XM655 Maintenance and Preservation Society

Fast Taxi Run April 1999 25/04/1999

655 before April's runs
655 preparing for the runs. Photo: Damien Burke
The weather threatened to be lousy once again but thankfully stayed dry with low cloud giving 655 a moody look. Crew consisted of Dave Thomas, Mike Pollitt and Barry Masefield. A graphic demonstration of Vulcan Power was laid on for all to hear when a single engine was brought up to 70% throttle before continuing with the start of the remaining three engines.
While normally 655 would taxi in a leisurely manner down to the runway end and carry out the fast run back up towards the market area she is parked on, the wind was light enough for the first 'low' speed run (if you count 60-odd knots as 'low'!) to be carried out directly from the market end of the runway. With Mike Pollitt at the controls for this first taxi run, a good burst of Vulcan roar was heard amidst much blue smoke - 655 clearing her throat! First run
First 'low' speed run. Photo: Damien Burke
Second run
Second high speed run. Photo: Damien Burke
However, the second run, with Dave Thomas in control, was the real surprise. This would be a faster run against a 5 knot head-wind, and with 655 now at the far end of the runway, the crowd waited for the aircraft to turn. With a burst of throttle as she swung round to face back up the runway, the power of the four Olympus engines began to shake the ground as the throttles were advanced to begin the run...
...engines roaring, the famous Vulcan bellowing roar ramping up in intensity, and then all too soon the throttles are cut, the sound dies away, airbrakes begin to extend... and at 65 knots "It just felt right" - a tug on the joystick sent 655's nose into the air, with the weight of the aircraft beginning to be shifted from the mainwheels to the wings! Cheers and shouts from the groundcrew as well as a few of the crowd! Rotate!
655 strains at the leash. Photo: Damien Burke
655 and admirers
655 and her admirers. Photo: Damien Burke
With her brief bid for freedom foiled by ever increasing drag from the huge wing, 655's nosegear settled back onto the runway and she continued down the runway, turning off to the market area where the crew, obviously in exuberant mood, parked the aircraft and throttled the engines up two more times to shake the ground and sweep the asphalt clear!

Attendance was the best yet and business at the various trade stands appeared brisk, with valued sponsors Lucas Service UK also having a stand. 655 MaPS now has an increasing range of merchandise available for those wishing to help the cause, including polo shirts, sweatshirts, prints and paintings. We're not here to make a profit, the money goes directly into keeping this aircraft well and truly alive.

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