Vulcan Flies! Answered
The last air-worthy Avro Vulcan Bomber is flying again!
After seven million GBP, and countless hours of work, XH558 is again in the air, and has completed weeks of tests and trials, and her crew are anxiously waiting for the permit to fly.
This is wonderful news, and genuinely emotional. Vulcan is an absolutely beautiful aircraft, and I was privileged to be present at almost her last flight near Manchester well over a decade ago.
I have no idea what preceded Vulcan in the airshow, because all the time the preceding act was show, Vulcan was flying in a holding pattern over the Pennine hills. Whatever was flying in front of me, all I and many of the crowd had eyes for was this shark-like presence circling on the horizon, like a predator haunting a reef.
When she came closer for her actual show, it was one of the few times I have gotten genuinely emotional over a machine. Her grace, power, lines...
I'm even getting a lump in my throat as I type.
It is one of the highlights of my life to have been there when the Vulcan crew, believing she was about to be pensioned off forever, broke air-show rules and flew over the crowd, at low altitude, with full afterburners on.
It was the loudest sound I have ever heard, explosions included. My ears actually shut down. As she went over, I screamed and shouted with sheer joy, and I could not hear a noise I made!
After she passed, as hearing slowly returned, I realised that it was still noisy - every single car alarm was sounding, triggered by the noise of Vulcan's passing. There were a lot of cars.
It's been years since then, and it still stands clear in an otherwise patchy memory.
I am literally bouncing at the idea that I might get to see her in the air again.
But there's a hitch. They've spent millions already, but they need more. Simple day-to-day maintenance costs, plus the rising price of fuel, mean that it will cost upwards of 50,000GBP per month to keep XH558 in the air. That's a lot.
I don't normally do things like this, it's close to genuine spam, but I'm asking you all a favour. As Makers, lovers of the art of machinery, I'm asking you to contribute.
Donations should be sent to VTST, Bruntingthorpe Airfield, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 5QS, United Kingdom, or by â€˜phone to (44)116 247 8145, or online at http://www.vulcantothesky.com .
If you don't fancy sending cash, you could buy something from their shop.
Donation web page
That's it, folks - begging over.