At a time when the World economy crashes into it’s biggest recession since the Second World War is not a good time to try to and raise money to save an old aircraft.
XH558 is the last airworthy Vulcan, saved by public donations over the last 10 years and finally flying again in the last two years for the first time.
I failed to get to one of the recent airshows it flew at, but I saw Vulcans fly in my youth, and last at the Tollerton Airshow in the 1980’s (who remembers that?). The power and noise is fantastic, but so is the grace and beauty of it in the air.
When I was young I remember seeing a Vulcan with a single ‘olympus’ jet engine strapped to its belly. This was Concordes engines being tested with the afterburner, and boy did it shift on just one Concorde engine! This is a machine from a period when the UK led the world in aviation, it needs to be preserved as a flying example (like the Battle of Britain Memorial flight).
Unfortunately XH558 has failed to get the large corporate sponsors it needs to run it for the display season. Consequently an appeal is being run to raise money. They need £220,000 by the end of January and a further £400,000 by the end of March. In better times the Government might step in, but this is unlikely to happen now.
This is part of our heritage just as much as the houses saved by the National Trust. Lets hope she survives to display again for future generations.
UPDATE 4th Feb 10
There is now a promotional video for the appeal on line. This is very much the last chance to keep this machine flying!
UPDATE 20th Feb 2010
A deadline has been set for the saving or grounding of this airplane see this news release. It will be a very sad day if the plane is grounded for good after so much time and effort has been put into saving it in the first place.
UPDATE 25th Feb 2010
Amazing news! A one off donation of £458,000 has saved XH558! Fantastic news the skies will see this beautiful sight again at airshows this year!