Since October 2007 enthusiasts across the United Kingdom have basked in the raw power and agility of Avro Vulcan XH558… but all knew that its time back in the air was limited. Since then millions have thrilled at the sight and the sound of the incredible mighty delta and rallied to the call to help keep it flying. This year is XH558’s swansong, as it is finally retired and begins a new life as the focus of a heritage and educational centre.
As a tribute to the most challenging and complex return-to-flight project ever, FlyPast magazine presents a unique 84-page souvenir devoted to a much-loved icon: Vulcan XH558. Created with the assistance of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, with breath-taking photography and amazing archive images, the story of the world’s only civilian operated V-Bomber is revealed.
· XH558 was first Vulcan B.2 delivered to the RAF in July 1960; its career as ‘Cold War’ warrior then display favourite through to its service retirement is charted.
· The vision of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust and how the team overcame the awesome problems of finance, paperwork and engineering so that the Vulcan could fly as a civilian.
· Eight glorious seasons of airshow operation and the incredible ‘Vulcan Effect’.
· The Vulcan’s place in world and aviation history and the man who first flew the prototype.
· Vulcan units, markings and weaponry.
· What the future holds for XH558 ‑ the Spirit of Great Britain.