Vulcan bomber to wow crowds for first time

A LEGENDARY Vulcan bomber will fly over the skies of Hastings next month in what is believed to be the first time the world famous aircraft has visited the town.

The iconic jet will blast out its trademark deafening engine noise across the town in a special display on Saturday June 15.

Now the only flying Vulcan left in the world, the XH558 is expected to arrive over our skies at 3.40pm for the start of a 15 minute display.

Local impressario and former RAF groundsman Roger Crouch helped organise the visit with the sponsorship of Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

XH558 was built in 1960 as part of the Government deterrant to Russian during the height of the Cold War.

It was first painted in white for its delivery flight from the Avro factory at Woodford near Manchester to RAF Waddington near Lincoln.

It was moved to become the only RAF Vulcan for displays in before being the last to retire from service in 1993.

The Ministry of Defence sold off to C Walton Ltd, a family firm which aimed to one day return it to the air.

In 1997, a team headed by Dr Robert Pleming started to put together an audacious plan to return XH558 to flight.

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust was set up to restore XH558 to its orginal glory and raise funds for the cause.

Through generous donations and mammoth fundraising the Trust achieved its dream in October 2007 when it was put back into the skies.

The Vulcan visit will be particularly poignant for Roger who worked as an airframe fitter with the RAF from 1968 to 1977.

He worked on the Vulcans and even got to go on an unforgettable flight on board.

“It’s a real coup,” he said. “It is a phenomemal flying machine and is sure to draw the crowds in from miles around.

“I’ll never forget my trip on board. When those four Rolls Royce engines kick in there really is nothing like it.

“It can go into an almost vertical ascent in seconds. It will be a very special day.”