Thunder & Lightnings

Avro Vulcan

Survivor XM603

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XM603 - Avro Heritage Society, BAE Systems Woodford, Cheshire

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Vulcan B.2 XM603 at Woodford, 24th March 2010; Gary Parsons

XM603 was lovingly looked after by the Avro Heritage Trust at BAE Systems' Woodford plant (with what appears to have been on/off support from BAE themselves - currently decidedly 'off'!). Three of her engines were in running condition, but the fourth was giving them problems for some time. The death of their engine specialist Dougie Godfrey dealt a blow to the plans to replace the engine but they overcame this and installed another 301 engine. They hoped to run all four engines up soon after, with a possibility of taxiing the aircraft at the Woodford airshow in 2000 but sadly never made it and after then the aircraft became subject to restrictions on working on it with engine runs forbidden. The dreaded health and safety was quoted as the reason, with BAE Systems being accused of wanting the airframe quietly scrapped. In recent years the aircraft's future has looked very bleak and she was thought likely to be scrapped at any point. With BAE's departure from Woodford, however, there seems to have been some changes afoot and as of 8th October XM603 had been towed away from her usual spot, apparently as a prelude to cleaning her up. Watch this space...

Information on this page current as of 09/10/2012

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Site contents copyright © 2016 Damien Burke/Handmade by Machine Ltd.
This page last updated on Thursday 12th April 2012

Visitor Comments

19 people have commented on this page. This is comment section 1 of 2.

Michael Hounslow from Brackley Northants

Postd at 9:45am on Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Looking forward to a visit as soon as it is possible, have been round all the other Vulcans in this country but as this is the only one in anti flash it will be a treat to see her up close

P Ramsay from surrey

Postd at 2:54pm on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

She is now on a 50 year lease to the the Woodford Trust Museum, being owned by the property company that purchased the airfield. Physically she is in very poor shape with one of the elevons needing a re skin. She has also lost a lot of her equipment and was used as a test bed for inspections to help keep xs558 in the air. " engines 2&3 have been removed (558?) along with her brakes . I think the oleos may have been collard to prevent collapse. The trust has plans to repaint her but without extensiv... read more »read more »

Adam Barber from East Midlands Aeropark

Postd at 4:23pm on Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Its nice to know that one of, if not the only remaining White Vulcan has been saved!
I would love to come up and see her sometime of this is possible?

Wendy Baker from Doncaster.

Postd at 5:26pm on Monday, September 8th, 2014

we live in Doncaster XH558 is kept at Robin hood airport she fly's what a sight brill. Nice to here 603 has been saved.

Vulcan Lover from oldham

Postd at 9:41am on Saturday, March 9th, 2013

603 has been moved to her final resting place, here, she will be cleaned, and looked after, her future is assured, for several weeks her brakes have been removed, and her tyres inflated to tow, all her undercarriage was inspected, to make sure she was safe to tow, now the surprise, we are all member of the large model association, but, in our ranks, we have so many professions, that we are well qualified to carry out this task she was moved safely, and we await the results of a survey to get her cle... read more »read more »

Don Macbeth from Lanarkshire

Postd at 11:41pm on Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Saw her on the recent Racing Legends: Colin McRae documentary on BBC.
American driver Ken Block took Sir Chris Hoy for a ride around the airfield in his rally car, including a number of tyre smoking maneouvres underneath this poor, neglected old bird.
Was quite entertaining (see BBC iPlayer for details), but showed just how shabby she's looking these days.

Geoff McAviney from Leamington Spa

Postd at 1:50pm on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Hi All,
Noticed XM603 in a photo published in the last VTTS news letter of XH558 overflying her at Woodford,despite all the work carried out by the Avro Heritage Group to see her in this state is a crime like Wayne said get her to Manchester if Avro Heritage group cannot relocate her or try for a short permit to fly to Robin Hood Airport where she could be kept in ground running order ? In the end though JCB will have the final say,I just hope that sensibility is key to her preservation.

John Naylor from Cambridgeshire

Postd at 7:31pm on Friday, September 28th, 2012

We can only hope that if JCB go ahead with thier plans, they will see the logic in preserving this aircraft for future generations to see. How wonderful it would be if she were the centre piece of any aviation centre at Woodford. The current trend of useless Governments should hang thier heads in shame at allowing this icon of British ingenuity and engineering to languish like this, whilst supporting other less useful projects such as renovating opera houses and sending billions of pounds abroad each year i... read more »read more »

Jim Bailey from Tenbury Wells. Worcestershire.

Postd at 8:30pm on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

My Father worked on the Vulcan at Chadderton. This is a real slap in the face to all the old timers who gave their time to care for this treasure. It's our heritage, if this were the States she would be under cover in a hanger and pampered.

Justin Terry from Lincoln

Postd at 10:35pm on Thursday, March 8th, 2012

This was on the BAE website. still hope for the old girl

BAe Woodford News October 2011 JCB heir to buy site. Jo Bamford, the billionaire heir to the JCB empire.

Woodford's historic links with the aviation industry will be maintained with the retention of the runway and the development of a new heritage centre on the site of the original Avro hanger. However, all this would have to comply with a Supplementary Planning Document being prepared by Stockport Council.

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