Royal Aeronautical Society, Weybridge: Flying The Vulcan

  • Royal Aeronautical Society, Weybridge: Flying The Vulcan

    September 6th, 2023

    Royal Aeronautical Society September Meeting

  • Royal Aeronautical Society, Weybridge: Flying The Vulcan

    September 6th, 2023

    Royal Aeronautical Society September Meeting

A Talk by Ex-Vulcan pilot Sqn Ldr Joe Marsden

Flying higher than airliners at nearly the speed of sound, manoeuvring at five times the force of gravity, and under radar at heights lower than a church tower - Squadron Leader Joe Marsden burned 1,000 gallons of fuel per hour in iconic Vulcan bombers and flew through nuclear fall-out. He was shot at by the Army, RAF and Royal Navy and lived to tell the tale. He has a wealth of facts and anecdotes from his 29 years in the Royal Air Force during the Cold War period. Joe’s talk will concentrate on the Vulcan - illustrated by photos and film clips to show its capability. He will briefly cover the history of the Vulcan but will mainly talk about the personal aspects of flying this famous aircraft.

About Joe:

Joe Marsden trained as a Naval Architect before joining the RAF in 1971 to train as a pilot. He flew Vulcans on 27 & 617 Sqns before moving on to Canberras with No 7 Sqn. A tour at the School of Air Navigation as a ground instructor and flying the Dominie and Jetstream aircraft was followed by a move to 85 Sqn as an Engagement Controller on Bloodhound Surface to Air Missiles. A neck injury prevented a return to flying duties, so Joe re-mustered to the Fighter Control Branch. Subsequent tours as an Intercept Controller, Fighter Allocator and Master Controller involved operations up and down the East Coast of the UK and three tours in the Falkland Islands. His final tour in the RAF was as Chief Designer of the operational software on the E-3D AWACS.

After leaving the RAF in 2000 Joe relocated to Venice working for a multi-national aerospace company supporting the NATO E-3A fleet. Following that, he worked for BAe Systems in Kent and then Raytheon on the ASTOR/Sentinel programme. Subsequently, he was asked to be a consultant on the NATO Air Command and Control System based in Brussels, which he carried out from 2008 to 2014.

Since retiring, Joe has been involved with the Tangmere Aviation Museum, where he has a Canberra Cockpit (WE113). He has also provided support to Vulcan XL426 at Southend Airport. Currently, Joe is an active watchkeeper and Station Training Officer with the National Coastwatch Institution based in Gosport.

The Members bar is open from 6 pm – please use card payment for drinks. There is a pre-order facility for food (contact: no later than seven days prior).

All are welcome (RAeS membership is not required). There is an entry donation of £5.00 at the door, this donation is not expected from those under the age of 21 or holders of a current Student Union card.

Certificates of Attendance for C.Eng or CPD purposes are available on request.

For more information please contact:-

Plan your visit


September 6th, 2023, 6:45pm - 9pm (Food/Bar open from 5:45pm)


£5 donation on the door, please pay by card. 

No pre-booking required


Getting Here

Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, KT13 0QN

Please use the Campbell Gate (signposted “JTI”) on Brooklands Road using the above postcode. Do not follow brown signs to the museum. Parking is free.


Stepped access to the Napier-Room

Accessibility at the Museum >


If you have any questions please email