It’s with deep disappointment that I have to let XH558’s supporters know that she will not be appearing at RIAT this year.
As in all previous years since first flight in 2007, we met with organisers of RIAT earlier this year to negotiate our display contract for displays on both the Saturday and Sunday and, as in previous years, with XH558 parked close to the Vulcan Village for tours.
The RIAT organisers decided to defer any decision on the Vulcan pending a better understanding of which aircraft and display teams would be attending from the foreign air forces invited.
Despite regular follow-up, it wasn’t until the beginning of May that we were notified the Saturday display programme was full and that the only opportunity to display might be on the Sunday.
Today, we have been informed that the Sunday display is now full, and that RIAT’s offer of a Vulcan display on the Sunday had consequently been withdrawn.
We were instead offered a static position for XH558 crowd-side with a nearby site for trading. However we have a duty of care to those of our volunteers who staff the Vulcan Village not to risk exposing them to visitors expecting to see XH558 flying who complain that she is not.
For this reason, and the significant costs involved in bringing XH558, the Vulcan Village and the team to Fairford for the weekend, we have decided to decline RIAT’s offer of a static position.
We know that you, XH558’s supporters, want to see her fly; please check our web site to look for the other display appearances that she will making around the country during this year’s display season.