Thursday, 4 September 2014

28th June 2014: Scarborough Airshow

Large numbers of people came to see XH558 at
Scarborough Armed Forces Day.
Armed Forces Day at Scarborough proved to be another successful air show on Saturday. Although cloudy, the weather was comfortably warm, and crowds quickly formed along the promenade for the event.

The day was opened with a march from the Royal Corps of Signals and 1Bn Yorkshire Regiment Freedom Parade and a beautiful speech from the Mayor of the Borough Scarborough, Cllr Patricia Marsburg, commemorating all those who sacrificed their lives for their country. This was then punctuated by a lovely flypast from the Lancaster bomber and two Spitfires, followed by a flight and landing from the Sea King.

The crowds grew bigger as the time crept closer to XH558’s display. The air was thick with anticipation as it finally came to 2:15pm. Flown by Jonathan Lazzari, Bill Ramsay and Phill O’Dell – and with a commentary from Martin Withers – 558 performed a breathtaking display, leaving spectators amazed and wild with excitement.

XH558 flies over the lighthouse at Scarborough Airshow.

After the display I went to the Vulcan to the Sky Trust mini-village, which was already packed with people chattering about the display. I asked a few to give me a word or phrase to describe what they thought about the display; here are some of them:






“Bloody brilliant.”


“A beautiful display.”

It never ceases to amaze me how adored this machine is. Apparently the numbers who attended this year’s air show were about the same as they were last year when the Typhoon and the Red Arrows had flown, showing that the love for our lady Vulcan is timeless. She is an old aircraft, and yet at every air show the same question is asked over and over again: “When is the Vulcan flying?”

Our next air show is at Waddington this weekend, where I’m sure she will give another amazing display.

This article was published in the Vulcan To The Sky Newsbytes on the 1st July 2014.

15th June 2014: Wellesbourne Wings and Wheels event with XM655

Fathers Day was unforgettable for those who went to the Wellesbourne Wings and Wheels annual event. There was a fantastic turnout for XM665, which has been looked after by the 655 Maintenance and Preservation Society (MaPS) since 1984. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of her stay in Wellesbourne – and 50 years that she has existed – spectators were treated to two high speed taxy runs, not to mention a beautiful display from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota and the Large Model Vulcan XH558. The day wasn’t just for aircraft fans though, with an impressive exhibition of motorbikes, classic cars and military vehicles as well.

XM655 raises her front wheel just before the power from the Olympus 301s is reduced.
During the taxy demonstrations, masses of people hurried to crowd the fence to watch 655, following her around the runway as she progressed. It’s heart-warming to witness how loved by the public the Vulcan still is.

This article was published in the Vulcan To The Sky Newsletter on 20th June 2014.

22nd June 2014: Weston-Super-Mare Airshow

"Well worth the wait": XH558 performs a beautiful
display at Weston-Super-Mare.
Armed Forces Day at Weston-super-Mare proved to be another successful air show last weekend, with XH558 closing the event with a breathtaking display.

Crowds of over 120,000 spectators quickly formed along the promenade for the event, which was filled with some marvellous displays, and performances from gymnasts, singers and many other acts in the arena.

Unfortunately, due to some mechanical problems with the hydraulic system – which were quickly solved by our engineering and logistics teams – not to mention some minor issues with refuelling, XH558 was delayed by 30 minutes, and thus was unable to take part in the Big Jet Formation alongside the Venom and the Canberra.

Again, the public demonstrated the amount of respect and loyalty they have towards XH558, and the majority of spectators appeared unfazed by the delay; they were merely relieved that she was going to fly. And at about 5:30pm, the patient audience were rewarded with yet another outstanding display from their beloved aircraft.

The Vulcan mini-village was located close to the arena and was swarmed soon after the display to talk about the display. It was described by many to be “well worth the wait”.

8th June 2014: Cosford Airshow

The first airshows of the season have proved successful with XH558 appearing at Welshpool and Cosford this weekend.

At Cosford the sun shone brightly on the Vulcan mini-village, and the M54 was congested with a large amount of traffic trying to get onto the airfield. The 'Vulcan Effect' was in full swing once again.

Since I am used to attending the small airshows in Blackpool, I was rather overwhelmed by the large numbers that came to see the Vulcan; at least 50,000 in total. Throughout the day Richard and I were bombarded by excited fans asking us what time the Vulcan will be flying and how she is, as though she is a living being. It was only then that I started to get a true glimpse of how loved this aircraft is.

The crowds were treated to a number of spectacular displays, including performances from the Red Arrows and the Typhoon, as well as a debut formation from the Canberra and the Hunter. Then it was time for XH558 to take to the skies. The delta-wing aircraft looked as elegant as ever as she flew over the spellbound crowd, the aircrew - Kev Rumens, Bill Ramsey, Jonathan Lazzari and Phil Davies - doing her first flight of the season justice. Afterwards I was able to speak to Carol Vorderman, a big fan of the Vulcan, who commented that she looked "beautiful as always".

XH558 wows the crowd at the first airshow of the 2014 season.
As my first air show of my internship with Vulcan To The Sky Trust, I began to realise and appreciate the amount of work that is put in by this charity to keep such a beautiful and meaningful piece of history in the air. Costing £2.2million a year, XH558 proves to be a very expensive mistress. However, with the love and admiration the public feel for her, it is no wonder that nearly seven years since her first post-restoration flight she is still in the sky, wowing her many followers.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Taking off...

Hi guys!

So as you may know from my personal blog, I Bit The Piranha, I am currently interning with Vulcan To The Sky Trust in the Press and PR sector. This means I've been attending a lot of the airshows and other events that the Vulcan has been involved with, and thus have been keeping a log of them.

I have since decided to start this blog in order to post these short articles and keep you readers in the know about Vulcan XH558 and what events you can come to to see her. Our journey will start with Cosford airshow which commenced 8th June 2014.

On top of that, since I'm studying Aerospace Engineering, I'm going to try and do some little projects for you guys, the first of which is going to be a pair of trainers that generate enough electricity from walking to charge a phone.

I hope you all enjoy this blog as it revs up and prepares to take off!