back to article Avro Vulcan - The Owners' Workshop Manual

DIY vehicle fixers' favourite Haynes has added a new title to its roster of vintage aircraft guides: the Avro Vulcan Owners' Workshop Manual. The cover of the Haynes Avro Vulcan manual The blurb explains: "The awesome Avro Vulcan is an enduring image of the Cold War era when the world stood on the brink of nuclear annihilation …

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Anonymous Coward

Nice

Though I suspect the content is far removed from a real workshop manual for an aircraft.

Once looked over part of the maintenance manual for a de Havilland Sea Vixen. Two thick A4 ring binders of pages.

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Headmaster

Yes..

The maintenance manuals for a B737 are about 6.5317 Linguine of A4 pages; the overhaul manuals are even bigger. On top of that there are also the structural repair manuals and a set of parts manuals to cover all versions, in total, about 0.2976 of a Double-decker bus thick.

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Anonymous Coward

I know this is well off topic...

but it's been awfully quiet the last hour or so. Its as if there was some kind of distraction.

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Rob

Shame...

... it can't always be like that :(

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Profits, profits...

...let's hope the publishers pass some of the profits over to XH558's owners, or the book is all we'll have. If anyone reading this article thinks they'd like to support the VTTS Trust, go here:

http://www.vulcantothesky.org/donate

and give them lots of lovely money to keep 558 flying!

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Welll....

If XH558 stays on the ground, there's a substantially improved chance we'll still have XH558 to look at. It was only by flying these things, that you imperil them and all aboard them. They weren't supposed to fly at altitudes where people on the ground could see them, and that was why so many of them crashed. This is a plane whose rudder couldn't stop it from spinning like a dish, if you powered up one bank of engines faster than the other. Entire aircrews of good men have been killed by these bitches - and there's a reason why the only planes that look like this, these days, need computers to keep them in the air.

"Discover what it was like to fly the mighty V- bomber during the Cold War"

According to my dad, it was like driving a very cold, damp bus, that you couldn't see out of, while wearing an Irvin jacket that you'd have though was made of concrete, if it didn't smell so strongly of dead sheep.

Just because you can fly them doesn't mean you should. Where's the collection box to keep the Last Working Starfighter in the air?

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You clearly are not aware....

....that an aircraft on the ground in a museum is not an "aircraft" at all.

Put 'em in the air, and if they crash then accept that it was the price that had to be paid.

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Coat

Re: "Where's the collection box to keep the Last Working Starfighter in the air?"

Don't be silly, it's impossible to keep Lockheed Starfighters in the air!

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Boffin

@Daniel1 -What are you on?

How many crews, exactly, were lost due to a problem with the rudder? Try and see what happens when you open one side up but not the other in ANY airplane, from something the size of a B52 down to your average Cessena or Beech light twin.

How many crashed simply because they flew at altitudes "where people could see them" and not because the pilot forgot there was a large chunk of steel between him and the ground below? (setting aside the question of how they could ever take off or land if they weren't able to fly safely within eyesight range? And how high would they need to fly for someone with average eyesight to not be able to see them?).

And where the hell did you get the idea a modern delta will only fly if a computer helps out? Do you know anything about aeronautical science, or are you just basing your "facts" on the fact your old man didn't like flying in them?

Things like the Eurofighter Typhoon or the B2 only need computer "assistance" because they are deliberatley designed to be UNstable - the biggest problem with landing the Vulcan was the lovely big cushion of air that got trapped beneath all that wing - but even that wasn't dangerous per se, just a minor annoyance.

Comparing the Vulcan to a Starfighter is like comparing a Mini Metro to a drag-racing bike - one is designed to get you there and back, with an almost useful load, while the other is intended to get you to your destination as fast as possible...

Let me guess, you've never flown a real aeroplane but you're a fantastic pilot in Microsoft's Flight Simulator, or Tom Clancy's HAWX on X-Box. Way to go, champ.

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Yes, right...

I'm perfectly aware of it.

