Avro Vulcan XH558 is owned and operated by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, a British charity established to maintain and operate this remarkable aircraft.
The Avro Vulcan is an iconic and inspirational example of British aerospace engineering at its world-beating best. Its impressive list of technical achievements includes being the first successful large delta wing aircraft, leading directly to Concorde and the Space Shuttle, and delivering performance and agility so close to a jet fighter’s that it was given a fighter-style control column in place of the traditional bomber pilot’s yoke. The aircraft also played a highly significant role in helping to keep the peace during the dangerous years of the Cold War – the war that was thankfully never fought. Her incredible agility has enabled XH558 to deliver amazing and spectacular air displays, which unfortunately had to finish in 2015. She flew for some eight years and was seen by an estimated 24 million people around the UK and Europe. There are now great plans to use her as an inspirational centrepiece in a future centre which it is planned will inspire young people to enter into careers within the engineering sector, this will be called the ETNA Centre.
XH558 is an iconic example of that remarkable period of intense post-war innovation that made British aviation technology the envy of the world. As the many displays at her hangar demonstrate, this allowed her to play a fascinating role in keeping the peace during the Cold War, a period of terrifying global tension. It is a truly remarkable story.
The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has an established education programme, working with schools, colleges and other organisations. In her new life, still able to accelerate dramatically along the runway, XH558 will build on this exciting provenance to inspire and educate new generations of young people, focussing on the technical skills that our country needs so badly.
The Vulcan flew again thanks to the generosity of both her supporters and the general public who give their time and money to supplement the Trust’s commercial income.
The overall objectives of the Trust are to 'Honour the past and inspire the future', to preserve Avro Vulcan XH558 for the nation in perpetuity, to support the preservation of other British heritage jet aircraft and to help to inspire young people to undertake careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.