It was the end of an era today as the last flying Vulcan bomber flew for the very final time.
The Cold War bomber took off from Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport at around 2.45pm for a short flight.
Special guests and the media were invited to attend a special event at the airport this afternoon.
Operated by charity Vulcan to the Sky Trust, Vulcan XH558 is one of the world’s most popular aircraft and a powerful reminder of a remarkable era in both politics and technical innovation.
Designed to a brief issued in 1947 for a new type of high-altitude, long-range peace keeper, Avro Vulcans come from a time when British aircraft engineering led the world. On the opposite side of the continent, the Soviet Union was drawing the iron curtain, dragging us into an astonishing period of global tension that became known as the Cold War.
XH558 joined Britain’s V-Force in 1960 and served in a wide range of roles until 1984, followed by a period in the RAF’s Vulcan Display Flight until being sold to a private collector in 1993.
Since she was returned to the skies in 2007 following what is believed to be the most ambitious engineering heritage restoration programme ever undertaken, Vulcan XH558 has flown for 346 hours on 228 flights, to thrill two-to- three million people every year.
When she touches-down for the last time, it will be to extend her role at the heart of a new type of education and heritage centre designed to inspire future generations of engineers.
“XH558 is an iconic example of that remarkable period of intense post-war innovation that made British aviation technology the envy of the world,” says Dr Robert Pleming, who initiated and led the return-to-flight programme and is now chief executive of Vulcan to the Sky Trust.
“In her new life, still able to accelerate dramatically along the runway, XH558 will build on this exciting provenance to inspire and educate new generations of young people, helping to deliver the technical and aviation skills that Britain so badly needs.”