Sunday, 22 December 2013

Best Restoration Project 2013

We are delighted to announce that Victor XL231 'Lusty Lindy' has received the 'Best Restoration Project' Award from Aviation Xtended - Europe's premier aerospace internet radio programme!

2013 has been a significant year for '231 and the team; with us marking 20 years since Lindy made her final flight and the honour and responsibility for her upkeep passing to myself and the team. With no RAF Stores at hand or Government financial backing to help look after a V-Bomber there have certainly been challenging times. But 20 years on, three re-paints under my hat and an intimate knowledge (yes, I have been in places you would not even believe possible!) of the air frame and systems I'm proud to say that Lindy is as serviceable as she has ever been.

Lindy proved that at 52 years old and having left the RAF 20 years earlier she still had what it takes to wow at her anniversary run in November.
XL231 anniversary run
However, maintaining a complex, 4-engine bomber is an on going feet, we will be sharing our journey on here and on XL231 work diary on the Key Forum as always please do drop us a line if you can offer any support - from picking the brains of ex-ground and aircrew, giving a financial or material donations, making flapjack for the team or lending a hand with a job we really do appreciate it. Thank you for your support in 2013.

The other very well deserving category winners were:

Helping the Aviation Industry – ‘Dragons of Thin Air’ by Doug Worrall

Best Restoration Project – Victor XL231

Best Online Resource – LiveATC

Best Aerospace Book – Avro Vulcan 60th Anniversary

Best Product for The Aviation Youngster – Jim the Jet Provost by Amanda Cundall

Best Pilot Product – Drift Ghost Camera

Best Aerospace Watch – Bremont MB

Best Local Airfield – Compton Abbas

Best Aerospace Clothing – The Basic Six t-shirt collection

Best Family Day Out – South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Best Software or Game – Airport Madness 4

Best Aerospace Product – The Big Book of Flight by Rowland White

Do check out Aviation Xtended at and give them a follow on Twitter @AviationXtended

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Rear Crew escape system

Due to high costs it was decided that it would not be practical to fit Ejection seats for all crew members in the V Bombers.

Martin Baker did trial a full crew ejection seat system but due to varying reasons ,it was not put into production.

A system was therefore developed to assist the rear crew to be able to get out of the aircraft fast in an emergency situation.

This involved the development of a swivel 'Assisted Escape Seat' and this was retro-fitted to all Mk1 and Mk2 V Bombers after a number of fatalities caused by fixed non-swivel seating.
Assisted Escape Seat

The seat was fitted with a powerful spring loaded back rest and a 'booster cushion' under the seat occupant. In order to operate the system the occupant turned the seat to face the door and pulled a yellow and black handle.

This discharged an air cylinder into the cushion which 'lifted' the occupant to his feet. But in order to vacate the aircraft the spring loaded back rest was sprung forward literally pushing and lifting the occupant to his feet and forward towards the open door. Prior to this the door had to be opened and in an emergency could be blown open by operating a door 'blow open' system operated by a shielded operating lever in the front of the AEO/NAV table.

Emergency door opening lever

Once out of the seat and pushed forward the seat harness lap strap was detached from the seat and the occupant was heading out of the door attached to his parachute, emergency oxygen and PSP (personal survival pack). In order to clear the aircraft the leading portion of the crew door was thus designed to create a 'stall area' allowing the crew member to drop safely clear of the lower lip of the engine intakes.
Open crew door

This system was successfully used in genuine emergency situations.

I have spoken to many V Bomber aircrew over the years about the pro's and con's of the pilots having ejection seats. The general consensus how I interpret it, is that no pilot would ever leave his rear crew behind unless there was no practical hope that they would get out, such as the Vulcan accident at Luqa, Malta in 1975 where only the pilots were able to get out.

Bulbs and Fuses

As time goes by naturally consumables get used up.

Two such items that are essential to the upkeep of XL231 are bulbs and fuses. Mundane to some but essential to us. In fact some fuse sizes are more or less impossible to find now, so we naturally 'rob' aircraft about to be scrapped and generally try to find consumables from wherever we can.

If anybody is looking for a home for any bulbs and fuses regardless of amperage then please let us know!
XL231's original AEO's spare bulb and fuse box

HF, ADF & Radio testing

On Sunday Rick Gill tested the recently serviced HF (High Frequency) radio and ADF (Automatic Direction Finding) systems out and satisfied himself that between us we had them well sorted. In addition he ran the VHF & UHF systems and again all were fully up to speed.

