Friday, 21 October 2011

A fine end to the 2011 season for the Delta Lady

And so, the Vulcan made it's final flight of 2011, and let's hope not it's final flight of all, on Sunday in sun filled skies, the perfect end to a display season that has seen plenty of highs and a few lows, but fortunately the no shows due to the weather or going tech were largely outweighed by the successful appearances, at the major shows up and down the country.

The season started on my birthday funnily enough - that was nice - on May 8th, when on Victory on Europe Day, the Vulcan appeared at the Abingdon Air & Country Show, and performed in front of 10,000 people - this was a great start to the year considering in 2010 the aircraft was only ready for action a good month after this, so well done to everyone involved in getting the Delta Lady through the major service that was required prior to this year's display season.


The first major show was on the May Bank Holiday, and it didn't disappoint, with over 100,000 witnessing the display at Southend, and the following day it attended the Cold War Jets Day at its former home at Bruntingthorpe, and I think it's fair to say it caused quite a stir with the take off from there, with many people staying on at the end to witness it.

Into June, and a new display for the crew and great news for the people on the Isle of Man, when the Vulcan appeared at Douglas to coincide with the Isle of Man TT, which allowed people to look upwards rather than at the roads, and in clear blue skies in the soft evening light, XH558 performed impeccably to give the locals a taste of what they had been missing.

Unfortunately, those clear blue skies soon shifted, despite the weather being fantastic around this time, for on Sunday 12th June, it really closed in across the country, and the planned appearance at RAF Cosford was cancelled due to the terrible weather that saw many many inches of rainfall across the country. Typical this really, as Cosford was the first show booked on the airshow calendar back on February 9th!

From it's display at the Isle of Man, the Vulcan had headed to RAF Kemble, and a double date on Saturday 18th June saw it display first at the Kemble Show, then headed off to Margate - another new display for the team - and once again the people at the Margate Show were treated to a vintage display, all 25,000 of them watching the Vulcan, many for the first time.

There was a couple of weeks break for the team then, as they prepared for the RAF's premier show, the Waddington Airshow, and hopes were high of good weather, and also a big turnout from the Vulcan to the Sky team. Sadly, they were only given a pitch right at the end of the static line up, although for me personally that was fine, as I was parked very close to XH558, so to see it right in front of me for most of the show was good enough.

I also got to meet Mike from the team too, and spoke at great length about the financial situation, and how we could help do our bit, I also got to see into the Bomb Day doors, and saw my name in there following a donation - that was nice.

The display at Waddo was fantastic, with the new 'cork-screw' manoeuvre added into the display too, and that was something else, but everyone enjoyed some great howls from the Vulcan, and was one of the top performers at the Show, along with the Thunderbirds, and also Team Viper.

Nearly 150,000 saw the Vulcan perform over the weekend, and the team enjoyed seeing donations flooding in from the appearance, which would help see the team through to the end of the season, along with of course, some great sponsorship from Eddie Forrester (Aerobytes) who had brought his sponsorship forward to help plug the gap that was apparent earlier on in the season.

Thrown in for good measure on the Sunday at Waddo, was a quick sortie to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed. This had proved to be a great show that has attracted the Vulcan to attend in recent years, and I'm sure everyone who was there - all 60,000 of them - really enjoyed the display once again.

The Vulcan ended up staying at Waddo due to a fault, which was worked on heavily during the week, which delayed the trip to Yeovilton, but thanks to the impressive work of the team behind the scenes, got the aircraft ready, and off to Yeovilton she went towards the end of the week, and on Saturday 9th July, she appeared in the skies of the South West to put a smile on the faces at Yeovilton, the scene of course of one of the best You Tube videos of the Vulcan.

Next, it was the big one, in terms of military airshows, the Royal International Air Tattoo, and this was the one that the team really had to be at, so every stop would be pulled out for this one, and must be the only aircraft at the display that was desperate to source sponsors to keep her in the air, with the continued avoidance of the Vulcan being included in any Heritage Flight with the RAF, which I still find disappointed even now, considering the draw this aircraft has with the public.

RIAT saw over 140,000 people pack into Fairford, and suffer incredibly with some adverse weather - what's new? Hopefully next year's display will give us better weather considering it's brought forward due to the Olympics - I'll be pushing for that date to be kept earlier too if blue skies happen to be over Gloucestershire that weekend!

Anyway, another great display by the Vulcan on the Thursday (press day), Saturday, and the Sunday, and the coffers swelling too, all added to a great weekend for the team, and the public of course.

XH558 remained at Fairford for a few more days, before the trip to the North West, which this particular blogger was looking forward to, as we don't get to see much of her in this part of the world, and the good news was that she was ready to fly on Saturday 23rd July, and a double appearance at both the Southport Airshow, which was very welcomed, and in blue skies again too, before heading on to the picturesque Lake Windermere, which allowed some great shots of the Vulcan for many a photographer - some on the hills to catch the best shots.

Then, next another new venue, the Sunderland International Airshow, and just under 1 million, yes, 1 million people saw the Vulcan perform here for the very first time, and what great numbers to display in front of, for the team. A new venue, a new observing crowd, and a healthy swoop of donations from the event.

Unfortunately, the next 11 days saw some cancellations, just when the momentum had really got going, but a fuel leak fault put pay to the much anticipated trip to Dawlish, Shoreham, Bournemouth, Oxford, and Dunsfold (sadly for one of the main sponsors).

The engineers, and volunteers worked tirelessly on getting her airworthy as quickly as possible and had done a tremendous job in getting her ready, and were given the green light on the Friday before the shows at Cosby & Portrush on the 4th September, but very very typically, the weather closed in, and the displays sadly had to be cancelled, which left only one to go, that at RAF Leuchars.

Leuchars had booked the Vulcan late on, and a big effort was made to get the aircraft up there, with the sortie to the north of the border for the first and only time this season, the weather was once again closing in, but left a window big enough to be able to get there, and gave a cracking display at Leuchars, which I'm sure was appreciated by everyone concerned at the venue.

That was scheduled to be the last display of the season, but it wouldn't be the last of the flying, as on Sunday 16th October, the team took her on a flight around parts of England that wouldn't normally have got to see her. A flypast over Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed - although I don't think that was the reason for the flypast! - then onto Wooton Bassett, before the trip back to Doncaster, and a quick display for pilot currency purposes - saw the last action in 2011 for Vulcan fans.

Now the battle continues to try and get her through the winter service, which brings us nicely onto the fundraising side of the Vulcan team.

We heard back the spring that £350k was needed by the end of May to ensure that XH558 would be arriving on to the airshow scene with stable finances, and yet again, the Great British public rose to the challenge and dug deep to fund the appeal.

One of the reasons why I decide to put my hand in my pocket is not just for the great sight of the Vulcan in the sky, but also to doff my cap to those who put in so many voluntary hours to keep the Vulcan going, when others cannot afford to put their time and effort in to it - a donation is my way of thanking those people. If it wasn't for them, we would not be celebrating 4 years of having the people's aircraft in the air, today.

We have Eddie Forrester to thank for pulling his sponsorship forward to get the Vulcan through the display season, so now it's back down to us Vulcan fans to go for it again - I'm ready for the challenge again, and I hope everyone else who adores this aircraft feels the same.