I'm also perfectly aware of the fact that a 'hero' is some sort of a weird sandwich, and so I can only assume - from your heroic attitude to flying a plane which tends to crash in ways which make successful ejection practically impossible - that you either intend to fly the thing, yourself, or you're some sort of a weird sandwich.

If the crew of X390, at Glenview, had had 40,000 feet, instead of just 400ft, to recover, they might have been at least able to get out of the thing before it hit the ground. I can think of few aircraft types less suited to air displays than V Bombers.

However, I suppose if deliberately flying a high altitude bomber at low altitudes, until the airframe completely gives, out was good enough for the RAF, then if must be good enough for you. Forgive me if I pass on the opportunity to fund this exercise, however, since I didn't think it was a good way of spending my money, while the RAF were doing it.

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Well, since you ask

Well, these "Tom Clancy's HAWX" and whatever it is you're on about - I assume these are computer games. The tone of your reply pretty much characterises the sneering attitude which has become the default communication protocol of the Internet.

Lack of rudder authority was the main reason aircrews disliked the Vulcan. All of the control surfaces had trouble overcoming the ship['s vast wingspan, but the tail fin was the glaring feature of the lot.

The problem was brought to the attention of the top brass after the loss of XM601, in 1964, where loss of rudder authority (following an approach on asymetric power) was directly attributed as the cause of the crash. However, lack of authority from control surfaces was a well-established problem amongst those who had been lucky enough to recover from it in a Vulcan, long before this crash. Indeed many of those individuals were among those whose testimony came to acknowledge the problem, following the XM601 inquest.

And yes, many Vulcans did crash simply because they flew at altitudes "where people could see them". My father's squadron was 44, Rhodesia - the first to convert to low level flying - and the Vulcan was an utterly diasterous low level airplane (worse, even, than the Canberas he went on to, in fact). Six of my father's friends were killed in an accident that was put down to pilot error, but which many in the squadron believed to be the result of catastrophic airframe failure brought on by low level flying.

Now, Vulcan is a lovely looking thing (just as the new Typhoon is, in fact), but it was bought for a type of war that was never actually fought, and then forced into a type of war it wasn't any good at. Somehow we revile our bad military procurement purchases when we're still paying for them, but enshrine them in myth, once a covering of sepia and patina has developed on them.

We should get XH558 flying, to immortalise what, exactly? And at airshows?

XL390 (the last full-aircrew loss in a Vulcan) crashed at an air display in Illinois, in the early 70s and the likelihood there, is that - had they been flying at 40,000ft, as the ship was designed to do, rather than the 400ft dictated by air shows, the crew might at least have had time to get out of the thing before it hit the deck.

Vulcans had a way of going out of control which made them especially difficult to escape from. Aircrews disliked that, naturally. It seems the reality of the situation is being painted out of the history by people who want to get this thing flying because of some truth that was never real.

So, yes, by all means fly a high altitude bomber at low altitudes until it's airframe collapses, but forgive me for not donating money to help you do this. I did not regard this as a good use of my money, when the RAF was doing, it using the public funds. I'll be damned if I'll volunteer to do it.

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Yeh but no but

I recall sitting on top of a mountain above Maesteg in South Wales back in the 70s and looking down on a Vulcan as it weaved its way down the valley. It must have been flying at under 1000 feet.

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Hanynes

Read the book, take off OK, coming into land you suddenly realise there's a step missing and you need a part no-one sells for less than ten grand :-)

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It's an assembly, not a part...

Actually, the part you would need would only cost a couple of quid. The problem would be that the only way to get it would be to buy it as an "assembly" for ten grand...

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And...

... you'd need manufacturers special tool no: xxxxxxxxx to fit it, which costs a couple of hundred quid (or can be made out of two pop can ring-pulls and some sticky-tape)!

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Anonymous Coward

Saw one of these swoop low over Greenhead bank on the way to Scotland.

It just came out of nowhere, and was absolutely silent.

I found this quite strange, because these full passtrhrough things make a whopping noise. The same basic engine powering Concorde went over my head 15 years later, and I thought we were having an earthquake.

