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
"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...
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And pussy, don't mind if I call you pussy do you, a great deal of public money is spent on preserving english heritage - perhaps you hadn't noticed?
Don't mind at all, call me what you like but don't call me late for dinner.
As an ex Vulcan man myself, I would love to see her continue but IMHO I think the money needed for the Vulcan would be better spent on a number of other projects.
Maybe my opinion is blighted in some way by the lamentable way 558 has been managed for the last few years. If she does continue, I hope the bankers get rid of Phleming and get someone in who will handle the project a lot better.
Kitchski24 Nov 2012
I agree. The Vulcan is an incredible sight and a great British engineering feat, but doesn't symbolise anything (primarily because, apart from the Black Buck missions, it never really did anything).
I think there are probably quite a few ex-V Bomber crews who'd like to debate that one with you. Probably the ones who used to sit at the start of the runway having been scrambled, engines running, hearts racing, emotions running into overload, waiting for the signal to get off the ground as quickly as possible.
It was because of the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant that they never had to. Not for the initial nuclear stage of the Cold War anyway. I see what you're trying to say, but all the Vulcan (and the others) had to do to be successful was exist. If it wasn't as good as it was, existing wouldn't have been enough.
M.A.D and all that jazz....
True, however the general public were not all that aware at the time and rightly or wrongly don't think of the Vulcan as the difference between victory and defeat.
I don't think of the V bombers as the difference between victory and defeat so much, more of a vital input in whether the UK was levelled or not. Mind you, that's only based on my civvy readings and watching books/TV etc. There's probably a lot I don't know!