We all know that XL231 is unlikely to fly again and some of these systems are not necessary for us to be able to operate the aircraft.  However, XL231 is a historic and rare machine and she justly deserves to be as serviceable as possible. As her owner of 20years I probably know the type as well as is possible to do so and I personally would be more than confident in her ability to go airborne.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Post Taxy run servicing HF Radio set

After a successful 20th Anniversary celebration it was back to servicing and maintenance.

The first job to tackle was replacing the HF Radio transmitter/receiver with a unit obtained from a 'straight out of service' VC-10.

XL231's original unit is in good condition but a little weak on transmission, so we decided to replace it with a better unit as we had managed to finally obtain a spare.

The unit is the 618T, originally a Marconi badged item but later a Collins unit and it is an extremely powerful item of equipment. Used in many military aircraft, it is one of the few HF radio's that is available. It is also a very bulky and heavy item.
618T mounting tray

618T control panel, middle top

Replacement 618T fitted

During the Falklands War of 1982 it was this type of HF radio that the AEO in Vulcan XM607 used to contact the UK in order to confirm the successful operation to bomb Port Stanley Airfield.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

20th Anniversary Taxy run

The 25th November 2013 was totally different day to the 25th November 1993. The weather was 'balmy' and almost spring-like and we didn't mind one bit!

Press and TV presence was plentiful and myself, Ollie Suckling, Al Stephenson and Brian Watmough all spoke to the camera.

ITV News Footage

Modern technology ensured the aircraft was getting the coverage she deserved in the fact that Lionel from Driver on the airfield was able to employ his state of the art suction cameras all over the aeroplane. In addition to this he utilised his flying 'eye in the sky' camera platform. Any aerial footage on the day was thanks to Lionel. In addition to Lionel's cameras the TV companies installed their own and extra cameras were supplied by Ollie Suckling.

The first aircraft to run was the Nimrod and her crew put on an impressive display. We crewed into the Victor at 13.00 hrs and started engines at 13.25

Ollie slow taxied two circuits of the former V Bomber QRA pan at the end of the runway before a short blast of power and a gentle taxy down to the end of the runway for the main display.

The brake check crew comprising of Andy, Rick and Kayleigh gave the thumbs up for 'GO' after a quick once over and we then waited with engines idling for the correct time of 14.16 when she actually touched down. In fact we had been early so, we had over 10 minutes to wait.

At 14.15 and 30secs Ollie wound the engines up to 88% for a brake slip check and she stuck like glue to the spot with the weight of thrust burying her nose downhill. Satisfied that the brakes were good he then put the power on and up to 103% Combat Setting. The nose lifted and she accelerated like a rocket up to 110knots with myself calling out the speeds. Ollie then cut power and streamed the tail braking parachute. There were no crosswind problems and all was good. At first Ollie thought it was a 'no stream' as the pull was gentle at first but the pictures prove otherwise!

We carried the chute the full length of the runway with the inboard engines keeping the chute inflated and just before turning into the V Bomber QRA for shutdown the chute was jettisoned. I'm pleased to say it detached cleanly and dropped flat without apparently tangling the rigging lines and we turned in for shutdown checks and final closedown.

During the run the aircraft displayed no snags, all 4 engine alternators were on line and producing enough power for a small town and all other systems were normal. 20 years ago the Senior Engineering Office of 55Sqn, Sqn Ldr Sargeant suggested XL231 as a good bet for purchasing as she was one of the more reliable squadron jets. I'm glad we took his advice!

Once the shutdown was out of the way it was time to meet the press and TV, then Lindy herself had a good drink of champagne and we congratulate ourselves on a successful day.

It has been a privilege to operate and care for such a rare and charismatic aircraft, I hope we can keep going a good while yet!
The crew for this historic day were;
Captain, Flt Lt Ollie Suckling.
Co, Andre Tempest
AEO, Sqn Ldr Alan Stephenson
6th seat, Sqn Ldr Martin Withers DFC
Nav plotter, Mrs Christine Watmough on her Birthday!
Nav Radar, Sqn Ldr Mick Beer (standby AEO)
Crew Chief, Grant Sparks

Victor XL231 photo 'Nightshoot'

As part of the 20th anniversary of XL231 retiring from the RAF and 'retiring' to Elvington it was decided to take the opportunity of the crisp and clear weather to carry out a private nightshoot of the aircraft.

Myself, Olly Suckling and Gary Hancock donned suitable attire for the evening and posed as the 'models' for this significant event.

