Thursday, 17 December 2009

Pre Christmas message from Robert Pleming

With just a week to go before Christmas, Robert Pleming has sent out a statement requesting help to meet the £200,000 target, that isn't that far away now, just £less than £50k needed for the end of December, but obviously it doesn;t stop there as a further £600k is needed by the end of March, if we are to see the Vulcan in the skies of the UK for 2010 - its birthday year...

The latest Appeal results show that the 50th Birthday Appeal has raised just over £150,000. At this time of year, in the current economic climate, this is a positively encouraging uptake. Everyone is most grateful for this on-going support.
Right now however, we are still well short of having enough cash to commit the essential engineering activities for 2010, with cash donations standing at just over £100,000. We really need to double this in less than a month!

After that, we still have a long way to go before the project is secure. We must keep driving the Appeal to realise well over £200,000 in cash by the first week in January, then £200,000 for each of the following 3 months.

Please take a few minutes to think of any friends, relatives or colleagues who might be persuaded to make a donation or a pledge!

The mathematics says that even a small direct donation but from a large number of people can make a huge difference! To this end, we have placed adverts in a number of regional publications, and are also looking into the cost implications of taking these adverts to a National level early in the New Year.

On pledges, the “Signup” page now allows you to specify a redemption month that suits you. If you have already pledged or donated, then please consider another pledge but timed in March towards the end of our Appeal.

Please continue to do all you can to promote XH558’s cause, as indeed every person – employee or volunteer - involved with the Trust is doing on XH558’s behalf. We have come too far not to try every possible means available to us.

Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, announced yesterday a savage reprioritisation in the RAF’s budgets, with amongst other cuts RAF Cottesmore – an old Vulcan base – to close. I now believe that XH558 has a third role, in addition to “Honouring the Past and Inspiring the Future”. With the inevitable cuts in the RAF’s air display commitments, XH558 is now one of the few ways that the public come to see the importance of Air Power in the defence of our country – a role that senior RAF officers fully endorse.

My next update will be just before Christmas and will be the last before the New Year – and decision time.

Kind Regards,

Robert Pleming
Chief Executive

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

£150,000 milestone reached on Vulcan target

As we all know, the Vulcan needs your money, whether it be via an immediate donation, or by a pledge to pay once the target is reached, and I'm delighted to see that the figure raised so far stands at over £150,000, which means that just less than £50,000 is needed before the end of the month to reach that first target.

The actual figure raised so far is £151,896, which consists of £108,720 worth of Donations, whilst there have been pledges of £40,600.

It's great to see that the actual Donations figure by far exceeds the Pledges, but this is where the public can now really make a difference and boost the Pledges figure up and help reach that £200k target, which is of course needed to get the winter service off the ground - no pun intended there!

Some may say what is all the fuss about, well you have to remember that it's the Vulcan's 50th birthday next year, and to fail to see that with the appearance of the the Vulcan in the skies of the UK would be simply tragic, and would possibly see the closure of the project.

Simply put, the Vulcan, is the nation's aircraft, a true piece of British history, and hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to see it at airshows all across the country, some even in Europe.

You can guarantee that people will say they "saw the Vulcan" whenever asked the question what was at the airshow they've just been to, the public simply love the aircraft, but more of that fan base needs to get behind the move to secure it's 50th year in the skies, this is it folks, it's down to us to keep her flying.

Please donate or pledge at the Vulcan to the Sky website, all you need to do is click the link on the top right of this page, and it will take you there!

Let's keep her flying!

For now, here's a great moment from this year's travels:

Monday, 7 December 2009

Statement from the Chairman, Vulcan to the Sky Trust

A new Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Vulcan To The Sky Trust has been appointed, and here is John Sharman's first message:

To all of our Supporters

I am delighted to have been elected to be Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Vulcan to the Sky Trust at the end of this spectacular year for XH558, and I am looking forward to at least as successful a year for the Trust as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of XH558’s first flight.

Coming as I do from a financial background, I am determined to put the Trust on a more permanent, strategic footing, so you will see some changes in coming months as the Board works with the executive team to achieve this.

To help us, I am also delighted to announce that Air Commodore Ed Jarron, currently Bursar of Wolfson College, Oxford University and latterly Chief Executive of the Royal Air Forces Association, has joined the Board as Vice Chairman.

In the meantime, it’s vital that the 50th Birthday Appeal is successful, as this is the enabling activity for XH558’s flying season in 2010.

For now, may I therefore ask you to help us in any way you can with our appeal?

I shall be writing again to all our supporters and in the meantime may I wish you a very Happy Christmas, a Prosperous New Year and I urge that you think of Vulcan Merchandise for those “stocking fillers”.

Kind Regards,

John Sharman

Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Vulcan to the Sky Trust

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Robert Plemings's Vulcan Update - Nov 30th

The latest update from Robert Pleming was released yesterday, and the call for funds is certainly out there, but the Vulcan needs a lot more money coming in before the end of the year - another £140,000 to be exact.

There is lots of bickering around forums about bad management, and why the public should be funding this project, but the fact is the money is needed, sponsorship is not coming in to cover the costs, and if we all want to see the Vulcan making fantastic noises like this...

...then we all need to chip in, and hope that she makes it, for her 50th Birthday, what a travesty if she doesn't make it into the skies next year. Thanks to scarey1989 from youtube for allowing me to use that one!

Anyway, here's the update:

XH558's 50th Birthday Appeal - Update Monday 30th November.

As I write, the 50th Birthday Appeal has made significant progress in the last week, with our total now standing at nearly £60,000 against the target of £200,000 needed by the end of December.

This figure allows us breathing space until the end of January, but at the moment still does not allow us the confidence to commit vital engineering works to the aircraft. In cash terms, we must have sight of £200,000 by the first week of January, and be confident of further on-going donations via the Appeal to ensure the project has a future.

We must all keep pushing XH558’s 50th Birthday Appeal in every way possible to as wide an audience as we can reach. As the result, we have decided that we should gain a significant return by investing a small proportion of the donations received so far in promoting the Appeal in regions where XH558 appeared this season.

Bear in mind that if we fail to reach our monthly targets, we will be unable to undertake the 2010 season, and so there would be little point in bearing the expense of keeping the team together.

Decisions would then start to get very tough, because the Trustees would almost certainly conclude that the Trust was in a position where it could not continue to trade. Whilst the primary goal of the Trust is to ensure that XH558 is conserved in perpetuity, an administrator would have different objectives; matters would rapidly be taken out of our hands.

This would be a tragedy for XH558, for and for the many thousands of dedicated supporters all involved in the day to day running of the project, all the employees, engineers, ground crew, aircrew.

Worse though would be the millions of people out there who will then miss seeing the aircraft because it will all be too late. I would like to quote you this recently posted statement by a Club Volunteer, Jane Thomas:
"The excitement of people waiting to see her at shows is palpable, the searching eyes for the first glimpse, the rise in excitement as she appears as a dot in the distance and the awe and respect with which people stand and watch as she steals the show! For a few more years we have something very special and I for one will do everything I can to make sure we have those years."

Like Jane, we can all play our own small part in making the dream continue. Let us all hope for more good news in the weeks ahead.

Kind Regards,

Robert Pleming
Chief Executive