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Thousands watch Vulcan XH558 in flypast over Gloucestershire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 01, 2012

  • Laurens van de Craats-Vulcan-01

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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

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  • localboy51  |  October 02 2012, 8:44AM

    It was an amazing experience to see this iconic aircraft over Staverton. Spent all day down there just to see 558 for 120 seconds!! Was it worth it? Yes it was. She looked sublime as she flew over Staverton & i loved the dip of the wing, saying thank & maybe farewell, as made her second pass over the airfield. A beautiful, but potentially lethal aircraft, the likes of which we will probably never see again. Thank you Vulcan To The Sky for giving us the chance to see this aircraft flying. It will be a sad day when her flying hours finally expire.

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  • Lorraineandco  |  October 01 2012, 10:07PM

    Im really pleased I took the time to get there early ... it was a great experience to see it fly past the airport and the kids loved it. Just a shame it was a fit further away on its way back from Ross.

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  • Glevumgirl  |  October 01 2012, 6:05PM

    We went with our young son,aged 6, and were very proud to see this magnificent plane fly over our city & tell him of the relevance of Gloucestershire in the history of Aviation. There was a very good turnout to see her. (My father worked for 47 years at Smiths Industries who made some of instruments ) After wards we were allowed to clamber up into the demonstration cockpit on display to promote The Jet Age Museum soon to be built at Staverton .It is hard to imagine 5 men in such a tight space- 2 pilots up front and 3 men ,rear facing ,navigating & in control of the weapons.What an experience to see this !

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  • glosresident  |  October 01 2012, 2:53PM

    Im so Glad i went, I feel very proud to have seen and supported the Vulcan in her Diamond Jubilee tour , it was amazing to see how many people turned up to this historic event , Gloucestershire did the Vulcan proud .

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  October 01 2012, 12:04PM

    A-may-zing!! Really wish I had 'invested' a couple of hours and got in to Staverton. Thanks to those that posted their pics, they are just fantastic. Just shows how brilliant we were all those years ago, and now look at us, stumbling around in the dark.

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