Thunder & Lightnings

Avro Vulcan

Survivor XL445

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XL445 - Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Suffolk

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Vulcan K.2 XL445 at Flixton, 2010; Garry O'Keefe

XL445 was for some years at the Blyth Valley Aviation Collection at Walpole and by 2005 was the last item there before moving to Flixton. XL445 (service nickname - Fireball XL445 - of course!) is the only K.2 in existence (unless you count XH558 which was a K.2 before being converted back to near-B.2 status. Thanks to N&SAM's talented staff, a major programme began at Flixton in September 2009 which saw a quantum-leap in the external restoration of XL445, beginning with her having her rear boarded over to improve her appearance, with a multitude of filling, sealing and other repairs made to her exterior and canopy, and her cracked portholes replaced by perspex replacements. Flixton's 'chippies' comprising Ron Ward, Tony Roberts and David Hardisty, began work on XL445's rear, while David Dawson drove things on in general while looking at the sealing and repair of holes and rents etc, as he repaired her TFR fairing and fibreglass shroud before remounting them with appropriate sealer, prior to repainting. He also made a plug for her un-mounted refuelling probe. The wash/paint team of Peter Nobbs and Gwen Jackson became involved after the rear-sealing, with a thorough wash as assisted by Alan Haynes. Much filling, sanding and rubbing down ensued, before proper BS paint ordered from Witham paints, was later brought to bear over a green primer, to give her the wraparound Dark Sea Grey/Dark Green camo scheme that she had last worn in RAF service. Some notable missing items (to any Vulcan spotter anyway) were the two pitot heads as angled on the lower sides of the XL445, and ahead of the radome area. Alan Haynes painted the roundels back on after skin repairs and some aluminium right-angled rain deflector strips were added along XL445's lower flanks to give long-term protection to the underside/hatch area from water runs.

Information on this page current as of 24/05/2013

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