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If you’ve never heard of a Vulcan XH-558, you’re truly missing out. It’s a beautifully designed reconnaissance aircraft built by Avro for Great Britain. It really hit it’s mark in the early 60s and gracefully soared along the coasts of the United Kingdom for almost 20 years before being deactivated. The Vulcan was such an amazing aircraft that after the UK sent it off to become scrap, the Walton family picked up one of them and maintained it for airshows.

This is dated from 2012, is literally one of the last ever flights of this amazing aircraft. After this airplane landing, there was one other flight in 2015 that marked the very last time the Vulcan XH-558 would ever soar through the skies. When the Walton family – of Walmart and Sam’s Club fame – picked up one of the last of these Vulcans from the British government, they had to refit it for transport.

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What aviation school do we have to attend to get that gig, right? Well, we can’t speak for the Brits, but here in the United States, aircraft pilots – non-commercial and commercial – have to complete a set number of hours before being allowed by the FAA to operate an airplane.

This type of truly specialized and old-school jet aircraft would likely require at least some prior military flight experience or a lot of training. And it’s hard to take advanced flight training for a decommissioned Cold War era jet airplane.

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Aviation Schools Use Simulators To Make The Most Out Of Flight Time

Flying is expensive. Flight hours are doubly so because there’s usually no cargo being transported. As such, each pilot wants to be able to get the most out of his or her time spent in the air.

The good news is that we have fantastic simulators, which are increasingly being relied upon to train this next generation of pilots. While they’re not suitable for all the flight training hours required, they do work as a direct training experience which enhances a pilot’s experience when he gets in the cockpit of an actual aircraft.

A big part of professional flight training isn’t just flying and time behind a simulator, though. There is a lot to getting to know a jet airplane like the Vulcan before ever leaving the runway. Just like most flight training programs, a big part of a jet airplane pilot’s training involves understanding instrumentation, rules for dealing with other aircraft, and the theory and practice of working through problems while in the air. Flight training schools often times focus a lot on ensuring students understand both the physics and math portion as well as the flight stick controls.

As the owner of the aircraft, the Walton family likely had to make a private jet hire from a small pool of former RAF pilots who had experience on this aircraft. Despite some familiarity with commercial airliners, most aircraft transport pilots (ATPs) won’t be ready to take one of these elegant beauties up in the air.

Private Jet Hire Problems? Try Finding One Of These Parts

What we’re really wondering is where on earth they managed to drum up the aircraft ground technicians to do the regular repairs. Off the top, we’re guessing a lot of parts had to either be sourced from a junkyard or milled specifically for that aircraft. But who knows? Avro, the original manufacturer of the Vulcan XH-558 jet, was merged into Hawker Siddelay in the late 1960s. Hawker Siddelay was then later digested by the much bigger British Aircraft Corporation in the 1970s. By the late 1970s, the British Aircraft Corporation was merged into British Aerospace plc. That arrangement lasted until British Aerospace was swallowed up by Marconi Electronics Systems (MES). Mess is about, right! Imagine trying to track down a part made between 1961 to 1965 by a company that has literally changed hands five times in the space of two decades. Flight checks are an essential part for any jet pilot. Pieces have to be meticulously inventoried by ground technicians, parts logged, and hours of use are recorded as well. There’s a thousand little things that go into getting a jet – let alone a Vulcan – into the sky. If you’re ever in the process of trying to find a jet engine part for a jet that’s been out of service for awhile, your best bet is to start with the original manufacturer and work your way up to who owns them now. That company will usually provide either their prices on the part or perhaps direct you to a company who may produce them still. A big part of aviation school is knowing how to coordinate with aircraft mechanics and maintenance crew to ensure your flight goes as smooth as possible. Read more about military aircraft and check out more military videos.

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This type of truly specialized and old-school jet aircraft would likely require at least some prior military flight experience or a lot of training. And it’s hard to take advanc