Avro Vulcan XH558

ONE of the world’s most iconic aircraft will touch down at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds this summer to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Vulcan XH558 is the only flying example of this large Cold War bomber having been restored to flying condition in 2007 following a public fundraising campaign by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST).

Since then, displays by the aircraft, demonstrating both its grace and immense power, have been among the most eagerly-anticipated on the UK airshow circuit.

Based at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, XH558 is the first aircraft to be confirmed for the airshow which takes place on July 17-19.

Named The Spirit of Great Britain, Vulcan XH558 will fly into RAF Fairford on Friday, July 17 for a special ‘Pit Experience Day’ offering people close access to the aircraft and the opportunity to meet members of the Vulcan to the Sky team and the dedicated band of volunteers who help keep the aircraft airborne.

The aircraft will perform two flying displays during its visit, one on Saturday July 18 and the other on Sunday July 19. Weekend visitors will also be given the opportunity to visit her on the ground in return for a small donation to VTST.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “The Vulcan is arguably the most popular historic aircraft flying today and I am delighted that we’re able to welcome her back to the Air Tattoo this summer.

“What better way to launch our 2015 theme Securing the Skies – Past, Present and Future than with an aircraft that performed a crucial role in the UK’s strategic nuclear strike force during the Cold War, on standby 24 hours a day with crews ready to launch the aircraft with two minutes’ notice.

“I am confident the Vulcan will be the first of many exciting aircraft from around the world to confirm their participation over the coming months – but what a start!”

VTST Chief Executive Dr Robert Pleming said: “We are really delighted to return XH558 to such a prestigious event on the aviation calendar.”

The Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. Tickets for the event on July 17-19 are only available in advance. Special Super Earlybird tickets priced from £26 are available until January 31 from airtattoo.com or by calling 0800 107 1940.  All accompanied under-16s go free. Free parking.