On what seems will be XH558's final day of displays, I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the Gaydon event which was being held at the Heritage Motor Centre Motor Museum. It meant a 200 mile round trip, but the chance to see this magnificent beast in the air one final time, it was worth it.
Like most people I arrived early with the knowledge that we'd have hours to wait. I actually quite like "chill out" time like this, I can kick back in the van, drink tea, dick about on Facebook. It's quality time for me.
While I'm not really into static car displays, I had a complimentary ticket (the entry was free to say sorry for the ticket problems) to the museum. The facilities were hard to fault, all housed in a modern building, with no barriers between you and the vehicles. Much better than a certain rather crusty motor museum that you can find in the New Forest. If I'd have been into cars, I'd probably have entertained myself for hours in there. Sadly though I'm not, and I was bored and searching for a cup of tea in the cafe within 10 minutes.
Fast forward 4 hours and many cups of tea later, and it was time for the Vulcan to display. It came in so low to the ground that it vanished behind the museum for a few moments.
Rather frustratingly the entire display was into the sun, which of course make photographing rather more challenging than it could have been. Add in the trees and the buildings it kept hiding behind, and it was a tiny bit of a disappointment. Only a tiny bit though, because the scream of the jet engines more than made up for it.
From what I could gather, there are more regulations now for flying displays after the tragic events a couple of months back at Shoreham, and at no point did the Vulcan come close to flying over the crowd. Of course I get why these rules are in place, and perhaps Gaydon wasn't the best choice of a venue as a result.
According to the current information XH558 has two more days of flying and then it's grounded.
I was very pleased to have seen it fly one last time, even if my photos are all a bit meh...