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Vulcan XM597 black buck raid


meindert
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A question about the Vulcan XM597 during the Black Buck ops during the Falklands War which I intend to make with the Modeldecalset 71.

 

In books I read that XM597 was fitted for the SEAD role with Shrike missiles. The few SEAD Vulcans apparently could carry on 2 external (different) pylons Shrike missiles in pairs  and/or ECM AN/ALQ-101 pod.

 

The mission of XM597 on June 2, 1982 was succesful as far as hitting the radarpost near Stanley with 2 Shrikes. But it was reported that this aircraft on the return mission, after the tank boom was damaged, had to divert to Rio de Janeiro. Apparantly it still had on the return flight 2 Shrikes on the pylons, one was succesfully jettonised, the other remained hanging on the pylon... before landing at Rio. So it did not carry the ECM pod during this mission?

 

Now the question is:  did XM597 begin the mission with 4 Shrikes (so NO ECM pod fitted starboard), ... and if fitted with 2 x 2 Shrikes, I assume both different starboard and port pylons could carry and fire these?

 

Or was there another situation?

 

Suggestions and info appreciated !

 

 

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I have a book with a section on Rio and some pics of the shrike fitted. Will see what’s of use to you. 
 

Have had a look though. 2 pylons of 2 shrike fitted. 2 optimised for TPS-43, 2 optimised for skyguard. 
“As both skybolt pylon positions had been taken up by the shrike missiles we would not be able to carry the Westinghouse ALQ-101-10 ECM pod afforded to both black bucks 1 and 2 for self protection in order to jam any fire control radar that threatened us.”

Info from Vulcan Boys- Tony Blackman 

Edited by aerotechi
Added found info.
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Thank you for the info! 

 

so my XM597 model will be fitted with the 2 x 2 Shrikes and not the ECM pod. 

 

Meanwhile I also found that also a better inertial navigation was installed that also meant a large visible blade antenna was fitted beneat the starboard engines. (Modeldecal 71 shows this). An that the lower surfaces of the Black Buck Vulcans were brush / hand painted Dark Sea Grey, except some stencils and warning panels. This paint was not consistently applied and the painted over nosewheel door serial still could be seen through the paint.

 

Finally,  have a fine 2022 and take care! 😉

 

Meindert

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I don’t know what the blade antenna is but it won’t be inertia navigation as INS is a product of gyros and air speed etc. 
It was robbed out of I think a VC10 and just bolted to the floor around the pilots ladder. I’ll see if I can find anything on additional antenna. 

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1 hour ago, aerotechi said:

I don’t know what the blade antenna is but it won’t be inertia navigation as INS is a product of gyros and air speed etc. 
It was robbed out of I think a VC10 and just bolted to the floor around the pilots ladder. I’ll see if I can find anything on additional antenna. 

Think it was a LORAN set fitted.

dont forget to paint sqiggles on your shrikes!

 

Selwyn

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1 hour ago, Selwyn said:

Think it was a LORAN set fitted.

dont forget to paint sqiggles on your shrikes!

 

Selwyn

I don’t think they used loran. I found it was carousel INS from the super VC10s the RAF had in storage. 
I suspect it’s additional ECM as I found a statement saying they had additional ECM fitted and the antenna is by the aft ECM bay. 

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11 hours ago, aerotechi said:

I don’t think they used loran. I found it was carousel INS from the super VC10s the RAF had in storage. 
I suspect it’s additional ECM as I found a statement saying they had additional ECM fitted and the antenna is by the aft ECM bay. 

Carousel?  Boy I do remember those.  They used to be on KC-135s, C-141s, and C-5s.  The -135s may still have them, but the C-141s are all retired and the C-5s have a new a completely different system now.  And as you mentioned before, the blade antenna had nothing to do with the INS what so ever.

Later,

Dave

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I seem to remember reading it was a pair of Carousels (redundancy presumably) from the VC-10, installed ('lashed down' was probably the term used) in the bomb aimers blister.

