The end. Nobody will ever watch The Spirit of Great Britain’s elegant delta shape silhouette fly again. XH558, the last flying example of the British Avro Vulcan strategic bombers, took off for her final flight on the 28th of October, 2015. Here is a set of GIFs made of the short 15 minute farewell flight and the plane’s final landing.
PlanesTV broadcasted live and recorded the melancholic event after a tense wait for the weather to clear at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, Sheffield.
The Hawker Siddeley Vulcan delta wing strategic bomber was manufactured by A.V. Roe and Company (Avro) for the Royal Air Force from 1952 to 1958. XH558 (named Spirit of Great Britain in 2010), was the 59th of the 136 Avro Vulcan medium range heavy bombers ever built.
The British four-jet Avro Vulcans were so remarkable among the Cold War-era bombers that one could easily forget that they carried the United Kingdom’s first nuclear weapon, the Blue Danube atomic bomb. Luckily, the jet went into real action only once, when a flock dropped conventional bombs onto the runway at Port Stanley during the Falklands War in 1982.
Owned and operated by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, the XH558 has been the only flying example of the Vulcans since 2007, when she was restored to flying condition following a public fundraising campaign that helped raise more than £7 million. XH558 Vulcan, the most iconic example of British aerospace engineering, had to retire this autumn due to lack of further technical and financial support. So take one last look at this legend in all her airborne majesty.