Time to cry because it's ended: Vulcan XH558 to start her engines for one last time on Nov. 20 before being put to sleep forever

Vulcan Experience unable to progress due to fundraising shortfall

By Dario Leone
Feb 3 2022
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The Vulcan to the Sky charity have been unable to meet the fundraising deadline to raise the £2.2m needed to progress plans to build The Vulcan Experience at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The Vulcan to the Sky (VTTS) charity have been unable to meet the fundraising deadline to raise the £2.2m needed to progress plans to build The Vulcan Experience at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Michael Trotter, development director at the Trust, said in a VTTS press release: “It is with a heavy heart that we have announced that our plans for The Vulcan Experience will not be going ahead as we had hoped due to a fundraising shortfall.

“We were unable to meet the fundraising deadline of December 31, 2021, to raise the money needed to build the hangar as a result we are unable to meet the terms of a lease for the land at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

“This is obviously a huge blow to The Vulcan to the Sky Trust, as a charity we have had big ambitions since XH558 was grounded to create the kind of inspirational home we believe this iconic aircraft deserves.

“Our time in a hangar here at DSA proved that the appetite was there for people to visit XH558 in a visitor setting and when our lease expired in 2017, we set about plans to build our own space. Sadly, the £2.2m needed to enable us to progress a mortgage to build The Vulcan Experience was not reached as we had agreed, and we acknowledge the airport has been more than patient in holding the availability of land for many years on the premise funding would be secured to complete a lease.”

People who donated to Operation Safeguard continue to benefit from Guardian Membership for 12 months and the offer of a name permanently displayed under the wing of the iconic Vulcan XH558. Donors also received either a sample set of genuine Avro/ Hawker Siddeley Aviation fasteners or a reproduction of Vulcan XH558’s Aircraft Identification Plate depending on the level of donation.

Michael added “We are currently considering the implications for donors of being unable to complete the fundraising campaign and we will be in touch with all those who have donated shortly. to discuss the position including their final recognition of names under XH558’s Delta. You will appreciate that this is a difficult time, and we will update donors further as soon as we are able.”

“We are obviously devastated to not be in a position to build the visitor attraction we dreamed of but we will continue with our education outreach work that is currently live across the region and will look for ways to continue to inspire future generations of engineers and STEM specialists. XH558 will continue to be looked after and be maintained to the high standards she has been kept at through her flying years and after. In keeping her at these high standards we are able to demonstrate her at events and tell her story to all who visit.

“This is now a period of reflection for us as a charity as we consider how we continue to provide the best we can for our supporters working with Doncaster Sheffield Airport” explained Michael.

Avro Vulcan XH558 “The Spirit Of Great Britain” was the last remaining airworthy example of the 134 Avro Vulcan jet powered delta winged strategic nuclear bomber aircraft operated by the RAF during the Cold War. It was the last Vulcan in military service, and the last to fly at all after 1986. It last flew on Oct. 28, 2015.

Photo credit: Mike Freer – Touchdown-aviation via Wikipedia

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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