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Silent?

Was under one doing a low flypast at an air show, about 17 years ago. Fook me it was loud, it did make the ground shake.

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Flypast...

Legend has it that it stopped going to the Bembridge Airshow after a stunning 'low, slow and dirty' pass with full chat caused so much sound shock that a large number of windows were shattered in a nearby town.

May be all lies but you really want to believe it even though I haven't seen one in the air since

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Concorde engine...?

Throughout most of my adolescence, I lived in a neighborhood under the approach/takeoff flight paths of Dulles International Airport, and had gotten quite used to the likes of DC9s, 707s and 747s passing "low and slow" over our house. In the mid '70s, I was part of a local campaign to prevent the Concorde from being flown in and out of IAD owing to noise concerns. Once the Concordes started using IAD, though, I was forced to reconsider my position, at least partially; while the Concorde's noise level was about the same as "traditional" jetliners, its frequency range was quite different. While regular jets had most of their roar and rumble in the low end, the Concorde's engine noise was mostly in the midrange, with a sound not unlike someone ripping a sheet of paper -- only louder -- and was a bit more annoying, although not enough to make a huge difference. Also, IAD took measures to mitigate noise issues by routing approach/takeoffs of the Concorde over more lightly-populated areas west of the airport.

Of course, I don't really know what it was like for neighborhoods near major airports in England and France.

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Flame

Avro Arrow

When will they bring out a manual for my Avro Arrow.

I am stuck while trying to rebuild the landing gear.

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MG Midget tach chip

Friend's tach failed. Disassembled it, found a TI numbered chip. As I'm an EE, called my local TI rep and asked for a sample (chip number was one off from a standard TI tach chip). Reply comes back 2 weeks later: "it's a proprietary custom part".

Cra@p.

"But I found a couple in the engineer's desk drawer and they're in the mail to you."

Yesssss!

Tach repaired, worked fine for many years more. The MG's long gone, but I still remember the generosity of that TI rep.

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Just in time for XH558's 50th Birthday

Fantastic timing; XH558 was delivered to the RAF on 1st July 1960; she'll be 50 in 8 days from now. Send money now - I do!

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Coat

Haven't used a Haynes manual since I sold my XR3.

Is the first step in *every* procedure still "Disconnect the battery"?

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Anonymous Coward

So?

I think you'll find that's the first step in almost every procedure of every workshop manual. Especially the manufacturer's official workshop manuals.

What it doesn't say is "make sure you've got the radio code to hand" before telling you to disconnect the battery.

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FAIL

Yawn.

Getting very bored with Haynes overpriced novelty books. There's even one for Thomas the Tank Engine FFS!

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You think that's something...

I still have my copy of the Star Fleet Tech Manual, circa 1976, with complete plan and section views of every class of Federation starship, along with cutaways and diagrams of, among other things, various types of tricorders -- showing then-current electronics inside, with the note "Equivalent 20th Century Terran early development shown IAW UFP Prime Directive".

I'd still love to get my hands on the Chilton's Apollo LM manual.

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Haynes Manuals - Simplified

Ah: Haynes Workshop manuals. There are many phrases and euphemisms which bear translation into everyday English. Here are just a few that may be in the Vulcan Version

:

Haynes: Rotate anticlockwise.

Translation: Clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer anticlockwise.

Haynes: This is a snug fit.

Translation: Clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: This is a tight fit.

Translation: Clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with a hammer.

Haynes: As described in Chapter 7...

Translation: That'll teach you not to read right through before you start. Now you are looking at scary photos of the inside of a gearbox.

Haynes: Prise off...

Translation: Hammer a screwdriver into...

Haynes: Undo...

Translation: Go buy a tin of WD40 (giant economy size).

Haynes: Retain tiny spring...

Translation: PINGGGG - "Jesus, where the hell did that go?"

Haynes: Press and rotate to remove bulb...

Translation: OK - that's the glass bit off, now fetch some good pliers to dig out the bayonet part (and maybe a plaster or two).

