Vulcan Delivery Diary 04
Changed Views – 13th January
By Howard Heeley
Nearly forty years ago on 7 February 1983, Vulcan XM594 landed at Winthorpe Airfield in eastern Nottinghamshire. When it safely touched down it became the only Vulcan to be flown into a non-licensed airfield in the UK. This is the third part of an abridged version of an article, which describes the acquisition process, that was originally published in an edition of Aviation News that year.
The pace of the project was picking up ……
Thursday 13 January 1983
A compressor and pneumatic drill were delivered to the Airfield and members of the COMMAC job creation scheme who were operating from the museum started to work at filling in the numerous holes in the runway with concrete.
The Agricultural Society was contacted for formal permission to remove the fences and to undertake repairs to the runway. This was obtained and post removal at the western end of the runway commenced.
A surveyor from Eve Construction arrived at 11 am to assess the problem of getting the Vulcan to its new home. Despite the Vulcan having a wingspan of 111 feet, being over 105 feet long and weighing approximately 60 tons, the surveyor advised that they could help us.
The distance to travel was 68 metres over a fairly soft-grassed field so Eve Construction decided to lay five roads (one for each set of wheels), each 11 ft. wide. After a lot of calculation work it was found that a total of seven rolls of their Trakway product would be required.
Trakway is specially constructed aluminium roadway and in 1983 each roll cost £10,000.00 to buy new. The hire charge including delivery and laying was quoted as £2,495.00. At that time this represented a lot of money for the museum but it was the only way to get a Vulcan onto the Dispersal Pad safely. The decision to go ahead was given with the delivery date set for Monday 17 January.
Details of our impending acquisition were issued to various TV and radio stations and also all of the newspapers covering our area. The Ambulance Service and Fire Department were both contacted and they agreed to assist us. Also the Police were contacted and discussions held with several high-ranking officers before they consented to close the A46 during the delivery phase. The Ministry of Transport, who also had to be contacted for their consent to the intended road closure, later also ratified this decision.
A phone call on Thursday evening from Eve Construction informed us that they would now be starting work the following morning.