We all know that D-Day will come, but for now, we can still look forward to at least one more year of the Vulcan ripping the skies apart with the ferocious howl, and delightful calm that follows, so if you can spare a fiver, then donate it today - remember what you donate today brings the total of the Winter Service down, and maybe next time the appeal will be less money to raise, and maybe, just maybe, a sponsor may be attracted to meet the gap - I do feel gutted though for the VTTS team that all those regulations around the lottery funding means they can't advertise on the aircraft - I wonder if one company would fund the difference to advertise on the Vulcan, at the expense of the lottery funding? Does it work that way?

It's a thought, but personally I wouldn't care what was on the aircraft, as long as it was in the air!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Hopes for a good winter

Well it's been almost a month now since I last blogged due to concentrating on other projects, and since then of course the Vulcan managed to get that last appearance of the season at RAF Leuchars which delighted the Scots as this was the only time that XH558 would make it to north of the border this year.

It was touch and go though with the weather, but pleased everyone got to see the Delta Lady, and hear the sound of those fantastic engines, and then of course it was back down to Doncaster to rest up for the winter.

"Just let me take off"
Due to the loss of revenue though from potential appearances at various airshows in the last month prior to Leuchars, she's lost out on around £100,000 which has been a real setback to the funds anticipated by the Vulcan to the Sky team, although it must also be stated, that the attendance record for this season has been excellent, and more often than not it was the weather that put pay to some of those non-attendances.

The VTTS are now looking for over £300,000 to be able to get the Vulcan through its Winter Service and ready for next season's displays, which of course are set to be very special with it being the 60th year since the Vulcan was born, so hopefully everyone will pull together and blitz this target to enable the dream to happen - and I think it's quite possible that this could be the very last season for our historic aircraft, so important more than ever now to donate whatever you can to the appeal.

It's always a difficult time mind, with Children in Need coming along shortly, and then of course the small matter of Christmas, which is always a time when we're all short of money, but as has been stated, even a fiver could make so much difference to the project - so if you can, donate a fiver today! (or more if you csan spare it)

Thanks for the 2011 memories!
Now that the season has finished for 2011, I think it's time to say a huge thanks to those who made this display season possible - from the people who have worked tirelessly on the servicing side of things and turned round repairs in what must have been record time (those same people had the kick in the teeth when the weather prevented an unbelievable effort in getting XH558 airbourne), to the crew who have of course given us those displays up and down the country - and have to make their own detailed travel arrangements, car sharing wherever they go - notably the trip back from Yeovilton!

Thanks also to those at the top of the project, to Robert Pleming for continuing his efforts to keep the Vulcan in the air, I think he's come in for some unwarranted stick over the years, but the fact still remains that we have a flying Vulcan right now, for a fourth year since that amazing return to flight.

One way of helping the fund right now is of course the Component Life Register, and TheVulcanBomber blog will be purchasing one of those items very shrotly to demonstrate its support of the appeal, and hopes that its contribution will help towards that total - the Blog already contributes via a monthly standing order but is only too glad to help further.

Also, any funds raised from revenue generated from Google Adsense on this blog is also being donated in to the appeal, so if you want to help in that way, please do!

That's it for today, it's good to be back blogging about the Vulcan, and I'll be back with another update soon, as we await to see what the latest appeal figure stands at.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Everyone do the Sun Dance!

It's set to be the final scheduled weekend of flying for the Vulcan crew, with the planned trip to RAF Leuchars tomorrow, but will the weather once again spoil the end of season party?

Having checked the various websites, the forecast doesn't look good, and I think we all may need to to a Sun Dance to help shift the clouds for what will be the final air show at RAF Leuchars, and I'm sure there will be many sad to say that tomorrow.

It has been a great display year for XH558 - only blemished by the last month with both technical and weather difficulties getting in the way of what would have been a fantastic season's reord of flying, but there you go, it's not been perfect but show me a display team that has been this season!

Good Luck to everyone heading up to Leuchars this weekend, and I hope you get to see some sunshine and a cracking display - remember that the blue skies arrived at Fairford in the end, so stick with it if it doesn't start the morning looking like you're going to need the sun cream!

I'm sure all the Vulcan crew will be giving the display run the best chance they can, last weekend proved that with most of their day spent waiting around hoping for better weather that sadly never arrived, and prevented them getting off the ground at RAF Conningsby.

So, finishing this Blog off with a Vulcan video from RAF Leuchars, a special one from last year's Leuchars show, but also a video that captures both a great flypast, and at the same time possibly the worst timing of a Vulcan take off as far as a person filming it goes! That's the gamble of being outside the base I guess!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Frustrating weekend for Vulcan fans

Following a week in which the ground crew and engineers pulled their plums out for the cause (not the best description, but I feel that's exactly what they did), it was a great shame that the Great British weather ruined what would have been a fine achievement on Sunday.

Great effort by the ground crew
With the big job of fixing the Vulcan following its hydraulic issues a week earlier, it seemed impossible that the aircraft would appear at both Cosby & Portrush on Sunday, but with the hours put in by an amazing group of people, on Saturday we heard that XH558 was indeed serviceable - incredible.

So, all eyes on Sunday then, and the crew of course making their way back to RAF Conninsgby, where they had made an emergency landing only a week earlier, and hopes were high of a jaunt out down to Leicestershire before heading over to Northern Ireland.

This particular poster was getting a bit excited thinking that the Vulcan may actually pass over the skies of Chester on what was a nice sunny afternoon, one where in the end I was walking round the famous City Walls, so it would have been even better to see the tin triangle up in the skies too.

Alas, the bad news filtered through, nothing technical this time, but the fact that the weather had actually closed in, in Lincolnshire, all this whilst walking in blue skies in Chester, gasping for a drink, in shorts, the works basically for a nice summer's day, yet only 3 driving hours away the opposite it seems was happening and the Vulcan was trapped on the runway, with rain and miserable skies - do we really live in the same Country????

Beaten by the weather =(
So, the news filtered through that despite the waiting around by the crew, it was a cancellation that stole the headlines, with the rain forcing the no-go for the Vulcan team, whcih I'm sure cost yet more revenue, and also leaves the team now with just the one more appearance - at Leuchars this week - to impress before it's seemingly time to concentrate on funding the winter service, which I'm sure will need another appeal based on the past month's cancellations.

How the public react to that appeal is another matter, some will diss it, some will realise what's needed and continue to put their money where their mouth is, and support the Vulcan to the Sky team for as long as it's needed, and that's the category I'll fall in to too, as the only result I want to see is a flying Vulcan in 2012.

So, if you haven't done so already, please consider a donation to the cause (text Vulcan to 70558 - texts costs a fiver donation), or why noyt set up a monthly standing order for £5.58 like many others have done - if you smoke 20 a day, then that monthly amount is just one pack of fags (so why not stretch one packet over 2 days and donate the rest), or a couple of pints, come on give it a shot!

Either way, hopefully the majority of people will embrace the fact that XH558 needs OUR help to see her through to Summer 2012!

Fingers crossed for the weather on Saturday, for the final appearance of the season, at Leuchars.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Decision Day for Vulcan

In what has been another busy week for the Vulcan to the Sky team, all eyes will be on the newsletter today and Twitter feed to see if the planned weekend displays at Portrush and Cosby will take place or not.

