Monday, 27 February 2012

50 Years of Victor XL231-------------Ray Poore

Victor XL231 shortly after delivery to RAF Wittering
Its hard to believe that 50 Years ago I saw a gleaming white, sleek aircraft coming into land at RAF Wittering. That aircraft was of course Victor XL231. It was the first Victor to take its place, with others arriving later, on 139 (Jamaica) Sqdn.

Shortly after the Victors arrived, all of the electrical ground crew had to go on a Victor course for a week. The electrics were like no other I had come across, and I had serviced on many aircraft in my time! The last three years of my RAF service was taken up working on XL231 and others.

XL231 with 'Blue Steel'
From the gleaming white to camouflage to Blue Steel, which I am proud to say I designed (and got paid for!) designing a switch test box for the Butt Connector circuit, considerably reducing testing time for that circuit.

Ray Poore (sitting) in Jamaica in 1962

In 1962 I went to Jamaica with XL231 and three other Victors, for the Jamaican Independence.

XL191 & XL231 on detachment to Jamaica
My vivid memory of XL231 was testing the Alternator voltage, at the terminal ends, situated on the engines, the test was carried out when the engine was running at about 80%, not for the feint hearted! I'm sure I got my tinnitus from carrying out that test over three years! Those ear defenders did very little to reduce the engine sound. The best part of the test was going into the cockpit and checking the voltage and frequency of each alternator, and then parallelling them all together, pushing the buttons at the right time. I remember it well.

In 2011 whilst staying with EX RAF friends near Whitby, we visited Elvington Museum, and there after 50 years I saw this great Victor, XL231, how the memories came flooding back. Since that day I have been like a 77 year old kid with a new toy; have bought a plastic scale model, complete with XL231 and Lusty Lindy transfers, got the "T" Shirt, key ring, car sticker, and finally the 2012 calendar! Do I like this aircraft or not?!

I wish to thank Andre Tempest and all the XL231 Team for keeping alive all my and many others memories of this wonderful aircraft.
Ray Poore with XL231 in 2011
Ray Poore Electrical Fitter retired, Electrical Engineer retired.

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