back to article Vulcan appeal in emergency tin-rattling

The Vulcan to the Sky trust - which after years of restoration and around £7m succeeded in getting Vulcan XH558 back into the air - is looking for an emergency injection of cash to keep the aircraft flying. Pledges as of this morning stood at £951,163 - a tad short of the £1m required. However, today is pretty well the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe its time to let the past go and move forwards?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...if it does get flogged, does that mean people will get a refund?

    I'm serious.

    if not.......

    Can people donate £5m to help me restore a old mansion?

    Oh now I need another million or I'll have to flog it.

    Wahoo. Win Win for me.....

  3. Richard


    Signed the e-petition, for all the good it will do.

  4. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Heres an idea

    Lets claim it was painted by some guy from 300 years ago and the lottery/government people will throw money at it to keep it here.

    Flames... because our government needs to be on the recieving end of a vulcan payload

  5. hugo tyson

    Refund @Stu Reeves

    Yes, more or less; pledges are only collected if the whole lot is pledged, if you see what I mean. So if they don't get 1M in pledges, zero is collected.

    Send money (promises of) NOW!

    - Huge

  6. Brian Morrison

    Seems a shame to stop if >95% of the needed amount has been pledged.

    OK, they need 45K or more before the end of the day, but there is enough pledged to now allow that to trickle in over the next week or two, ths avoiding the need to pull the plug.

    Amazing that we can guarantee £500bn to the useless bankers and can't allocate a couple of million to such a worthwhile cause when some decent engineering ventures would remove our reliance on the paper-shuffling greed-crazed idiots that got us where we are right now.

    Now, how about a tin triangle icon?

  7. Kevin Johnston

    spare change

    Perhaps that nice Mr Goodwin would like to chip in a few quid and maybe Mr Brown would put in a matching donation?

  8. Brian Morrison
    Thumb Up

    Pledged amount rising

    About another £15K has been pledged in the last hour or two.

  9. Colin MacLean

    Me too

    Shame to see the Vulcan relegated to flying in a flight sim.

    I guess in these dark times, there are more important things in the world than keeping a defunct nuclear bomber in the air.

  10. Daniel


    My dad used to fly these things, carrying Red Snow bombs. He says they were about as exciting, to fly, as driving a bus, only more cramped and with poorer visibility (which is a bit of an indictment for a machine designed to assist in the mass extermination of mankind, really). They were cold, uncomfortable, noisy and the air conditioning used to fill the cabin with a fog, so thick, that the navigators often resorted to chalk and slate, because their papers were all sopping wet. Air frame failures, at the time, meant that it was hard enough to keep the things flying when they were operational. They were actually designed to fly at an altitude where they were beyond visible range, and while they may look nice and impressive buzzing around airshows, the sustained use of these aircraft, at such low altitudes, cause acute stresses.

    The V-bombers are a family of aircraft that are most famous for never actually ever being called upon to do the job they were designed for. Is an aircraft 'historic' simply because it didn't actually bring about the End of History? Let the thing sit on the ground and be decorative, alongside the Starfighters, and all the other pretty jets, from that era, that look like they should be a really good idea.

  11. Tawakalna

    Vulcan forever!

    Vulcan scrambles, Finningley airshow back in the 60s, V-Force, the days when the RAF had a global reach, and British engineering was still supreme. Move on from the past? We should be going back to the past instead of being the third-world state that we're becoming/become.

    "because our government needs to be on the recieving end of a Vulcan payload"

    yes they do and it needs to be Blue Steel, not conventional. It's the only way to be sure.

  12. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    I would donate but

    in these uncertain financial times, can somebody explain to me why this is important? I am not averse to history and education, but a million pounds would go a long way in more humanitarian projects.

  13. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Scrap it.

    It's not like we're losing the Parthenon or HMS Victory.

  14. John Bayly

    @hugo hugo tyson

    I reckon he means whether people who donated money previously to get to this stage will get part of the cash from the sale. It'd be a bit galling to donate money to a charity, watch it go into administration and see them get a wedge of cash from the assets.

  15. Dave


    I take it that you have forgotten the magnificent job these birds did in disabling the runway at Port Stanley, probably saving thousands of British lives in the process?

  16. Dan delaMare-Lyon

    It's important to remember that...

