Cold war memorial flight

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by RCT(V), Jul 3, 2011.

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  1. .
    The “Battle of Britain Memorial Flight” of Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster bomber, are preserved and dedicated to the memory and the achievements of all those (in the RAF), who fought during WW2.

    Those aircraft were the best that British industry could produce at the time.

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    Thankfully, only a comparatively very few servicemens’ lives were ever lost during the period of the Cold War . . . the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s. That should be sufficient justification, for all the British aircraft mentioned below (with other aircraft then in service that might have been omitted below), to be remembered . . . not for how they performed in combat and/or during conflicts, but that their capabilities and their very presence were sufficient to actually deter and prevent major conflicts from developing.

    It is suggested that a “Cold War Memorial Flight”, should and could be assembled to represent all the aircraft that were again the best that British industry could produce at the time. They would also stand as testament to the achievements of our once great, imaginative and productive, industrial base.
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    During the last week of June 2011, it was reported (BBC Radio4), that the last operational Nimrods R1 were to be retired - I think they are/were based in Cyprus?

    During the first weekend 02/03 July 2011, the privately owned, last remaining airworthy Vulcan, was listed as appearing at the Waddington Air Show, in Lincolnshire.

    The private owners of the Vulcan, would probably appreciate the complimentary “hangerage”; and, access to spares and maintenance facilities; that would be available, if the(ir) aircraft were allowed to be associated with a “Cold War Memorial Flight”.

    In the RAF, there is still flying operationally, Victors (as Tankers), and the venerable VC10 (as Transport and Tankers).

    With the privately owned Vulcan, it is suggested that whilst they are still available, the best airworthy airframes (and sufficient other aircraft to be cannibalised for spares), of all the above should be saved from the scrap-heap, and be preserved as a,

    “Cold War Memorial Flight”

    Other smaller - although no less spectacular - aircraft that could/should be included, might be examples of the Canberra, Buccaneer, Lightening, Hunter and Harrier.
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    OK, yes . . . a bit of a “left-field“, “out-of-the-box”, “off-the-wall” suggestion, as we are now facing (probably) the most serious financial situation the country has ever had to experience. But, that is NOT sufficient reason to dismiss, veto or refuse to consider the suggested,

    “Cold War Memorial Flight”
    Our present difficulties are only transient. Without the contribution of all the above, we would probably have been experiencing far more difficult, indefinite and probably permanent hardships . . . . . such as those still remembered by all the once Eastern European “Soviet satellite” countries
    . . . that we have now welcomed within the EU and NATO, and refer to as Central European countries.
  2. Complete and utter bollocks to equate the Battle of Britain with a 40 year piss up in RAFG.

    Plus the fact that a large percentage of the aircraft are still needed to maintain the airbridge!

    Edit: Or have I just been wah'd?
  3. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    the Victors were retired after GW1 in 1993. none are currently airworthy, although two are still capable fo ground running at this time. (and one **very** short flight.)
  4. That the RAF(G), and I understand BAOR, were able - and had the time - to enjoy their posting to Germany, is confirmation and testament to the “raison d’etre” explained in the original post

    Yup, some of the aircraft mentioned do have a continuing operational role. However, some of the others (Nimrod R1), are about to disappear; and sadly, I am not even sure if airworthy examples of all the other aircraft suggested are even now available.

    However, unless the idea is “floated” and discussed now, we will loose for ever an opportunity that we and future generations will be sure to regret.
  5. Plus, you would have to negotiate all of the engineering requirements for a wide variety of aircraft. Harrier for instance, required 65 different authorisations before engineers were even allowed onto the aircraft.

    When you loook at the financial difficulties faced year in year out by the Vulcan fraternity, and then multiply that by the number of airframes you refer to, sorry to say it looks like a no go.

    Even if MOD were to "donate" an airfield, there is still a requirement for ATC, Crash, and medic cover, etc. This is without the local Council having their take via rates etc.

