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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 08:20 GMT
Bomber's grant bid shot down
Vulcan bomber XH558
The Vulcan bomber currently sits in a hangar
The last Vulcan bomber likely to fly again in the UK could be auctioned on the internet after a restoration campaign was denied National Lottery funding.

Model XH558 was the last RAF Vulcan to be grounded, in 1993, and currently lies in a hangar in south Leicestershire.

The owners want to get it up into the skies again and have raised approximately 1.5m from private donations.

But the National Lottery has refused to give the Vulcan Operating Company Ltd (VOC) a grant of 2.5m, saying it is too risky, and now the bomber could be sold off.

Falklands swansong

The bombers are famous for their delta wings - similar to those used on Concorde.

They were a potent symbol during the Cold War years providing what was seen by many as the only credible airborne nuclear deterrent.

Vulcan in flight
Vulcan bombers became a symbol of the Cold War
Their swansong was in 1982 when Vulcans took part in the Port Stanley bombing raids in the Falklands Conflict.

They were taken out of operational duty in 1985.

There are 13 Vulcans in static display around the world and three in Britain capable of taxiing under their own power.

US interest

Model XH558, or The Lady, was based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire before it was bought by C. Walton Ltd in 1993.

The firm, which is based at Bruntingthorpe Airfield near Lutterworth, has continued to maintain the aircraft and says it is the only one in Britain that is likely fly again.

Dr Robert Pleming from VOC said: "We know we should try to keep the aircraft together and ideally in the UK.

"We know there is a terrific amount of interest in America to see her fly over there.

"At the end of the day, if that is the only way that we can make sure that this magnificent aircraft's future is assured, that is unfortunately the way we would have to go."


Click here to go to Leicester

Click here to go to Lincolnshire
See also:

13 Nov 02 | England
04 Jul 02 | Scotland
22 Jun 02 | Wales
27 Mar 02 | UK
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