Doncaster's iconic Vulcan engines to roar once again
Technicians will bring the aircraft out of its 'hibernation status' to full ground running condition over the next six weeks at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
By mid-June, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, the charity which owns the aircraft, hopes to take the aircraft to DSA’s engine running pan where all systems will be checked.
XH558’s Olympus engines will once again be heard creating the famous ‘Vulcan howl’ during a series of public engine runs that are being scheduled through the summer.
The work will be led by XH558’s crew chief Kevin Stone, working as a consultant, ensuring XH558 is kept in the best condition possible.
During the same time, Mr Stone will begin the supervision and training of local volunteers who will assist with the ground handling of the Vulcan during future ground runs.
Coming in the wake of the highly successful ‘Survival Plan’ appeal, public support the aircraft shows little sign of decline.
The trust plans to make her the centrepiece of a new hangar development at DSA.
The aircraft was isolated in temporary storage at the airport in ‘hibernation mode’ during February upon expiration of the hangar lease.
The trust and airport continue to work together on a long term and bespoke hangar for the Vulcan.
The consequence of the loss of public access to the aircraft was a significant reduction in revenue.
Dr Robert Pleming, on behalf of the trust, said some cuts were needed.
“Sadly, with the loss of income from hangar tours, events and trading, to remain viable, we had to scale back to one-third of our original team," Dr Pleming said.
"After the successful conclusion of our public appeal and by working closely with the airport management, we have agreed an extension to our temporary storage facilities until the end of July, and so we are beginning to move forward once again.”
“The availability of an appropriate working environment together with the assumption we can maintain the planned levels of income, has given the trustees the confidence to authorise the go-ahead for the annual servicing of Vulcan XH558 to begin with immediate effect.”
He said the plan was in its early days.
“This is the first important stage in returning Vulcan XH558 to the public, and is confirmation that the success of the Survival Plan in placing the Trust on a sustainable footing is now allowing us to move forward, including planning for a new purpose built-hangar," Dr Pleming said.
"However, the future still depends critically on meeting our planned income targets this year. I would urge everyone to get involved in our upcoming activities and events, purchase gifts and memorabilia from our web store and eBay presence, and of course to carry on donating.”
“We remain confident that with on-going public support, we can come through this year to news of an exciting new development that has XH558 at its heart - a stunning new facility that will help educate and inspire young people, as well as being a truly remarkable tribute to the significance of this aircraft and the whole restoration project."