back to article Rogue Somerset vulture lands at Royal Navy airbase

The "massive great big" vulture which went AWOL in Somerset last week has indeed proved as "hard to miss" as his owners promised, after he was spotted at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton yesterday. According to Birds of Prey Displays, Arthur – a white-headed vulture – was carried away by strong winds during a performance at …

  1. joeW

    "The emergency rogue vulture hotline"

    Are they more usually involved in the rounding up of El Reg hacks who have gone off the deep end after reading one press release too many?

    1. moiety

      Re: "The emergency rogue vulture hotline"

      No hotline needed...just check the three nearest pubs.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: "The emergency rogue vulture hotline"

        ...and the dumpsters behind them.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Coat

    Surely there's a marketing made in heaven here

    Vulture central meets vulture mobile ?

    1. Dr Who

      Re: Surely there's a marketing made in heaven here

      With the greatest of respect and to your great credit, your post is an excellent demonstration of why you are a techie and not a marketer.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking on the bright side

    If you class a vulture as "fixed wing", then the Fleet Air Arm have just had a bazillion per cent increase in their offensive capability after Shiney Faced Dave scrapped Harriers and carriers back in 2010.

    And I'll wage the vulture will carry more payload, have higher availability and greater stealth than the F35 promised for some future decade.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Looking on the bright side

      Certainly better than the experimental bat bombs in which a bomb casing held bats which in turn carried little bombs. One of those "what could possibly go wrong" ideas

    2. M7S

      Re: Looking on the bright side

      Dissing the F35, whilst you're probably correct, are you Lewis in disguise?

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Looking on the bright side

        "Dissing the F35, whilst you're probably correct, are you Lewis in disguise?"

        Or one of the remaining patriots in defence procurement?

        Someone should have asked at an early stage why the car industry doesn't make 7 seater sports cabriolet SUVs with pickup flatbeds and a 30ft turning circle for city traffic, so they only need one model.

      2. A Ghost
        Coat

        Re: Looking on the bright side

        "Dissing the F35, whilst you're probably correct, are you Lewis in disguise?"

        I think Mr. 'swinger' was merely pointing out the difference between a vulture and a turkey.

        (not to be confused with that other magnificent bird/fighter/bomber, also nicknamed 'The Turkey' - the F-14 Tomcat, none the less, which did what it was supposed to do, on time, on budget and with aplomb*. So not really a 'turkey' as such.)

        *[made the last bit up, but it can't be any worse than the F-35, can it?]

        I find it quite amusing the terms of endearment the pilots have for their aircrafts. Apparently, the F-4 Phantom was known as 'The (Flying) Brick'. The B-1 Bomber is currently known as 'The Bone'. I heard a rumour they were developing a Reconnaissance version of the aircraft - the B-1R - but they quickly scrapped the whole idea when a potential pilot pointed out the probable particular nickname they would end up using - it just wouldn't fly - so to speak.

        Coat's on. Stop shoving...

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Looking on the bright side

          'the F-14 Tomcat, none the less, which did what it was supposed to do, on time, on budget and with aplomb'

          Not strictly true, the original TF30 engines in the F-14A were prone to compressor stall which led to all kinds of problems such as the infamous flat spin from Top Gun and around 28% of all F-14 accidents. It was only when it was re-engined with the GE F110 13 years after originally entering service that it really attained its full potential as the F-14B and D (new build).

          It also didn't gain the originally planned ground attack capability until around 1990 which led to the USMC cancelling their procurement plans for it.

          Having said that the top scoring Tom Cat pilot did it in an A model, Brig. General Jalil Zandi of the IRIAF.

          1. A Ghost
            Thumb Up

            Re: Looking on the bright side

            Thanks.

            Really love the Tom Cat.

            Seem to recall that most of those that flew them held them in high-regard as well. But I may also be wrong about that (and just as happy to be corrected).

            cheers.

      3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Looking on the bright side

        "Dissing the F35, ... "

        No need at all to 'diss' the F-35 - honest, factual reporting is quite enough.

    3. fruitoftheloon
      Pint

      @Ledswinger: Re: Looking on the bright side

      Ledswinger,

      yup, I suspect it will be a bit more reliable too...

      Have one on me.

      Cheers,

      jay

    4. Rich Harding

      Re: Looking on the bright side

      Salesman. Yes. It's the finest fairweather fighter on the market. You won't find a better one at the price. Or any price for that matter.

      Strauss: Yes, it's very nice. But we need a plane for bombing, straffing, assault and battery, interception, ground support and reconnaissance. Not just a fairweather fighter!

      Salesman: Well, that's ok. We can make some modifications. It'll cost a little extra, but it's worth it. Just look at the shape of this beauty. Look, I tell you what we'll do. We'l redesign the plane, right? And instead of just calling it the F104, we'll call it the F104G.