 

John.

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11 hours ago, Johnha said:

I seem to remember reading it was a pair of Carousels (redundancy presumably) from the VC-10, installed ('lashed down' was probably the term used) in the bomb aimers blister.

 

John.

Not so much redundancy but more of a way to cross check each system to make sure they are operating correctly.  The C-141s had two and the C-5s had three INUs.  IIRC the 141s also had a standby attitude indicator with its own gyro.  If one system seemed to be off you could compare it to the other or even the standby ADI.  The C-5s having three INUs didn't need a standby ADI but later on, I think it was when we were doing the AMP mod, that they added a standby ADI.  AMP got rid of the Carousel INUs, added two new INUs of a different system and also had a GPS embeded INU.  Since they only had the two dedicated INUs it was thought prudent to have a standby ADI.

Later,

Dave

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Carousel INS was fitted to the Black Buck Vulcans and the source of those was indeed the ex BA and others VC10’s which were at RAF Abingdon awaiting conversion to VC10K’s.

 

The INS was a belt and braces fit to provide a cross check of the other nav systems in the Vulcan as long distance flights over water was not the original operating concept. It was an expedient fit and I think ‘lashed into place’ is a good description!

 

The pylons fitted were locally manufactured and whilst I wouldn’t swear to it I’ve always understood that there was no jettison capability. 597 landed in Rio with missiles hung up and in some reporting these were misidentified as Sidewinders, which was helpful. 
 

Once diplomatic clearance to depart Brazil was gained there was a rush to get a basic turnaround servicing kit and spares out to Brazil to allow the crew to self service the aircraft (no crew chief on the operational sorties) and leave as soon as possible. 

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11 hours ago, elanman said:

I’ve always understood that there was no jettison capability

The jettison was to fire. On route to Rio the crew had to find a bit of empty sea to fire the remain missiles without risk of sinking a fishing boat. One fired ok the other didn’t and on landing there was concern that the remaining one was armed and could fire. The crew dropped it under supervision of the Brazilians onto a mattress and lifter from the barracks which was then taken away to the armoury. 
 

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15 minutes ago, aerotechi said:

The jettison was to fire. On route to Rio the crew had to find a bit of empty sea to fire the remain missiles without risk of sinking a fishing boat. One fired ok the other didn’t and on landing there was concern that the remaining one was armed and could fire. The crew dropped it under supervision of the Brazilians onto a mattress and lifter from the barracks which was then taken away to the armoury. 
 

 

I read somewhere that the crew had a bit of trouble with the locals after landing.  The following comes with the caveat that its from distant memory and may not be 100% right but the gist of it was the Vulcan crew found they were parked up ( or just stopped?) at the airport and having a slight hiatus with local officials when they wanted to move the Vulcan.  The issue was the crew had spotted that the orientation of the Vulcan as parked was not ideal.  They had tried to fire the Shrike to jettison it and it had hung up "live" for reasons unknown at that time.  They were trying to explain to them locals that moving the Vulcan was a good idea.  The Vulcan and hence the Shrike was pointing in the direction of the civil airport radar and a crew member was trying to explain to some rather put out locals that this was perhaps a less than ideal arrangement.  A diplomatic incident caused by a Vulcan landing in a neutral South American country was one thing.  Taking out their airport radar as well might have been a bit of an escalation not to say embarrassing.

 

Luckily all is well that ended well.

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Thank you all for the interesting info and thoughts regarding the Black Buck mission.

I will fit my model with 2 x 2 Shrikes , so on both pylons and will give them the painted on black "zebra swirls" 

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On 1/10/2022 at 3:50 AM, elanman said:

 

The pylons fitted were locally manufactured and whilst I wouldn’t swear to it I’ve always understood that there was no jettison capability. 597 landed in Rio with missiles hung up and in some reporting these were misidentified as Sidewinders, which was helpful. 
 