    "Vulcan XH558 is not privately owned, but operated as a National Heritage Asset. She belongs to every man, woman and child in Britain and is an iconic and emotive example of Britain's pivotal position in World technology and foreign affairs. "

    So in that sense, it's every bit as worthy of a million quid in cash as our growing list of "Heritage Assets" (namely anything we produce, our financial services industry etc etc.)

    Perhaps Sir Fred could cough up a few quid of the money he will be earning to keep her aloft?

  17. Anonymous Coward


    I well remember standing near the runway at RAF Oakington, watching Vulcans practising touch-and-gos. Absolutely awe-inspiring. And the noise...!

  18. Nigel Callaghan Silver badge

    Keep it flying...

    When I were a lad, I had a holiday job for two years cleaning these things at Scampton. There's a LOT of wing to scrub, believe me! Filthy job. (As a treat though, they let me vacuum out the Lancaster they had on static display. Wow! Having been inside one, my admiration for the poor sods who flew them went up several notches)

    Anyway, we MUST preserve this sort of thing, and if possible in flying condition. The sight of one flying overhead at low level is incredible - how do they stay up?

    Agree with the comments about priorities - yes we could do other things with £1m, but how much more could we do with the billions being wasted on the Olympics, and the £50m being spent on a couple of old paintings in Scotland - for heaven's sake let's get the priorities right. A painting is an image - photocopy it and stick that on the wall, flog the painting to someone with more money than sense (probably a banker) and then use the dosh to support and sponsor living artists and/or living history (like XH558).

    Pledge that money now!

    (And is there a kind volunteer amongst El Reg's talented readership who'd offer to build them a decent website? )

  19. thomas newton
    Thumb Down

    theres another few quid in the kitty

    anyone know how much theyve got now?

    thumbs down for the current shower of w**kers in power - £500 billion down the crapper propping up banks, another few million to come on a case they'll lose (ie trying to take away fred's payoff) but nothing for this? ffs.

  20. George

    Bit dull...

    I have to say the Farnorough show of the Vulcan bit dull, yeah its big and fairly impressive but compared to what the Raptor did, Eurofighter et al it was nothing. Like a moving museum piece.

    I would much rather that £1m went to Shooting Star Hospices, they would love that and the kids would be overwhelmed. They were crying when my brother did the marathon for them so this would be like a miracle.

  21. Mike


    Nice planes to see, but history is history, no reason to keep them flying, they are just money pits, besides, they aren't the most efficient aircraft in the world, they are deafening and chuck out fumes like there's no tomorrow (no tomorrow was oddly their intended purpose).

    Vulcan 604 in the Falklands conflict was their swan song, the story should close there, possibly the greatest(? well over 3000 miles) conventional bombing runs ever made (at least at the time).

    >>yes they do and it needs to be Blue Steel, not conventional. It's the only way to be sure.

    Wouldn't fit, since the last aircraft flying were MRR and K.2 you'd need to convert back to B.2A

    Great story, great history, but "give us money to keep it flying or we'll sell it to the americans" is just emotional blackmail - stick it in a UK museum, it was a waste of money getting it back in the air, and if I was cynical I suspect it was always the ultimate plan to sell it abroad anyway.

    @Daniel, Red Snow was the warhead on a Yellow Sun bomb or on a Blue Steel missile (technically still a bomb) but there wasn't a Red Snow bomb.

    Notwithstanding, no problem if private money wants to keep it flying, but not tax money, there's no benifit to society.

  22. John Hughes
    Thumb Down

    Black Buck - bang for the buck?

    @Dave, did you maybe forget that the Black Buck raids didn't actually work - the Argentinians continued using the runway till it was overrun by ground troops.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    im supprised

    the guy that owns bruntingthorpe hasn't stumped up the cash just to annoy all the people that live around the airfield / proving ground and complain about him

    (bruntingthorpe in leicestershire is where the vulcan is based it has a pretty got cold war aircraft museum aswell)

  24. Brian Morrison
    Thumb Up

    Black Buck - partially successful

    @John Hughes

    The biggest intent of Black Buck 1 was to prevent Mirage fighters using the Port Stanley runway, in that respect it was successful. Hercules and Pucara were still able to use it due to their STOL capability, something a Mirage could not do when operating at high weights (fully armed IOW).

    One advantage of private finance is that it's harder for the gubmint to stop it flying, but then it's dependent on a CAA Permit to Fly anyway so if they really want to they could stop it.