The private photoshoot was covered by Ian Finch, Andy Abbott, Andy King and Graham Buckle. I'm sure you'll agree the results speak for themselves!

The sky was gin-clear and the star patterns were all clearly visible and yes, it was cold!

As part of the pre-taxy checks for the following day we decided to function systems on the aircraft and she threw a little spanner in the works. Our mistake it turned out but, it caused a mild flutter of panic!

The nose wheel steering is only operable on internal hydraulics ie the pumps being run by either the APU or main engine electrical busbar supplies and this we know. However, with ground power on and hydraulics running then the nosewheel steering is in-active. Normally we use an older type ground power unit and it does not matter if the lead is still attached to the aircraft but, this time we were using a more up to date item and its interlink system took out the steering. We naturally were concerned and after shutting the aircraft down deduced the ground unit was the problem. We then re-started and physically removed the lead once the APU was on line and thankfully all was then back to normal. It is quite surprising how running such a complex aircraft at night has a totally different perspective on daylight operations.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

XL231 'Lusty Lindy' 20th anniversary taxy run update

Victor XL231 will be run on its 20th anniversary of arriving at Elvington and in honour of the late Mr Gerry Tempest, subject to weather and serviceability as planned on Monday 25th November. The aircraft is intended to be started at 13.45 with a runway demonstration in both directions. The final run will be (subject to weather) with the tail braking parachute used. Once the display is finalised and the aircraft made safe the flightdeck will be available for viewing (subject to donations).

Just prior to the Victor's display, Nimrod XV250 will also be demonstrated on Elvington's runway.

We anticipate an enjoyable day for all concerned, any ex-Victor personnel please make yourselves known to a member of the Victor team.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Mk10b autopilot

An annoying snag was sorted out on Sunday when Rick and I decided to nail a problem with the autopilot which had not engaged for some time.

Powered up & ready!
The autopilot powered up and indicated it was ready for use but would not engage and I decided to replace the 3 main control boxes located behind the co-pilots seat and to the right of the 6th (crew chief seat).

These boxes are the Servo Control Unit, Platform Control Unit and Locking unit. The latter two boxes are a 'doddle' to swap, the first one however entailed removing the 6th seat, in order to remove it. However, this was achieved okay and all power supplies and fuses checked out and no problems were found and a power-up tried.

Frustratingly, the autopilot did not engage!  So, wounded we retired to consult the books and I replaced all 3 original boxes.

3 Auto piilot control boxes
Rick, after studying the diagrams suggested the pilot or co-pilots autopilot disconnect thumb buttons may be the culprit and dived down into the bomb aimers compartment to locate the associated terminal block. These were found and continuity check through the co-pilots button proved it was working. The same could not be said for the captain's and it showed no circuit. In effect it was in permanent 'trip' selection.

Rick isolated the two wires to the switch and put in a link to simulate the switch and BINGO the autopilot engaged!

Auto pilot engaged rudder channel selected
Auto pilot engaged
Auto pilot disengaged

We tried it in all functions in roll, pitch and yaw and it functioned as advertised and yes, we were rather pleased with ourselves, we've just got to sort out the switch or find a replacement.
Roll to port
Roll to starboard

ADF (Automatic Direction Finding) system

Following help with difficult to find spare parts from 'Vulcan to the Sky', it was decided to service the ADF system (Automatic Direction Finding)  in XL231 and bring it back into a fully serviceable spec. The system did work and receive but the ADF motorised loop would not track onto a bearing and we had a blown power transformer box for some unknown reason. It had blown the 7 amp control fuse and for avionics on a Victor that is quite a hefty fuse. Most are between 1 and 5 amp. The really heavy load equipment tends to be 10 amps and higher.
Rick ( Avionics - read his story HERE) removed the ADF receiver and some of the control boxes and Steve Hancock removed the ADF motorised loop and re-fitted another unit. NO mean feat as it is in the spine of the aircraft under a removable dome which, we daren't remove as we don't have a spare. So, it was decided to go 'the hard way' and tackle it from below. This means climbing over the Bombay tanks and getting up into the roof of the Bombay, on a clammy and sticky day not enjoyable!  It took Steve about an hour but, he managed it.

Receiver, Loop Aerial & ADF Indicator as removed
ADF Loop Aerial
ADF Loop Aerial
Rick, fitted a replacement receiver unit and a replacement transformer box and 'Bingo' it worked fine with full, Auto DF and manual tuning working well.

