Ever since I first saw it fly at an air show I have been confirmed devotee of the Vulcan bomber. The size, the noise and the sheer elegance of this British designed and built veteran of the Cold War takes my breath away. The delta-winged Avro Vulcan first flew in 1952 and the one remaining air-worthy example is XH558 “City of London”. When they first retired from active RAF service I joined the Vulcan Preservation Society which was dedicated to keeping XH558 flying. Sadly, we were only successful for a few years before accelerating insurance and maintenance costs grounded her.
After further fundraising and hard work XH558 flew again in July of last year but once again costs are threatening to clip the wings of this magnificent bird. A Vulcan bomber is just over 97 feet from nose to tail and has a wing-span of over 99 feet. She is simply huge! When Vulcans were used to bomb Argentine forces around Port Stanley runway in the Falkland Islands in the 1982 war, it was suggested that the sight of this massive aircraft caused some Argentinians to question the size of British aircraft carriers, as it was inconceivable that they had flown from Ascension Island almost 8,000 miles away.
The economic downturn is now threatening the corporate sponsorship which provides over £1.5m per year to keep XH558 flying. Around £1m is needed urgently and an “09 Pledge Campaign” has been set up to raise the funds. I have made my pledge to keep this iconic British aircraft appearing at air shows; please consider pledging your support as well.