Last flying Vulcan to be grounded after 2013 display season
Vulcan to the Sky Trust, the charity that operates the last flying Vulcan bomber, has announced that 2013 will be the final flying season for the aircraft.
Since its restoration in 2007, Vulcan XH558 has been seen by more than ten million people at over 60 locations.
Following the award winning restoration, the aircraft was given a technically determined number of flying hours, and after next year's flying season these will almost be exhausted.
The trust hopes that even after Vulcan XH558 is grounded, it will still manage to inspire future generations of aspiring young people into technical careers.
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The aircraft will be maintained in running order and continue to entertain supporters with fast taxi runs.
This year, the Diamond Jubilee of the Vulcan aircraft type, has been a remarkable one for XH558, having flown with The Red Arrows, honoured Cold War airmen and taken part in the dedication of a memorial to the heroes of the Falklands conflict, in which it played such a major role.
Vulcan XH558 also reportedly made Her Majesty The Queen smile during a flypast to celebrate Her Diamond Jubilee.
Trust chief executive Dr. Robert Pleming said: "At the end of next year, she will need a £200,000 modification to her wings to increase her flying life.
"We know that you would do your upmost to fund this work, but for a number of reasons we have decided not to ask you to take this risk.
"It is therefore with great sadness that we are planning for next year to be the last opportunity anyone will have, anywhere in the world, to see a Vulcan in the air.
"I’d like to thank everyone who by the end of 2013 will have contributed to achieving six fantastic years of Vulcan displays since the restoration; it’s a remarkable achievement that many people said would be impossible.
"With the passionate and generous support of the British people, we returned an all-British icon to the sky and brought the excitement of engineering and aviation to new generations."