The Vulcan to the Sky Trust is inviting the public to add their names to Avro Vulcan XH558 – the longest serving Royal Air Force Vulcan bomber, and the last to fly.
It’s a time-limited opportunity for anyone to place their chosen name on a set of plaques on the underside of Vulcan XH558’s massive delta wing. I’ve just registered my name (it costs £30), and if you want to do the same you need to do it here before 17 June 2018.
XH558 first entered RAF service in 1960. She was the sole remaining Vulcan on the RAF inventory, acting as a display aircraft between 1986 and 1992. She made her final flight with the RAF on 23rd March 1993. She then was flown by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust at public air displays for a further eights seasons before undergoing a huge 6-year restoration that enabled her to fly displays for a further eight years before coming back to earth for the last time on 28th October 2015.
She is now due to be housed in a purpose-built ‘Heritage Hangar’ at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, where she and the names under her wing, will be displayed.
XH558 built a huge fan* base through her dramatic flying displays. So, although it’s sad she is now grounded – and you can see other Vulcans at museums around the UK and further afield – she’ll get plenty of visitors in her new home.
*The photographer, Andrew, who took this photo of XH558 at the Welshpool Air Show 2015, had a typical reaction to her. In the photo’s notes he said: “Having seen the aircraft once before – over thirty years ago looking down from a mountain as it flew into Glencoe – I’d always wanted to see it again. This is planned to be its last year of flying so I headed down to the Welsh Marches to see it.”