Vulcan Delivery Diary 05
Changed Views – January 14th
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 being maintained ……
Friday 14 January 1983
The Eve Construction team arrived with a lorry containing five rolls of Trakway accompanied by their track laying lorry carrying a further two rolls. A tractor was borrowed from the Showground and this was used to clear a large amount of soil that was in the way of the roadway. The COMMAC team also started to take down the fencing in the area of the eastern end of the runway.
Great care was taken in positioning the Trakway so as to give the Vulcan maximum clearance from the fences and the incinerator building to the north of the dispersal pad, whilst making the angles of turns involved as shallow as possible. With only five men and a track-laying lorry, the roads were laid and picketed by 3.30pm despite weighing over 25 tons.
During the late afternoon the MoD telephoned to inform us that they had received the cheque and despite all the doubts over the potential acquisition, the Vulcan for Newark had been the first Vulcan to be paid for!
Following a visit to Waddington by Stuart Stephenson he was advised that the registration of the aircraft was XM594 and that the MoD had also sent a signal releasing the aircraft for delivery to Winthorpe.
Throughout Thursday and Friday much hard at work had also been undertaken trying to contact companies and museum members for assistance with locating a road sweeper for the runway. Several possibilities were looked into with no success.
One sweeper was found at a cost of £17 per hour, but this was thought to be too expensive. After further searching a company in Grantham offered a sweeper for £10 per hour (this was finally negotiated at 6.30 pm on the Friday evening).