Vulcan XH558 to fly over RAF Wittering and Kendrew Barracks

The Vulcan bomber. Photo: Peter Gardner
The Vulcan bomber. Photo: Peter Gardner
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People will be treated to a flypast by the last remaining Vulcan bomber this week

Vulcan XH558 will fly over RAF Wittering and Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore on Thursday as part of a salute to those who served during the Cold War. The plane will also pass over the nine other stations where Britain’s nuclear deterant, known as V-Force, was stationed, including RAF Wittering.

Vulcan to the Sky Trust chief executive Dr Robert Pleming said: “Because there were no great battles, we often forget the bravery of those who fought in the Cold War.

“This is a period of remarkable tension, courage and technical innovation that shaped our lives over four decades. At its peak, our airmen were ready to fly east with just 90 seconds notice, knowing there may be no United Kingdom to fly home to.”

Vulcan XH558’s Cold War Tour will visit RAF Finningley (Now Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield); RAF Scampton; RAF Coningsby; RAF Marham; RAF Honington; RAF Wyton, RAF Gaydon; RAF Wittering; RAF Cottesmore (now Kendrew Barracks); and RAF Waddington.

The V-Force moniker comes from the names of the three aircraft developed to carry Britain’s first nuclear deterrent: Vulcan, Victor and Valiant. This will be the last flight that the Vulcan will make during 2014.

To help people see the Vulcan low over each location, the charity that operates her has established a Cold War Tour webpage at www.vulcantothesky.org/CWT. It features information on the route, a tracking app for smartphones and links to fascinating period video footage.

Dr Pleming said the Vulcan was “the most dramatic reminder of the bravery and innovation of this unique period.”

He added: “Seeing her fly inspires people of all ages, taking the story of British heroism and technical excellence to new generations.”

The flypast will give some great vantage points for amateur photographers, who have been invited to submit their best shots to a competition.

The best three pictures taken at each location and submitted to 558ColdWarTour@vulcantothesky.org will be published on the Vulcan XH558 Facebook page in a dedicated album, tweeted to Vulcan supporters and placed on the aircraft’s Pinterest page.

The best picture from each location will be published in the charity’s newsletter and featured in a commemorative Cold War image compilation to be released for Christmas.