The Avro Vulcan XH558 is the only flying Vulcan currently in the world.
With this in mind it was an honour to see its fantastic flying display at RAF Waddington on Saturday 3rd July 2010.
The idea for the Vulcan was first conceived in 1946 by Avro's Chief Designer Roy Chadwick, who also designed the Lancaster bomber. Sadly he died a year later and the job of completing the design fell to Stuart Davies. After a few changes to the early prototype and production model were made, to stop a buffering effect on the outer wing, the B2 model entered service in the 1960's. The B2 became Britain's main nuclear deterrent working as part of NATO during the Cold War years.
The last operational Vulcan's flown by the RAF were disbanded in 1984.
The Vulcan XH558 was the only aircraft flown after that time and was used solely for display purposes until it too was sold off in 1993.
Since 2000, 14 years of effort and fund raising have been used to bring the Vulcan XH558 back to airworthiness, cumulating in its re-introduction at the Waddington Airshow in 2008. I was honoured to be there on that day and you can see my photos at Waddington Air Show.
As the Vulcan commenced its display the phenomenal power and sheer size of the aircraft is evident from the off.
The Vulcan as it climbs into the sky.
The manoeuvrability of the Vulcan is outstanding. A comparison used on the day was an aircraft the size of an airliner which is able to be thrown around the sky like a Spitfire.
The pilot certainly proved this true.
I'm afraid these mere photos can not show the true poise and grace of this huge machine as it weaves across the sky. It was a true sight to behold!
The Delta wing in its full glory.
Part of the display was a re-enactment of the 'Black Buck' bombing raids that it carried out during the Falklands War in 1982.
Bomb doors nearly open as it sweeps in towards the crowd line.
Bomb doors fully open as it thunders past the crowd engines roaring!
The sleek lines of the aircraft make it stand out clearly for the crowd as it roars past.
Quick wave at the pilot!
Martin Withers DFC, the chief pilot for the 2010 season was also the pilot who completed that first successful 'Black Buck' bombing mission during the 1982 Falklands War.
For more information on the Vulcan XH558 or to make a donation you can visit the Vulcan to the Sky web site at:
More Photos of the Waddington Airshow 2010 to come.