New extra ‘final’ date added to Doncaster Vulcan’s farewell

The final flight by the world’s last remaining flying Vulcan bomber will now take place later this month - and not this weekend as was believed by aircraft enthusiasts.
The Vulcan XH558.The Vulcan XH558.
The Vulcan XH558.

Cold War icon XH558, which is based at Robin Hood Airport, is set to undertake a two-day farewell tour around Britain this Saturday and Sunday - with many understanding it to be its final appearance in the skies.

Now owners the Vulcan To The Sky Trust have confirmed that a ‘final’ flight will now take place later in October.

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It is the latest in a series of ‘last’ dates announced by the Trust with thousands of enthusiasts from across the country turning out to see the plane over the summer season fuelling demand.

In a post on the Trust’s website it said details of XH558’s final flight would be “advised mid-late October.”

Yesterday, crowds were warned to stay away from Doncaster for this weekend’s farewell tour this weekend - with warnings the flights could be axed if thousands of sightseers turn up.

Police have warned owners the Vulcan To The Sky Trust that the flights may not be able to go ahead due to safety and security concerns if thousands of people descend on Doncaster.

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Superintendent Caroline Rollitt, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Although I understand the passion of the supporters of the Vulcan over the past few months as we approach its final flights more and more spectators have turned up at events where the Vulcan has been.

“I must ask everyone please, do not come to Robin Hood to see her take-off and land. This has started to overwhelm local authorities and emergency services.

“My first priority is ensuring the safety of all road users and local communities. Doncaster airport is a small commercial airport that can accommodate its passengers.

“However, the infrastructure around it cannot accommodate a large influx of people hoping to see the Vulcan.”

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Dr Robert Pleming, chief executive of the VTTS said: “Please do not travel to Doncaster. We need to minimise the risk of flight cancellation.”

The iconic aircraft has been enjoying one long summer of flypasts and displays with thousands turning out to see her.

But while Vulcan XH558 may no longer be soaring gracefully through the skies, she will stay in Doncaster – as the centrepiece of a new museum celebrating her heritage as well as her life and times, in the former RAF Finningley hangar where she sat in readiness for fighting and bombing during the 1960s and 70s.

Vulcan To The Sky chiefs have had to make the tough decision that this year will be her last - for safety and technical reasons.

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Dr Pleming said that while the aircraft, affectionately dubbed the ‘tin triangle’ was still safe, the age of her airframe, engines and a growing difficulty to source skilled engineers to keep her airborne were all factors taken into account when deciding her fate. It also costs £2 million a year to keep the plane in the air.

Details of the farewell tour this weekend are expected to be revealed later today.

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