The Vulcan bomber XH558 has taken to the skies again for the first time in 14 years. She flew for the last time in 1993.
It has taken the dedication of a small band of enthusiasts in Leicestershire to return to flying order one of the icons of British aviation. The Vulcan To The Sky Trust is confident that its faith will be vindicated as the plane becomes a star of air shows and displays.
Some 20,000 people worldwide helped raise the £6.5m needed to restore the Cold War bomber, with a large portion of the funding coming from the UK National Lottery.
Getting it airworthy again has been a massive task, requiring the aircraft be stripped down to its components and painstakingly rebuilt. Four unused engines were fitted to give the plane the maximum possible flying hours.
It made the first of three test flights from Bruntingthorpe airfield after being cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday.
For more than 20 years V-bombers carried Britain's nuclear deterrent but only flew in combat once.
Vulcans managed the extraordinary feat of mounting the world's longest ever bomb run by attacking Port Stanley airfield during the Falklands War.
Squadron Leader Al McDicken, one of the plane's pilots is quoted as saying: "She's absolutely magnificent and visually a very attractive aeroplane.
"It's 25 years almost to the day that I last flew one. It was just wonderful."
"All of us who have flown her have enjoyed her handling qualities but she really flies like a big fighter in some ways. It's a thrill to be involved with it."
Attention now moves from restoring the Vulcan to the critical task of finding the funds to keep her flying. Please make a feel free to donate at:
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