It has just been announced that 2015 will be Avro Vulcan XH558’s last airshow display season – and you can see her at Throckmorton Air Show on Saturday 6 June – her only confirmed appearance in Worcestershire.
A statement was issued by The Vulcan to the Sky Trust today – and here is a section of it:
Final Flying Season Confirmed
This is going to be a spectacular summer for Vulcan XH558 but also a very emotional one; it is with considerable sadness that we have to confirm that we are about to enter the final flying season. When she lands for the last time this autumn, there will no longer be a flying Vulcan.
We are therefore going to work especially hard to make summer 2015 a memorable flying season for every Vulcan enthusiast across the country. We intend to use every flying hour available, taking her to more people than ever before, celebrating other iconic British engineering achievements and saluting the heroes of Britain’s legendary V-Force in which she played a vital role during the knife-edge tension of the Cold War.
Farewell to Flight
We are sure you are asking why this has to be the end of this phase of XH558’s life, particularly as many of you will be aware that we have been trying hard to find a way to extend her life for at least one more season beyond the additional two years (2014-15) that were promised when we completed the wing modification. The answer is that having evaluated a great many factors, the three expert companies on whom we depend – known as the ‘technical authorities’ – have together decided to cease their support at the end of this flying season. Without that support, under Civil Aviation Authority regulations, we are prohibited from flying.
At the heart of their decision are two factors. First, although we are all confident that XH558 is currently as safe as any aircraft flying today, her structure and systems are already more than ten percent beyond the flying hours of any other Vulcan, so knowing where to look for any possible failure is becoming more difficult. These can be thought of as the ‘unknown unknown’ issues, which can be impossible to predict with any accuracy. Second, maintaining her superb safety record requires expertise that is increasingly difficult to find. Our technical partners already bring specialists out of retirement specifically to work on XH558; a solution that is increasingly impractical for those businesses as the necessary skills become distant in their collective memories. We have recently been made aware that the skills issue is particularly acute as our engines age and will require a considerable amount of additional (and costly) inspection and assessment.
Thank you again for supporting XH558; for a few more exciting months, the last flying Avro Vulcan.
This means that Throckmorton Air Show on Saturday 6 June is the UK’s first chance to see her at a public display in her final season – and, as she is making her Throckmorton début, the only ever chance to see her at our show as we obviously won’t be able to book her again!
With just three weeks to go, ticket sales are now likely to prove more popular than ever before, and we would urge you, if you haven’t done so already, to purchase them now.
Tickets will not be sold on the gate on the day – so don’t miss out.
If you want to know what else we have for the flying display – click here.
If you want to know what else we have announced in terms of ground exhibits / entertainment – click here.