I'm by no means an expert on this subject, but I had understood the AGM-45 pylons used on the Black Buck Vulcans were actually borrowed from USAF F-105G "Wild Weasels." Late in their service life they had adopted unique "cranked" dual rail pylons to carry paired Shrikes on a single wing hardpoint.  Part of the reason I remember this is that the vintage C-Scale "Black Buck" conversion set includes one of the pylons in white metal (along with a pair of Shrikes).  My understanding is that the dual AGM-45 mount was one one side, while an ALQ-101 pod was on the other.

 

spacer.png

 

Edited by CT7567
Added wiki image of the Thud dual rail
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26 minutes ago, CT7567 said:

I'm by no means an expert on this subject, but I had understood the AGM-45 pylons used on the Black Buck Vulcans were actually borrowed from USAF F-105G "Wild Weasels." Late in their service life they had adopted unique "cranked" dual rail pylons to carry paired Shrikes on a single wing hardpoint.  Part of the reason I remember this is that the vintage C-Scale "Black Buck" conversion set includes one of the pylons in white metal (along with a pair of Shrikes).  My understanding is that the dual AGM-45 mount was one one side, while an ALQ-101 pod was on the other.

 

I remember that conversion set!  I built a Rareplanes Vulcan while I was stationed in Germany and I also had the C-Scale Black Buck conversion for it.  I can't get to the pictures I took of it for a while, but it looked nice.

Later,

Dave

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3 hours ago, CT7567 said:

My understanding is that the dual AGM-45 mount was one one side, while an ALQ-101 pod was on the other.

That was only on the bombing missions. As I have quoted from the book above it was 2x2 shrike for the anti radar missions. 
The pylon was designed and build squadron leader Chris Pye at waddington. “Chris and his squadron were given the task of designing and building a basic pylon to fit under the Vulcan wing. Keeping artistic flair to the minimum, he used forged and cast steel plates and fittings to assemble a basic pylon structure which could be attached to the sky bolt mounting lugs and have the necessary stiffness and strength to support any of the stores being proposed for the black buck sorties.” Vulcan boys- tony Blackman. 

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Is it possible we are talking about different pylons here?  The basic Vulcan Black Buck underwing pylons were indeed home produced as aerotech describes, but I think CT7567 is describing the double Shrike mounting pylon to fit the main pylons.

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Can anyone explain why, if both port and stbd pylons were designed to be able to carry 2 x Shrikes on a double mounting, the pylons are asymmetric?

The port pylon is much deeper than the stbd pylon as illustrated in the photo above.

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The main wing pylons are different to each other and the stb'd one is shallower. 

There was an option for a single ALQ pod mounted on the stb'd pylon via a deep adaptor fairing, I wonder if that is why the stb'd pylon was shallower to leave sufficient room under the aircraft with that fit.

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24 minutes ago, 71chally said:

There was an option for a single ALQ pod mounted on the stb'd pylon via a deep adaptor fairing

 

The 'deep adaptor' is a myth that has sprung up from mis-interpretation of a photo. The photo actually shows the ALQ-101 pod unattached to anything and with the undercarriage door creating the illusion of it being attached to a two foot deep pylon!

 

Mark.

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Good shot emphasising the different sizes of the pylons here, these are the the fully faired examples. There were more agricultural looking affairs before the use of these, I think you see these in the above picture at Rio on stb'd station.

 

XL445 - AVRO 698 VULCAN   Flixton

Vin LK Flickr

Edited by 71chally
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4 minutes ago, Harry Lime said:

The 'deep adaptor' is a myth that has sprung up from mis-interpretation of a photo. The photo actually shows the ALQ-101 pod unattached to anything and with the undercarriage door creating the illusion of it being attached to a two foot deep pylon!

I'm aware of the classic undercarriage door picture (often wondered if that was deliberate!), and I don't mean that deep.

 

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6 minutes ago, 71chally said:

often wondered if that was deliberate!

 

Yes, given how things seem to line up in that image, it does beg the question!

 

Mark.

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