NINE out of ten people want Bournemouth Air Festival favourite the Vulcan to stay in the sky, according to a new poll.

The no-show of the Cold War bomber at the event a few weeks ago was the only major disappointment of a hugely successful show, but moves to keep the aircraft flying until the end of the 2015 season should mean a couple more chances to see it over the seafront.

As reported in the Daily Echo earlier this year, operators Vulcan to the Sky Trust have planned work to modify its wings – some of which will be carried out by Christchurch firm Beagle – to extend XH558’s flying life.

Now, three months into fundraising for the vital work to keep the world’s only airworthy Vulcan going, the trust has said that 94 per cent of people surveyed want it to keep wowing the crowds.

But fewer than 2,000 people have so far donated to the drive to raise £400,000 in the Operation 2015 project.

Vulcan to the Sky chief executive, Dr Robert Pleming, said: “We conducted the poll because the small number of pledges towards two more flying years had made us question if we really understand what people want.

“Around three million people see her fly each year and many supporters make generous donations to help us through the display season, but we are substantially behind target with our fundraising for Operation 2015, a challenging engineering programme that we must start soon if she is to fly after this season.”

The survey saw 12,573 people respond.

Dr Pleming added: “Our engineering team and their technical partners worked hard to find a solution and we are delighted that they have come up with a way to recreate the approved modification using a fascinating combination of very high-technology computer analysis and traditional craft skills.”

The charity will decide at the end of October whether it has enough pledges to commission the work.

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