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Vulcan- Roman God Of Fire & Destruction
on 22 December 2010
The Vulcan, a British aviation & engineering icon, a Cold War warrior that helped keep the peace- A LEGEND! The Vulcan is an awesome aircraft in so many respects. It was a ground breaking design, yet another example of the genius of Roy Chadwick, designer of the mighty AVRO Lancaster. The Vulcan had tremendous handling characteristics, at altitude it ran fighters such as the Lightning jet ragged. Due to it's low wing loading, it was highly manoeuvrable at altitude & the fighters struggled to engage her. I recently read an account in "Aviation Classics," by Squadron Ldr Clive Rowley (Rtd) who 'fought' against the mighty Vulcan in an interception exercise in 1976. 2 Lightnings V 1 Vulcan hardly seems fair does it? In reality, the Vulcan proved to be an extremely difficult target. Highly manouevrable, at one stage during the 'fight,' Rowley found the Vulcan catching him in a turn! After 30 minutes of hectic ACM, Rowley managed to get ONE snap shot with his guns against the agile Vulcan. The Vulcan was extremely well equipped with ECM, rear RWR- radar warning receiver & Red Steer- a fighter intercept radar warning radar. The Red Steer in particular, enabled the AEO- Air Electronic Warfare Officer, to track the incoming fighters & notify the pilot when to break/manoeuvre.It could also detect air-air missiles being launched & enabled the AEO to dispense flares & chaff etc. The fact that Rowley & his wingman were unable to achieve ONE missile lock on the Vulcan during 30 minutes of mock combat, is testament to the tremendous capabilities of the Vulcan. Rowley came away with huge respect for the Vulcan & her crew. Had it come to a shooting war with Russia, the Vulcan stood a better chance of penetrating Soviet air defences than probably any other bomber. Her ECM could jam fighter controllers radar, SAM radars & fighter radars, even if intercepted by fighters, she would have been very difficult to engage successfully. Remember, the Lightning was a highly manouevrable fighter, but at altitude, the Vulcan had the huge advantage of low wing loading compared to a fighter.
This software is an add-on for Microsoft FS9 & FSX. In FSX, some of the features do not work, which is a shame. However, it is all about the flying at the end of the day, and the Vulcan flies beautifully! She has a huge amount of power, so much so, that on take off, you have to quickly throttle back, else you will overspeed & nose dive into the deck. She climbs rapidly, you can take her upto 65,000 ft without too much drama. Between 40-55,000 ft, she handles like a four engined fighter. She will barrel roll, loop the loop, perform wing overs all day & can turn tightly. Small wonder the Vulcan gave contemporary fighters such a hard time of it!If you fly online, I suggest that you take her to Edwards AFB. It has a huge runway, which is ideal to attempt landings. In addition, you will no doubt encounter the occasional F-18 jockey who thinks he can mess with the Vulcan! Standing the big V on a wing tip & hauling her around soon puts the would be Maverick & Iceman jockey's in the their place! The cockpit detail is superb, very accurate. Unfortunately, in FSX, the switches do no work, however, the Vulcan is such a challenge to fly, you will be absorbed just handling her. The big challenge as far as I am concerned, is putting the Vulcan back down on the deck. She is a big old unit, approaching & landing are a huge challenge! The aircraft models are beautifully excuted, with tremendous detail. There are plenty of variants to fly, including ones armed with Blue Steel, Skybolt missiles, and the tanker variant. Needless to say, XM607, the Falkands vet & the beloved XH558 are also well represented amongst the flight options.
This sim is just like the Mighty Vulcan- FANTASTIC!