THE last flying Vulcan will make a popular return to the Bournemouth Air Festival this year following a £400,000 wing modification funded by supporters.

The iconic all-British jet took off for the first time in early June following a painstaking project to extend the life of her airframe.

This aimed to give her an extra two years in the air and has made it possible for her to take part in this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival.

Dr Robert Pleming, the chief executive of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, inset, said: “Extending her flying life required a remarkable operation that combined the very latest 3D scanning and analytical techniques with a range of traditional craft skills that I have to say are quite unique and amazing.

“It was remarkably British, at times looking positively eccentric, yet always combining innovation and engineering excellence.

“An error of just a few thousandths of an inch could have grounded her forever.”

Dr Pleming said the work would not have been possible without the time and money donated by XH558’s many supporters. “Without their hard work and generosity, there would no longer be such a dramatic reminder of this amazing period in British history, when we really did rule the skies.

“Airshows in the UK attract around seven million people annually. As a spectator activity, that is second only to football. An appearance by the Vulcan builds even on this remarkable level, typically increasing attendance by 20 to 40 per cent. Airshow organisers talk about “the Vulcan effect” and have described the aircraft as a national treasure.”He said the Vulcan’s appearance at the Bournemouth Air Festival was a great opportunity to say thank you to local supporters and sponsors.

n The air festival brochure is on sale now and is available from Daily Echo offices, shops around the area and the Bournemouth Tourism Information Centre in advance and around the festival site over the event, between August 28-31.

The Daily Echo’s book celebrating the first five years of the festival is also still on sale. Visit and follow the links, or call the subscriptions department on 01305 830924 to order by credit or debit card.

Read lots more in our air festival section online at and, for mobile users, at

Find out where to buy your official Air Festival brochure

Photographic competition

PHOTOGRAPHERS of all ages are invited to take part in the Daily Echo/Castle Cameras air festival photographic competition during the four-day extravaganza, which gets under way on Thursday, August 28.

There are two categories, adult and junior (16 and under), and we want you to submit one picture that you feel captures the essence of the air festival 2014.

The adult prize is £300 of Castle Cameras vouchers and budding young photographers will compete for a chance to win a red Canon Powershot SX 280 HS.

Once you have chosen your best image (only one entry per person) send us an email with your name, age (for juniors only), address and phone number to

The file should be as large as possible, at least 500kb and state in the subject heading either ‘Adult Air Festival comp’ or ‘Junior Air Festival Comp’.

We will display our favourite images in a gallery at and the deadline for entries is Friday, September 5.