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Mon, Jul 07, 2008

Vulcan Bomber Flies For First Public View In 15 Years

Massive Cold War Era Jet Displayed Over Former Base At RAF Waddington Airshow

After a 15 year silence, the roar of four Bristol Olympus 301 turbojets  resounded over the normally quiet English countryside as the last flying Avro Vulcan bomber returned to the skies for public display for the first time since retired in 1993.

As reported by the BBC, the distinctive delta wing of the Cold War era bomber was clearly evident as the aircraft flew in a five minute display at the RAF Waddington International Air Show in Lincolnshire on Saturday.

About 125,000 people witnessed the Vulcan's milestone flight which was allowed after the Civil Aviation Authority gave permission for the plane to fly from its base in Bruntingthorpe in Leicestershire on Friday.

The Vulcan was restored over a 15-year period in Bruntingthorpe by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, at a cost of over £7m. A total of £2.7m in additional funding also came from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Over 20,000 people contributed to the restoration fund for the bomber.

As reported by ANN, the aircraft took its first post-restoration flight on October 19, 2007 and the aircraft passed its first inspection earlier this year for civilian flight operations. Delays and cost overruns worried many if the aircraft would be ready in time for the first public display, but the team and the aircraft pulled through at the last minute to allow the bomber to fly over RAF Waddington, its former base while in operation.

As well as the RAF Waddington show, the Vulcan has been given the go ahead to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, Gloucestershire, and the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire.

"I feel so proud” said Dr. Robert Pleming, from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust. “Of course this is a massive team effort, not only my own relatively small team but all the companies around the UK and the tens of thousands of the public who have supported us.”

Designed in 1948, the Vulcan could travel at speeds of up to 645 mph and was capable of carrying nuclear bombs.

A total of 134 Vulcans were built and the plane also saw action during the Falklands conflict.

FMI: www.tvoc.co.uk
 

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