Haynes: Lightly slacken...

Translation: Start off lightly and build up till the veins on your forehead are throbbing then clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Weekly checks...

Translation: If it isn't broken don't fix it.

Haynes: Routine maintenance...

Translation: If it isn't broken, it's about to be. We warned you!

Haynes: One spanner rating.

Translation: An infant could do this... so how did you manage to **** it up?

Haynes: Two spanner rating.

Translation: Now you may think that you can do this because two is a low, teensy weensy number... but you also thought the wiring diagram was a map of the Tokyo underground (in fact, that would have been more use to you).

Haynes: Three spanner rating.

Translation: Make sure you won't need your car for a couple of days.

Haynes: Four spanner rating.

Translation: You're not seriously considering this are you?

Haynes: Five spanner rating.

Translation: OK - but don't ever transport your loved ones in it again.

Haynes: If not, you can fabricate your own special tool like this...

Translation: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Haynes: Compress...

Translation: Squeeze with all your might, jump up and down on it, throw it at the garage wall, then find some molegrips and a hammer...

Haynes: Inspect...

Translation: Squint at really hard and pretend you know what you are looking at, then declare in a loud knowing voice to your wife, "Yep, it's as I thought, it's going to need a new one"

Haynes: Carefully...

Translation: You are about to suffer serious abrasions.

Haynes: Retaining nut...

Translation: Yes, that's it, that big spherical blob of rust.

Haynes: Get an assistant...

Translation: Prepare to humiliate yourself in front of someone you know.

Haynes: Difficult to reach ...

Translation: Assembled at the factory and never meant to be touched.

Haynes: Turning the engine will be easier with the spark plugs removed.

Translation: However, starting the engine afterwards will be much harder. Once that sinking pit of your stomach feeling has subsided, you can start to feel deeply ashamed as you gingerly refit the spark plugs.

Haynes: Refitting is the reverse sequence to removal.

Translation: Yeah, right. But you swear in different places.

Haynes: Prise away plastic locating pegs...

Translation: Snap off...

Haynes: Using a suitable drift...

Translation: Clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Everyday toolkit

Translation: RAC Card & Mobile Phone (but don't forget your molegrips and hammer!)

Haynes: Apply moderate heat...

Translation: Unless you have a blast furnace, don't bother. Alternatively, clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with hammer.

Haynes: Index

Translation: List of all the things in the book, bar what you need to do.

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Coffee/keyboard

Yep, and this is pretty much WHY I haven't used a Haynes manual since selling my XR3...

Thanks Fluffykins - genuine LOLs here while reading this. :-D

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Anonymous Coward

@Fluffykins

I nearly wet myself you b@$t4rd!!!

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My favourite is

"Assembly is the reverse of disassembly"

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Rob

Tears of flippin laughter

I can vouch for most the translations to be completely true and correct

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Coffee/keyboard

Thank you

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Just as I remember it from trying to do some odd bits and pieces on a Series II Land Rover while following the appropriate Haynes manual.

Oh and, fortunately, I wasn't actually drinking when I read all that. Otherwise you probably would indeed owe me a new keyboard, which could have been expensive given that I'm typing this on a laptop...

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LOL

That made my day :)

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WD40?

Good god, you shouldn't be using that as an easing oil. Use PlusGas or similar.

Tut Tut.

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Happy

Oh my!

Fluffykins, you have just absolutely made my day. I wish that's the kind of thing that Haynes would really print in their manuals, because "ain't it the truth".

While all of their manuals seem to be pretty bad, the one for 1981-89 Chrysler K platform cars is laughable, especially if yours had the 2.6L Mitsubishi engine. Oh, I got so mad while dealing with that wretched thing! And then I found the Chrysler factory service manual being offered for sale. What a difference!

Frankly, it scares me that they've written an aircraft service manual. I sincerely hope no aircraft serviced from information in a Haynes manual flies over *my* house!

Just how long have you been working on that?

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Go

Thank you...