    But, in general, aircraft belong in the air (the clue is in the name you see) and they should be displayed for as long as possible. I'm very happy to have chipped in with my small monthly pledge.

  25. Adam Silver badge

    @John Bayly

    Who is the "them" that you refer to?

    I don't know if the Vulcan people are a charity, but a charity that unincorporates typically has to donate its assets to another charity in a similar field, nobody gets to keep the money personally.

  26. David Neil

    Black Buck

    The runway at Stanley was not long enough to support fast jets - The argentines were trying to extend it and the raids caused enough disruption to delay them longenough to get troops in.

  27. Tom

    @Daniel Why?

    The answer's simple - She looks fantastic at airshows! Even if she were to fly in and then be a static exhibit, it's amazing to see her in the flesh. It's even better to hear that full power take off bellow.

    At least give everyone who missed her at the last airshow season another chance to see her -0 she's the only big delta we've left anymore. As for the IT angle,! Donating online. :-)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Put the money in a pile and burn it

    Saw these guys 9 years ago at the Farnborough Airshow. Back then it seemed like an awful lot of money to get it flying, let alone the cost of keeping it flying. I just can't see the point, it's just a big money pit that will continue to cost and never has any hope of paying for itself.

    While I applaud the fact they got it flying again after years of hard work, all that money and effort might have been better directed towards the local hospice or kids charity rather than some cold war relic.

  29. Dark Ian
    Thumb Up

    I did donate but...

    "in these uncertain financial times, can somebody explain to me why this is important?"

    And what is important? Every week just as many people seem to be in the shops and bars, spending money on the usual tat. Imagine every single one of them gave the price of the pasty they're about to ram down their fat gullet or the cost of a pint to a fund like this?

    Donations to charity should be given as and when the individual decides, which is why I'm not keen on the Oxfam/AI/etc vest-wearers trying to pounce on shoppers, as if we somehow need guilting or talking into making a commitment.

    But this is a bit different - whether you like the aircraft or not, whether your dad flew one and hated it or even if your mum got her first portion from a pilot behind the hangar spread out on the port wing - it doesn't matter! We're not going to be producing many more interesting things in this country so how about preserving what's left? Doesn't take much to help a dedicated group of individuals in their hour of need.

    And £50k is hardly a lot. That's, what, a penny from each resident in Greater London? Why are people so adverse to working together for things these days?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'll pledge if they use it to throw bankers/ceo's out of

    just saying.

  31. Sam

    Save a Vulcan?

    Anyone know how much John Redwood has pledged?

    P.S. What happened to the one which was parked by Gibraltar's runway?

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  33. Stephen Bungay

    Whats with the deadline nonsense...

    You're almost there, you've got pledges that are what, 45K short of the 1Million needed?So take the pledges you have and keep campaigning for more. Seriously, you have to campaign for the next year's flying anyway, they have got 95% of what they need, that is 11.4 months worth of flying.

    Now if we only had a flying example of the Avro Arrow....

  34. Andus McCoatover


    <<...local hospice or kids charity rather than some cold war relic>>

    Hospices keep almost dead people almost dead a bit longer and kids grow up to be hoodies. Plus, a complete pain-in-the-trouser-department.

    Of course, in the "War against Terrists" Mr. Blair launched so many School and Hospital bombs at Iraq...(Oh, shut up, An(d)us. It's getting late.)

    Cold war lives forever, товарищ !!!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the hell

    Has this got to do with friggin' science?

    I don't mind rubbish in odds and sods/bootnotes, but when you put stuff like this in science I have to wonder. I've seen more than a couple articles in the past mixed up in one when they should be in the other, but this takes the biscuit.

    Also, let it sit on the ground. Cheaper, and probably has about the same impact only without the risk of deafness. They're the most boring aircraft I ever saw in the air.

  36. Ian Mills


    Being one of the people living around Bruntingthorpe proving ground I would like to say it's a tiny minority of Nimbys who whinge about the noise - most people appreciate the privately-owned runways NOT being turned into a housing estate.

    Noise from the Vulcan is amazing.


  37. Anonymous Coward

    Prevented from donating by Nat West "Secure Online"

    I just tried to donate a few quid online. I got stopped by Nat West "secure online" - similar to "Verified by Visa" but no option to say no thanks. So no donation I guess. Scum.

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