ADF Bearing Indicator

ADF 4 Channel Tuning Unit

Listening to the channels on the old AM network reminded me of being a kid, as its a very similar effect to how you used to walk around the room trying to pick up something audible! Its just the same effect with the DF loop as it comes round onto a bearing.  Great to have it working properly again!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Spot the Difference!

Halloween spot the difference by No 1 supporter Amy!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Victor seat leg supports

V Bomber rear crew seats are notoriously 'knocked around' and well used. So, it was decided to refurbish the leg supports from two of the rear crew seats which, were showing their ages. These supports fit on the front of each seat and basically sit under the knee area. The height is adjustable to the seat occupants own personal comfort.

The supports from the 6th seat (Crew Chief) and the Nav Radar were removed earlier in the week and refurbished by myself using replacement vinyl. As can be seen there are a large amount of pop type rivets holding the covers in place and all of these had to be removed first.

I decided to use black vinyl as I have previously refurbished the AEO's seat support in the same material and being a tight fisted Yorkshireman I have a roll of nice black vinyl from my Motor Trade days...

The colour is Ford Highland Green, which is closer to the original manufacturers colour, which I found when I rubbed back  several layers of  paintwork 

Anyway they will now hopefully last for a good many years to come and they were the scuffiest parts in XL231's otherwise immaculate cockpit.

Friday, 25 October 2013

XL231 'Lusty Lindy' 20th Anniversary Display and tribute to the late Gerry Tempest

XL231 arriving November 1993
As a celebration of XL231 flying into Elvington on the 25th November 1993, it has been decided to celebrate this historic milestone with a high-speed taxy/aborted takeoff demonstration using the tail braking parachute on Monday the 25th November, the actual date of the anniversary.

Weather conditions will determine the nature of the display on the day but the intention is for the aircraft to be started around 13.30 at the Eastern end of the airfield with a slow taxy demonstation down the runway. This will enable operations of the airbrakes, flaps and Hose Drum Unit (HDU) etc to be demonstrated for the visitors. Once at the Western end of the runway the aircrat will be turned and lined up for a high-speed run up to around 120knots (weather dependant) and crosswind limits permitting, the 80ft diameter brake parachute will be streamed.

The high-speed demo is scheduled to happen at 14.20 the exact time XL231 touched down at Elvington and will be in the same direction as the landing.

The brake chute will be carried as far as possible up the runway for photographic purposes and will only be dropped as XL231 turns into the dispersal. Once in dispersal the 'after landing and shut down checks' will be carried out and the aircraft made safe.

Once the Crew Chief is satisfied the aircraft is safely parked, the aircraft will be made available for visitors, including a rare opportunity to visit the flightdeck. Donations at this point will be gratefully received.

The crew will be available to talk about the aircraft during this period.

The delivery crew on the 25th November 1993 were;
Sqn Ldr Steve Jenkins, Captain (Officer Commanding Victor Disposal Flight)
Flt Lt Tim Butler, right hand seat
Sqn Ldr Pete Lambert, AEO
Sqn Ldr Bill Scragg, NAV
Chief Tech Paul Covell, Crew Chief
The delivery crew

It is hoped some of the original crew will be present for the 20th Anniversary, one member has already confirmed his intention to attend. Contact details have been found for all of the flightcrew. However the Crew Chief is proving elusive, any details of the whereabouts of Paul Covell would be appreciated!

We all remember where we 'were' at historic milestones in our lives. Can you remember where you were on the 25th November 1993??
XL231 strutting her stuff 2010

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Unique piece of Lindy memorabilia up for grabs

To celebrate 1 year of #twitterVforce and 20 years of Lindy leaving the Royal Air Force we have teamed up with to auction off a unique piece of Lindy history and raise vital funds for her ongoing upkeep.

The item in question is:

Victor main wheel tyre, Removed from the Port front outer wheel assembly after the run in May where Flt Lt Olly Suckling Captained XL231 ‘Lusty Lindy’ for the first time. Remove due to wear and the second set of chords showing. In RAF speak; WTL (Worn to Limits)

Visit to find out more and place your bid!! 

All monies raised from the auction will go to the ongoing maintenance of XL231. Thank you

Monday, 24 June 2013

Gerry Tempest 1946-2013

Dad and I - just after my first run
in the left hand seat
It was in October of 1993 that I persuaded my father Gerry, that it really was a great idea to purchase a Victor K2.

Thanks to his 'investment' we were able to acquire XL231 'Lusty Lindy' and although he was not an aircraft enthusiast he was happy to go along with the plan and buy a Victor. I knew he was hooked when we drove through the gate at RAF Marham and he saw the Gate Guardian XH673. "What's that aeroplane?" he asked, I then replied "Its a Victor".  He then responded with "Wow! We are having one!"   The rest is history...

