VIDEO and 360 PHOTOS: Vulcan bomber is star of charity masked ball
Yorkshire's iconic Vulcan bomber proved as big a hit on the ground as it did in the air - as the backdrop for a charity ball.
A lucky few guests even paid up to £75 each for a premium ticket to dine under its open bomb bay doors.
The Vulcan's public display hanger at Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood Airport was turned into a dinning hall and hundreds of fans snapped up tickets to get up close and personal to the famed warplane.
Proceeds from the black tie Finningley Vulcan Masquerade Ball, sponsored by Portland Autos, will go towards the many thousands of pounds it will cost charity Vulcan To The Sky to house and maintain what was the last flying Vulcan.
It touched down for the last time in October.
As part of funding initiatives Vulcan XH558 must remain in excellent condition for 80 years. To make a donation, or for more information and videos see the links below.
Bosses are hoping the grounded Vulcan’s permanent home could become a top new dining attraction, for awards, concerts and other celebrations, with space to seat up to 1,600 people for dinner.
This year’s Masquerade Ball beneficiaries also included The Baby Memorial Project at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Community Projects for Finningley Village.
Organisers Julie Kong and Dot Speight raised £11,000 from a similar dinner in the hanger last year but the plane was still being flown so guests were not allowed to get too close.
“We were given special permission to not only seat tables around the plane this year but also underneath. We had more than 300 people in the hanger. It's been a fantastic success - we have raised thousands of pounds for our three nominated charities,” said Julie.
"It's been an awesome night and I know next year it's going to be even better. I just want to say a massive thanks to our sponsor Clive Watson, of Portland Autos - he brought three tremendous cars to the night...a Ferrari, a Rolls Royce and a Maserati right under the nose of the Vulcan."
Co-organiser Dot added: "The Vulcan was the absolute star of the show. She is so beautiful and everyone came here tonight to get up close to her. It's absolutely fantastic and we want even more people to come and join us next year. We raised money for a few charities, not least of all to help keep the Vulcan in tip top condition, to educate our future generations."
Ian Straw, the Vulcan charity's Director of Operations, explained how they hope the plane as an exhibit will continue to inspire engineering, technology and aviation pioneers.
He hopes the hanger will be booked out as an exciting new venue for corporate events, awards ceremonies, launches, even weddings.
Ian said: "The aircraft will be a working centrepiece, with regular taxying demonstrations, providing opportunities for the public to get close to an iconic part of UK history that has gained a massive following - 120,000 followers receive regular internet newsletters.
"The focus will be to inspire people in the engineering and aviation community locally, nationally and globally."
* The next event featuring the Vulcan in its hanger - on June 24 - will be No Jacket Required, by the Pride of the Isle charity, which helps families of children suffering from cancer. It was launched in memory of tragic Epworth seven-year-old Alexander Strong, who died three years ago from a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma. The No Jacket Required event will feature the X Factor's Peter Jones, Adrenalin Brothers, Aithon Cooper and The Steel City Horns, plus a licensed bar. Tickets £10 each or VIP tables of 10 - seated under the Vulcan with waiter service - are £150. Full details and tickets at www.prideoftheisle.co.ukDONATE: You can make a donation to Vulcan To The Sky at www.vulcantothesky.org/donate.htmlYOUTUBE: Watch more official Vulcan To The Sky videos on its YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/VulcanXH558VideoREAD MORE: For latest news, the history of the Vulcan XH558, merchandise and how to help Vulcan To The Sky visit the official web site www.vulcantothesky.orgNEWSLETTER: Sign up for the regular Vulcan To The Sky newsletter by email - CLICK HERE.
FACEBOOK: Like the official Vulcan XH558 Facebok page and follow for more updates at www.facebook.com/VulcanXH558TWITTER: Follow the Vulcan XH558 for breaking news about the aircraft, the hanger, the aviation industry, with historical dates and photos, @XH558