XM655 Maintenance and Preservation Society

Wings and Wheels 2014 15/06/2014

50/30 Anniversary Special - Report by Kay Prestidge

This year sees XM655 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of XM655 entering service with the RAF on 24th November 1964. On 11th February 1984 landed at her new home at Wellesbourne Airfield.

Saturday 15th June proved to be a very special day and the start of our most successful Wings and Wheels yet! With over 3000 visitors, we couldn't have wished for a better day to celebrate our anniversaries!

Preparation had begun by MaPS way before Sunday and the week had been spent preparing the Vulcan, cleaning her and making her look pretty on top of all the prep work needed to make what was a fantastic day run smoothly and without a glitch (or none that could be seen to the untrained eye!).

655 is towed to runway 05/23
XM655 is towed to runway 05/23 for engine runs.
Copyright© Av Magill

Ben prepares to do an engine intake check before engine runs.

Our very own top gun! Prepping for the Governors check.
Our very own top gun! Prepping for the Governors check.
Copyright© Kay Prestidge

While the refuelling was going on a group of us started to set up, the Cadets of 150 Oxford, 240 Darlaston and 1046 Fordhouses Squadrons did a grand job setting up our tents.

 the Cadets of 150 Oxford Sqn.     the Cadets of 240 Darlaston Sqn.
Cadets of 150 Oxford, 240 Darlaston and 1046 Fordhouses Squadrons.
Copyright© Kay Prestidge

Up bright and early on Sunday morning and time to set up our stalls for some of us while others stayed with the Vulcan to make sure she was ready for her big performances! Classic Cars, Military Vehicles, Motorbikes and static display aircraft all started to pile in and as MaPS were all working hard the Cadets kept us fed and watered as well as their own tasks for the day!

 the Cadets of 150 Oxford Sqn.     the MaPS tents.
The MaPS tents are ready and manned.
Copyright© Kay Prestidge

The Raffle Gazebo ready for action
The Raffle Gazebo ready for action.
Copyright© Kay Prestidge

The day started with a special delivery from the author of The Vulcan B.Mk2 from a Different Angle Craig Bulman who in his 'other' life is a real postman in Middlesbrough, who delivered a 28lb "smoke & flash" practice bomb package to Captain Mike Pollitt and Co-Pilot John Laycock.

Craig Bulman delivers the bomb
Craig Bulman delivers the bomb.
Copyright© Clive Hanley

With just over 250 vehicles booked in and more arriving on the day there was plenty to see in the vehicle exhibitors area. There was a vast range of cars, motorbikes and military vehicles. We were all pleased to see our retired VW air start transporter which is being restored by Adrian Radbourne.


Copyright© Kay Prestidge                                        Copyright© Terry Jacobs

This year's winners were Ian Hodgkins winning the car category with his MX5 Eunos Mk1, Military vehicles was Donald Evanson with his Ford Jeep and trailer. Finally Don Barrett in the motorbike category with his Kawaski Vulcan with a 1959 Watsonian Sidecar

Copyright© Terry Jacobs

Copyright© Terry Jacobs

We are fortunate to receive year round help from the 150 (City of Oxford) Sqn. and more recently 240 (Darlaston) Sqn Air Cadets who visit XM655 once a month helping to maintain our Vulcan. The annual 655 MaPS award for the Air Cadet who has excelled the most was presented to Cpl Goodall by Barry Masefield, Andy Marson presented the runner up prize to Asia Szalecka.

Cpl Goodall and Asia Szalecka receives their awards from Barry Masefield and Andy Marson
Copyright© Clive Hanley

There was an amazing performance by the LMA Vulcan a 1/5th scale remote controlled model.

LMA Vulcan
The LMA Vulcan thrills the crowds.
Copyright© Clive Hanley

The Dragon Rapide waited in the wings to land as part of the static aircraft display whilst XM655 performed the first of the two fast taxi runs.

Large Model Vulcans
Two Large Model Vulcans.
Copyright©John Wood

Dragon Rapide
The beautifully restored De Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide
Copyright©John Wood

We were treated to flypasts by Neil McCarthy in his Jet Provost Mk3A and Ben Lovering in his Christen Eagle II


Jet Provost    Christen Eagle
Neil's Jet Provost waits to take off.                 Ben Lovering makes smoke as he leaves.
Copright© John Wood                                Copright© Clive Hanley

There was also a beautiful sight of the BBMF Dakota as it flew past with the Air Load Master giving the crowd a wave.

BBMF Dakota
The Dakota's Air Load Master gives the crowd a wave.
Copyright©Kay Prestidge

The 1943 DeHavilland DH82A Tiger Moth and 1950 DHC1 Chipmunk on static display.

DeHavilland DH82A Tiger Moth      DeHavilland DHC1 Chipmunk
DeHavilland DH82A Tiger Moth                         DeHavilland DHC1 Chipmunk
Copyright©John Wood

There were big smiles from Dave Thomas, mainly because he was charging me £5.00 a photo! 'Cheque in the post Dave!'

Dave Thomas
A happy Dave Thomas!
Copyright©Kay Prestidge

XM655 demonstrates her aero-dynamic braking - Just a smidge more and MaPS will be doing jail time!

XM655 demonstrates her aero-dynamic braking
XM655 demonstrates her aero-dynamic braking
Copyright©Kay Prestidge

After the second taxi run and the brakes had cooled the crowds piled in to get up close to the Vulcan.

The crowd takes a closer look
Our visitors get up 'close and personal' with '655.
Copyright©Kay Prestidge

Shake those buckets boys!! Every penny counts.

Shake those buckets!
Every penny counts.
Copyright©Kay Prestidge

The day was a complete success with fun to be had by all and two amazing, tear jerking (for me anyway!) performances by our old girl, she continues to amaze and pull in the crowds! We are all very proud of her.

XM655 and the MaPS Village
XM655 and the MaPS Village
Copyright©Adrian Balch

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