Air Cadets from 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron were out in force to welcome, The Spirit of Great Britain, Vulcan XH558, as she touched down at the Coventry Airport Charity Fly-in on Sunday 26 th September.
The Air Cadets joined thousands of local people who had flocked to Coventry Airport's Help for Heroes Charity Fly-in to see the last remaining airworthy Avro Vulcan, one of the world's most recognisable historical aircraft as she made her last appearance of the 2010 airshow season amidst fears that this could in fact be the iconic aircrafts farewell flight, if funding issues aren't resolved.
The Vulcan was joined by some of the world's most recognisable historical aircraft as they plotted a course for Coventry Airport 's Charity Fly-in to help raise urgently needed funds for wounded servicemen and women. Tornado, Venom, Vampire, Jet Provost, DC3, Anson, military helicopters and other aircraft from classic flights all flew in to keep the massive crowd entertained. On the ground the static displays provided by the RAF, Army and Coventry Airport 's Air Base Museum's historic aircraft also proved to be a big hit with both the public and the cadets.
The Air Cadets who had come in from various squadrons within the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing spent much of their time working on the Air Cadet recruiting stand and flight simulator, which attracted a significant amount of interest. They also assisted the Help for Heroes team by collecting donations and directing members of the public to the various attractions around the site.
The highlight of the day for many of the cadets came when they were given a guided tour of The Spirit of Great Britain, Vulcan XH558, herself. The cadets were shown around the aircraft by members of the Vulcan to the Sky trust ground crew who highlighted many of the Vulcan's distinctive features and gave a potted history of her vital role as part of the Cold War V-bomber force. The cadets were also told how Vulcan pilot Squadron Leader Martin Withers DFC who had just flown the aircraft into Coventry, took part in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War and how bombing the runway at Port Stanley in May 1982 was the first and only time the Vulcan had dropped bombs in anger. Some cadets even managed to meet Squadron Leader Martin Withers during their tour of the aircraft.
During his tour of XH558, 17 year-old Cadet Sergeant Grant Robey from Nuneaton (on the left of the photograph) said, “I can't believe we've actually been able to get this close to the only flying Vulcan in the world. When you stand under her distinctive delta wing she's absolutely massive. This really has been an opportunity of a lifetime, something I'll never forget and I hope they can find the money to keep her flying.
Media Communications Officer, Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks added, I have many fond memories of working on Vulcan's when I was with British Aerospace at Bitteswell, I've seen many static display aircraft since then but being here to see and hear Vulcan XH558 in the air today is just incredible. Along with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which sadly didn't manage to get here today, she really is the Spirit of Great British aviation”.
“The cadets have all done an excellent job today, on our recruiting stand and directing the public, we even had some doing a drill display in front of the Vulcan. Most importantly the cadets have been doing their bit to improve the lives of our wounded servicemen and women by collecting donations for Help for Heroes”.
For more information about the activities & work of the Air Cadets in the Warwickshire & Birmingham area please visit www.aircadets-wbw.org .
View More Photographs of the Help for Heroes Charity Fly-in