Final flight for popular Vulcan aircraft
Next year Britain will say goodbye to the beloved Vulcan aircraft for it will never fly again.
The charity that got the Vulcan into the sky and over the heads of Gloucestershire people last month in a spectacular flypast have announced 2013 will by the last flying season for the aircraft.
The Vulcan to the Sky Trust told its supporters today that its cleared flying life is now almost completed consumed.
The aircraft had been painstakingly restored in 2007 and has since been seen by more than 10 million people at over 60 locations.
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Three million people turned out for its 2012 Diamond Jubilee season alone,
Trust chief executive Dr Robert Pleming said: "Through school visits and other educational projects, she has helped to inspire new generations to enter careers in engineering and aviation.
"We are sure you are aware that all Vulcans have a finite safe flying life and that XH558 is already well beyond the hours flown by any other aircraft of her type.
"At the end of next year, she will need a £200,000 modification to her wings to increase her flying life. We know that you would do your upmost to fund this work, but for a number of reasons we have decided not to ask you to take this risk."
The Vulcan to the Sky Trust's aspiration is that when XH558's flying life is over, she will become the centrepiece of a new project that will inspire and train young people, helping to solve the UK's significant shortfall in the number of talented new candidates entering technical careers.
XH558 End-of-Flight Explained, a colour cutaway of the aircraft with explanations of the different technical challenges, can be viewed at www.tinyurl.com/558FAQ.