Investigations have been taking place this week to understand what caused the hydraulic problem that the aircraft experienced last Sunday en route to Dunsfold, which forced the cancellation of the said display.

Following a practice display at Cottesmore, the fault was found, and the crew had to divert to RAF Conningsby based on the fact that there was a long runway at the base, which helped the Vulcan, which also used the parachute to assist with the landing.

According to official reports yesterday, they were awaiting the delivery of lifting jacks, which were being delivered from Doncaster, with everything else in place to find the actual cause of the fault.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the faults are found, and resolved, and that the team can proceed with their displays on Sunday, as it would be a crying shame to miss out on both, and of course what at the moment is the last scheduled sortie of the season, a week tomorrow at RAF Leuchars.

You cannot of course legislate for things like this to happen, and hamper the display schedule, but as we all know, especially in light of recent events, safety is completely paramount.

On the whole it's been a successful season bar the last couple of weeks, with displays being seen at most of the major airshows up and down the country, and with the addition of the cork-screw to the display, it's certainly been a year to remember, but more about that in a few weeks, once the season has officially ended for the Vulcan.

Keeping everything crossed for Sunday!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Bank Holiday blues for XH558

The Bank Holiday was a big disappointment for Vulcan fans, and for the crew themselves after a hydraulic problem caused the cancellation of the weekend displays at Dunsfold.

Investigations are now underway, and hopefully they can be sorted out before next weekend's planned displays at Portrish & Cosby.

Fingers crossed all!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Dunsfold Update

Thanks to the XH558 Twitter, the time of display for Dunsfold is confirmed as 3.25pm, with the crew consisting of Bill Perrins, Martin Withers, and Barry Masefield.

Enjoy the display everyone!

What a difference a week makes...

This time last week, we were all caught up in the sadness revolving around the crashed Red Arrow and the extremely sad news that the pilot had tragically died during the incident.

It's been a tough week for the Red Arrows, with all the fleet grounded, and investigations made, but relatively good news followed at the end of the week with the announcement that the grounding had been lifted and the Reds were clear to fly again - great news for all concerned, as it would enable them to fly home, and also begin to practice again, but you really have to feel for the pilots of the other Reds who have lost a great friend I would imagine, in Red 4 and Flight Lieutenant Jon Eggings.

Nearly ready for Display!
As far as the Vulcan was concerned, it has been all hands to the pump as the quest to fix the fuel leak problem has been ongoing, with the troubled part heading to Portsmouth to be fixed, and tested, before being hurriedly driven back up North to Doncaster to get it refitted back to XH558 and tested again before being classed as serviceable.

However, thanks to the efforts of many, the Vulcan is once again now serviceable and ready to go, and we're pleased to see that the Vulcan is once again ready to display, and will hopefully be making an appearance at Dunsfold, where big time supporter Eddie Forrester will be willing the team to have her ready for display at the Wings & Wheels event where she has been a key component of the show in recent years. The estimated time of departure from Doncaster is around 2.30pm, so we'll all be looking closely at the twitter feed later today!

It's testament to all that work on the Vulcan's serviceability that we're even talking about a Vulcan ready for display, and I'm sure I'm not alone when I thanks everyone for their work, and look forward to more reports about how XH558 has delighted the crowds once again, and with only a couple of weeks left on the schedule for 2011, it would be great if she can see it through to the end this year.

There are of course big plans for next year - the 60th year since the first flight of the Vulcan, and hopefully she'll be booked by many venues, and the relevant monies can be raised to get her there - we're all dreaming of a final swansong maybe at the Queens Jubilee flypast, or even the Olympics flypast, which would be extremely nice to partake in.

Whatever happens, I think we should all congratulate everyone on the Vulcan project for giving us a cracking display season, and with the introduction of the corkscrew too, something to add to what is already a great display set.

So, all the best to the team for the visit to Dunsfold, and hopefully we can see some pistures & videos shortly!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Vulcan repair continues on sad weekend


It's been a terrible weekend as far as aviation is concerned, with despairing news coming from both the UK, US, and Canada - it's been one of those weekends.

Let's start at home though, and desperately sad news that we lost one of the Red arrows and more importantly, one of their pilots, who managed to steer his aircraft away from local houses and avoid a public disaster on the ground, and instead forsake his own life for the sake of others, and for that Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging should always be remembered, as having delighted millions of people since joining the Red Arrows, the display at Bournemouth was sadly to be his last.

The Reds always have a tremendous reputation, and I'm sure this will be built up as time goes on again, but it has certainly been dealt a horrible blow by this weekend's events, and as far as this Blogger is concerned, I would like to add to the many tributes by saying that every performance I've witnessed has left me in no doubt that the Reds are the best at what they do, and long may that continue. For now though, rest in peace Jon Egging.

Over in the US yesterday, over Kansas there was another fatality, with Bryan Jensen's biplane crashing to the ground to take another life that had delighted many in his previous displays, and the you tube clips (which I'm not going to link to) show how desperate the final act was, with the aircraft going the opposite way to what it shoudl, and sadly that took the life of Jensen.

Then, the news of an airliner going down in Canada, resulting in a dozen lives being taken, let's face it, Saturday 20th August 2011 really was a black black day in the world of aviation. Let's hope we don't have another like it.

As far as the Vulcan is concerned, well it's been a tough old time too, thankfully nothing on the scale as the above, but a grounding none the less thanks to a fuel leak that has prevented the team from displaying at Bournemouth, and several other airshows, and of course safety HAS to come first, but it doesn't stop that feeling of disappointment, and I'm sure the Vulcan team have been hit in the pocket over the cancellations, but safety is always paramount, and the correct decision was made.

We all wait with apprehension to see if the Vulcan can be repaired in time for the appearances in September - August must be wiped out I would have thought - but the first weekend in September has to be the target, and lets keep everything crossed that we see the Delta Lady in the air for those airshows in September, including the final airshow at Leuchars.

I'l leave the blog there now, as it's been a desperately sad weekend, and once again my condolences go out to everyone concerned with the sad news over the weekend.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

BBC Vulcan feature goes down well



Sunday night brought about something different for the Vulcan team, a chance to showcase the aircraft via a new programme, Britain's Hidden Heritage.

Now, normally, I wouldn't even entertain watching a programme like this, but knowing the Vulcan was to be featured, I, like many other XH558 fans I'm sure tuned in waiting for the feature.

Chairs, Chairs, and more Chairs! I've seen enough!
Have to say though I think the programme producers failed to mix the actual programme up a bit, I mean how many stateley homes did we actually have to look through, with some nice old furniture - yes, the first old table and chair set was nice to look at, but that wore a bit thin at the ninth or tenth room we were looking at!

Maybe it's just me failing to appreciate old furniture but I just thought maybe the Vulcan feature should have been a little earlier in the programme, as my attention had really been lost by the time it came on at 7.40pm, but when it did then the attention was fully restored.

bird's eye view from underneath the Vulcan
It's great for the Delta Lady to be featured on BBC1, and hopefully it will have encouraged others to find out a bit more about the story. Quite a bit has been made about the lack of publicity of the Vulcan Appeal, well I can tell you that the Beeb would more than likely not have allowed any kind of appeal detail as they are very very sensitive with putting things like that out, as some would class it as free advertising, and I do know that their scripts are vetted so that anything under the advertising banner comes out straight away.

