Last ever display for the Vulcan

The one and only flying Avro Vulcan in the world will soon fly no more. The famous aircraft – better known perhaps as ‘XH558’ – performed its final display flight on Sunday 4 October over Old Warden airfield in the UK. Two farewell flights over the UK – and perhaps two flights more – are all that’s left for the classic aircraft, known for its impressive howl and its daring participation in the 1982 Falklands War.

Vulcan XH558 flew for the first time in 1960 and was originally a nuclear-capable bomber. It was modified to an air-to-air refueling platform later in its operational career. The type was retired in 1984, but XH558 remained active in the airshow circuit until 1992. In 2007, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust brought it back into the air for appearances at airshows.

For today’s occasion, the Vulcan joined up with several other aircraft along the way, such as the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Keeping it flying is deemed too costly however, and keeping it flying these past years already required significant donations by the British public. The wings and engines in particular require extensive overhaul in order to continue safe flight.

XH558 will fly for the last time this month, marking her final good bye to British skies – and the skies altogether – on 10 and 11 October during two farewell flights across the UK. The aircraft will put on permanent display in the future.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Avro Vulcan XH558, seen here in 1992. (Image © Elmer van Hest)