Unfortunately on the delivery date of the 25th November he was unable to attend the arrival as both my mother and him were on holiday in Fuji.

Over the years he was able to have the occasional ride in XL231, socialise with the guys and generally continue to show an interest in what was happening. He handed XL231 over to myself in 1995 but, continued to remain interested. The annual Victor crew barbecue at his home during the August Elvington Airshow's were always a memorable event....

Sadly, he was taken from us by cancer on the morning of the 23rd June 2013, after an unbelievable 3 year battle, that would have sunk a lesser person after the initial 6 month diagnosis. He took the disease 'head on' and fought it every inch of the way, he amazed the medical staff with his positive attitude but sadly he couldn't win. The family and some close friends were at his bedside over the final 24 hours.

My father touched many people, he had an ability to 'enthuse' people and situations, that is what made him a success in his business life. His influence helped many people in their own businesses. Sadly for him in 1986 he was taken ill and this turned out to be eventually diagnosed as MS in 1999. His general manner could sometimes be classed as 'difficult', awkward and a bit odd at times, however, he refused to beaten by MS.

Without the foresight by him to buy XL231 then, there is absolutely no doubt she would have been turned into Coca Cola cans. Because of this, the historic and preservation world has the benefit of a supremely rare and elegant aircraft and it has altered my life and many others on the team and otherwise in so many ways.

Thanks Dad.

Please support Macmillan Cancer Support whose care of my dad was fantastic.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Thunder Day - Amy Parkin

My sister, Bryony, our friend, Regan and I had decided we would take a trip to Elvington for June Thunder Day. We were all really looking forward to it, we live pretty close to Elvington, so we set off at 1130, and got there for about 1215, which was record timing for us! When we arrived at Elvington, everything was just perfect, the weather was stunning, we had the car windows down with the heat blazing, and our favourite music blasting as we drove down Halifax Way.

Regan had never seen a Victor before so as we turned round the corner, towards the entrance of Yorkshire Air Museum, I bellowed  "Lindy!" and I heard a slight mumble from the back seat of my car... "Woaaahh.." I think he was impressed. I parked my car and off we went looking for Andre and Team Victor.

We found Andre and Ian sat near the NAAFI...

"Hello!" I said,

"I have something in my car for you."

"If it's flapjack, we'll have it!" Both Andre and Ian said."Don't tell the others about it."

I'd taken the team the usual Flapjacks, but also took Haribo (Moralibo - As dubbed by Siobhan, VTTST's Official Photographer!) and the photos I'd taken at Battle Group North.

After giving the flapjack, Moralibo, and photos to Team Victor, I asked if Andre could sign some photos I'd taken - He did, and they look great! Thanks, Andre. :)

My former co-volunteers from VTTST, Andy, Terry, and Janet were also visiting the museum that day, so we went to meet up with them and have a quick chat as I'd not seen them for a while. It was really great to see them!

After saying hello to Andy, Terry, and Janet, we took homemade cake, more Moralibo, and photos from Battle Group North to Team Nimrod. Nimchick, AKA, Hannah, was stood on XV250's starboard wing, so I walked over and bellowed;


To which Hannah replied; "Cake! I'll be right down, I'll meet you over the other side."

Hannah appeared from XV250's portside, with Phil, I handed them the cake, Moralibo, and photos (from Battle Group North). A bit later on in the day, Hannah was walking around with the most adorable baby in aviation, Nimlet! As she was walking around she shouted; "The cake was great, thank you!"

And whilst pointing at Nimlet,  "Our official cake tester approves!"

Whilst waiting for G-AMYJ to fire up, we decided we'd go and take pictures and have a little chat. Bryony and Regan are still pretty new to aviation, so they told me to 'educate' them on the aircraft in the museum. It was fun! I love being able to pass on my knowledge to others. :)

Anyways, we spent a good 20 minutes taking pictures (mostly of Lindy and the Lightning!) then headed over to G-AMYJ ready for her engine run. She sounded wonderful, and she just sounds better and better every time I watch her fire up!

Up next was Hawker Siddeley Nimrod XV250's turn, plus a lovely RAF BBMF Spitfire flypast. I really enjoyed watching both - The Spitfire flypast was fantastic and XV250's engines definitely woke me up!

Just after XV250's run finished, we moved our way over to the right, just to be a little more in line with Lindy. We stood there for about 5 minutes or so... Richard walked over to us, and pointed at me then said; "You come with me..."

