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Friday 12th October 2012

Vulcan to be grounded

Want to see the last flying Vulcan? Time is finally running out...



2013 will be the final year of flights for the last remaining airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber: it seems age has finally caught up with XH558. Since its 2007 restoration it has been seen by 10 million people and was a key attraction of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee (plus many a motoring festival), but its finite flying life will finally be up at the end of 2013.

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust said the decision was inevitable and based on several factors: the need for £200,000 of wing modification work, the lack of engineering drawings for key components plus the fact engine life is almost exhausted. "There are no more airworthy engines available," said Trustee chief executive Dr Robert Pleming, "and refurbishment would be so difficult and costly that there is no possibility that it will happen.

XH558 has been a crowd pleaser since 2007
XH558 has been a crowd pleaser since 2007
"It is therefore with great sadness that we have told XH558's supporters that we are planning for next year to be the last opportunity anyone will have, anywhere in the world, to see a Vulcan in the air."

All is not lost, though. Plans are afoot for the Vulcan to take on an intriguing new role - becoming the centrepiece of a new engineering education centre and, get this, offering fast taxi runs as a key draw! It will thus not be left to degrade, but will be maintained in "excellent running order".

Before then, the Trust wants the Vulcan to go out in "spectacular" fashion. £400K is needed for a full winter service, though: those who donate will, in return, get the chance to fly their name on the aircraft.

Looks like the first absolute must-see event of 2013 has already been confirmed, then...

 

richardaucock
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BlackCup

Original Poster:

988 posts

66 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Ah this is such a shame I saw one at this years farnborough air show, it was simply amazing...

LongLiveTazio

2,649 posts

80 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Since when was 'difficult and costly' a barrier to British engineering?

framerateuk

1,372 posts

67 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Saw this when I did a trackday at Kemble airfield about 4 years ago!

There's actually a crackin' photo of the plane landing, with my Fiesta going past in a blur!

Shame it won't be airborne anymore frown

inman999

1,331 posts

56 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Very sad.

It left a lasting impression (hearing impairment) on me as a kid during the late 80's early 90's at the Finningley air show. I've got the t-shirt to prove it somewhere.

nismo48

480 posts

90 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Engineering at its british bestcool
Real shame its time is limited..
But managed to see her this year a couple of times
and what a spectacle she is..clap
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simonigrale

918 posts

89 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
We saw this a couple of weekends ago flying over Tamworth when it was doing a 3 hour tour of all the places that were involved in its development. Looked really intimidating in the sky. Awesome sight, I nearly crashed the car !!!

JVaughan

5,735 posts

166 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
I guess it was inevitable .. Plus running a plane like this on a shoestring was never going to work.

Shame, my daughter was awestruck when she saw it

Aizle

12,424 posts

58 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
simonigrale said:
We saw this a couple of weekends ago flying over Tamworth when it was doing a 3 hour tour of all the places that were involved in its development. Looked really intimidating in the sky. Awesome sight, I nearly crashed the car !!!
How d'you think the Argies felt?

Extra 300 Driver

5,213 posts

129 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
I flew in a Vulcan once, great feeling. Shame to see 558 on the ground with the main issue being the engine life. Its also a shame they have written off a number of engines due to poor handling.

hoban81

54 posts

29 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Took this at Goodwood 2009.

Brilliant aircraft


Swervin_Mervin

1,112 posts

121 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Don't they do this every year, in a bid to boost the coffers?

Don't see why the RAF can't look to extend their collection beyond the BBMF and adopt the Vulcan.

simonigrale

918 posts

89 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Aizle said:
simonigrale said:
We saw this a couple of weekends ago flying over Tamworth when it was doing a 3 hour tour of all the places that were involved in its development. Looked really intimidating in the sky. Awesome sight, I nearly crashed the car !!!
How d'you think the Argies felt?
stting bricks laugh

treetops

720 posts

41 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Short taxi runs runs will surely end the life of the engine...quickly.

Where's a lottery winner when you need one.

Elroy Blue

6,382 posts

75 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Save the money and get a Shackleton back in the air. Four RR Griffons sound awsome.

ukmike2000

444 posts

51 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
A sad day when she stops flying but there is a significant safety risk and you have to respect the decision. Thanks to the team who got her flying again and gave a new generation the opportunity to see a great British aircraft back in the skies.

fatboy69

5,982 posts

70 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Too costly to fly her after the end of 2013 so, sadly, this announcement was too be expected.

Just got to make sure I get to see her fly as often as I can next year.

I don't see the RAF being in a position to take on the Vulcan. Can you imagine the howls of righteous indignation from the bean counters at the MOD if they were asked to fund 558?

Never really been a viable option for the RAF unless, i guess, they grounded the BBMF & I cannot see them doing that to keep 558 in the air.

Sad but probably the correct thing to do I think in the current economic climate not to mention the safety aspect of keeping her in the air.

Far better to have seen her flying safely than to see her suddenly become a danger.

I hope than when she does finally stop flying that a purpose built hanger/display building can be built to ensure that she remains on show for all to see.

It would be a tragedy if she met her end at the hands of the scrappers.

Edited by fatboy69 on Friday 12th October 17:43

J98

111 posts

30 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Shame to see it get grounded, hopefully some very rich aero enthusiast feels like parting with some cash.
On another note, I can't believe it's been back in the air for five years.
When I was little my Dad used to take me to see it when it was still in bits, went to the first public flight it did in 07, seen it virtually every year since, the atmosphere at that first flight was surreal.

Gizmoish

17,837 posts

92 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
XH558 in a few years, and XL426 at Southend... how many more are there sitting around growing mould? frown

I agree it would be great if the RAF could find the money to expand the BBMF, but it won't happen.

Sadly, flying planes for nostalgia reasons is only ever going to be a moneypit. If I won the lottery, would it be this or a Concorde that I chose to restore? And how long would even £100m keep either in the air? The world moves on, sadly.

radio man

193 posts

57 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Very very sad. Wouldn't it be nice for the lotto to step in and keep it flying for the next 10 yrs, thus allowing the owners to raise donations for 10 yrs without any expenditure and the money they recieved in that time could maybe used to commision new engines!

Strider

107 posts

114 months

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Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
The Trust's briefing document is here: www.tinyurl.com/558FAQ
Worth starting at the bottom then going back up to the Q&A.
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