Vulcan Cockpit Instruments
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Use the mouse to discover
what the controls inside the Vulcan were used for. If
the pointer turns to a finger left click to discover
to the left of the Captain
to the right of the Co-Pilot
These were used to control the amount of thrust
delivered by each of the four Olympus engines.
the rear-facing crew to check the status of the power
supply to the navigational & bombing computer.
control unit for the military flight system (mfs).
window used for navigational purposes. A similar window
is located on the opposite side of the aircraft, where
the Nav Radar operator would be seated.
instrument which indicated how high from the
ground the aircraft was flying.
aircraft power supply panel . 200v 400hz AC is the main
source of electrical power in the Vulcan Mk2. The
normal power source would be from the four jet-engine
driven alternators, any one of which was capable of
providing enough electricity to power all the aircraft
systems. A ground power source could be used before the
engines were started. While in the air, an Airborne
Auxiliary Power Plant (AAPP) or Ram Air Turbine (RAT)
could also be used. A combination of electromagnetic
"dolls eye" indicators, warning lights and dials help to
maintain a constant supply of power to the systems.
Remember, the Vulcan is an all-electric aircraft. If all
the power was to fail the fate of the aircraft was
(Tac(tical) a(ir) n(avigation) system is
an electronic ultrahigh-frequency navigation device
for aircraft which gives a continuous indication of
bearing and distance from a transmitting station. This
is used to aid navigation.
used by the Captain or Co-Pilot to manoeuvre the
aircraft. The large "chinaman's hat" is the trim control
used to make small adjustments to the trim of the
aircraft to help it fly straight. The small button on
the right of the joystick was the intercom switch which
allowed the pilot or co-pilot to talk to other crew
The yellow and black switch would be used to disconnect
the "artificial feel" systems.
control the intensity of the lighting on the chartboard
could be used to adjust the distance the peddles
were from the seats.
Thus allowing pilots of different sizes to fly the
Vulcan more easily.
instrument would give information to the crew about how
fast the Vulcan was traveling.
which measures the speed of acceleration
(or deceleration) of the aircraft.
System Control Panel
could carry a lot of fuel. The distribution of this fuel
had to be carefully monitored by the crew to ensure that
the aircraft's centre of gravity did not move, and cause
isolate the navigational compass.
console was only extended when both Captain and co-pilot
had been strapped in. Although the Vulcan is a large
aircraft, the room given to the crew is small. It would
be impossible for the pilots to gain access to the
cockpit if the centre console was always extended.
Bay Fuel Tanks Control Panel
sorties the Vulcan could use a fuel tank housed in the
bomb bay. This panel would be used to direct the fuel
from the bomb bay fuel tank either directly to the
engines, or to one of the other fuel tanks housed within
controlled by the pilot's feet to alter the heading of
the Nav-Plotter or Nav-Radar to
illuminate instruments, maps or charts.
Full Indication (in flight refueling)
crew how much fuel they have in the fuel tanks.
the pressure in the fuel tanks. This is useful when the
distribution of fuel around the aircrafts tanks has to
be altered in order to shift the centre of gravity.
As the Vulcan is an
all-electric aircraft (there is no physical linkage
between the cockpit joysticks and the rudder or elevons)
this instrument shows the crew the position of the
control surfaces whilst in flight.
indicate the Mach velocity of the aircraft.
Mach 1 equates to the speed of sound.
Used to aid navigation.
indicate the revolutions per minute of all 4 Olympus
If the RPM gets too high damage of the engine could
instrument which would display the
rate of climb (or decent) of the aircraft.
display the oil pressure. Low oil pressure could mean a
loss of oil, which in turn, could lead to engine
Instruments used to give the crew an indication of the
temperature of each jet engine.
military flight system (mfs) can be thought of as a
early relative to the integrated computer monitor
cockpits of modern airliners. One instrument displayed
aircraft attitude (slightly miffed, or fairly
relaxed!!) with the other displayed directional
information and steering demands.
