|Taxi run 2010|
To successfully and safely operate the Victor for public demonstrations the aircraft has to prepared as if for 'flight'.
|Al Stephenson reading out the checks|
Therefore ALL four engines have to be running, all four generators have to be on-line and all hydraulic sytems correctly functioning and up to the correct operating pressures. All powered flying controls also have to be serviceable. On the rare occasion that we have had to complete a public event with an engine shut down for say a spurious fire warning then a lower safety speed is calculated and the aircraft demonstrated as per the conditions in order not to dissapoint the spectators. The wonderful thing about the Victor K2 is its massive amount of engine power and in fact at certain fuel loads was capable of being ferry-flighted on three engines! I personally wouldn't have fancied the idea, but the aircraft was capable of doing it. The electrical loads are easily taken over by the other generators in that situation on a manually parelled electrical system which is capable of producing enough power to light up a small town. This is due to the fact that the generation system (AC) was over-equipped in order to power massive cooling packs and Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) during the Cold War period. In fact ONE generator is capable of running a Victor in a 'worst case scenario'.
On the electrical and avionics sides, both pitot static systems are tested before each run to ensure serviceability and all flight instuments must work to safely ensure XL231 can be taken to around 130knots for a full public event.
|Tyre inflation checks|
All gaseous systems (less oxygen) are fully charged up to the correct levels and the emergency opening system (nitrogen) for the crew access door is charged for each run.
|Barry Neal in the Captains seat|
The see-off team now become the see-in team and they marshall us in , carrying out a visual check of tyres, wheel and brakes before closing the engines down. Two of the guys then drain off each engines fuel collector box before it dumps its contents all over the concrete. A bonus there is it is extra fuel for the aircraft's ground power unit. Recycling to the extreme!!