Last Vulcan takes to the skies again

Wing and Wheels Airshow, Dunsfold, Surrey
Wing and Wheels Airshow, Dunsfold, Surrey

THE last airworthy Avro Vulcan will be putting on a powerful display 
as she returns to Wings and Wheels tomorrow (Saturday August 23).

She won’t be alone though, as tomorrow (Saturday) the show has another special formation planned with the Vulcan and three Gnats of the Red Gnat Display Team performing a flypast.

The Avro Vulcan XH558 is the only flying example of the country’s powerful V-Force.

Painted in ‘anti-flash’ white, XH558 was delivered on July 1, 1960, from the factory at Woodford, near Manchester, to RAF Waddington near Lincoln.

She was the first Vulcan B.Mk2 to be delivered to the RAF, and is now the oldest complete Vulcan in the world.

She was also the last Vulcan to leave RAF service, flying on from 1986 to 1993 as the single RAF display Vulcan, a career spanning 33 years.

Her final flight was on March 23, 1993 to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in Leicestershire, having been sold off by the Ministry of Defence to a family firm which maintained her.

In 1997, a small team, headed by Dr Robert Plemming, put together 
an ambitious plan to return her to flight and she took to the skies again in October 2007.

The Red Gnat Display Team is part of The Heritage Aircraft Trust which is dedicated to the restoration and conservation of classic historic aircraft.

The team currently consists of three Folland Gnat aircraft and is the only civilian supersonic jet aerobatic display team on the air show circuit.

Jamie McAllister, events director, said: “As well as solo displays, the Vulcan and Red Gnat Display 
Team will be performing a one-off fly past on Saturday, the second unique formation to take place over the weekend.”

Wings and Wheels will be held at Dunsfold Park, open from 9am-9pm.

Tickets start from £20 for adults and £45 for a family.

This year it will be helping the fundraising efforts of Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.