What’s the fascination with Vulcan bombers? Perhaps it’s the amazement that something that big can fly. Perhaps it’s because the noise they generate as they fly overhead makes your insides wobble. Or perhaps, for me, the smell of the aviation fuel and standing outside on a windy airfield brings back fond memories of childhood airshow trips with my dad.

Whatever it is, whenever there’s the promise of the last flying Vulcan bomber, XH558, flying nearby we usually take a look. So this afternoon Richard and I drove over to Baginton to see if we could catch a glimpse of XH558’s last ever flight over Coventry. The junior Scannells refused to go. They’ve clambered into Vulcan cockpits and been blasted by the hot air from the engines of XM655 taxiing on the runway at Wellesbourne so many times that they don’t believe that Vulcans are rare. I think they’re relieved that 2015 is the last year that one of them is in the air!

We bagged a space by the airport’s perimeter fence on the Rowley Road – not ideal for photography but better than nothing as we couldn’t get tickets for the official event inside. Twitter gave us the news that yesterday’s fuel leak had been fixed and that XH558 was in the air.

For a jet, the journey from Doncaster is short so we didn’t have long to wait and we had a couple of other Cold War jets to entertain us in the meantime.150913-Vulcan-Coventry-02-920




Then someone in the crowd spotted XH558 in the distance.






I’d got enough still photos after it had done a couple of flypasts, so I switched to Periscope to share the experience with the rest of the world. It was my most popular scope so far – thanks to everyone who watched, commented and gave hearts, though I realise they were for XH558 not me :-). To give you a feel for the noise and atmosphere, here’s the footage. You’ll see what I mean about being by the perimeter fence not being ideal!

Bye bye XH558. I guess we’ll visit you at an air museum somewhere but it won’t be quite the same as watching you fly.

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