Vulcan Bomber to inspire youth, albeit from the ground

Avro-Vulcan XH558
Avro-Vulcan XH558
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The last airworthy Vulcan bomber will continue to inspire youngsters and other heritage flying groups despite it taking its last flight in 2015, according to the team that brought it back to the skies.

The 55-year-old nuclear bomber - XH558 - flew for the last time in October after a summer delighting millions of people at air shows and fly-pasts around the UK.

Vulcan bomber XH558

Vulcan bomber XH558

Such was the popularity of the the aircraft that the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, which restored it and flew it, had to keep details of its final flight secret so fans would not bring operations to a halt at Robin Hood Airport, in Doncaster, where XH558 is based.

Michael Trotter, business development director at the trust, said he and his colleagues are determined to make sure the end of the Vulcan’s flying days are a new beginning for the project.

Mr Trotter said their plans for the future include a permanent exhibition aimed at educating the next generation about the Cold War and British engineering as well as an academy to train and inspire future engineers.

But the core of the trust’s activities will be expanding the public’s access to XH558 in its hangar in Doncaster and enthusiasts will be still be able to experience the distinctive howl of the aircraft’s powerful engines again as the trust is hoping to start “fast-taxiing” the Vulcan around the airport at events starting in the spring.

Mr Trotter said: “We have to leave a proper legacy. To spend £25 million just to leave a gate guardian would be a travesty. Inspiring the next generation has got to be crucial to this.”

The People’s Mosquito is one of the return-to-flight groups they are working with - the plan to bring a crashed Mosquito back to flight.

XH558 was built in 1960 and entered service with the RAF in the role the Vulcan was built for - to carry Britain’s nuclear deterrent to the heart of the Soviet Union.

It was the last Vulcan to fly as an RAF aircraft in 1992 and was brought back into service after years of work in 2008.

But XH558 lost its permit to fly at the end of October.