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Vulcan Salute Q & A

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This commemorative opportunity is now closed for entries. May we thank all those who have participated.

Sign up for our newsletters here on further news as the book is produced and later presented to Buckingham Palace.


Questions & Answers


Q: What are the links between the Vulcan and Her Majesty The Queen?

A: Her Majesty The Queen acceded to the throne in 1952 (6th February 1952); the first ever flight of a Vulcan (prototype VX770) occurred in 1952 (30th August). So the Queen and the Vulcan share anniversaries: next year is the 60th anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) of both the Queen and the Vulcan.

Three current members of the Royal Family have piloted a Vulcan: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, (24th June 1958 in XA900); Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (1971 in XL392) and Prince Michael of Kent (23rd September 1983 in XH560).

One of the Queen’s four “dorgis” (a corgi-dachshund cross) is called “Vulcan”.


Q: What is the “Salute to Her Majesty”?

A: The Vulcan to the Sky Trust is dedicating Vulcan XH558’s – The Spirit of Great Britain’s - 2012 flying programme to the celebration of both Her Majesty The Queen’s and the Vulcan’s Diamond Jubilees, helping to honour all that is Great in Britain, particularly its aviation heritage and engineering achievements during the sixty years of the Queen’s reign. Every display in 2012 will be announced as being a Diamond Jubilee Salute to Her Majesty. The Trust is currently planning for Vulcan XH558 to visit over thirty destinations around the country, touring Britain as no other icon of her era can; she will be seen by millions of people. She will be helping to inspire the next generation with the excitement of the design and technical progress that has characterized the sixty years of Her Majesty’s reign.

Supporters may become part of the Salute to Her Majesty by adding their names to the hand-tooled leather-bound book of good wishes which will be flown in XH558 during the Diamond Jubilee tour, and then presented to Her Majesty after the final flight of the year. A duplicate of the book will be on display at the Robin Hood Airport home of XH558, and the names will also be listed on special Diamond Jubilee pages on our web site.


Q: Is Buckingham Palace aware of the Vulcan’s Salute to Her Majesty?

A: Yes; we have kept Buckingham Palace informed of our proposals, and have been told that there is no objection to the Vulcan being announced as appearing in celebration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee., and that the Queen would be content to receive the book of good wishes.


Q: How much does it cost to add my name to the Salute?

A: It costs £5 to have your name included or £10 if you wish to add a message.


Q: How can my company get involved with the Salute?

A: Companies too may join the Salute by having their name, logo and message in the book of good wishes. Please contact Michael Trotter on 07803 141483 for further details.


Q: Will XH558 be part of the flypast for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?

A: There have been no plans yet announced for a flypast in recognition of the Diamond Jubilee. However assuming that there will be a flypast, we have requested guidance from the Civil Aviation Authority on what they would need to grant us permission to participate, because the regulations pertaining to the Vulcan currently prevent her from flying over densely populated areas such as London. We are now preparing the safety case required by the CAA.


Q: How long will the Salute to Her Majesty campaign be running?

A: The Salute to Her Majesty campaign, collecting names for the presentation book of good wishes for the Queen, will be running until the end of 2011. It will take several weeks for the presentation book to be prepared, and we need it to be completed in time for the start of XH558’s 2012 flying season.


Q: What happens to the money raised if XH558 cannot fly next year?

A: If for any reason, Vulcan XH558 is permanently grounded prior to the start of the 2012 British Flying Display Season (April 2012), any funds remaining will be utilised in the delivery of the Trust’s educational objectives and in the conservation and exhibition of Vulcan XH558 and other heritage aircraft of the 20th Century, in line with the Trust’s charitable objects. In any event, the book recording the names of all those who have supported the Diamond Jubilee Salute to Her Majesty campaign will be flown during the Diamond Jubilee weekend and will presented to Her Majesty the Queen after the end of the 2012 British Flying Display season (after October 2012).


Q: Are there any other relevant anniversaries next year?

A: Yes: the 1st May 2012 is the thirtieth anniversary of the famous successful “Black Buck” sortie to bomb Port Stanley airfield in the Falkland Islands. Martin Withers, the current Chief Pilot of the Vulcan, was the captain of Vulcan XM607 on this sortie, for which he received a Distinguished Flying Cross. The “Black Buck” sorties captured the record for the longest–ever bombing missions at the time, a round trip of nearly 8,000 miles. On 29th June 1962, the Vickers VC10 took to the air on its first ever test flight. On 3rd October 1952, Britain tested its first atomic bomb in the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia.

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