Northumberland route for Vulcan farewell tour revealed

Vulcan bomber

Vulcan bomber

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Plane-spotters in Northumberland are in for a treat early this afternoon when the last flying Vulcan bomber embarks on a farewell tour.

The Vulcan XH558 bomber will fly a circuit across northern England and Scotland on Saturday and then another circuit around southern England and Wales on Sunday.

The routes for the flights of the former RAF bomber have been revealed. It will fly over Newcastle Airport before heading north, following the route of the A1 past Morpeth, over Eshott Airfield and on to Alnwick.

The Vulcan is expected over Alnwick between 1.30pm and 1.40pm.

It then heads directly for East Fortune in Scotland, flying near Eglingham, Chilligham, Chatton, Ford, Etal and Norham.

Cold War icon XH558, which is based at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, will take off for the marathon, nationwide Farewell To Flight sortie after noon.

The route north from Newcastle Airport, following the A1 and passing close to Morpeth.

The route north from Newcastle Airport, following the A1 and passing close to Morpeth.

But this UK-wide tour will not be the last by the aircraft – with more farewell flights planned throughout October.

Fans of the aircraft have been told to stay away from Doncaster over fears too many spectactors could cause traffic chaos and safety issues causing the event to be scrapped.

Aircraft owners, the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, have revealed the full itinerary for this Saturday and Sunday’s spectacular.

Saturday’s northern route is scheduled to fly over Gainsborough, Brough, Menwith Hill, Leeming, Durham Tees Airport, Newcastle Airport, Eshott Airfield, Alnwick, East Fortune, Carlisle Airport, Bowness on Windermere, Warton, Chadderton, Manchester Airport, Woodford, RAF Cosford, East Midlands Airport and Derby.

The Vulcan bomber heads north over Eshott Airfield and Alnwick.

The Vulcan bomber heads north over Eshott Airfield and Alnwick.

The Sunday southern route is due to take in RAF Waddington, Rutland Water, North Weald Airfield, Gravesend, Herne Bay, Manston, Dover, Ashford, Dunsfold, Farnborough, Middle Wallop, Old Sarum, Bristol Airport, Filton, Cardiff Airport, St. Athan, Staverton Glos Airport, RAF Brize Norton, Wellesbourne, Bruntingthorpe and Newark.

Passes at certain airports will be dependent on ATC clearances at the time of arrival.

A spokesman for VTTS said: “This coming weekend, XH558 will take-off on two large orbital tours of the country, visiting as many places as we can sensibly cover within the operational constraints and time we have available. With flight times expected to be over three and a half hours each day, we also have to consider the limits of fuel-load and of course, the comfort of our flight crews in very cramped and high workload conditions.”

The routes vary from those originally published over ten days ago. Although flight paths may vary once announced and XH558 is airborne, the turning points revealed by the Trust will be the plane’s intended destinations given favourable weather conditions.

The Vulcan continues north-westwards over rural Northumberland.

The Vulcan continues north-westwards over rural Northumberland.

The flights however will not be the last - at least two more flights are scheduled before the end of October.

However, supporters have been told to stay away from Robin Hood and Doncaster ahead of the remaining few flights.

The statement said: “The police and emergency services, local authority and the airport are very much aware of growing issues. There is great risk of severe restrictions being imposed on our flight operations if matters persist. We do need to minimise the risk of enforced flight cancellations on the grounds of public safety.

“We would request all our supporters try to view XH558 from another vantage point along the tour routes this weekend. Please do not travel to Doncaster.”

Full updates, locations and timings will be made available on Facebook and Twitter @XH558.

The flight leaves Northumberland near Norham and heads into the skies above Scotland.

The flight leaves Northumberland near Norham and heads into the skies above Scotland.

Saturday's route over northern England and Scotland.

Saturday's route over northern England and Scotland.

Sunday's route over southern England and Wales.

Sunday's route over southern England and Wales.