After another winter of uncertainty, the Vulcan to the Sky (VTTS) team will have been delighted to have seen the first flight of 2013 of Avro Vulcan XH558 from her home of Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield (RHADS).
The gloomy Doncaster skies and poor weather forecast did not bode well for getting air underneath the wings of the ‘tin triangle’ for the first time this year, and whilst the original 1300 departure slot came and went, just 1500, Kev Rumens was able to taxi to depart Runway 02 at Doncaster and commence a flight of just over one hour into Lincolnshire, including a practice display at RAF Scampton. The sortie then saw the aircraft climb higher and included such checks as switching off and re-lighting each engine in turn.
On recovery to Doncaster, a crew change ensued and Martin Withers DFC then got his first flight of the year, departing to Elvington on a much shorter sortie, which then saw the aircraft enter the circuit at Doncaster for both a touch and go and a low approach, which were as graceful and impressive as ever.
With the day’s operations costing over £10,000 in fuel alone, the requirement for funds remains as critical as ever in order for XH558 to enjoy a successful display season, which all being well, should commence with displays at Welshpool and RAF Cosford on 9 June.