This summer will see one of the most iconic aircraft of the past 60 years make its last ever Royal International Air Tattoo appearance.
It follows an announcement by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTTS) that 2015 would be the legendary Cold War bomber’s final display season.
The delta-winged Vulcan XH558 is the only flying example in the world having been restored to flying condition in 2007 following a public fundraising campaign that helped raise more than £7 million. Since then its thunderous yet graceful display has been one of the most eagerly-anticipated on the UK airshow circuit.
However, VTTS has announced that a number of factors, including the withdrawal of technical support, had contributed to its decision to ground the aircraft for the final time after the 2015 airshow season.
VTTS is now determined to see XH558 end its flying days with a flourish and has earmarked the world’s largest military airshow as the place to give the aircraft a special send-off.
VTTS director Michael Trotter said: “This will be a very emotional year for everyone who enjoys the unique sight and sound of a Vulcan in flight. She has given many memorable displays at the Air Tattoo and we are grateful to the airshow’s substantial and appreciative audience and to the organisers for their support as we celebrate this remarkable aircraft.”
“In her new life on the ground, XH558 will still be able to accelerate dramatically along the runway at her home in Doncaster as part of both a heritage centre and a new type of engineering education centre. We hope that many Air Tattoo visitors will come and see her there.”
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “The Vulcan’s iconic design and its sheer size and power has made it one of the most popular aircraft to have ever displayed at the Air Tattoo. VTTS and all its supporters have done an incredible job to keep the aircraft in the air for so long, enabling a new generation to appreciate the beauty and power of this legendary aircraft. The Vulcan was top of our ‘shopping list’ this year and was the first aircraft to be announced – its final appearance at the Air Tattoo is going to be very emotional.”
The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event on July 17-19 are only available in advance. Special Earlybird tickets priced from £31 are available until May 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.