Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One Last Roll

So an Era comes to an end. A grand old Lady pops her last Drogue chute, deploys those great slats one last time and rolls gently to the end of the runway.

But not before encore rollers, touch and go's, roaring climbouts and acrobatic turns.

The Vulcan  XH558 has made its last, final flight. And she will be missed by millions.

No more the 'Howl' past the Tavern patio.  No more the Roar overhead the UK Room.  No more the almost silent whispering high pitch near-whine as it slides past at 500 knots over the many roofs and rooms, turrets and gables.

I am sure I shall be back here again and again adding tribute.

And era ends.

Gentlemen and Ladies, raise your glasses and tankards.


Encore: Terrific Sky 
More, Sir, More: 

What comes next?  The 'Team' tells us: 

The team that put Vulcan XH558 back into the skies and operated her successfully within one of the world's most demanding safety regimes is now available to help other heritage aviation projects happen. As one of the four pillars of the ETNA Programme we are building, the Heritage Aviation Restoration & Operation activity will pull together those skills that have allowed us to deliver the world's most challenging return-to-flight programme; so that we can help others achieve their historic aviation goals.

It's hard to believe, but the efforts to bring XH558 back to flight started over 18 years ago. Since that time, a huge amount of knowledge and experience across a wide range of disciplines has been gained, from the programme management and technical skills required to work on older aircraft, to the quality and safety systems necessary to ensure minimal risk, to the fund-raising models necessary to bring in the sizable financial resources required to successfully deliver an aeroplane to the air show circuit year-on-year.
XH558's new home will be a catalyst for other aviation and engineering related activities. (Artist's impression)

We are already embarking on a consultation process with other aircraft owners and restoration projects and the response has been enthusiastic; we hope to be able to make announcements in coming months on some important projects. It's worth making the point that we are not aiming to take over activities. We can lead, manage, restore, operate or simply advise. And of course, we may be tempted by a new project ourselves, if the right opportunity arises.
With the final flight behind us and XH558 safely in her hangar, we are picking up speed with our plans for inspiring, entertaining and educating new generations of engineers and aviators.

Let's have another......


  1. I will miss her graceful presence of the UK skies. I am glad I got to see her on two occasions in the year of her retirement.

    I raise my glass to her ;-)

  2. And we can weep quietly at the neglect of our heritage by our gummunt.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..