Crowds attending Coventry Airport for this weekend's fundraising Fly-in could be witnessing history as the iconic Vulcan bomber takes to the skies for what may be its last ever public appearance.
Vulcan fighter bomber XH558, the last airworthy example of its kind, will fly into Coventry on September 26th as part of a mammoth effort to raise funds for Britain's wounded service men and women. The iconic aircraft, which kept peace in Europe's skies throughout the cold war, will make what threatens to be its final flight in aid of service personnel injured in the line of duty.
“It is appropriate that even as the Vulcan quite possibly approaches the end of its flying days, it is still coming to the service of fallen comrades. Funding issues mean that the likelihood of XH558 ever flying again has been seriously cast into doubt, and the crowds coming to the Fly-in may well be witnesses to the final moment of an aviation era,” said Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman of Patriot Aerospace, owner of Coventry Airport.
Owned and maintained by The Vulcan To the Sky Trust, and despite having become a hugely popular air show fixture the historic craft is critically underfunded. Unless the charity raises £400,000 by the end of October 2010, the aircraft could be sold to a private collector – possibly in Russia or the US – and will never fly in the UK again, but it could find a home as a ground display at a UK museum.
If Sunday's flight turns out to be its final mission, the Vulcan will be in illustrious company. Some of the world’s most iconic aircraft are plotting a course for Coventry Airport’s Fly-in. The super-sonic Tornado will follow the Vulcan fly-in, with two 1950s era Venom jet fighters set to take off at around noon. The Heroes will fly in at 1pm, led by Fixed Wing Pilot, Marine Arthur Vaughan Williams.
The Vulcan departs at 3pm, followed by the Tornado, a rare opportunity to see these two legendary aircraft at one event. The packed programme also includes the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the Avro Anson, a Douglas DC-3 and Vampire T.11., and many other modern day jets, helicopters and classic flights.
With the opportunity to get close up and personal with pilots and crew, hangar based shopping and entertainment, thousands of families and aviation fans will be flocking to Coventry Airport’s Fly-in, with funds raised going towards improving the lives of wounded servicemen and women who are being treated at the Centre for Defence Medicine based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
The Fly-in is staged in partnership with the Armed Forces, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Coventry City Council, CV One, Loop, Classic Flight Club and Heliflight.
About the Vulcan and to help keep her flying http://www.vulcantothesky.org
About Coventry Airport’s Fly-in http://www.flyincoventryairport.com
For advance ticket bookings please visit http://www.visitcoventry.co.uk
For more information contact
Adam Dent: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel 024 7663 3636
Louise Acton: email@example.com / Tel 07595 355 938
Tristan Honeywill: Tristan.firstname.lastname@example.org / 07870 211887 / 01295 277 050