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Richard Dick 1924-2019

 It is with real sadness that we have learned that Richard Dick passed away on Thursday 31st January. He was a real character of the old school and his unfailing good humour will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

His career in aviation began with the RAF where he learned to fly during WW2, flying DC3 aircraft in the Far East in the war against the Japanese. At the cessation of hostilities he joined the family business which was involved in the production of aviation quality aluminium alloys. He was to serve as head salesman both in the UK and in America for many years.

Upon his retirement, he took an interest in aircraft preservation and we were very fortunate when Richard became involved with XM655 at Wellesbourne. He was a founder member of the group which eventually became 655MaPS. The aircraft had been sadly neglected and required a huge amount of work, and of course the newly-formed group had no money. Richard, who described himself as the best scrounger in the UK, threw himself into the task and was instrumental over a number of years in obtaining the sponsorship and assistance from several very prominent companies. Without his help it is extremely difficult to envisage how the preservation of our iconic aircraft could ever have progressed.

We know that every member of 655MaPS past and present will wish to send their sincere condolences and best wishes to all the members of Richard’s family in their great loss.    

About Avro Vulcan B.Mk2 XM655

Avro Vulcan XM655 was third from last of the Vulcan bombers produced for the Royal Air Force, being delivered in late 1964, and was part of the UK’s nuclear deterrent force throughout the 1960s and 1970s. It is now owned by Wellesbourne Airfield, and is looked after by 655 Maintenance and Preservation Society (655MaPS) which is a volunteer organisation of Vulcan enthusiasts.

XM655 is one of the few Vulcans remaining in ground running condition, the only one with the most powerful of the engine variants (Bristol Olympus 301s) and 655MaPS aim to keep it running for as long as possible. The aircraft systems, which are powered up and exercised regularly, are available for demonstration to booked parties of visitors, engine ground runs are carried out several times every year, and a “Fast Taxi” event is carried out most summers to show off the aircraft and raise funds to support its preservation.

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XM655 is maintained by a small team of skilled and dedicated volunteers, many of whom are ex-RAF, (some even ex-V-Force personnel and one of whom actually worked on XM655 in service), who give up their Saturdays to preserving XM655.


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