World's last AVRO Vulcan to fly at Farnborough Airshow this weekend

Farnborough International Air Show Confirmed Displays: Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July

The world’s last airworthy Avro Vulcan will take to the skies once again at the famous Farnborough International Air Show. XH558 returned to flight earlier this year, following a remarkable modification to her wings that was funded entirely by her supporters. More than£400,000 was raised to give the iconic all-British jet a further two years flying by extending the life of her airframe.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Vulcan is returning to the Farnborough International Air Show once again, where I am sure she will receive a tremendously warm welcome,” says Dr Robert Pleming, chief executive of Vulcan to the Sky Trust. “It is particularly gratifying for us to be able to bring the Vulcan back to the iconic location where the prototype made such a spectacular public debut so many years ago.”

Avro Vulcan’s association with the show started more than sixty years ago when the prototype aircraft stunned audiences with a surprise appearance in 1952. Sadly, due to XH558 approaching the end of her flying life, this year’s Farnborough Air Show (which is held every two years), could be the last at which a Vulcan will fly.

Vulcan history at Farnborough

It is sixty two years since the prototype Vulcan’s first dramatic appearance at the famous Farnborough event, when just three days after the first flight, test pilot Roly Falk made a solo sortie to Farnborough where he stunned the world’s aviation industry with the snow-white aircraft’s dramatic delta-profile and impressive agility, performing an almost vertical bank in front of the crowds.

“People who were there at the time have said that the Vulcan almost literally took their breath away,” said Dr Pleming. “The aircraft was so new that it was referred to as ‘Avro prototype 698’ although the press were speculating that it would be called Ottawa!” In 1955 Falk returned and, to emphasise that the giant bomber handled like a jet fighter, performed a now legendary barrel roll.

Help needed to fund Summer Flying

While growing commercial income makes a contribution to the £2.2 million annual budget for operating XH558, she is still very much dependent on support from the British public. To fund the summer flying activities, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust has launched a new raffle with ‘money can’t buy’ prizes that include a flight alongside XH558 in a Spitfire. There are also a range of other incentives and unique Vulcan memorabilia for those who support the last flying Vulcan. More information can be found at the following website:

Please visit the ‘Vulcan Village’ on the Saturday and Sunday of the show to see our wide range of merchandise and to meet with members of the Vulcan to the Sky team, including the aircrew. We will also be offering tours under the wings of the aircraft.

More information can be found on the charity’s website; including details about the aircraft’s list of summer engagements. There is also a popular Facebook community at and a Twitter feed at #XH558.