I was a little disappointed that they didn't give us 'the howl' especially when the brilliant John Sargeant made reference to it, but what did come across was the boyish delight that John was feeling whilst up there in the skies alongside the Vulcan!

I can't help feeling that matbe Planes TV would have been better filming this on behalf of the BBC, as they would have featured everything we were looking for, and more.

That said, it was great to see national focus being placed on the Vulcan, and hopefully that will go from strength to strength, although it's one thing getting the publicity, the hardest thing is keeping it going, and that will be the challenge as it comes to the autumn & winter months, but we'll all be doing our bit to keep her out there!

Friday, 12 August 2011

More dates confirmed for the Vulcan!

It's been a quiet week since the Vulcan crew put their feet up after their last display sequence and transit, but the news from the Vulcan camp soon woke everyone up again in the last couple of days with two more dates added to the final segment of the airshow calendar.

Firstly, on Wednesday, XH558 was confirmed for the air show in the South of Devon, at Dawlish, where Eddie Forrester and his company Aerobytes, one of the major sponsors of the Vulcan has once again stepped in to assist with getting the aircraft to another display, and the Devonians will I'm sure be extremely grateful to Aerobytes for providing this unexpected bonus to the flying display, which takes place next Thursday - always wondered why a flying display takes place on a working day - could never work that one out!

I'm sure there will be plenty of sickies being thrown in that part of the world next Thursday to catch a glimpse of the Vulcan, who few in 2 years ago with the Red Arrows, in what was a fantastic picture opportunity, as highlighted here.



Then as if that wasn't enough, the people of Scotland will also get to see a display from the Vulcan, with a confirmed attendance at RAF Leuchars, with their final display taking place on Saturday 10th September, in what at present is scheduled to also be the final appearance of the year for the Vulcan team.

It's a real bonus for the people of North East Fife, and I recall on my trip to the Waddington Air Show that the Business Development Director, Michael Trotter advised then that they wanted to get the Vulcan to Leuchars, as it costs as much to keep the vulcan on the ground as it does to keep her in the air, bearing in mind that flying is good for the Delta Lady rather than sitting around, so it's great to see that the team at leuchars did in the end get in touch with the Vulcan team, and they now have an exciting addition to the flying display, hey, it may even give me a nudge to visit an airshow I've never been to!

So a good week then for Vulcan fans, as there are now 11 appearances to go before the season finishes, unless we get wind of any more of course, let's hope we do - there are still plenty of events to go before the season is out.

As mentioned, it's been a quiet week up until then, however, on a non-Vulcan moment, I was pleased to see the Red Arrows basing themselves at Hawarden Airport for the day last Sunday as they attended both Rhyl & Blackpool Airshows, and gave the people of Chester a chance to see the world famous display team, and brought traffic to a stop as they arrived, departed, arrived, departed, arrived, and then departed again the following day, I think people's ears are still recovering after the first three took off on the Sunday afternoon they were so low!

That's it for this week, hopefully there will be more Vulcan news next week as we build up to the crew getting back inside the aircraft following her mid season break!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Target Hit!!!


Amazingly, the news came through yesterday that the £350,000 target for the Vulcan's Summer Appeal had been hit - after a major weekend on the donations front.

In what was a surprising final figure, £351,264 was raised thanks to a last weekend donations total of nearly £15,000 saw the Appeal hit that target, which had been set to ensure that the 2011 Airshow schedule could be completed, and once again the Vulcan supporters (and the public) have stepped up to the plate when it mattered, and given us all that fantastic sight and sound of the Vulcan to the Sky!

So, it's a time to celebrate for Vulcan fans, and those celebrations will I'm sure go on until the end of the season in September, when the planning and fundraising will no doubt start again with the Winter Service in mind, and as ever those Vulcan fanatics will be ready to help once again.

At this point I want to congratulate all concerned who have helped keep the Vulcan in the skies for 2011, from those putting their money where their mouth is, to those who have serviced the aircraft and looked after it on the ground, to of course the team flying the Delta Lady, and of course the Vulcan to the Sky team for their achievements this year.

Target hit...Boom!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sunderland success as Vulcan Appeal ends


Well, it's been another successful weekend for the Vulcan team, with yet another weekend delighting tens of thousands of people, this time up at Sunderland.

It was the first time that the Vulcan had appeared at the Sunderland Airshow, and judging by the comments and feedback, XH558's appearance has been well received, and with a bit of luck will get a repeat there next year.

Roaring away at Sunderland
The team performed their over the sea displays during late afternoon on both Saturday & Sunday, and following the return to Doncaster on the Sunday, I guess that it's now a case of pausing for a few weeks before the final run in starts on August 20th at Shoreham - stilll maybe time though to add a couple more appearances in elsewhere if airshow organisers can find the funds to bring her to their show.

It's certainly been another fine effort up to now as far as the Vulcan's attendance is concerned, with only the rain affected RAF Cosford show being the only display that the team could not complete - as with many others that day - even the Red Arrows had to curtail their display that day such was the awful weather.

The crew can put their feet up for a few weeks now, and knowing that their displays are thrilling everyone wherever they go, they must be bursting with pride each time they see the reviews and feedback from the crowds, they are certainly treated as the stars of the show, and in my opinion, deservedly so.

Take me back to Chester....please!
It would be my dream to see the Vulcan return to the skies of Chester, not sure we'll get to see it again following the last time at Airbus Broughton in 2009, as Chester just isn't made for flying displays, but you never know, and I'll keep my dream alive - I certainly have great memories of displays going back many years at Hawarden, and back in the golden age of airshows seemingly everywhere round the country, I remember sitting in my mum's car as a kid with many other people sat in the cars in a country lane opposite the airfield, seeing the Vulcan descending over us and down to the airfield - that was some sight (and sound), in those days, even an airshow of that nature seemed to attract the likes of the Tornado, Red Arrows, Nimrod, Javelin, Vampire, and the Shackleton - some classics there, but seeing the Vulcan on the programme would always get the excitement levels to fever pitch!

I'll have to dig out some pics that I would have taken as a kid, as I'm sure there are some in the tins upstairs (you know the tins, that everyone has stored somewhere with photos from the past kept in them!).

So, back to the Vulcan, and of course the Summer Appeal ended on Sunday, and hopefully the Appeal got somewhere towards the £350k needed, I think at last count they were £14k off so my guess would maybe be that they finished around the £343k mark, but hopefully I'll be proved wrong and finished higher, but whatever the case I really think the public - in this tough climate - have proved that they want to see the Vulcan kept in the skies rather than on the ground, and everyone can take a bow for 'doing their bit' in seeing her up there. I know I felt pride in knowing that the people of Southport, Fairford, Waddington, and so on were seeing the Vulcan with the help of my standing order donation, in fact they should get a sponsorship from Tesco's as 'every little helps!'.

Remember though, it doesn't end here, if we want to see the Vulcan ripping the skies apart then we'll no doubt still have to dig deep to see that, and I'd expect to see some kind of Appeal launched soon as the Winter Service will need to be done, anyone know how much that costs? I don't, it was a general question!

Enjoying the Summer Sun!
But whatever it costs, and whatever the appeal, I know that many will 'do their bit' again, just to increase the chances of seeing this Cold War veteran in the skies for what could turn out to be her second 'farewell' in 2012 - but let's hope not.

