'Make his dream a reality:' Doncaster Vulcan visitor centre call after pioneer's death

A plea has gone out to turn the dream of a pioneer behind Doncaster’s Vulcan bomber into reality after his shock death.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 1:59 pm

Dr Robert Pleming, who was instrumental in returning the iconic Cold War aircraft to flight and in bringing it to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, died suddenly last month.

Now The Vulcan To The Sky Trust, the organisation set up to care for XH558, has called for people to turn Dr Pleming’s vision for a visitor centre for the aircraft into reality as a lasting legacy in his honour.

In an interview recorded just a few days before his death, Dr Pleming outlined his vision for The Vulcan Experience, a visitor centre at the airport where people will be able to learn all about the history of the plane and see her up close.

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Dr Robert Pleming was instrumental in returning the Vulcan to the skies.

A spokesman for the VTTS said: “Recorded just a week before he died, this audio gives us a real insight into what he wanted to deliver for supporters of XH558 and how he wanted to inspire future generations. The Trust are now working to fundraise to ensure that Robert’s dream becomes a reality.

“He had the vison, drive and determination to return the iconic Avro Vulcan to the sky, which millions of us had the pleasure of enjoying at airshows up and down the UK over the years.“Sadly, Robert will never get to see his vision of The Vulcan Experience and decades of work and devotion become reality, but we are determined to build Vulcan XH558's new home in his honour, and to honour those who served us in the past and to inspire future generations to help maintain the United Kingdom’s historic role at the forefront of innovation in aviation.

XH558 was the world’s last remaining airworthy Vulcan, undertaking its last flight in October 2015 before going into permanent retirement.

First flying in 1960, it served the RAF up until 1992 and was involved in the famous Operation Black Buck bombing raid on the Falkland Islands during the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina.

After 15 years on the ground, it was restored to flight by Dr Pleming and the team at the Vulcan To The Sky Trust in October 2007.

You can listen to the podcast HERE