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Chocks away as bomber gets green light

PUBLISHED: 12:59 05 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:48 05 July 2010

THE world famous Avro Vulcan bomber has been given the thumbs up to fly just three weeks before it is due to appear at the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.

THE world famous Avro Vulcan bomber has been given the thumbs up to fly just three weeks before it is due to appear at the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.

Organisers of the festival, which takes place on July 24 and 25 and is set to cost about £300,000, said they are hopeful that the restored Cold War jet will be able to fly in Lowestoft after it makes its debut air show appearance today (Saturday, July 5).

The Vulcan XH558, which saw action in the Falklands, is the only flying model in the world and has been undergoing a 15-year £6m restoration project.

It had been feared that the Cold War jet would not get its permit to fly in time for the Lowestoft event after landing early during a test flight in April because of problems with the landing gear.

But yesterday the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) granted the plane a licence to fly, just three weeks before it is scheduled to soar over Lowestoft's award-winning beaches.

The Vulcan is due to make its first display flight at the Waddington Air Show in Lincolnshire after completing successful test flights in the week.

Paul Bayfield, director of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival, said: “We've all got everything crossed, hoping that it will come to Lowestoft. We're all set up and have got everything in place for it to come, we'll have to wait and see how this weekend's show goes before we say for sure that it will come.

“We hope all will go well, but it could be as late as the week of the festival before we have a definite answer. We've all got our fingers crossed that things will go well this weekend and that it will push us up the list for an appearance.”

Andrew Edmondson, engineering director of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust which has overseen the restoration project, said: “After 15 year of work, it's an amazing day. We've taken an aeroplane we were told would never fly again and we've taken her to the skies where she belongs.”

The programme for the free two day festival on July 24 and 25 also includes displays from the world famous Red Arrows, supersonic jet fighter the Typhoon, the Lancaster Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and aerobatic displays.

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