Categories: General Date: Feb 11, 2009 Title: Vulcan on brink of closureVulcan on brink of closure; has last flight already occurred?
The Vulcan Effect
Over last summer Vulcan XH558 made a triumphant return to air displays around the UK. She was the star of the show wherever she appeared, generating such a strong reaction from her 1.5million audience that the media were moved to call it the Vulcan Effect.
What has truly surprised and pleased is the reaction of youngsters seeing the Vulcan for the first time. There are very few sights and sounds with the power to stimulate and inspire the young, but the Vulcan in flight is indisputably one of them.
That was last summer. Unfortunately the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) has to announce today that the prospects of seeing the Vulcan fly again in 2009 are currently looking very poor.
Grim future for the Vulcan team
VTST is running out of cash. The current conditions ? an economic "Perfect Storm" ? are making corporate sponsorship increasingly difficult to secure, and recessionary fears are understandably limiting the flow of charitable donations.
The Trust has just enough money to pay the wages bill at the end of the month. As the result, last Monday, VTST had to put all of its employees on one month?s notice.
Whilst huge numbers of people saw the Vulcan display last summer, by contrast, hardly anyone appears to know of XH558?s plight now.
Only the further generosity of the public can now save the Vulcan. £1million is needed to keep going this year, and secure the financial footing for the future.
Pledges are the way forward
Just before Christmas, VTST started a Pledge campaign, looking for promises of donations which could be called in once the target had been reached. The response has been good, today reaching £260,000. At least £150,000 can be added from other sources to this amount.
We are hoping that the public will want to see the amazing Vulcan fly again this year. The public need to help us by pledging now, either through our website www.vulcantothesky.org or by phone to our office on 0116 247 8145. Even the smallest pledge helps, because it is people in their thousands who make the difference.
The very real danger is that we won?t get near enough to our target of £1million by the end of the month. If we don?t, the Trust will be destined to rapidly go into administration, which would inevitably lead to the sale of the aircraft, probably to an American buyer. What a terrible waste of all the money, effort and heartache which went into restoring XH558 back to flight.
It?s quite remarkable that £50million can be raised for a Titian that will be seen by only a few thousand people a year, but that we are struggling to raise a fiftieth of that amount for another stirringly beautiful British creation that will be seen by millions every year.
Immediate action is required if this great British icon is to continue
honouring the past and inspiring the future.
Apart from pledging donations, supporters are also encouraged to sign the petition at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/vulcan-XH558/