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  • VIDEO and PICTURES: First picture of the Avro Vulcan XH558 return to flight

VIDEO and PICTURES: First picture of the Avro Vulcan XH558 return to flight

The Vulcan bomber has returned to flight on18 October. The first picture of the historic aircraft taken during its return to flight is below.

The Avro Vulcan, RAF serial number XH558, which last flew in 1993, took off from Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire, flew for around 30 minutes and performed a fly-by before landing smoothly.

The pilot told flightglobal: "She flew like a dream, just like I remember her."

 © Karl Drage

The aircraft's return to the air marks a significant milestone for The Vulcan To The Sky Trust, which has undertaken an extensive multi-year restoration effort that at times had looked unlikely to be completed due to funding shortages.

The test flight had been postponed earlier in the month due to poor weather conditions. The delta-winged aircraft was once part of the UK's fleet of nuclear bombers.

The Trust's website says that returning XH558 to flight has always been its first goal. "We remain adamant that no corners be cut, getting to this point has taken us much longer than originally planned.

"The delay obviously has had financial repercussions, and our resources are now stretching to breaking point. Despite the challenges we now face, we are more determined than ever to keep XH558 flying."

The Trust hopes the first flight will "unlock the commercial sponsorship that will be the foundation for funding the future of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust".

Around £6 million of Vulcan fans' and lottery money went into making the aircraft airworthy again to perform on the air show circuit.


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