Finally, here's a video from the Sunderland Airshow, and when will commentators & organisers learn that people are more interested in hearing the noise of the Vulcan, rather than their own voices or the music that's been blasted out over the speakers, as in this clip...even when the Vulcan is at its noisiest towards the end of the clip he's still waffling on, and you just want to shout..."Shut Uuuuuuup!"





Long Live The Vulcan!

Friday, 29 July 2011

XH558 all set for Sunderland show


It's the last weekend of the month, and also the last action for the Vulcan team for the next few weeks, as they travel up to the Sunderland airshow for performances on Saturday and Sunday.

Last weekend it was of course the North West that got to see the Delta Lady, now its the turn of the North East, as the two dayer at Sunderland gets going.

The Vulcan is scheduled to appear in the late afternoon slot on both days, with 4.20pm the provisional time booked in.

It's also the final weekend of the Vulcan Appeal, with only £23,000 left to find before the target of £350k is hit, it will be a tough ask to reach that target by Sunday, based on previous weekend totals, but hopefully they can get near as dammit to it - remember you can donate today either visiting here, or by texting VULCAN to 70558 - do it today and help reach that target!

It's been a week of reflection for many up here in the North West following the displays at Southport and Lake Windermere, and whilst appreciating the fact that we saw an attendance at two shows in this neck of the woods, it also shows just how great the lack of shows are up here. The only other ones to note are Blackpool & Rhyl, both of which are in their infnacy, and without any kind of substantial budget to play around with.

The olden days - some call it the Golden Age - used to see the Woodford Airshow, and that of course has a special meaning for the Vulcan, given that's where she was first built, and had it not been for the Vulcan at Woodford being a feeder to XH558 as far as parts are concerned, then we may not have seen the last couple of years displays from the team.

Woodford used to be a classic show, even though it was extremely expensive at the time, they always did manage to get something different there - unfortunately the only regular visitor to the show was the rain, which pretty much saw the cancellation of the shows there. Two years there for me stand out in particular, the first being the one that saw the Sukhoi SU-27's and the other being the rained off one where the B1 was there, now they were the days, just a shame that you couldn't really see the B1 due to the horrible weather that day!

As I'm talking about Woodford Airshow, thought I'd pick out a video off youtube for it, no Vulcan in this, but some real classics, that used to be major attractions at the show. Enjoy...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Blues skies seal special Vulcan appearance on Saturday


Vulcan fans in the North West of England were treated to a special appearance by XH558 on Saturday at both Southport and Lake Windermere as the sun beat down on the crowds watching.

At Southport on saturday, the 'Vulcan Effect' was in full swing, as many people were overheard saying "I can't wait for the Vulcan" or something similar - I lost count of the amount of times I heard that on Saturday.

Having started off with some turboprop items on Saturday as well as the Hunter & Hawk, like the weather, the show was just getting warmed up in time for the big hitters to arrive after 3pm, and arrive they did, the 2 Tornado's doing their role demo certainly woke the place up with many pyrotechnics going off on the beach, and some fantastic fast passes from the pair, before then the tranquility of the Lancaster bomber and a Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight then took over.

Just after 4pm it was time for the Vulcan's friends, The Blades, to do their display, and what a great little display they have, with all ex-Red Arrows pilots doing the biz here, and whilst the end of the their display was approaching you could visibly see he vast numbers of people swelling towards any vacant space, looking around for the first sight of the Vulcan.

XH558: Busy thrilling the Southport crowd
It was spotted out to the right in the Blackpool direction, and without hesitation flew in straight into her routine, and once here had a captivated audience enjoying every minute of the Vulcan display on a blue sky background, which was extremely welcome!

The twists and turns of Martin Withers display was beautiful to watch and of course those power climbs which sees the arrival of 'the noise' and we weren't let down when awaiting 'the howl' - you could see them shaping up for it over the beach, and up they pulled and out came the famous howl, now one of the main attractions of the display, and the corkscrew followed, however no need for airbrakes this time thanks to that sea breeze!

Fantastic sight over Lake Windermere
Then we were treated again, just when we thought the display was over, XH558 lowered the undercarriage, and gave us another pass before pulling up with a final power climb that made Southport beach shudder such was the noise that followed, and upon that climb it was time to wave farewell for the time being to the Vulcan, and off she went in the direction of Lake Windermere, off to thrill the thousands waiting up there to see her.

Much has been said about the crowds disappearing after the Vulcan display has finished at the various venues, well I'm a Vulcan fan of course, but didn't leave the display but I did retreat back to the pub & then the car to be in place to leave once the Red Arrows were due to finish their display, so it's true in a sense that lots of people do tend to be glued to the Vulcan display, and then once over, they do head elsewhere, one thing is for certain though there was certainly evidence of the 'Vulcan Effect' at Southport once again.

As fas as the appeal goes, we're nearly there folks, as of Friday's total only another £31,000 to raise by the end of July to ensure that the appearances for August & September are completed, and considering the delight that has been given to fans by the Vulcan crew, I'll certainly be throwing another donation forward as that £350k target gets ever closer.

Text 'Vulcan' to 70558 today to donate a fiver
I'm sure there will be another appeal later in the year as the Winter Service is needed, but hopefully their will be some additional sponsorship accrued, and with all the standing orders that have been set up, it would be interesting to note how much per month is now raised via those - remember the more standing orders that are in place the lower the remaining targets should be, so if you can spare a little more then please set one up, it's only £5.58 per month.

I was reading Barry Masefield's latest blog and it was an eye opener when I read about the trip to (and from) Yeovilton, as following the immense achievement of getting that number two engine ready, the team had to get off down to Yeovilton before the airfield closed for the day, but get down there they did, followed by a stop over in a Travelodge, before then having to display, and drive back up to Lincolnshire to pick up their cars - you don't really think about that part, you just think oh they'll stay down there until they fly the Vulcan back, but of course it's never what you think - fair play to the crew, and keep the blog going Barry!

That's it for now, hopefully another update on the finances to come, and hopefully another major step closer to reaching that magical target - remember you can donate a fiver today by texting Vulcan to 70558 - do it now if you can!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Great news as the Vulcan confirms Lake Windermere appearance


It looks as though the North West will be getting to see a little more of XH558 as it's just been announced in the last few minutes that the Vulcan will be doing a display flight over Lake Windermere - which should be a fascinating scenic display, and will take place this Saturday - the same day she is due up at Southport.

The appearance, which has been made possible by Vulcan supporter and sponsor Eddie Forrester, whose company Aerobytes have once again put their money where their mouths are, and sponsored the display, so the sight & sound of the Vulcan is set to rip through the quiet & peaceful setting of Lake Windermere this Saturday - or Sunday, depending on the weather & serviceability of course.

The news also comes on the same day that the Vulcan Appeal total is now standing at £310,000 - so just another £40k to go, and hopefully that will be boosted by the text appeal that was contained in yesterday's Sun newspaper report, to see that again, click here.

The news gets better and better it seems at present, so let's hope that by the 31st July, the target will be hit, and we can all enjoy the August & September displays that will have been made possible by joe public.

Successful weekend at Fairford as Appeal passes £300k

The weekend saw another successful couple of displays at arguably the biggest airshow on the UK calendar, as the Air Tattoo was graced by the presence of the Vulcan with two stunning displays.

