Vulcan bomber owners pledge aircraft's future to Doncaster - after calls to move it 80 miles away
The owners of the iconic Vulcan bomber have pledged their commitment to keeping the aircraft in Doncaster - following calls for it to be moved up to 80 miles away.
The Cold War aircraft based at Doncaster Sheffield Airport has recently been put into storage and closed to the public - while two thirds of staff from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust which maintains it are to be laid off - due to a funding crisis.
This led to calls for the Vulcan, also known as XH558, to be moved out of Doncaster to one of two aircraft museums - Elvington stationed 40 miles away or at Bruntingthorpe which is 80 miles away. An online petition gained nearly 200 signatures in support of the idea.
But the aircraft owners, Vulcan to the Sky Trust, is committed to keeping it in Doncaster.
In a statement, the trust said they had looked at other airfields, including Elvington, but concluded they were not suitable for various reasons. This included airfields being earmarked for housing developments and the quality of landing sites.
The trust added: "Being at a licensed airfield will allow us to taxi XH558 regularly and safely. The damage that can be caused to heritage jet engines by even very small pieces of debris can be terminal, we need to avoid unmaintained runways.
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"Peel Airports have demonstrated their long-term commitment to Doncaster Sheffield Airport in terms of land purchases and strategic planning. We concluded that remaining at DSA as an operational airfield with a future was the correct decision."
In addition, the trust has launched a fundraising campaign aimed at helping to build a new purpose built hangar and visitor centre by early 2018 so that the Vulcan can go on display once again.
Nearly 2000 supporters have so far donated more than £73, 000 towards a target of £100, 000. Once the total has been reached, a group of philanthropists have agreed to match fund it, bringing the grand total to £200, 000.
The plane served as the UK's nuclear deterrent during the Cold War, and flew missions during the Falklands War. It took to the skies for the final time 15 months ago after a farewell tour attended by thousands of people.
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/vtts/vulcanxh558ssurvivalplan