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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Vulcan bomber returns to the sky
Vulcan bomber flying
The pilot said the bomber was a "very attractive aeroplane"
A Vulcan bomber has flown again after years of restoration work by engineers in Leicestershire.

It last flew 14 years ago after a 33-year career in the RAF, including service in the Falklands War.

Some 20,000 people worldwide helped raise the 6.5m needed to restore the Cold War bomber.

It made the first of three test flights from Bruntingthorpe airfield after being cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday.

Bulldog spirit

Taff Stone, chief of the Vulcan crew, said: "There's a lot of work gone into the aircraft.

"We've taken it right down to the basics. We've checked everything, we've cleaned everything, we've finally put it all back together and we've just about achieved the unachievable."

Squadron Leader Al McDicken, one of the plane's pilots, added: "She's absolutely magnificent and visually a very attractive aeroplane.

It's 25 years almost to the day that I last flew one. It was just wonderful
Al McDicken, pilot

"All of us who have flown her have enjoyed her handling qualities but she really flies like a big fighter in some ways. It's a thrill to be involved with it."

The plane rose into the sky to a cheer from watching supporters, sponsors and engineers before banking to the left.

Just over 20 minutes later, to widespread relief, co-pilots McDicken and David Thomas landed it back on a Leicestershire airstrip.

"What a statement for those people who made that aircraft all those years ago," Squadron Leader McDicken said.

"It's 25 years almost to the day that I last flew one. It was just wonderful."

Engineers had failed to restore the Vulcan in time for a flypast over London earlier this year to commemorate the Falklands War.

Dr Robert Pleming, chief executive of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, said he felt a "huge sense of achievement" at finally getting the plane off the ground.

"We finally did it after so many ups and downs," he said. "It's the British bulldog spirit."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The Vulcan bomber taking off from Bruntingthorpe airfield



SEE ALSO
Vulcan bomber to fly within weeks
06 Sep 07 |  Leicestershire
Restored bomber to miss fly-past
13 Jun 07 |  Leicestershire
Vulcan bomber hits target
31 Aug 06 |  Breakfast
Cold War bomber to return to sky
24 Jun 04 |  Leicestershire

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