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Happy landings as giant of the skies bows out

By Staff Reporter

Published 29/10/2015

The crew (from left) Jonathan Lazzari, Bill Ramsey, Martin Withers and Phil Davies, wave in front of the aircraft
The crew (from left) Jonathan Lazzari, Bill Ramsey, Martin Withers and Phil Davies, wave in front of the aircraft
Vulcan XH558, a restored nuclear bomber, during its final flight at Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport yesterday

The only airworthy Vulcan bomber has flown for the last time.

It was an emotional moment as the flight crew said goodbye to the Vulcan XH 558, once the terrifying embodiment of Britain's airborne nuclear deterrent.

The huge Cold War aircraft - which once carried Britain's atomic bombs - took off from Doncaster Robin Hood Airport for a short final trip after the gloomy South Yorkshire skies cleared.

The pilot at the controls of XH558, Martin Withers, led the first of the now legendary raids on the Falklands by the Vulcans in 1982 - the only time the aircraft ever dropped bombs in anger in its long RAF service.

The XH558, which first came into RAF service in 1960, has been kept in the air by a volunteer trust since 2007.

The Vulcan was last seen in Northern Ireland at the Portrush Air Waves in September this year, when it was flown by Belfast pilot Bill Perrins.

This summer, millions of people watched as the hulking aircraft made a farewell tour of the UK before its permit-to-fly expires at the end of October.

Belfast Telegraph

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