XH558 : Star of the Show
Many who were at the event commented how the display had been more dynamic than ever, which is a recurring comment it seems at present, and that will surely help boost the coffers - in fact right now the Vulcan Appeal stands at £302,000 - a significant milestone passed as the £350k target gets closer and closer, with the July 31st deadline looming.

Included in that total of £302k is also a very welcome £10,000 donation from the Vulcan to the Sky Supporters Club, and is a perfectly timed input from the VTTSSC, and with the Vulcan Village having their biggest display of items for purchase at the Air Tattoo, then hopefully the target will reduce quickly, although I would expect that once that target is reached the team will soon be planning their next appeal which will be the Winter Service.

On the subject of appeals, there was a good piece in The Sun yesterday about the appeal to save the Vulcan, and you can read more about it here - shame about one of the comments below the story, however, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but one of them is just so way off the mark it's untrue! let's hope the article encourages a few more to donate. Link: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3700033/Once-Britains-first-defence-against-nuclear-annihilation-iconic-Vulcan-warplane-now-faces-extinction.html


This week of course its the run up to the Southport Airshow, and XH558 will be appearing at the Saturday show at approximately 4.20pm, give or take the odd minute delay due to sea breeze!

Fairford to Southport via Wittering!
This is the North West's chance to welcome back the aircraft that was built in the same region of course, Woodford in Manchester to be exact, but sadly there is no possibility of even a public flypast there due to the authorities claiming that the roads would become a nightmare surrounding the former British Aerospace factory.

So, Southport it is, and the Vulcan crew will be hoping for some blue skies to greet them following the downpours at Fairford which delayed the start of this year's show.

It will be an exciting time for 'us lot' camped up here in the North West where we rarely get to see the Vulcan fly, so we'll all be making the most of it this coming Saturday.

As an appetite whetter, here's a dark but very good youtube video of the Vulcan at Southport, something quite haunting about this particular one...

Friday, 15 July 2011

Vulcan at Fairford...I predict a RIAT!

Yes, it's the big one as far as the Vulcan team are concerned, as it heads to 'the biggest military airshow in the world' as the organisers put - well that has been much talk about whether that is still the case now with the thinner number of aircraft on display, but it's still a massive draw to the general public and that's what the Vulcan Village team will be counting on at Fairford.

The Vulcan Village incidentally, is set to be the biggest one that they've built, and with over 150,000 visitors expected over the weekend, many will see this as the golden nugget to raise funds, and with the current total close to £290,000, it would be great to get past that £300k mark, with the deadline of 31st July looming in the background, to raise the remaining £60k.

I could talk figures until the end of the day,but it's all about the display of the Vulcan too, and that's the appeal of course, so let's just hope the weather plays ball at RIAT this weekend, the forecast isn't brilliant, but if it remains on XH558's side then that will be best for everyone, so keep your fingers crossed that the umbrellas can stay in the car this weekend, or at least not having to put them up!

Unfortunately this blogger cannot make it to the Air Tattoo this year, but looking forward to seeing the reviews and the hundreds of youtube clips of the air display.

To all going, have a great time, and good luck to the Vulcan team in bringing yet another fantastic display to the Great British public, oh and don't forget a fiver (text Vulcan to 70558) goes a long way!

Here's a reminder of that great take off from 2009 on the wet Sunday to whet your appetite...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Duo with Sea Vixen highlight of Vulcan weekend


http://www.vulcantothesky.org/donate/

It's been another rip-roaring weekend as far as Avro Vulcan XH558 is concerned as the Yeovilton Air Day came and went, with a treat for all fans, as the Vulcan not only provided its own display, but twinned up with the Sea Vixen for an excellent fly past during the airshow.

The Vulcan as we know has been a key attraction at recent events, and next week will no doubt be the centre piece for many at RIAT - the Air Tattoo - which has been struggling to name some star attractions, mainly because of the cut backs in the military world, but also because of the current conflicts taking place in Libya & Afghanistan.

Yeovilton was of course eagerly anticipated just like Waddington, and whilst the airshow weather wasn't as kind this weekend, it was still good enough, although many were fearing that the Vulcan wouldn't attend due to the engine problem being experienced earlier in the week, but fair play to the many volunteers who worked long hours in the week to get XH558 ready for action, and on Friday afternoon she was declared ready for action, and off she went from Waddington to Yeovilton, no amazing overshoot opportunity this time a it was straight into the base at the first attempt, but thanks to the volunteers she had made it to her destination.


Sea Vixen & XH558 together in stunning flypast
 And so on Saturday, she took to the skies mid afternoon ready for another display to whip up the masses and she didn't disappoint with a spectacular fly past with the De Havilland Sea Vixen, unexpected that's for sure, but very much welcomed by the attending public, and as you can see from the pictures very special indeed.

Another great display from the team, and also on the back of another boost with the current Vulcan Appeal total standing at £281k, meaning that now the remaining target is £79k, very much achievable, and surely at this stage the decision must be made to continue, as there are several key venues to visit, and display at in September, let's hope Leuchars can find a sponsor for the Vulcan to attend their airshow so that the Scottish public can once again witness the great display that the Vulcan is capable of - and also command the attention of everyone on the airfield, that has been prevalent at each display so far, with everyone having their eyes fixed on the 'tin triangle' in the air!

Another week starts tomorrow, but it's no ordinary week, as its the build up to the Royal International Air Tattoo, and hopefully two great displays on Saturday & Sunday will see the donations come flooding in as that £350,000 target gets closer and closer.

XH558 will remain at Yeovilton this week until the trip to Fairford, which at present is likely to be Thursday or Friday, and many will I'm sure flock to Yeovilton to witness the take off whilst at the other end at Fairford, there are sure to be many waiting on one of those Arrivals Days.

As a reminder, here's the link to the Vulcan Appeal where you can contribute, or indeed text Vulcan to 70558, where each texts sends a Fiver to the Appeal - let's do it for XH558!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Funds flying in following Waddington Weekend

There was real reason for Vulcan fans to celebrate the last few days with appearances at Waddington on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tues....ah hold on, not so much Tuesday thanks to a fuel line issue which was preventing Number 2 engine going past 'idle' so the planned departure on Tuesday was placed on hold, and will hopefully take place later this week, before the Yeovilton show this coming weekend.

So, with three appearances in the air in just four days, plenty had got to see the Vulcan and hear the Vulcan howl, and all of that including a very busy Vulcan Village must have contributed to the best weekend of donations so far, as nearly £12000 was raised over the weekend pushing the Appeal total past the £275,000 milestone, and the Trust are now only £73,000 away from achieving the £350k needed by the end of July, and hopefully with the Air Tattoo coming up, that will generate even more income.

It was interesting to note that £2000 was raised via the Text Donations, and with nearly 500 people texting in their £5 donations it is proof that the appeal campaigns are working well. Don't forget just text Vulcan to 70558 and you can donate a fiver to the appeal.

There have been several great Waddington you tube videos of the Vulcan's performance the last few days, so I may pick one of those out shortly, but its great just to think back and visualise that stunning display, and fortunately I was there on Saturday to see it, and thinking back to that cork screw climb too - brilliant.

I was speaking to one of the Vulcan crew about the future and in particular next year, and the hopes are still high for the Vulcan to take part in the Queens' Jubilee celebrations, and with the Vulcan team proving their worth in keeping the aircraft in the air and delighting hundreds of thousands, they are also demonstrating their airworthiness too, and that is of interest of course to the likes of the CAA - and just may be the clincher as far as the flight next year is concerned.

