Page last updated at 05:48 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 06:48 UK

Airshow could be Vulcan swansong

Vulcan Bomber
The Vulcan Bomber has taken five years and 7.5m to make it fly again

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

The last flying Vulcan Bomber could be making one of its final appearances at Leuchars Airshow at the weekend unless 1.6m can be raised, restorers warn.

Dr Robert Pleming, Vulcan To The Sky Trust chief executive, said after five years and a 7.5m restoration project the cash was needed to run it annually.

The Cold War aircraft, which makes an "earth-shaking roar" on take off, has just been brought back to life.

But now it could be destined for the hangar once again without a sponsor.

I think that anyone wishing to see a Vulcan in flight should do so as soon as possible
Dr Robert Pleming
Vulcan To The Sky Trust
Dr Pleming said: "It looks as if the door may now be closing on the future of the Vulcan in flight.

"I think that anyone wishing to see a Vulcan in flight should do so as soon as possible.

"If we don't achieve a significant change of circumstances soon, we won't be able to carry out our role of 'honouring the past, inspiring the future', providing the once-seen, never-forgotten sight of XH558 in flight to a new generation, stimulating interest in design and engineering and telling people about an important period in our nation's history.

"With the public's help, the triumphant return of the Vulcan this summer became the not-to-be-missed spectacle of the season.

"I sincerely hope that 2008 will not also turn out to be her swansong."

The Civil Aviation Authority gave permission for the plane to fly in July.

Restoration fund

The idea behind the restoration project was to take the bomber to airshows to raise awareness of the project and gain sponsorship.

The Vulcan was restored at the airfield in Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire, where it has been kept since being decommissioned in 1993. It was based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire when it was operational.

About 20,000 people have contributed to the restoration fund for the bomber.

A total of 2.7m funding has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Designed in 1948 by Roy Chadwick, the aircraft could travel at speeds of up to 645mph and was capable of carrying nuclear bombs.

Thousands of people are expected to turn out to see the aircraft fly for 10 minutes on Saturday at Leuchars Airshow.


SEE ALSO
Airshow event to attract crowds
06 Sep 08 |  Merseyside
Battle on to secure Vulcan bomber
07 Jul 08 |  Guernsey
Vulcan gets full display go-ahead
04 Jul 08 |  Lincolnshire

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