Fluffykins, you made my day much brighter, as I disassembled a vintage 100Mhz-Pentium Aptiva PS/2. It was customary to IBM, in much written and no graphic detail, to describe how to remove a hard-drive through 18 double-sided pages, back then. 35 screws out, 20 back in, and the thing remained rock-solid, despite all the missing screws. I guess it was designed to be attached to a Diesel Locomotive, or this Avro-Vulcan bomber. Geez.

Can I use the word "Overbuilt" in understatement mode? Thank you.

When I was done tearing it apart, a lad asked me: "Will you be able to put it back together?" as I looked up and noticed there were ISA and riser cards spread all over the place. "Sure thing" I replied, "Here is IBM's manual on how to put it back" I lied.

I'd rather have the Spitfire or the P-51, since I've seen the Merlin engine shoved into anything its owner wanted to move, from speed boats, to some home-built cars. Don´t ask me how can a moron control 1500 bhp on anything without wings. They just did, and without no friggin' 'puters.

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Oh God

Midway through this I hit my limit for 'how much can you laugh out loud in the office before your coworkers think you've lost it,' so I'll have to continue reading at home. I think I'm going to print it out and keep it with my tools...

I'm damned lucky that this full cup of coffee was nowhere near my lips at the time - a lesson I learned long ago when reading El Reg comments.

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Boffin

"Assembly is the reverse of disassembly..."

... so that tiny spring will *leap* from wherever it vanished to under the car/ workbench/ dog and land neatly in place...

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prepared in advance...

I can't believe this is off the cuff and you must have been preparing this posting for years. Anyway, thanks for the laugh and demonstrating that it's not just me that is completely inept.

Haynes manuals, like Meccano, made this country what it aspired to be before going down the pub looked like a better idea.

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Happy

Fluffykins

You have caused me to get a double hernia and also lots of eye watering .

You must have used Haynes as much as I have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tears of flippin laughter

"I can vouch for most the translations to be completely true and correct"

I can vouch for their being understatements.

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Coffee/keyboard

ROFLMHO

10/10 Flufftkins, sounds like you've skinned your knuckles more than once, but

Haynes: This is a tight fit.

Translation: Heat with blowtorch, Clamp with molegrips then beat repeatedly with a hammer.

Will Fluffykins post become the most up-voted post ever?

New keyboard please, and one for my colleague on the other side of the partition.

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Pint

Yam

I still have the Haynes manual for my old Yamaha 350lc YPVS, Mmmmm Haynes, sunny days of yesteryear spent in the shed listening to Thw Jam :)

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Anonymous Coward

Errors

Did you find the errors in that particular manual? I certainly did. Then I got hold of a copy of the Yamaha factory workshop manual and was much happier.

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Happy

"Complete strip down and rebuild"

At least, this manual *will* be based on a "Complete strip down and rebuild", unlike most of these that just recycled the pictures from the manufacturer's workshop manual.

I have a manual for the Morris Ital (don't ask). According to the credits in the flyleaf, the car in the picture was *borrowed* from a dealership - and so, I suppose, after unbolting a few things, they gave it back!

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New Haynes manuals are carp (IMHO)

It used to be the case that they said every manual based on a Complete strip down and rebuild. I always had them and they were always useful (the translations above need to be known, and "reassembly is the reverse of removal" mean't you were probably better off trying to do it without the manual, because you'd take more care to remember!)

Now they seem to all be the same manual but with a picture of a different car on the front. Practically anything more complex than fill it with fuel, washer water, and maybe an oil change are beyond what might be explained.

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Heh! If I were buying a Morris Ital

I'd rather it was re-assembled in Yeovil than built in Cowley or Longbridge.

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Boffin

Slightly suprised...

... they didn't cut some kind of a deal with VTST/TVOC to share the profits, given they must have liased quite closely with them to produce the book.

Now, how about doing one on the TSR.2?

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Yeah....

...including the admonition "Do not run the engines within the 96-98% rpm range or they will explode!

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TSR2

Now that would be interesting.

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