17th & 18th May 2014: Newark Air Museum
- Vulcan XM 594 

Vulcan XM 594 – Flying with Flt Lt Gordon Brady (Nav Radar)

50 Squadron.

I flew with Sqn Ldr Robbie Gilvary with a crew of Fg Off Bill Burgiss (Co-pilot), F/O Mike Setterfield (Nav Plot) and Flt Lt Jim Power (AEO). Rear crew did not list the other crew members for each flight so while captain and nav-team invariably flew together the co-pilot and AEO were often guests from other crews.

Date Captain/1st Pilot Detail Time
3 Oct 73 S/L Gilvary Ex Blue Moon Hi Lo Hi over Denmark, from Scampton to Scampton 4H15
16 Oct 73 Ex Cold Cape – Fight affil with 2 ATAF, probably over Germany 5H00
4 Dec 73 Ex Mick Fly Off poor weather meant no low level flying, day into night 3H15
13 Dec 73 Normal BTR sortie Hi level only, 2 sim Hi level bombs to Command Standard 4H10
18 Dec 73 BTR with GSU check on myself including sim ll bombs, day into night 3H25
14 Mar 74 Ex Index – scramble and Hi level only 4H25
14 Aug 74 BTR low level down through Northumberland to N.Lincs 4H20
3 Dec 74 BTR including LL with esim bombing 4H50
30 Jan 75 BTR high level navex – pitot static system failed – RTB 3H35

44 ( R )Squadron

For the major part of my time on 44 I flew with Sqn Ldr Joe L’Estrange, the crew for the most part was Flt Lt Mike Picheal-Juan, known as Mike P J (co-pilot), Flt Lt John ? , I just can’t remember his surname (Nav Plot) and Flt Lt Tony Benstead (AEO). For the most part we did fly together but by then the V-Force was less ridgid and crews were interchangeable, so I can only guarantee the captain and myself flying on the sorties below, except for the ranger to the USA when we flew as a complete crew and the IRTs where the other pilot is mentioned.

Date Captain/1st Pilot Detail Time
7 Sep 81 S/L L’Estrange French Low Level (Hi Lo Hi) from Waddington 3H25
15 Sep 81
BTR – Hi LO HI including sim bombing and a single 28lb PB at Jurby
I do not note why only one practice bomb, we normally had at least 4
21 Sep 81 " Instument Rating Test (IRT) for Flt Lt Warren 4H05
27 Nov 81 " IRT for Wg Cdr Davies (OC Ops) plus low level in Wales 3H10
8 Dec 81


Transit Waddington to Goose Bay, weather U/S at Goose, diverted to Loring AFB The weather at Goose clearly stayed poor as we took off after a turn around and proceeded 6H00

8 Dec 81 " To Offutt AFB (My memory tells me it was a combined Goose/Offutt ranger) 2H55
11 Dec 81 " Hi Lo Hi from Offutt including sim bombing 3H05
14 Dec 81 " Airborne for another Hi Lo Hi but double alternator failure meant RTB 0H30
16 Dec 81 " Transit Offutt to Goose Bay 3H20
17 Dec 81


Transit Goose Bay to Scampton (This was a very bad spell of weather in UK, so bad it was reported on American TV. Waddington was frozen in but we managed to land at Scampton. This was probably why we returned early and missed the Goose Low Level routes4H10

If you can add anything to the history of XM594 Bill O'Sullivan at Newark Air Museum would like to hear from you.  Send your stories to Bill at bill.osullivannam@hotmail.co.uk