The restored Avro Vulcan XH558 yesterday took to the skies on what could be its last flight. The V-bomber lifted off from Coventry Airport as part of an airshow in support of Help for Heroes, but unless the Vulcan To The Sky Trust raises £400k by the end of October, it'll be permanently grounded. This latest round of XH558 tin- …
Thanks for posting that.
Used to see them flying over, all the time in the 70's, and the Vulcan, along with the EE Lightening, gave the best displays at Duxford in that era.
All good things I guess.
As it forms such a major crowd draw, then perhaps they should have set the appearance fees higher to ensure it remained commercially viable...
Not quite that simple though...
The charges would probably need to be more than 5 times more than they currently are to actually pay for itself from airshow appearances alone. No one would book the Vulcan at that price, and no one would see her. As it is we're too expensive for many airshows. The Vulcan will always rely on public donations for the bulk of the income (and not the RAF as some seem to think).
Proper piloting skills
The landing at the end of the YouTube video is properly smooth and makes today's commercial flight auto-pilot landings look like the botched and crude efforts of a... well me frankly ;-) Go the RAF!
Skull, because I have sat in one of these Doomsday machines and you get a proper chill when you drop the flash screens.
I saw it from the M6 as I was driving home yesterday. I thought how wonderful it looked. This story has given my fleeting glimse much more poiniancy.
Why is this not held in as much esteme as a Spitfire and funded accordingly?
"Why is this not held in as much esteme as a Spitfire and funded accordingly?"
Because it didn't keep the Germans out of Dover.
I saw it the other week, displaying at the Jersey Air Show.
How something that large and heavy can move so nimbly is beyond me. Makes a great noise when they turn the engines up too. :)
With a range of 4600 miles, couldn't they get it cheaper abroad. Might be worth a quick trip to over to Russia.
Sorry, Not Practical
I'd like to keep one or two of my F-111s flying too, but modern jet fighters are just too expensive to operate/maintain by private individuals/organizations unless you're a billiionaire or have one to support you.
Keep the Vulcan flying!
It would be even more depressing if the anonymous donor who's funding enabled the plane to keep flying this year turned out to be Jimi Heselden of Hesco Bastion.
Last but one...
If the Coventry flight turns out to be the last, I saw the Vulcan on Sat. 18th flying into Filton for a private show. Driving up the M32 heading for a late summer holiday in Welshpool the stunning craft came in from the North before turning and descending to land at Filton - it was a sight as stunning as those I remember seeing during the 70's living in Henbury, North Bristol, at the end of the Filton airfield.
If this aircraft is retired early it will be such a crying shame; the v-bombers were some of the most beautiful planes ever flown.
Such a shame
I saw the Vulcan at the RIAT this year. It was one of the highlights of the day. There should be proper funding in place to keep at least one Vulcan airworthy as we keep a Lancaster and a few Spitfires flying. All are iconic aircraft, so important in our history.
Keeping it airworthy
Because of airframe fatigue it will have to be retired anyway. The entire project has been rather misleading. People assume that now it is flying again it can fly forever, but the reality is that it only has a limited amount of flying hours on the clock and when that runs out that is it.
A Spitfire is different. It's a less complicated machine that flies at lower speeds with lower stresses. While they can be maintained and rebuilt there isn't a huge issue. The Vulcan on the other hand isn't as easily rebuilt.
So really this whole thing has been a massively expensive farewell tour.
Surely it's too big to fail?
So therefore is worth of a bail-out?
Has no equal in modern airshows. The roar and distinctive howl is like nothing else. Saw her this year at Yeovilton but miss the 'power' performance I remember from the 70's/80's airshows when I was a lad... Real ribcage rumbling power...
Same for the Lightning, amazing aircraft and deafening spectacle in the airshows of times past - sorly missed...
An aviation anoraks dream, but an awful waste of money for something that will have to be retired anyway due to the age of the airframe.
Do I have no soul? Perhaps not, but I think this has been rather a daft project. Unlike the new Tornado steam train (the A1) which is something everyone can enjoy and will be around in 50 years, the cold war relic that is the Vulcan will have to be retired in a few years, possibly sooner.
If it could be permanently flying it might be different, but it can't. So eventually its going to be grounded anyway.
I dread to think what the total cost of getting the thing into the air for such a short time has been. It's hugely expensive cold war relic which has been made airworthy again for the benefit of a few geeks.
It seems that it costs around £60,000 a month to maintain this thing. Why is it so expensive?
Money well spent...
It's more like £150k per month. It's a very large and complex aircraft. The cost covers crew, engineers (about 7), fuel (lots), insurance (not much of a no-claims bonus just yet), hangarage (extra-large), parts storage (about 600 tonnes of them), admin staff, external parts suppliers, event costs, etc, etc. Pretty much all of this goes back into the UK economy and supports many skilled jobs in engineering. Compared to an over-paid, under-performing footballer who'd earn this in a week, I think it's money well spent.
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