Leicester

Donations save threatened Avro Vulcan bomber

XH558
Image caption The bomber saw action during the Falklands War

Air enthusiasts have raised enough money to save the world's last remaining flying Vulcan bomber just days before it was due to be grounded.

The Vulcan to The Sky Trust, which owns the Avro Vulcan XH558, needed to raise £400,000 to keep the aircraft flying.

The trust said it still needed to raise £75,000 before the end of October or the project would come to an end.

Donations over the weekend totalled £43,000 and trustees agreed the rest of the money could be raised later.

Nearly two million people have seen the restored Cold War bomber, described as a "national treasure", in action at air shows so far this year.

Trustees want the Vulcan, which receives no government funding and was restored at Bruntingthrope in Leicestershire, to fly for at least two more display seasons.

In a letter to supporters, trust chief executive Robert Pleming said the board of trustees said the trust had sufficient liquidity to continue to trade.

He said: "This is obviously really good news, and is very much down to you, our core supporters, and the desires of the wider public, who have dug deep into their pockets to move us forward once again."

The Vulcan made its maiden flight in 1952 and acted as a deterrent during the Cold War, and was used in combat in the Falklands War.

The last Vulcan was withdrawn from service in 1984, but the XH558 flew on from 1986 to 1993 as the single RAF display Vulcan.

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