Vulcan death grip: one year left for XH558

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which faithfully restored Avro Vulcan XH558 to flight status, has announced that 2013 will be the Cold War bomber’s last year as a flying attraction, and described its decision as having been reached “with particular sadness”.

vulcan 560.jpgA wing leading-edge modification which would be required at the end of next year would be too expensive and also uncertain to allow XH558 to fly on, the Trust says (Rex Features image, above). Equally as important, it is now down to just two spare Rolls-Royce Olympus engines, following an incident which led to two being destroyed in a mishap earlier this year.

The Trust has produced a document to explain its decision, which you can see here. This includes some great artwork by my Flightglobal colleague Gareth JJ Burgess, by the way.

It remains to be seen whether the Trust will succeed in raising the estimated £700,000 ($1.1 million) it needs to prepare ”The Spirit of Great Britain” to fly during the 2013 season at all, but I wouldn’t bet against the public rallying to allow the last Vulcan to go out in style.


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