WATCH: Farewell flypast organisers pay tribute to Vulcan

Two men, including a former Victor Tanker pilot, who arranged for the last operational Vulcan bomber to fly over Northumberland have paid tribute to the warplane.

The Vulcan XH558 flew over the North East this afternoon as part of its final farewell before the famous bomber is grounded later this month.

The last flying Vulcan bomber, XH558, making its farewell flight over Alnwick. Picture by Chris Pollard

The last flying Vulcan bomber, XH558, making its farewell flight over Alnwick. Picture by Chris Pollard

Local pilot Paul Kiddell contacted the Vulcan to the Sky organisers to ask if the final tour would come via Eshott Airfield and Alnwick.

Paul said: “There was a lot of persuasion, the Vulcan to the Sky team were very good at making sure the maximum number of people have seen it this year in its last season.

“One of the reasons we’ve got it here is because of the connection with my good friend and partner in my aeroplane, Steve Biglands, who was a Victor Tanker pilot during the original Vulcan bombing mission during the Falkands.”

Steve’s Victor Tanker was responsible for refuelling one of the bombers in the air because the Vulcan lacked the range to fly to the Falklands without refuelling several times, as it had been designed for medium-range stand-off nuclear missions in Europe.

Steve said it was ‘really sad’ to see the plane go.

“I was a Victor captain and was heavily involved with the refuelling of the Vulcan, it took a tremendous amount of team work and effort to get it there,” he said. “It was a very difficult job, very testing for all involved and it’s such a pleasure to actually see the aircraft today and its really sad it won’t be flying again.”

XH558 bomber will make flypast tours over the southern half of the UK tomorrow, landing at Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster.

It will then make one final flight towards the end of October, details of which are yet to be confirmed.