    Lovely idea, but the harsh practicalities sadly rule it out.
  6. Canberra's I believe are still flown by a private company as are buccaneers in south Africa.

    I doubt this would get much support even in times of plenty.

    It was a mammoth task to get one Vulcan Airworthy saying that it is is a crowd pleaser at Air shows for sure.

    A project to get Lightnings, Victors etc Airworthy and displaying would require Multi Million pound funding and I doubt would capture the Imagination of the general public.

    As an aside do we really want to publicise/ remind the world that so poor is the funding and management of UK defense development that we have Aircraft designed in the late Forty's and built in the fifty's flying front line roles into this decade.
  7. Perhaps we should have a Ryanair memorial flight in dedication to them enabling a bunch of cheap ***** to go get pissed in prague.
  8. Sadly, Thunder City, the private company that owned and provided paid for flights in Buccaneer, Lightening, Jet Provost (but never Canberra), went out of business last year. This was due to the financial crisis causing a lack of tourists with between $3,000 and $10,000 for a flight and the the even sadder fact that one of the Lightening's crashed, this focused local minds on safety and airworthyness issues.

    It was a plan for my 50th to have a go in a Buccaneer, it remains, for now, just a dream.
  9. Are you suggesting it is a secret, that we should keep to ourselves, and hope the rest of the world doesn't notice ?! :)
  10. shame about thunder city.
    the sad fact is a spitfire and a lancaster are relativily simple beasts to keep working.
    once something has a jet engine and electronics and flys really fast keeping one airborne is a major major issue. especially when no parts no manuals etc etc.
    one of the reasons you can't buy surplus mig 29s
  11. Don't forget the lowly DHC Chipmunk, first flew in 1946, used to train thousands of pilots from the beginning of 1950 until the mid 1990's, so that's the Cold War almost from the beginning until the end, and used by all three services so that's Army and Navy covered as well as the RAF

    Plus it was flown from RAF Gatow on operational BRIXMIS overflights of East Berlin for years too!

    Still in service with the RAF Memorial Flight for pilot training so that's 60 years in service in the original role with the original service (is that a record?) and dirt cheap to train, maintain and operate.

    Just lacks the speed, noise, glamor and cost of the big machines!!!!!
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  12. If the brave, dedicated, private volunteers, could put a Vulcan back into the air, I would have hoped it was not beyond the wit, resolve and resources of the British Government to keep flying and in the air those aircraft already mentioned - even (as already acknowledged) in these current, temporary, financially straitened times.

    The technical expertise and spares back up, must still be within the system. That is why I "floated" the idea in the first place . . . before everything is boxed-up and dispatched to Withams!!
  13. andym,

    I have in my imagination, the privately owned Avro Vulcan XH558 (with 4 x Bristol Olympus engines),

    Home | Vulcan To The Sky
    Avro Vulcan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    . . . . with flying in formation at each at the Vulcan’s wing-tips (does a delta winged aircraft have wing-tips ?!), both the remaining Handley Page Victors, with 4 × Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire A.S.Sa.7 turbojets.

    Immediately behind, in close formation, is a Vicker’s VC10 (released from “airbridge” duties) with 4 × Rolls-Royce Conway engines,

    Vickers VC10 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    . . . . flanked on either side by a Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R1 (Nee de Havilland Comet) with 4 x Rolls-Royce Spey turbofans,

    Hawker Siddeley Nimrod - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    . . . . or a Nimrod flanked on either side by a VC10, depending on availability.

    As you say andym, I’m not sure where the DHC Chipmunk fits into the above formation, but (after all that “Googling”), I must now go and have a lie-down at the very thought of it all . . .
  14. Thunder City may just get going again, if one believes the web site. But the cost of maintaining an ageing fleet with the SA CAA breathing down your neck may be a big ask.

    I agree BBMF is an easier prop-osition (no pun intended) than jet engines.