Show homing in on vulcan bomber

AN ambitious programme is being planned for this summer's Lowestoft seafront air festival - with the famous Avro Vulcan bomber one of the aircraft being sought.

AN ambitious programme is being planned for this summer's Lowestoft seafront air festival - with the famous Avro Vulcan bomber one of the aircraft being sought.

The Vulcan, which was a prominent feature of the Falklands War, was the organisers' dream booking last year when the theme of the show celebrated the 25th anniversary of the conflict.

But veterans were left disappointed when the bomber, which was undergoing restoration to airworthy condition, was not quite ready, after a seven-year private project.

At the moment the XH558 has not been granted a permit-to-fly certificate as further test flights are needed, but organisers hope it won't be too long until it takes to the skies.

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Paul Bayfield, managing director of the air festival, said the cost to get the bomber to appear at Lowestoft was one of the most expensive of all aircraft, but he was hopeful of getting confirmation.

“We made a presentation to the restoration project as obviously it will be something very, very special for us if it does come here. We have thought of everything in attracting them to come here.”

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Mr Bayfield said solo ace Denny Dobson was the first confirmed participant in the air show, taking place on Thursday and Friday, July 24 and 25, but they were also getting quotes for other displays.

He also revealed hopes of a main sponsor being announced in the coming weeks.

Last year more than 1,100 people became Friends of the Air Festival to help meet the annual cost of the event, estimated to cost in the region of £325,000.

And Chadds department store is this year's Friends sponsor, putting up prizes in a free monthly draw, which is exclusive to members.

Everyone who pays the minimum subscription fee of £10 will be entered into the draw and from March to June winners will pick up a prize. In July, the winner will receive an extra special treat from the store in London Road North.

In addition, everyone who enrols as a Friend will receive a Chadds voucher for £50, which they can used towards the purchase of any furniture costing over £500, and as a further incentive all Friends will be entered into a draw to win VIP hospitality during the air show for a family of four including afternoon tea and seats in the grandstand.

Susan Patterson, manager of Chadds, said the air show brings a feel-good factor that the town really needs.

“This is a very high profile event, which we hope will bring a lot of people into the town, not just for the two days of the show. We feel it is generally good for us and whole town.”

Friends will receive a special certificate on joining, an official souvenir programme and a badge before the air festival. They will also gain entry into a draw to win a flight with Denny Dobson in his Extra 300XSW display aircraft.

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