ASXX is perhaps better known as ‘Just Jane’ that now resides at East Kirkby, with ambitious plans to be restored to full flying condition. There is a terrific story behind her, especially in how she made it back to these shores after the picture we see lower down was taken.

Vulcan landing at RAAF Butterworth in 1965, with Bloodhound II missiles of 33 Squadron.
Identified we believe as Vulcan XM656, she deploys her parachute on landing with Bloodhound missiles clearly seen in the distance.
Lancaster G-ASXX ‘NX611’ on stopover – bound for the UK

A victor tanker on the left and a Vulcan on the right. In the middle receiving quite a lot of attention is
Richard Taylor, a member of the team at East Kirkby wrote this overview of the journey back home.

“At 15.33hrs (3 minutes late!!), on Thursday 13th May 1965, Lancaster G-ASXX (NX611) “Spirit of Surfers Paradise” safely touched down at Biggin Hill Airport, Kent at the end of her epic journey back to the UK.
After a total flying time of 69 hours, from take-off at Sydney’s Mascot Airport on ANZAC Day 25th April 1965, our beautiful “Just Jane” (as we all now know her) finally returned to her UK birthplace, and took her deserved place at the opening of the 1965 Biggin Hill Air Fair.
Most Lancaster enthusiasts will be aware of her subsequent life history, but I personally want to express my sincere gratitude to all the wonderful people in Australia, especially those from the Sydney and Queensland’s ‘Gold Coast’ areas, who rallied around and contributed so generously to the overall funding of the return journey of “our Lanc” to her birth country. Without all that wonderful support, and the generosity of the French Government, we may never have been blessed with the “Just Jane” experience that we all cherish today.
It’s hard to remember that NX611 was only a 20 year old ‘lady’ when she began her new lease of life back in the UK, and now we are celebrating her 70th. Much has happened over those intervening 50 years, and it must be said, “Just Jane” has seen some rather turbulent times in her previous guise, but largely she has proved to be a ‘survivor’ who is straining at the leash to spread her wings and join her fellow ‘survivors’, as was so evident last September at the ‘3-Lancs’ events at East Kirkby.”
We find this a fascinating story and we will bring a more in-depth article on this flight to you in an upcoming edition.
Find out more about Lancaster ‘Just Jane’ here

Challenge Craig
Craig Bulman is a Vulcan archivist and a published author. He can tell us many fascinating facts on various aircraft just by the merest of details. We have sent the originals of these pictures to him and hope he might be able to identify the Vulcan on the right next to the Lancaster. Look out for another feature by Craig soon as he looks at a historical picture used in a recent newsletter. See how he can meticulously arrive at a short list, which with a little detective work and access to a huge reference library, can often lead to surprising discoveries. You can buy his book “The Vulcan B. Mk 2 ‘from a different angle’, published by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, from our webstore here.
‘Giveaway Vulcans’ as the fleet started to retire
The then Air Vice-Marshal Michael Knight (now Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael, and former Chairman of VTST) on the right holding the aircraft logbook at the handing-over ceremony of Vulcan XM573
Our story of the loan of Vulcan XM573 to the museum at Offutt in Nebraska continues with this excellent article written by Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Knight, who was Chairman of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust from 2004 to 2007, and was featured in the press cuttings featured in Tuesday’s newsletter edition from 1982. (See a copy here). He includes some of his own photographs and his memories from the time when the RAF started to retire the Vulcan fleet.

His article is titled, ‘Giveaway Vulcans’ and starts with details on another disposal, that of Vulcan XM605.
On 8th September 1981, as AOC 1 Group, I had joined the crew of the then OC 44 Squadron (One Wing Commander Simon Baldwin) to deliver XM605 to her final resting-place at Castle AFB in California. At that time, Castle was the home of the USAF Museum; and permission had been sought – and, surprisingly, granted – to ‘gift’ a Vulcan to our long-time colleagues, friends and occasional competitive rivals of Strategic Air Command.
The aircraft in question had been operating out of Offutt AFB on a routine ‘Olive Branch’ low-level training exercise; and, with only a few hours of fatigue life remaining, it had been officially declared surplus to the nation’s requirements. That said, she was in fine fettle as we climbed out of Nebraska and headed West. With only minimal fuel on board (MoD was not inclined to be over-generous with this gift) we managed to cruise-climb to something in excess of 50,000 feet – an event which was scarcely unique but which, for form’s sake, was duly recorded on film.
See the rest of the article here

Next Friday, we will have a feature on XM573’s actual arrival at the museum site and the tight access and prop moving that had to be encountered to place her in position ready for display.

HLF grant secures future of the Bomber Command Story
We were delighted to hear earlier this week that the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) has been awarded Round 2 funding of just under £3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the creation of their exhibition, community engagement and education programmes and digital archive.

