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Last flying Vulcan to fly over RAF Gaydon in salute to heroes of the Cold War

19th September 2014 Print

The last flying Vulcan XH558 is to fly over the former RAF Gaydon base at the Heritage Motor Centre on Thursday 25 September at approx. 3pm as part of the Vulcan Cold War tour. The public will be able to view the spectacular fly past from the Centres grounds and HMC have arranged for a dedicated viewing area, reserved car parking and discounted Museum entry from 12 midday of £8 per Adult, £6 per child with under 5’s free. Donations to the Vulcan Trust are optional.

Gaydon was one of several RAF airfields in the Midlands which enjoyed two separate periods of existence, one as a wartime training base and the other when it was rebuilt and put back into service for very different aircraft. From 1942 - 1974, RAF Gaydon was home to Wellingtons during WWII, V Bombers during the Cold War, and later, Varsities and Valettas as part of the Navigation school.

On the same day the Vulcan will fly over each of the ten RAF bases where Great Britain’s nuclear deterrent aircraft (the V-Force) were based, tipping her giant delta wings to honour those who were ready to give their lives for their country. The name V-Force comes from the names of the three aircraft developed to carry Britain’s first nuclear deterrent: Vulcan, Victor and Valiant.

To help people see the Vulcan low over each location, the charity that operates her has established a Cold War Tour webpage including information on the route, a tracking app for smartphones and links to fascinating period video footage. This will be the last of Vulcan XH558’s flights in 2014, a year that the charity has dedicated to remembering the heroes of the Cold War.

Visitors can learn more about the history of RAF Gaydon at a special lecture on Saturday 27 September given by John Bishop, local historian and HMC employee and aviation specialist Anthony Hooper MBE. There will also be an opportunity to visit the old RAF Gaydon Control Tower, now the Observation Tower and part of the Jaguar Land Rover site. The lecture costs just £40 per person and includes a memory lane tour, Land Rover Demo Ride, visit to the Observation Tower, lunch (one course including tea/coffee) and entry to the Museum. The lecture takes place from 10am – 4pm and must be pre booked as places are limited. For more information visit lecture-programme/ or call 01926 641188.

More information on Vulcan XH558, the tour and ways to support it can be found at There is also a popular Facebook community at and a Twitter feed at @XH558 which visitors should follow for the latest information on the flight.

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