Enthusiasts assured that Vulcan bomber’s engine roar will be heard again

Air enthusiasts will get another chance to hear the engine roar of the last Vulcan bomber to fly, according to the trust which returned the aircraft to the skies.

Hundreds of people gathered around Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) on Sunday to see XH558 fire up for an engine ground run.

Many of those peering through the fence believed this was the last chance to hear the ear-splitting roar before the Cold War bomber is dismantled for relocation to an as-yet unknown new home.

But the trust which returned the bomber to flight in 2007 said it was confident the engines will be heard again, before the XH558 is forced to leave the closing DSA next year.

Vulcan bomber XH558
Vulcan bomber XH558 during an engine ground run at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (Joe Giddens/PA)

But earlier this year the site owners controversially decided to end air operations at DSA, meaning XH558 will need a new home.

Last month the trust, which took the aircraft to Doncaster in 2011, said it was in negotiations with two possible new homes, but a suggestion the aircraft might be allowed a one-off licence to fly in order to relocate, has been scotched.

XH558 will have to be dismantled before it can be transported, the trust has said.

It was told in August that the aircraft must leave its hangar by the end of June 2023.

Vulcan bomber XH558
Enthusiasts watch Vulcan bomber XH558’s engine ground run at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (Joe Giddens/PA)

The trust said that, even if a last-minute plan emerged to save DSA as a commercial airport, the Vulcan will need to be moved if it is to have a chance of a secure future.

The trust acknowledged in October “that it is extremely sad” that XH558 will have to be dismantled, but it will “mean that, ultimately, she will be preserved and will still be able to inform, educate and inspire future generations of engineers”.

It said it was in negotiations with two potential locations and in conversation with The National Heritage Lottery Fund,

On Monday the trust’s business development director, Michael Trotter, said he was confident Sunday’s engine ground run will not be the last at DSA before the aircraft is dismantled for its move.

The XH558 first entered RAF service in 1960 when it was part of the fleet which was the mainstay of Britain’s nuclear deterrent during the Cold War.

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