A note on sources and credits

As far as possible photographs that are not mine are posted here with permission; thank you to all contributors to 'Jet & Prop', especially photographers Tad Dippel, Neil Cotten and Nico Charpentier, the editor of the magnificent 'Avions' magazine Michel Ledet and Jean-Yves Lorant, author, researcher and archivist at the Service Historique de la Défense, Paris. Images from the IWM and Roger Freeman collections are published here under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Licence. Occasionally some images on this site have been 'reposted' from facebook or ebay. They are used non-commercially in an educational context to depict historical events. If such is deemed necessary they can be removed on simple request. Contact me at falkeeins at aol.com. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Vulcan B.1 Olympus testbed Farnborough 1962

photo via John D Myers (click to view large) and reproduced here with John's permission who says;

"...My first airshow at Farnborough when I was 5 years old.....my Dad took the picture with a Voigtländer on Agfa slide film. Olympus engines designed for use in the TSR 2 were tested on this Vulcan XA 894. In July 1960, the airframe was modified to carry the engine, an Olympus 22R in a central nacelle. At Farnborough in September 1962, it did several low level passes with reheat on which were quite spectacular. BAC Warton's famous Chief Test Pilot, Wing Commander R P Beaumont, flew the aircraft on the 20th November. This turned out to be its last flight. On the 3rd December 1962, XA 894 was positioned on the detuner at Filton for a ground run and full power check but the aircraft was completely destroyed by a massive fire following an engine explosion. The crew all survived.."

Above; Roger Leitch photo
 The explosion that destroyed XA 894 was the result of a low pressure turbine disc in the engine which failed during a full power ground test and punctured fuel tanks causing the fire. The explosion also destroyed a brand new fire engine in close proximity another part of the engine separated and stopped just short of hitting a prototype Bristol 188. The fire was so intense it was left to burn itself out..

a full account of the trials of XA 894 on the aviation archive org heritage site here