      Strauss: G?

      Salesman: Yeah, eh, Herr Minister - G. G for Germany

      Strauss: G. for Germany, eh....

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Looking on the bright side

        If we are mentioning the F-104G and Franz-Josef Strauß, we should not omit the HS-30.

      2. TheDillinquent
        Alert

        Re: Looking on the bright side

        Anyone want to buy an F35? Then buy a plot of land and wait...

  5. msknight Silver badge

    Looking at that picture, I feel sorry for the poor thing he's eyeing up for lunch.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Happy

      Vultures eat dead things

      They don't kill their lunch. They rely on others to do it. Much like the hacks that hover around here

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Vultures eat dead things

        They are not above helping a still gasping dinner on its way!

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Vultures eat dead things

        @Steve Davies 3

        They don't kill their lunch. They rely on others to do it.

        Train a flock of Vultures to pickup and drop live Sidewinders onto target baddies. Ideal weapon for dealing with insurgents in desert situation.

  6. Timmy B Silver badge

    All fun for me.....

    Yeovilton is just across a couple of fields from me and my home office points that way - been looking out for it all day. No sign.

    1. A Ghost
      WTF?

      Re: All fun for me.....

      You know those little hamsters that keep escaping from the cage and ripping up the new expensive furniture?

      Quick, before the kids get home from school.

      "Oh, look Daddy, there's a bloody big vulture in the back garden!"

      "No, I don't believe it children. Oh yes, so it is! Wonder where that came from. Wonder what it's eating."

      "Daddy, where have all the gerbils gone?"

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: All fun for me.....

      Recaptured on the base earlier today. See update to story.

  7. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Headmaster

    PENDANT ALERT

    It is RNAS Heron, Yeovilton is the name of the village.

    The above fixed wing joke only works if you discount the Museum, which is full of fixed wing aircraft, including a very big, white, supersonic one.

    Ré the F35, perhaps we should get some T50's, at least the Russians have managed to get them to fly.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: PENDANT ALERT

      It is RNAS Heron, Yeovilton is the name of the village.

      <nitpick>

      If you look at the sign in the picture you will see RNAS Yeovilton clearly displayed. If you really want its "stone frigate" identity then it is HMS Heron.

      </nitpick>

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: PENDANT ALERT

        I discounted that as a mistake by the guy who made the sign for the bird handlers.

        I havent been in for a few years, but the signs always USED to read "RNAS Heron" - with "Yeovilton" underneath.

        In fact (thinking about it), the "active air" side was RNAS Heron, and the admin/museum side were Yeovilton; never saw one with a "HMS" on it, that I can remember.

        The BEST thing about the museum used to be the viewing gallery, where you could see the Shars and whirlybirds of the airbase in action.

        The WORST thing was the food in the cafe, which made even old Navy rations look/taste good.

        1. x 7

          Re: PENDANT ALERT

          "I havent been in for a few years, but the signs always USED to read "RNAS Heron" - with "Yeovilton" underneath."

          I hate to say this, but your memory is befuddled. It has always been HMS Heron / RNAS Yeovilton. NEVER RNAS Heron.

    2. The First Dave

      Re: PENDANT ALERT

      Are we talking about a necklace, or dog-tags or what?

      (Moral: Don't engage in pedantry unless you can actually spell it.)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The above fixed wing joke only works if you discount the Museum,

    Well I will discount the museum, on the grounds that most of those will never fly again.

    But I'll use that as an opportunity to (yet again) plug the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden in Bedfordshire, where many of the exhibits do fly from time to time, and the whole place reeks of fuel, lubricants and dope, unlike the impressive, but rather sterilised exhibits at (say) Cosford or Hendon. Very well worth taking a lloooonnggg detour to visit Old Warden, IMHO.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Very much agree. Had the fortune to fly into Shuttleworth in a Lysander (passenger) 20 odd years ago.

    2. x 7

      "the whole place reeks of fuel, lubricants and dope, "

      strange combination. Do the fuel and lubricants help the uptake of the dope? And why would you smoke cannabis at an air musuem anyway - does it help the pilots perform?

  9. energystar
    Linux

    "Why were you looking for me? Don't you know I have duties to fulfill, lessons to teach?

  10. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    Congratulations

    you have won a free gift vulture. It's not actually worth anything but will play havoc with the neighbour's cat.

    I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again

  11. x 7

    just remarkable that the vulture decided to fly to one of the few places in Somerset where it could be properly handled and safely controlled. How did it know?

  12. x 7

    just imagine the problems if Yeovilton did have an F-35 on the strength........would have been a heck of an airstrike.

    However the notional navy F-35 squadron will be based at an RAF station, not Yeovilton. Yeovilton will become a predominantly Royal Marines / Army base with Lynx and Wildcat helicopters

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