The Vulcan makes a nostalgic flight over Cambridgeshire and thousands gather to bid it a fond farewell
- Credit: Archant
Visitors flocked to IWM Duxford today to see an iconic aircraft take to the Cambridgeshire sky as part of its farewell tour.
The unmistakeable shape of the Vulcan XH558 was seen over the historic airfield as part of its V-Force tour of the UK.
The Vulcan performed two wing-over passes before departing for its next destination in Southend.
The V-Force Tour was Vulcan XH558’s farewell to the 17 locations where V-Force aircraft (Victor, Valiant and Vulcan) are now based. Visitors were able to see the flypast by Vulcan XH558 and then explore around and under the museum’s Vulcan in the AirSpace exhibition.
Vulcan XH558 is owned and operated by Vulcan to the Sky Trust, a British charity established to maintain and operate this remarkable aircraft.
The Avro Vulcan is an iconic example of British aerospace engineering at its world-beating best. Its impressive list of technical achievements includes being the first successful large delta wing aircraft, leading directly to Concorde and the Space Shuttle, and delivering performance and agility so close to a jet fighter’s that it was given a fighter-style control column in place of the traditional bomber pilot’s yoke.
Today that agility allows XH558 to deliver amazing air displays, which sadly have to finish this year as her time as a flying aircraft draws to an end.
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But XH558 should not just be appreciated for the pleasure of seeing her giant delta profile appear low over the trees and pull up near vertically as she climbs high into the sky. She is an iconic example of that remarkable period of intense post-war innovation that made British aviation technology the envy of the world.
Vulcan to the Sky Trust already has an established education programme, working with schools, colleges and other organisations. In her new life, still able to accelerate dramatically along the runway, XH558 will build on this heritage to inspire and educate new generations of young people.
Vulcan XH558 flies thanks to the generosity of her supporters who give their time and money to supplement the Trust’s commercial income. She would not fly without them. Find out more about their activities at www.vulcantothesky.org.
The Vulcan also flew both Norwich Airport and RAF Marham as part of its farewell tour.
People gathered on hilltops, fields and at the side of the roads, and waited as long as five hours to catch a glimpse of the historic aircraft.