Funds needed for historic bomber

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THE UK’S only working Vulcan bomber could be flying at the 20th year of Airbourne this August as organisers seek sponsorship for the historic jet.

The Cold War aircraft, which flew in the RAF until the mid 1980s, had recently been grounded due to lack of funding for its annual service.

But now that the jet is back in the air, Airbourne organisers are looking for sponsorship to bring the aircraft to Eastbourne for the very first time.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism Councillor Neil Stanley said, “We’ve been patiently waiting, along with many Airbourne fans, for this fantastic jet to join the skies again.

“The Vulcan is an amazing aircraft, with its deep rumble and imposing shape – it is a sight to behold, however it is a huge machine and the most expensive display aircraft to run.

“We’d love to bring the Vulcan to Eastbourne for the very first time, and would urge any local businesses who can help, to come forward and help sponsor this fantastic display.”

The Vulcan was first developed in the 1950s as part of Britain’s cold war defence programme, with the capability of carrying an atomic bomb.

It later become the UK’s main contribution to NATO’s strategic nuclear deterrent, and with a crew of five, the aircraft remained on ‘Quick Reaction Alert’ taking just two minutes to scramble in the event of an attack.

Last month saw the 30th anniversary of the Vulcan’s key role in the Falklands Conflict, conducting what was at the time, the world’s longest ever bombing mission, crossing nearly 8,000 miles to incapacitate Port Stanley’s runway, changing the course of the invasion.

The Vulcan left RAF service in 1984, flying as a display aircraft until 1993 after which time it spent many years grounded due to lack of funding.

Its unique triangular shape delta wings make it an instantly recognisable aircraft, with nothing else like it on the display circuit.

The Vulcan would be joining a line up of more than 20 RAF displays including the Tornado GR4, Hawk, Sea King and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Plus family favourites the Breitling Wingwalkers and former Red Arrows pilots, The Blades, will be zooming across the skies at Airbourne over all four days, hot on the heels of their recent world record success. Airbourne takes place on Eastbourne seafront from August 9-12 with arena and ground displays on the Western Lawns over all four days, and entry is free.