Calne, United Kingdom (PressExposure) February 27, 2012 -- Late last year the BIL Castors and Wheels Sales Office received this email asking for our assistance...
''I work for a charity operating the last flying Vulcan aircraft, based down the road from you at RAF Lyneham until the summer of last year, and I'm wondering if you may be able to help us out. We have been donated a working platform to use during our winter service, but upon inspection it was discovered that the wheels on the platform had deteriorated and in some cases split and so were in need of replacement.
After searching through various ex-RAF stockists for a new set of wheels we've drawn a blank. So now I'm trying a different route and am looking at the possibility of getting these castor-wheels re-tyred. They are solid cast steel with roller bearings fitted to the centre. I hope you may be able to help us out.''
Regards, Mark Malin
Of course we can never resist a challenge and leapt into action...
The Avro Vulcan was the first Vulcan B Mk2 to be delivered to the RAF, and she is now the oldest complete Vulcan in the world. XH558 was also the last Vulcan to leave RAF service in 1993, after a career of 33 years. Her final flight was to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in Leicestershire, having been sold off with the thought that, one day, she might be returned to fight.
In 1997 a small team put together an audacious plan knowing that the project would be technically challenging and enormously expensive. Nevertheless this dedicated group set off down the path that led to XH558's return to the air.
Finally, fourteen years after its last flight and with over £7 million spent, Vulcan XH558 roared into the air again in October 2007 and has been the star of air shows regularly ever since.
Tim Walker, Products Director said, "We saw the opportunity to help with this worthwhile cause and supplied a number of wheels for the maintenance platform to help keep this fantastic icon of British engineering flying."