The vintage bomber was last seen in Bournemouth on 26th August 1991, captained by Paul Millikin, and only returned to the air show circuit this year after ten years’ hard effort and many thousands of hours of hands-on restoration work, by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust.
When asked to describe his feelings on the return of the Vulcan to air shows, Dr Robert Pleming, Vulcan to the Sky’s CEO, said: “Pride – pride in a unique achievement by an amazing team, who battled on through some desperate times to return the Vulcan to flight. Pride for Britain, in being able to demonstrate a truly innovative and historic aircraft, designed over 60 years ago. And pride that we are at last able to bring the Vulcan back to her loyal supporters, the great British public.”
Commented Jon Weaver Air Festival Director: “Securing the Vulcan is a great achievement for the town and the Festival; we are delighted to have this fantastic aircraft in the display line-up. In addition to the Red Arrows’ three-day appearance and the impressive list of aircraft coming to the resort, the Festival promises to be a historical event for the town”.
The hard work of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, has been at a cost so far of some £6million, including £2.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The rest – the majority – has come from public donations, from more than 20,000 people worldwide, making XH558 truly ‘the people’s aircraft’.
The Vulcan appearance at the More Bus Air Festival has been secured by the generous donations of the following local businesses – Poole Audi, Aruba, West Beach, Hot Rocks, ROBERTS Estate Agents, Mediawise Ltd, Davison Electricals and Bowmill Engineering.
Commented Andy Price from West Beach and Aruba; “We are proud and delighted to be able to support the momentous appearance of this historic aircraft at the Festival – it will truly be a spectacle for everyone to enjoy.”
Donations to the Vulcan to the Sky Trust can be made at www.tvoc.co.uk
With the announcement of this much loved aircraft displaying at the Air Festival, organisers are urging people to use the Park and Ride service. On Saturday, Kings Park, Bournemouth University (Talbot Campus) and Littledown Centre, gates will open at 0830, an extra half an hour to accommodate the additional festival-goers expected to see the Vulcan – click on the link below for details.