I looked at him, pointed towards myself... "Me?"

He replied;"Yep!"

He then pointed at Bryony and Regan; "You two have to stay here... Sorry."

As we were walking over Richard said 'Andre just wants a quick word with you before they start her
up.' Which honestly led me to thinking I would be heading back over to the 'crowd line'. So I was stood waiting at the bottom of the ladders, with Richard, Ian and the rest of the ground crew.
Richard looked at me and said; "He's up there somewhere..."

Andre just popped his head out of the door and waved me up... "Up here!" He said.

I was shaking! I didn't know where to place myself! "ME?! GO UP THERE?!"

He replied; "Yes, come up here!"

After a few girly screams, I handed my bag to Richard,  and made my way up the ladder. In the teeny tiny cockpit, Andre told me to sit down in the sixth seat and gave me a head set. As he handed me the headset he said; "We can't fire her up full, it's just a dry run, because of the cars behind us, but you can listen to the intercom."

As I put my headset on, Graham, who was sat in the co-pilot position peered to the left and said;
"Hello, I'm Graham, Blue 2!"

I'd spoken to Graham on the TwitterVforce forum quite a bit, but never actually met him in person... So it was nice to finally meet him!

Andre squished passed me and sat in the 'captains' seat. As he sat down, I asked if I could
film/photograph and he said I could. I was so excited!

John was in the back, he was running through the systems alongside Andre and Graham.

Graham checked my headset was on and working, everyone was chatting and testing the intercom system. Andre turned round and said; "Amy, can you hear us?"

"Yep!" I replied.

Tests followed...

"Outside to inside, can you hear us?" "Yep, we can hear you."

"Do you want the door open or closed?" "Closed, then it's a little less noisy for us up here."

Richard came and closed the door, then the team proceeded to run through all of Lindy's systems.
I didn't really know what to expect to be honest. I've never experienced anything like that before!

I sat there quietly, filming and taking photos, listening to what the crew were saying. Andre and Graham ran through the cockpit systems, and gave the hydraulics a 'good work out' - Graham did seem to struggle a little with the controls, he said they were heavy... They looked it!

It was strange, when I got home and I watched my sister's videos, I didn't realise how loud Lindy actually was! In the cockpit, I heard none of the noise, even on my videos, it was loud. But at the time, on the inside, it was quiet and quite serene, whereas on the outside, Lindy roared!

It was really hot in the cockpit, my makeup had pretty much melted off my face, and my hair had frizzed out like crazy (damn 'AvFemGeek' problems!), but all in all, I will not allow myself to complain. It was a fantastic experience, and I'm a VERY lucky girl!

After everything had been checked, Richard came back and opened the door, let me tell you, I have never been so happy to feel a breeze! I thought my car was hot, but it's even worse inside aircraft! Lindy was like a sauna. :) I clambered out of the cockpit and Rich was stood at the bottom, "Did you enjoy that?" He said. "Very much so!" I replied.

Andre climbed out, and I thanked him. He said; "Hot in there isn't it! And we weren't even wearing bone domes and flying gear!"

I thanked him once again... And made my way back over to Bryony and Regan. I even had a little 'victory' dance on my way back across!

Bryony and Regan greeted me, and Bryony said to me 'I'm really proud, I didn't think you would have gone up!' And to be honest, a year ago, I probably wouldn't have gone up.

After talking to Bry and Regan about being sat in the cockpit, I was still buzzing, but we decided to have a little walk around then go home, we'd looked at everything in the museum, and we had to get Regan home so he could revise for his GCSE's! (good luck, kiddo!)

Before we left, we nipped into the NAAFI and the shop, then we decided we would head home. I headed over to Andre and Team Victor before we left, we said goodbye and thank you once again.

We headed back to my car, and I rang my mum; "MUM GUESS WHAT!"

"What? Is everything okay?!" She said with slight worry in her voice.


"That's good but what's a dry run?"

I proceeded to explain, I don't think she had a clue about anything I was telling her, but she seemed very pleased for me! I drove home, absolutely buzzing!

This year has been a year of so many firsts and Team Victor have played a massive part in that. I really cannot thank them enough! As always, I left Elvington feeling really happy, content, and after yesterday, on a really big high. Sitting in a cockpit of your favourite V-Bomber during dry runs is certainly one way to end your weekend, if not the best way!

No doubt I'll be back at Elvington soon... With flapjack and Moralibo!

Once again, massive thank you to Andre and Team Victor, you guys rock!