The last flying Vulcan Bomber, XH558, flew with the Red Arrows one last time at the Southport Air Show.
After taking part in air shows for eight years, the last flying Vulcan bomber will perform its final flights today taking part at Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon and at Shuttleworth Uncovered Air Show, which will end Old Warden Collection airshow season.
Avro Vulcan XH558 (carrying civil registration G-VLCN), is the only airworthy bomber of a fleet of 134 Vulcan V bombers operated by the Royal Air Force from 1953 until 1984.
The aircraft made its maiden flight in 1960 and was retired from active service in 1984, then it continued to fly with the RAF’s Vulcan Display Flight, performing until 1992.
Its display career restarted in 2008, after the Vulcan To The Sky Trust was able to bring the bomber back to airworthy condition the previous year, but on May 15 this year it was announced that 2015 would have been the delta-winged aircraft’s final flying season.
To salute the iconic plane, the Red Arrows display team performed a flypast with the mighty Cold War bomber for the last time during Southport Air Show on Sept. 19.
Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, remarked that “It was a great honour to lead a formation flypast with the Vulcan, particularly as the aircraft type was once based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire – now home to the Red Arrows.”
In the following beautiful video, taken from the cockpit of the bomber, you can join the Vulcan aircrew who flew with the Red Arrows for the final time.
A photo unveiled the presence of two Raptors close to “Shepherd One.”
During Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, the U.S. government carried out one of the largest domestic protective security operations in its history.
In fact, each U.S. military branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service (which is usually tasked to protect US president and vice president), and local-state police departments, joined together conducting a huge escort operation to safeguard the Pope from a wide variety of attack possibilities.
Indeed, as reported by D’Costa, shortly after Pope’s American Airlines Boeing 777 departed from New York heading to Philadelphia, a planespotter named Robert Dube, took a picture of an Airbus taking off from John F. Kennedy international airport with a KC-10 Extender refuelling a pair of F-22s in the background (top image).
Considered that Raptors don’t refuel over Manhattan or nearby too often, it is safe to assume that the aircraft were deployed to counter a potential terrorist attack conducted by using a hijacked airliner.
Anyway the U.S. Air Force would have not allowed to any aircraft to penetrate the bubble erected to protect “Shepherd One” (as the aircraft in which the Pontiff is flying is nicknamed) and its most advanced air superiority fighter has been the best option to deter an intervention from any potential airborne threat.
Needless to say, it was probably not the only type of aircraft the Air Force committed to such task.
After the war, the advanced B-29s carried out several tasks including in-flight refueling, antisubmarine patrol, weather reconnaissance and rescue duty. The B-29 saw military service again in Korea between 1950 and 1953, battling new adversaries: jet fighters and electronic weapons. The last B-29 was retired from active service in September 1960.
The Superfortress featured pressurized cabin, tricycle dual wheeled landing gears, and a quite-advanced-for-the-time, remote, electronic fire-control system that controlled four machine gun turrets that complemented a manned, semi-automatic, rear gun turret.
“FIFI” is the nickname of a surviving B-29 out of about 4,000 produced by Boeing, the only one currently flying. The aircraft is owned by the Commemorative Air Force, currently based at Addison, Texas that rescued it in the early 1970s.
Since then, the aircraft has taken part in airshows, documentaries, demo flights and movies.
In the video below, filmed by our reader and friend Erik Johnston, you can join the aircraft commander Allen Benzing in a guided tour outside and inside “FIFI.”
One British classic aircraft from WW2 helping out its Cold War compatriot at Scottish airshow.
This video was filmed on Sept. 5, at Prestwick airport, during the Scottish Airshow 2015 and it shows the last flying Vulcan bomber experiencing a nose wheel failure before landing.
As you can see in the interesting footage (that includes also radio comms on the Tower frequency) the Vulcan performed a flyover then initiated a right hand turn to land on runway 30. However, the nose gear did not extend fully and the V-bomber performed a second flyover before starting orbiting to the north of the airfield.
As the bomber slowed down to below 170 knots, the Spitfire formed up on its right wing and confirmed that the nose wheel was not properly extended.
In an attempt to unblock the gear the Vulcan performed some aggressive turns that eventually freed whatever was holding the nose wheel from extending allowing the Vulcan (preceded by the Spitfire) to perform a safe landing.