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Rare Vulcan set to soar at the 2009 Royal International Air Tattoo

RIAT 2009

One of the stars of this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo in the Cotswolds has been unveiled by organisers.

Visitors to RAF Fairford on July 18-19 will have a rare opportunity to see a display by one of the most iconic warbirds of the Cold War era.

The world’s only airworthy Vulcan bomber, which was restored to flying condition last year following a massive £7 million public campaign, will join hundreds of other aircraft at the world’s largest military airshow.

The news will be greeted by thousands of people who had hoped to see the legendary aircraft at last summer’s cancelled Air Tattoo.

Vulcan XH558, which was built in 1960, enjoyed a 33-year career in the RAF, including service during the Falklands War. Along with the Valiant and the Victor, the three aircraft comprised the Royal Air Force’s legendary V-bomber force, designed to protect the UK from nuclear threat from the 1950s to the 1980s.

The ambitious restoration of XH558 was supported by a £2.5 million grant from the Lottery Fund, a £500,000 donation from philanthropist Jack Hayward, commercial sponsors plus contributions from more than 20,000 members of the public. The campaign also received significant fundraising support from the Air Tattoo throughout the restoration project.

Air Tattoo Director Mr Tim Prince said he was very excited to announce the participation of such a unique aircraft.

He said: “Like Concorde and the Spitfire, the Avro Vulcan is one of the few iconic aircraft that has the ability to have a profound impact on those who see it fly. Its sleek lines belie its thunderous power and it is simply breathtaking to watch. “

We are pleased to be able to give the thousands of people who had hoped to see the Vulcan fly at RAF Fairford last summer another opportunity to see this amazing aircraft.”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.

Explore Gloucestershire
12 May 2009

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