A CESAB forklift is doing its bit to help the world’s only remaining airworthy Vulcan Bomber keep to the skies.
Now operating as a display aircraft, the Avro Vulcan XH558 is the only airworthy example of 134 V-Bombers that the RAF operated between 1953 and 1984, performing bombing, maritime reconnaissance and air to air refuelling roles. After being restored at Bruntingthorpe, it spent time at RAF Brize Norton and RAF Lyneham before coming to Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster, where local CESAB dealer PLP Lift Trucks was asked to help.
PLP Lift Trucks’ chairman Paul Pleasants: "The V-Bomber’s owners, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, contacted us to see if we could help by providing a reliable, robust truck which would transport, load and unload ground equipment for the Vulcan every day. We knew that the CESAB M325 would be perfect for this and were delighted to play our part.
"With six full time Vulcan engineering staff dedicated to fulfilling its daily maintenance requirements, looking after this aircraft is a huge operation and the CESAB truck is an essential part of that. The CESAB M325 is used on a daily basis to handle everything from gas trolleys and aircraft jacks to ground power units and trestles."
One key job that the CESAB M325 supports is the regular maintenance of the plane’s huge brake parachute, which is big enough to hold a small aircraft and capable of slowing the Vulcan down in an emergency. The forklift is used to remove this parachute for inspection every 28 days before returning it.
As with the rest of the CESAB M300 range, the M325 is manufactured in Europe to the highest standards using the ISO 14001-certified TPS*, widely regarded as one of the world’s best manufacturing systems. The build quality of the CESAB M325 includes rigid steel side panels and strong bodywork that protect the operator and truck over its entire working life.
One of the Vulcan’s engineers, Propulsion Technician Ray Watts, comments: "The CESAB forklift is invaluable as no two working days are the same. It can be called on to lift or load all types of heavy equipment depending on what crops up that day. The fact that the CESAB truck is well built, reliable and powerful is essential as we would not be able to keep the Vulcan operational without it."
Funded entirely by charitable donations and the UK Lottery’s Heritage Fund, the XH558 appears at air shows across the UK throughout the summer and it is hoped she will fly down The Mall on 4 June 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. More details are at www.vulcantothesky.org where donations can also be made to keep the Vulcan flying.