XH558 - The last flying Vulcan

November 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Since I was a small child I have been fascinated by aeroplanes, the louder and faster the better.  Over the years I have seen many planes up close including the Red Arrows, and I am fortunate where I live that I can regularly see the Red Arrows training.  I also live close to Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood Airport, formerly known as RAF Finningley.  This was the operational base for the Vulcan bombers during the cold war, so it is perhaps fitting that the final flying Vulcan is based here.

This magnificent aircraft is funded purely by sponsorship and donations and they are always looking for new ways to generate interest and thus more sponsorship to enable them to keep flying.  The latest idea was a photo opportunity from dusk till dark and I was lucky enough to have to opportunity to go along for the inaugural session last week.

After arriving and going through security checks, we were led out onto the airfield where the aircraft was standing waiting.  After a safety briefing we were allowed to take pictures to our hearts content.  As it was late and getting dark, a tripod was essential to avoid camera shake.  It was when setting up for the first shot that I discovered that my remote release cable was not working.  Whilst trying to find out the cause, the cable disintegrated in my hands!  Time for plan B, not ideal, but as the aircraft was not going anywhere I was able to take the shots using the timer function for the shutter release.  It also allowed me to experiment with the zoom on the lens to produce some of the more unusual shots below.

It was really amazing and a true privilege to be able to get up close to this historic aircraft, probably one of the most recognised aircraft in the world.  Here are a few of the shots from the night.  Please visit the Vulcan to the sky website and consider making a donation or purchasing a gift to enable this historic aircraft to continue flying at http://www.vulcantothesky.org/. If you ever get the opportunity to see it in flight it is highly recommended, an awesome sight and sound!

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