Sixty years since it first took to the skies, the most iconic aircraft of the Cold War era will be at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo for a double celebration as the airshow marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Named The Spirit of Great Britain, the delta-winged Vulcan XH558 is the only remaining airworthy Vulcan bomber. Not only will it take part in the flying display on July 7-8 but it will take centre stage in the airshow’s Cold War Zone, enabling people to see it close up on the ground.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said: “Anyone who hasn’t seen the Vulcan display really ought to while they have the chance. Those who have seen it, return again and again to experience its power, grace and beauty. It conjures up similar emotions to those felt by people who saw Concorde display. There’s a palpable sense of awe in the crowd.
Dubbed ‘the people’s aircraft’, Vulcan XH558 is funded largely by public donations. Not only is she the last flying Vulcan but she is also the only remaining airworthy example of the RAF’s famous Cold War V-Force, the UK’s strategic nuclear strike force which comprised Victors, Valiants and Vulcans.
The Vulcan, which first flew on August 30, 1952, has a special relationship with the Royal Family as the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Prince Michael of Kent have all piloted the aircraft.
Organisers of this summer’s Air Tattoo are working alongside the Royal Air Force to stage a number of special aerial tributes to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Countries that have already confirmed they will be sending aircraft to the airshow include Brazil, Hungary, France, the US, Switzerland, Poland and Latvia.
Special Air Tattoo Earlybird tickets, priced £34, are available until the end of March from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940. All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.