09 August 2010
Getting up close and personal with the Avro Vulcan XH558
I was invited to the RAF Lyneham Families day by a friend who works there (thanks Kev!) on Saturday. The highlight of the day and the only thing I wanted to be sure of getting some good photos of was the only flying Avro Vulcan left in the world.
A few weeks ago I didn't know anything about the Vulcan. That was until while having a pub lunch in Oxfordshire I looked up and saw it in the sky. The friends I was with identified it as the Vulcan, and quickly looked it up online to discover it was flying to do a display at The Goodwood Festival of Speed.
At that same time I was told that one of the people I was following on Twitter, Anthony Lloyd (http://twitter.com/FallowfieldsUK) actually used to fly the thing.
With a little inside knowledge of the airbase from Kev, we were able to find our way to the end of the runway where the Vulcan would be taking off from. It was like having a backstage pass for a concert, I felt so privileged.
Just as the Vulcan rolled around the corner towards the runway an RAF Police officer pulled up. Bugger we thought, we were going to be asked to move. We were in luck, he was as interested in getting to see the Vulcan as we were.
The noise this beast made while flying was just amazing. There was one point during its ten minute display where I'm guessing it went to full throttle. It put out this noise that was other worldly, I've never heard anything like it before. Simply amazing.
While we were hanging around photographing some of the other displays, the Vulcan made its way to the Bournemouth Airshow, only to return and land right in front of us about 40 minutes later.
It was a very special day indeed.
Update: Apparently the Vulcan went to Swanage and not Bournemouth.