Animated Royal Air Force flag
The canopy of Vulcan Bomber XM594 at Newark Air Museum Nose section of XM594 Bristol Olympus engins of XM594 The afternoon sun lighting XM594's canopy
Picture if a Vulcan Bomber XH558 and link to the Vulcan To The Sky website.
Flight operations panel from RAF Waddington, detailing XM594's final flight, now displayed at Newark Air Museum

January 21st 1983 Avro Vulcan Bomber XM594 arrives at Newark Air Museum

On a cold winters morning in February 1983 Vulcan Bomber XM594 taxied onto the runway at RAF Waddington for the final time. She was in fact preparing to make her final take off in order to complete the short journey to retirement at Newark Air Museum in Lincolnshire.

The pilot in command of XM594's final flight Squadron Leader Neil McDougall had previously visited the museum at Winthorpe in order to ascertain the feasibility of safety landing the Vulcan on the museum's wartime landing strip, which was considerably shorter than the length normally required for operating a Vulcan Bomber and left very little room for error.

Following extensive laying of temporary taxiways at a hire cost of over £2,400 and a last minute hunt for a road sweeper to clear the runway of any stones or other hazardous objects, the all clear was given and Vulcan Bomber XM594 flew into retirement at Newark.

As the crowds stood staring into the cloud covered winter sky in anticipation of the arrival of XM594, suddenly the roar of the four Bristol Olympus engines thundered invisibly above them. Shortly afterwards the Vulcan Bomber broke through the cloud base and after a single fly pass touched down on a cold snowy morning. By deploying it's parachute, the aircraft came to rest after approximately 2,300 feet turned and taxied towards it's final resting place. One by one the engines were shut down and the keys to the Vulcan were handed to it's new owner, Mr Stuart Stephenson.

XM594 has stood proudly at Newark Air Museum for over a quarter of a century, and has been visited by thousands.

The ownership of XM594 has now passed to the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association of which Mr Stuart Stephenson remains chairman. Thanks to the time money and effort of Mr Stephenson, The Lincolnshire Lancater Association and indeed Newark Air Museum and her team of dedicated volunteers, the future of this Vulcan Bomber for future generations is in safe hands.

Featured Aircraft - Vulcan Bomber XH558 - Vulcan To The Sky Trust

XH558 was the last Vulcan Bomber to leave RAF service in 1983 where it has ended it's career as an air show display aircraft. Like XM594, XH558 was sold to private owners and was delivered to Bruntingthorpe airfield in Leicestershire on 23rd March 1993.

After many years of fundraising and the huge effort made in returning the Vulcan to flight, XM558 flew again on 18th October 2007. Since then she has appeared at various air shows within the United Kingdom but has been plagued by technical problems and bad weather which has forced the cancellation of many scheduled appearances. Sadly XH558 has failed to obtain significant corporate sponsorship and her future now looks uncertain. If you are in a position to help with corporate sponsorship please contact the trust as soon as possible and help keep this flying legend airborne!

Operation Black Buck - Vulcan Bombing Of Port Stanley In The Falklands

In 1983 a single Vulcan Bomber XM607 completed an 8,000 mile round trip to bomb the runway at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. This first mission cratered the runway and was followed up by a further four missions. An additional two missions were aborted due to operational failures. While the effectiveness of these missions remains controversial, it demonstrated Britain's ability to project heavy bombers not only to the Falklands but if so desired as far as the Argentinean mainland, a fact not lost on the military junta in Argentina. The Vulcan Bombers flew from the British base on the Ascension Islands and were refueled in flight by British Victor tankers. The Vulcan's' missions broke the record for distance flown on a non stop bombing mission, a record not broken until the first Gulf War. Full details of Operation Black Buck can be viewed on Wikipedia.