2012 is of course not just the Queens' Jubilee, but it is of course the 30th Anniversary of the Falklands Conflict where the famous 8000 mile sorties were made, and not forgetting that the first flight of the Vulcan took place in 1952 - so next year will also see the 60th anniversary of that milestone too - what a year 2012 could actually turn out to be!


Just a fantastic aircraft, and one that this blogger really enjoys watching, along with many many others, long may it continue.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A great weekend for the Vulcan!


It was of course the Waddington Airshow this weekend, and I think its fair to say that the Vulcan thrilled all those who watched her display - the crowdlines suddenly tightened up as far as vacant space was concerned, and eyes all gazed over to the left for the take off following the towing out of XH558 from its Vulcan Village home.

The weekend had started with great news in that the Vulcan Appeal had passed the £250k milestone, and in fact had reached £265k, so with that, all that was needed was a great display on the saturday - and the Delta Lady did not disappoint.

XH558 - looking good in the sun!
Saturday morning started for me based in Lincoln having stayed overnight following the journey from Chester, and at 7am it was time to leave for the base, and nestling up alongside the entrance gate where the other static Vulcan was sitting - looking on as if to say "You're in for a hell of a day Vulcan fans" - and when the gates were open, it was perhaps fate that we were directed to park very close to the Vulcan Village!

A quick look at the programme confirmed that the Vulcan would take to the skies at around 3.30pm - thanks Twitter - and then the usual morning walkaround (complete with overpriced bacon butty) around the static stuff, and breathing in the fresh Lincolnshire air, you know the airshow type where the anticipation generates its own kind of atmosphere.

I visited the Vulcan team to see the Summer Plaque which features both my name and also Chester FC's name - more about that in a later blog - and had a good chat with the team, who were so desperate to show her off around the country, and confirmed that it costs as much to keep the Vulcan on the ground as it does to get her in the air, and around the airshow circuit.

In that conversation was the discussion about XH558 taking part in the Leuchars Airshow, and the fact that the team had left several messages to the organisers in a bid to see the Vulcan up there to allow the Scottish supporters the chance to see her in action.

There is of course the discussion about finance, but with the costs required for the Vulcan - nowhere is going to get a free show, and indeed many will get the display sponsored and that should be the hope for the Leuchars fans.

Anyway, for the morning in the searing heat, there were plenty of tours of the aircraft, and fairdo's to the team, as they must have been roasting do those, and also the volunteers in the tent, who were doing very good business throughout the day it seemed.

Ready for action
As soon as the Lancaster set off it left a space for it's older brother the Vulcan, to slot into, and so it was that XH558 was towed over to be fuelled up for its display.

The Red Arrows were performing, but thousands of eyes were concentrating on XH558, and as soon as the reds had departed, it wasn't long before she moved on to the runway ready for take off - and that didn't take long either!

The Vulcan roar (and howl) followed, and we were all treated to a very good (and loud) display - many voices claiming that was the best they'd seen since the oden days (and the new cork screw manouvre seemed to boost those claims) - a big display was needed I felt to give everyone else the Vulcan effect, and I think it worked a treat.

Not sure if any awards were given out for the display, but surely she would have been a candidate, and hopefully she'll do just that at the Air Tattoo in a couple of weeks time.

So, a great day, and I'm sure a great Sunday too given the weather, and hopefully everyone at Waddo & Goodwood enjoyed the appearances.

Next movement sees XH558 go from Waddington to Yeovilton, for the display down there, and hopefully weather permitting, they are all in for the same treat!

Remember that you can help keep the Vulcan in the air by texting VULCAN to 70558 - it costs a fiver but think about the display you've just seen at Waddo, and help try and keep it going through to next year!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 10

It's the final day of the series looking at ten top Vulcan videos, and hopefully if you're a reader of this blog you've enjoyed the selection - I'll come to the final one in a moment.


Yesterday though was the day that mattered for the Vulcan team as the permit revalidation was to take place following the submission of the application to renew from Marshall Aerospace, and according to Vulcan officials everything went as expected, and the permit was extended by another 12 months which is fantastic news for the team & its supporters!

So we should all expect XH558 to depart Doncaster this afternoon for her appearance at Waddington as part of the Press Day, with the main show of course being at the weekend.

The skies of Lincolnshire will once again be thundering to the sound of the Vulcan with not one, not two, but three performances in four days - lucky people over there in Lincoln!!
Anyway, to the final video of the top 10, and I have to confess - it's one of my own - yep, sorry for that, but I was just so fortunate to get the Vulcan howl that day, and what a howl it turned out to be, lasting for an eternity, and also described on the youtube comments as something like off War of the Worlds, and yes you can understand where they are coming from on that one!

The video itself was filmed on a day when I decided to treat my mum to see the Vulcan take off - she'd not seen that in the past few decades, ad it was herself that introduced me to XH558, so she will have my eternal thanks for that.

Have a read of the full description on the video for everything that revolved around that day, but the whole Vulcan team were fantastic to us, with a closer up view, sitting inside the cock pit, and then the ultimate...seeing the Vulcan take off from the Brize Norton control tower - what a day...

Typical of my mum though to start talking just as the howl was about to be heard across what seemed the whole of Oxfordshire! Another thing about the video was the crazy looking skies that appeared too, it went from blue skies to a creepy pinky blue, with you almost thinking time for the lights to come on, and yet this was about 3pm!




Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqA6bgFPGWI

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 9

It's a big day for the Vulcan today, with the permit revalidation flight due over Doncaster, and hopefully the CAA will grant the Vulcan more flying time for the next year - Vulcan officials have already indicated in the latest newsletter that Marshall Aerospace have already submitted the application, and hope to have it all rubber stamped today.

Anything other than that would be a travesty.

The Vulcan Appeal has also taken another significant step forward with donations now totalling just £118 short of the £250,000 mark - an amazing achievement - but don't forget that still another £100k is needed by the end of next month, so if you can help...donate today!

Today's Video that I have chosen is another golden oldie, and it's one from 21 years ago believe it or not, at RAF Manston - it sort of brings back the memories I used to have of airshows, hot sunny days, blue skies, set back from the crowd line, screaming kids, and trying to follow the aircraft over someone's motor home - I was always jealous of those who used to sit on the top of them on their deck chairs, I bet they were a cameraman's nightmare too!

Anyway, the real life action start again today for the Vulcan team with only Friday the non flying day for the next few days, so good luck to the team with the revalidation in mind, and let's hope that weather forecast shows dry weather for the next few days, so we can all enjoy the power and glorious sound of the Vulcan!



Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knhf_Tdw72c

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 8

So, to Day 8 on the Top 10 Vulcan videos, and I have to say I do enjoy watching these back, and some great footage out there!

Now, it's a bit of a brief one today as I'm off to Alton Towers so day off work...so just getting ready for the short trip to Staffordshire!

Anyway, enough about that, time to showcase another great Vulcan video - now as far as footage of XH558 goes this video is thin on the ground, but it's more the reaction of the two kids and the major happy father that delights in this video.