This mirrors a similar award the HLF made to the Vulcan to the Sky Trust to begin the restoration of Vulcan XH558.
The first stage of the project was ‘The Spire Memorial’, and XH558 managed to not only fly-over the original Turf cutting ceremony in 2014, but at the official unveiling that took place in early October, just weeks before she made her final flight.
There are exciting plans to develop more facilities at the centre, including the Chadwick Centre which will house the archive and an exhibition. Find out more about the IBCC from their web pages here.
BADA Pre-Season Symposium – Robert Pleming reports:
With expectations that post-Shoreham reports and discussion would feature significantly, the attendance at the British Air Display Symposium, held jointly with the Military Aviation Authority at the Defence Academy Shrivenham, was its highest ever, with most of the UK’s airshows and display participants – civil and military – attending.
Sir Gerald Howarth MP, President of BADA and a Trustee of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, opened proceedings by setting expectations that he didn’t sense any desire from the public to reduce airshows in the UK, and that the industry must be careful not to take the excitement out. He stressed how important it is to showcase British aviation, and congratulated BADA on being the largest organisation of its kind in Europe.
Tony Rapson, Head of General Aviation at the CAA, gave an update on the investigation of the Shoreham disaster, and its follow-up. He said that the current limitations on heritage jet aircraft will remain until the Final Report from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Branch, expected in the Spring, but there would be a further report from the CAA in early March covering airworthiness, high-energy manoeuvres, height and separation distances for displays etc. Importantly, there will be an expanded specification for the risk assessments for airshows, including nearby roads, railways and other locations where the public could congregate outside the airshow itself, raised medical standards and enhanced mentoring for display pilots, and a requirement for post-display reporting.

All of the above will require greater resources within the CAA to implement, which is why Tony went on to explain the dramatic increase in airshow display permission charges – the CAA receives no Government money so must charge back to its users the full cost of its services.

Feedback on this aspect from participants at the meeting was understandably vocal, with the main conclusion being that the charges were being raised by far too much, far too quickly. Several 2016 airshows are already executing a business plan which assumed the old charges.

I have provided formal feedback on the Charges Consultation from VTST, noting that there had been no Impact Assessment included in the consultation, which would be good practice from a regulatory authority. I also proposed that the increase in charges should be delayed until 2017, and then ramped up more slowly.

When there is more news, I’ll provide a further update.


CAA consultation document on airshow charges
The consultation paper issued by the CAA proposes that their fees for the issue and administration of both airshow and display authorisations will be subject to increases from 1st April 2016, as the direct result of the increased CAA scrutiny of air displays and participants required following Shoreham.

This will affect those airshows already in planning for 2016. It will also impact the appearance fees of the display participants. Whilst safety is paramount, there is significant concern within the airshow industry on the scale of these charges and their proposed timescale of introduction.

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has already made its representations by using the official reply channel and will be working with colleagues within the British Air Display Association (BADA), for a co-ordinated approach with suitable dialogue.

In the meantime, we are aware many of our readers may like to review the proposals and add their own comments.

The CAA makes this statement in their introduction.
The purpose of this consultation document is to advise the air display sector of the aviation industry of the CAA proposals for revisions to the i) Flying Display, ii) Display Authorisations for pilots and iii) Low Flying Permissions sections of the CAA General Aviation Scheme of Charges. These proposals are planned to take effect from 1 April 2016. We welcome comments on all aspects of the proposals, including the charges structure and the level or amount of the charges.
See the full proposals here. If you wish to comment, then there is a special reply form here.
The deadline for the consultation is 29 February 2016.

Your chance to win a fast taxi ride in Vulcan XH558
Large aviation collection images most welcome
Our recent call for aviation ‘shelfies’ has also revealed quite a few collections of aviation memorabilia. One quite extensive collection was kindly laid out and photographed for us by Carole Goldie who has certainly amassed quite a collection over many years.
Art prints, models, books and DVDs from over a wide time-frame are amongst some of Carole’s memorabilia collection.
Do you have items like this you can share with your fellow readers? We would love to see them.

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A common issue we see in our web store is the fear of a wrong delivery addresses being used if you use PayPal to purchase your items. PayPal will often overwrite any address you enter with the registered address you have with them. If you have moved recently, you have two options:

Do please check your delivery address is correct before you complete your purchase.
Ideally, go to your PayPal account and modify the address details within your personal settings.
Many people have historic PayPal accounts, and although the email address will be the same, have indeed moved several times since setting them up. It’s important you keep a PayPal account updated this way.
We hope this helps your online shopping experience, both with Vulcan to the Sky and other online retailers.
Thank you.

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The very latest news on XH558’s winter service.
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