Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Last Flying V-Force Aircraft Scheduled To Highlight Falklands Anniversary
The last flying Vulcan should be taking to the skies again in April as supporters dig deep to fund her annual maintenance. More than £100,000 (approx. $157,000 U.S.) was raised in February, giving the charity’s Trustees the confidence needed to send vital aircraft systems to specialist suppliers for refurbishment. To reach the spectacular 2012 Diamond Jubilee flying season, the Trust must now raise £75,000 in March, the same in April and £50,000 in June.
“We are just over half way through the service, heading for test flights and crew training towards the end of April,” explained technical director Andrew Edmondson. “Our schedule is tight as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict is approaching rapidly and we are determined to be in the air to commemorate the remarkable Black Buck mission by Vulcan and Victor crews who helped initiate the recapture of the islands. I’d like to personally thank everyone who has helped us get this far and hope you will all be able to see XH558 fly during 2012.”
More than three million people are expected to enjoy the aircraft's remarkable displays during the Diamond Jubilee season, making her one of the UK's most popular heritage attractions as well as the most dramatic example of outstanding British engineering during the twentieth century. 2012 is also the Diamond Jubilee of the Vulcan aircraft type and of sister V-Force aircraft the Handley-Page Victor, both ground-breaking aircraft who’s futuristic prototypes took to the air for the first time in 1952.
“We have a vast range of fantastic plans to fly this remarkable aircraft, appropriately named The Spirit of Great Britain, during this once-in-a-lifetime year,” said Vulcan to the Sky Trust chief executive Dr. Robert Pleming. “We will be doing everything we can to raise the money we need to get there and very much hope that everyone who values the site of her appearing low over the trees will do what they can too.” Throughout the Jubilee season, XH558 The Spirit of Great Britain will carry a Book of Good Wishes, recording the names and message of individuals, families and companies that would like to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. At the end of the year, the handcrafted leather volume will be presented at Buckingham Palace and a duplicate copy will be placed on permanent display at the Vulcan’s visitor center in Doncaster. (Avro Vulcan file image)
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