The father is obviously made up to catch a real gem as the Vulcan appears so low by the trees, "Look at that, my days, look at thaaaaaaaat!" - superb response from happy father on that one, and then the two kids take over. The youngest one in the yellow shirt very excited, whilst the slightly older one replied with a cool, "Yep" - good stuff!

That one filmed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where of course XH558 is heading again this Sunday.

Tomorrow is a big day for the Vulcan, as the permit revalidation is due to take place at Doncaster, fingers crossed everything goes as expected, and we can all relax and look forward to the weekend!



Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0aLQ3srOrs&feature=related

Monday, 27 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 7

Well it's the start of the week once again, and it's Waddo week, with this weekend's airshow being one of the main attractions on the airshow calendar this year.

For the 10 days leading up to arrivals day I've been looking at ten of the best Vulcan videos, and there aren't half some crackers out there - in fact I could probably make a top 20 out of it!

For today's choice, it's a preview of what's to come on Thursday as XH558 flies in to Waddington for the Press Day, and there are various versions of this video out there, but not many as good as this one...

The anticipation of the arrival, with that Yeovilton style fear of what's coming next was clearly kicking in, and what must the driver of the blue car have been thinking????



Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuenaXkcb9A

The best bit of course is at the start, but a worthy shot of the Lanc follows it too!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 6

It's Sunday, and in just 6 days time the Waddington Airshow will be getting underway, and for some others it will be underway sooner with the Press Day on Thursday and Arrivals Day on Friday.

The latest on the Vulcan Appeal sees the total now at £241,000 - getting closer every day to knocking that down to a 5 figured sum, and with just over a month to go to raise £109,000 then there is every chance that the Vulcan's immediate future will be secured - don't forget, it wouldn't be flying without everyone's donations - there is no white knight (though we wish there was!) - it's basically down to each and every one of us to try and do our bit, I know we have already, but if we want to keep on seeing it, then we know what we need to do - spread the word in any way possible, maybe try and think of something outside the box to help bring in more revenue.

The Vulcan Bomber Blog has offered a suggestion to the Vulcan team and hopefully that will get off the ground in the next few weeks to help push the appeal to a new audience.

Anyway, back to the top 10 Vulcan videos, remember they are not in any particular order, they are just a collection of what are in my opinion, some great videos out there of not just XH558, but others from years gone by too.

Today's video is quite a poignant one, with part of the video being the farewell flight, but I've picked the video for both the corker of a howl, and also the final wave goodbye - gladly just for the time being.



Original video link on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLNyQSg5NAc&feature=related

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 5

Well it's Saturday, and a break in the action for XH558 on the airshow circuit this weekend, but some excellent news that two more appearances have been booked in, with confirmation that she'll be appearing at Southport on Saturday 23rd July, and also at Goodwood next Sunday, which means the Vulcan will take off from Waddington, then to display at Goodwood before returning straight into the display at Waddo.

There were some rumours about the Vulcan not having a Permit to Fly over the Waddington weekend, well sources have confirmed that the new PTF is scheduled to be confirmed in midweek prior to the departure to waddington, which takes place on Thursday 30th June, with the Vulcan crew arriving and displaying at the Waddington Airshow Press Day, so an extra treat for those in the Lincoln area that day!

Now, back to the top 10 Vulcan videos that I'm showcasing during the build up to the Waddington Airshow, and here is today's effort, which is a throwback to the good old displays of 1992, and this one was filmed at Church Fenton, I'm loving this video, not many howls it has to be said, but it's worth the watch just to sit back and enjoy the many aspects of the old display - many would of course love to see today's display as dynamic - but I think we can all appreciate why that's not possible!

One extra point to note on the video, is when the Delta Lady taxis back down the runway, there is almost a wink from the Vulcan, of course it's a glint of sunshine but it just seems to be the aircraft winking to the crowd (around the 8:40 mark).

Thanks to the youtuber for the filming of this clip, the original link to it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhs8U7aoTjc



Hope you enjoy today's clip and enjoy also the rest of your Saturday!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 4

This is of course the countdown of (in my opinion) ten of the best Vulcan videos, and today's is no exception.

The difference with today's is there is no sound, so I guess you could question why it should be included in the top 10???

Well, all you need to do is see what features in it, and make up in your own head what the sound must have been like, especially if you happened to be on the base at the time.

The base is of course RAF Waddington, the scene of next weekend's airshow, which is touted as the RAF's premier airshow, and great to hear that the Vulcan will be appearing here, but I bet there are many fans out there who would give anything to see what is contained in this video again - anyway, well done to the Youtuber for catching the action live...



Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1Uym4RyPjM&feature=related

Enjoy your Friday...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 3

So, to the third day of the top ten Vulcan videos, and another corker for today, hope you like the choice!

Cast your minds back to RIAT 2009, and after the relief of the airshow going ahead after the previous year's washout, XH558 made her return to the skies over Fairford, and in front of nearly 100,000 signalled perhaps a collective rubbing of hips - after all everyone seemed to get out of their seats when they saw the Vulcan preparing for take off, and commanding everyone's attention for the display.

Saturday was the dry but windy day, and that's the day that I saw the display, but on the Sunday the weather changed for the worse, and it was looking doubtful that there would be a Vulcan display with the weather closing in, but just like that the rain held off just when the Delta Lady was due to fill the skies, and cue the take off...

That is what the day 3 video is all about, the dampened crowd were to be served up a treat with a stunning take off that saw a wing over that simply looked like the Vulcan had turned upside down - it must have had everyone talking on the day, now obviously it didn't go upside down, but how looks can be deceiving hey?

So, to the video...



Original Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmwOowyoN3o&feature=related

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Top 10 Vulcan Videos - Day 2

Time for day 2 now on the Top 10 Vulcan videos, and remember they are in no particular order...

Today's clip comes from the Air tattoo many years ago, in the days when you would have guaranteed hot weather with sunny blue skies, something which is a rarity these days at RIAT, but you always hope that this year will be different!

The actual video is a corker, starting off with the B52 take off, which as we all know is unique in itself, but then follows the main act - the howl of the Vulcan, and what a howl this one has too - the piece I love most about the vid is that there is a lot of mystery around it, as the person filming sort of gets lost amongst the motorhomes & cars (don't you just love seeing those old cars again!), also great to revisit those days when you could actually take your car on the base at Fairford!

Anyway, I've digressed, but just love the way the camera here just waits for that moment for the Vulcan to appear from behind that motorhome on the right, and then loses it seconds later only for the stunning lift on take off to have already happened!

Great quality vid from years gone by...get that sun factor 10 on now...




Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYOgsgnZ8dw&feature=related

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Appeal Update & More Dates Added

Great to see that the Vulcan Appeal has now jumped up to £236,000 - that puts it £14k away from the next milestone, and what will hopefully see the appeal target reduced to a five figured sum needed compared to the six that we're currently seeing.

It's testament to see the world of Vulcan fans digging deep to keep her up in the air for as long as possible, and hopefully that will continue as the £350k target gets closer - it would be great and something certainly to celebrate once again, that the public have kept the dream alive!


Vulcan at Dunsfold
There have also been further appearances just added to the Vulcan Display calendar, with the Bournemouth Air Festival joining the hosting of XH558 with Shoreham on the same day, and a week later on Bank Holiday Monday (29th August), Dunsfold will get to see her in the air too at the Wings & Wheels Event - it's all good news today!


Keep donating if you can to the Vulcan appeal!