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Latest update on XL388

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: General

as paint scheme is chosen

Regular readers will know that our own Doncaster based Vulcan Experience volunteers have been busy in helping the restoration of the Vulcan XL388 cockpit section, which is based at the nearby South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.

As the restoration progresses, they recently made a rather important decision with regard to the colour choice and their reasoning. 

Sam Scrimshaw takes up the story.


We’re delighted to announce the selected paint scheme for the culmination of XL388’s restoration.

After much discussion between all parties involved, and looking at all of the options, a unanimous decision was reached. The selected scheme has huge historical significance to Vulcans and XL388 in particular, and we’re sure that it will be very popular with visitors to the museum of all ages.

At present, the selected scheme is vastly underrepresented among the surviving Vulcans, with only one complete airframe and an additional cockpit section currently showing what is regarded as the favourite scheme by many Vulcan fans.

We are delighted to reveal that XL388 will be returned to her original anti flash white paint scheme. Not only is this the first scheme worn by XL388 during its RAF service, it is also the aircrafts most historic.

In May 1963, to commemorate RAF Coningsby being awarded the Freedom of Boston, Lincolnshire, XL388 took part in a goodwill trip to Boston, Massachusetts. For this trip, the aircraft was named ‘Mayflower III’, an homage to the original Mayflower crossing by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 (A replica ship was built in the 1950’s and named Mayflower II).

With 2020 representing the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower crossing, and the links to the pilgrim fathers in the local area, we felt this was too good an opportunity to miss!

In addition to revealing the scheme, we can today announce that we will be holding an official unveiling of the repainted XL388 over the weekend of the 11th and 12th August 2018. Visitors will be able to get up close and personal to XL388, along with cockpit tours, talks from the team about the restoration, and ex crew members. More details will be revealed about the unveiling weekend soon, so please do keep an eye on this page for all the details when they’re announced.

Our thanks go to the IX Sqn Association who have delved into their archives to find these photos XL388 in the Mayflower scheme.


XL388’s Crew meeting with the Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts and the log details below.


All photos Copyright: IX Sqn Association. For more details on the association visit their webpages. 

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