Pump fault grounds jet

Vulcan taking off at Robin Hood Airport
Vulcan taking off at Robin Hood Airport

THE last airworthy Vulcan bomber has been grounded at Robin Hood Airport ahead of four high profile airshows.

The historic cold war bomber has been pulled out of the events after a problem was discovered with one of her fuel tanks.

It means the bomber will miss shows at Dawlish, today, at Bournemouth and Shoreham on Saturday and at Bournemouth, Shoreham and Oxford on Sunday.

Andrew Edmondson, engineering director at the Vulcan to the Sky Trust which runs the jet said: “Unfortunately, XH558 has developed a fuel leak from one of the large fuel tanks in her fuselage.

“This was discovered after the aircraft was refueled ready for this week’s flights.

“The leak is now being investigated to establish the cause and extent of the problem and the necessary repair will need to be carried out before she can fly again.

“We have every confidence the problem is temporary and we are working with Fire Proof Tanks of Portsmouth, the manufacturer of the fuel tank, with the aim of completing the repair as soon as practically possible.”

The trust stressed that the future of the Vulcan was not in doubt. Mr Edmondson said they could pay for repairs from a contingency budget, but the lost revenue may have to be made up by fundraising.

He said: “It costs around £2 million a year to fly XH558 to the world’s highest safety standards and we receive no funding from Government or the RAF.

“The income from these shows was an important part of our revenue and will be missed.”