Altitude & Auto Land Phase Indicator
was the first four jet-engined aircraft to be fitted
with an automatic landing system. This instrument would
give feedback to the crew as to the height of the
aircraft, and whether the auto landing mechanism was
Refueling Pressure Gauge
the crew the pressure of the fuel in the tanks during
in-flight refueling. If the pressure of the fuel being
pumped from the "feeder" aircraft became too high the
fuels tanks could have ruptured.
to the left of the cockpit was where the Captain would
sit during sorties.
to the right of the cockpit was where the Co-pilot would
sit during the flight.
inform the Captain or co-pilot the present air speed of
Artificial Horizon (Standby)
the cockpit was completely blacked out (likely if a
nuclear flash was expected), the artificial horizon
would allow the crew to determine the pitch and yaw of
the aircraft without having to take a visual reference
from the ground or sky.
Bay Tanks System Control Panel
A bank of
switches used to control the movement of fuel from the
auxiliary bomb bay fuel tanks to the main fuel tanks.
Nitrogen Purge (in flight refueling)
this control forces any fuel left in the refueling
probe into No 2 tank. Nitrogen is used, as it is
Switches For Probe Illumination Lamps
refueling probe has two lights for illumination
positioned in the nose of the aircraft. To prevent glare
during air-to-air refueling the dimmer switch could be
activated. Similar to domestic dimmer switches.
Intercom Control Unit
adjust communications with the
crew members or ground crew.
Autopilot Control Panel
control whether the auto-pilot was controlling the
flight of the Vulcan. The auto-pilot was a valuable
instrument during long flights.
name suggests these controls allow the Captain to start
the Olympus engines once the pre-flight checks have been
Navigational Control Unit
the complex equipment carried by the Vulcan to ensure
positioning of the aircraft could be established.
Especially useful when traveling over tundra, such as
that expected when flying towards the heart of the
switch controlled the deployment of the brake parachute.
First position activates the braking chute.
Second position releases it.
The braking chute must always be jettisoned before the
Vulcan comes to a halt.
director horizon unit computes the necessary roll and
pitch attitudes needed to intercept and maintain
headings, courses, attitudes, and altitudes. These
computations are then displayed through the flight
director horizon as steering commands, greatly
simplifying instrument flight.
automatic direction finding bearing compass used radio
signals to "home" in on friendly airfields. Useful in
poor weather conditions.
Vulcan develop a serious fault the Captain and Co-pilot
could both eject safely. Unfortunately, the other crew
members were no so lucky, and had to try and open the
entrance hatch to escape.
Auto-Pilot Control Panel
was designed for long range missions, during much of
this time the aircraft used its autopilot to head
towards its destination, thus giving the Captain and
other crew members valuable time to concentrate on other
control govern how much engine exhaust is circulated
around the leading edge of the wings to prevent ice from
forming at high altitudes.
Heading Unit (HRS)
Heading Reference System was used to ascertain the
direction in which the Vulcan was currently traveling.
Indicator Control Unit
can't tell you much more about this device I'm afraid.
instrument which indicates when the Vulcan's fuel tanks
were full. Used during in-flight refueling.
Power Failure Indicator
Heading Reference Unit (HRU) is a self-contained
strapdown inertial navigation system. If power was to
fail on this device the Vulcan could, if the crew were
not aware of the failure, become lost. If power was
interrupted to the HRU this would be indicated on this
Warning Radar Control Unit
rectangle was used to show the presence of enemy
missiles or aircraft approaching the Vulcan from the
aft. Depending on the frequency used by the incoming
missile or aircraft, a number of countermeasures,
selected by other control boxes in front of the AEO,
could be selected to act as counter-measures to the
Position Indicator allowed the crew of the Vulcan to
gain accurate knowledge of where the ground was in
position to the aircraft. This was especially useful
when flying low-level sorties.
activate the landing lights which are located in the
wings of the aircraft. The switches have three
positions, one for landing, one for taxying (lights
extend further from the wings,) and one for fully
retracted (lights off).
Captain and co-pilot would often carry maps in the
pockets of their flight suits. When seated they were
able to use this light to read the map without having to
remove it from their uniform.
the AEO to view the underside of the aircraft to ensure
any missile being carried had detached safely from the
Vulcan. Also used to view behind the aircraft for a
visual check of the airspace.
Aircraft Illuminated Sign
one sign the AEO, Nav Plotter and Nav Radar did not want
to see illuminated. If the aircraft had to be abandoned
the Captain or co-pilot could use this to advise the
rear crew to quickly escape via the entrance hatch.
Remember, only the Captain and co-pilot had ejection
extensive research I have, so far, been unable to find
out what this does. If you know, please inform me.
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