The Last Avro Vulcan Bomber Flying Just Pulled Off An Amazing Stunt

Illustration for article titled The Last Avro Vulcan Bomber Flying Just Pulled Off An Amazing Stunt

The end of the end is near for the famed Avro Vulcan Bomber “XH558.” The aircraft has been flying in private hands and with private funding since 2007, an amazing feat to say the least. Now, after flying more hours than any other Vulcan, this will be her last air show season.

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Crews are pushing XH558 to her max for crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo in RAF Fairford, UK, one of the world’s largest air shows. On takeoff yesterday, the massive delta-winged beast rolled hard to the right just above the runway. The maneuver, which was lower and steeper than any performed by the aircraft before, provoked a collective gasp and then cheers from the crowd as the huge jet powered through the extremely low-level turn.

The Vulcan also celebrated its rich British heritage with this awesome formation flyby with the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic team.

Also this weekend at RIAT, the Vulcan performed its spectacular ‘half loop’ for crowds. The maneuver can look very different from various angles and when flown in an especially aggressive manner it can leave many asking, “did she loop or didn’t she loop?”

The incredible story of XH558 will not be forgotten. It is one where people’s passion overcame great odds. As such, the big graceful Vulcan will be sorely missed from the skies over the UK. Then again, the aircraft has come back from the brink to fly again multiple times. Maybe, just mayb,e XH558 will soar again.

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UPDATE: XH558 won the display award for RIAT 2015, and check out this awesome still frame of the jet’s remarkable takeoff-


Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

I actually went to the royal air tattoo a couple years ago and got to see this Vulcan fly. I also got to hear the “Vulcan Howl”, a special sound it makes under certain conditions. I don’t know too much about aircraft but even with my limited knowledge I can tell that this was was truly incredible. The size and maneuverability of the thing really come across better in person.

They asked for donations for the Vulcan but they needed something ridiculous like £20M for renovations and then £8M a year just to keep it running. I’m not surprised they couldn’t raise the funds.

The air tattoo is a fantastic event, couldn’t recommend it more. You get to stand so close to jets taking off that you can feel the heat from the engines and have the ground shake.