This weekend, Vulcan XH558 (the sole Vulcan flying today) has been travelling the UK. When I saw the flight plan for today I knew that this might be my last and only chance to see her in flight. Here are the details for the Salute to the V Force Tour.
Today’s flight plan:
One of the waypoints was over Leavesden. Now home to the Warner Brothers Studios and the Harry Potter studio, in the old days this airfield was a Rolls Royce jet engine factory so I think this waypoint was chosen to commemorate the link between Rolls Royce and the Vulcan’s Avon and Olympus engines. So, off I went to Leavesden and parked up near the studios. Within about 15 minutes I was joined by numerous enthusiasts who all had the same idea!
XH558 was tweeting her progress so, once she had cleared RAF Halton we knew she was en route for the RAF Museum at Hendon and would be passing overhead soon.
We all spotted her in the distance then, very quickly, there she was! Almost overhead, she made her planned turn to starboard and within a couple of minutes was gone. I managed to fire off a few photos but I had a spot of trouble with the camera; the continuous AF wouldn’t lock on, so I quickly switched to manual focus, then I had to get her in focus as she flew away from me. Plus I was using my good (left) eye – before my retina detachment I’d always used my right eye as my “viewfinder eye” and I’m not used to using that one yet. Argh!
Anyway, here she is:
What a beauty!
I’m still hoping to see her again this year but, if I don’t, today was a fitting salute to the V Force and the iconic Vulcan. I’m really pleased I saw her.