GIANT of the sky, the delta-winged bomber Avro Vulcan XH558, made a historic flypast over Gloucestershire Airport on Saturday to the awe of thousands looking skywards.
The iconic aircraft was carrying out its Diamond Jubilee tour, flying past locations relevant to its development and service life.
Staverton's connection to the iconic aircraft might not be immediately obvious, but the Smiths Industries name – synonymous with Bishop's Cleeve – is emblazoned on many of her instruments and Staverton's Dowty is stamped on her undercarriage and fuel pumps.
An approach to the airport's main runway also took her close to GCHQ where, at the height of the Cold War, orders would have been given for her to stand at readiness with nuclear weapons strapped aboard.
Although the bomber did not land at Staverton, the Jet Age Museum opened up the cockpit of its own Vulcan exhibit at the Flying Shack. Former Vulcan navigator John Lewer, also chair of the Jet Age museum, was on hand to give tours.
He said: "It was great to be back inside the Vulcan and sharing some of my anecdotes with the visitors. Hopefully I was able to bring it to life for them."
Airport head of operations Darren Lewington said: "What an excellent day. I'm amazed at the turnout and delighted to see such passion for aviation."
VIDEOS:Steve Large posted this video onto his largie003 Youtube account of the Vulcan XH558 bomber from the runway at Staverton:Cordialav.co.uk shot this video at Staverton:Thanks to Vanessa Kendall for this video of the Vulcan taken from a field next to Dundry Nurseries:Andy Cookson loaded this footage of the Vulcan over Staverton onto his Fuzz944 Youtube account:This video, posted on Youtube by Potsworth, sees the Vulcan flying over the M5 motorway. Best footage starts at 1min 14 seconds into this video:Cpocketts posted this video of the Vulcan on Youtube:Fastshow captured the Vulcan at Gloucestershire Airport:Marcus Edwards posted this video of the Vulcan on his darkwaterblack Youtube account:Wacedayz posted this video of a double flypast:Check out the Vulcan on this great Flickr account