Thursday, 5 May 2011

Wonderfully-illustrated new book celebrates 50 years of XH558, the last flying Vulcan

All profits will go to support XH558 in her biggest flying season ever.

The history of one of the world’s most popular aircraft, XH558 the last flying Vulcan, is celebrated in a lavishly-illustrated new book published to celebrate her 50th year. Researched and written by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, 50 Years of Vulcan XH558 uncovers her history from construction, through all her many roles, her retirement from RAF service and eventual restoration to flight.

Printed on high quality art paper, it is packed with rare photographs and fascinating facts, culminating in the nail-biting story of her restoration and an insight into the challenges of returning one of Britain’s greatest aircraft to the skies.

There are anecdotes from the pilots who fly her and the engineers who care for her, with first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic periods in history and the critical role of the Vulcan type. Squadron Leader Martin Withers DFC delivers one of the most dramatic stories, documenting the bombing of the Port Stanley airstrip during the Falklands conflict complete with an insight into the incredible logistics and planning that made it possible.

“From the first designs through to flying her today, it’s a story of British endeavour that we hope will inspire future generations of engineers and aviators,” says Vulcan to the Sky Trust chief executive officer Dr Robert Pleming.

“Carefully-researched content, gorgeous photography and outstanding design make this a really lovely item and a wonderful addition to any library.”

The book is available for £24 (including post and packing) from the Vulcan To The Sky Trust website and all proceeds will go towards helping the last flying Vulcan reach the 2011 display season with stable finances. £350,000 is needed by the end of May, of which just £120,000 has so far been raised.Operating the last flying Vulcan, to aviation safety standards that are amongst the highest in the world, costs around £2million a year, almost all of which is generously donated by the public or earned from the Trust’s growing commercial activities.

To purchase the 50th Anniversary Book, please click here:
The online store recently acquired an intriguing new line: magnetic bookmarks. Each one is printed with the same beautiful picture of XH558 featured on the cover of the 50th Anniversary book so would make a stylish complement to your personal copy . Vulcan magnetic bookmarks can be purchased here:

Fly your name with the Vulcan
Until the end of May, you can add your name to the Summer Season Plaque that will be mounted on the last flying Vulcan’s historic bomb-bay doors and seen by everyone taking a tour at her home or on the ground at airshows, and staying with her for the rest of her public life. You can sign-up here:

Join the Vulcan community
Readers can sign-up for the weekly eNewsletter at:
Join the Vulcan Facebook community at:
To find-out how to help XH558 remain The Last Flying Vulcan, visit
To find out where to see the last flying Vulcan, visit

(EDITOR: My Brother-in-Law was an Avionics Engineer who spent much of his RAF career looking after the electronic systems and wiring looms of the RAF Vulcan.)

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