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Vulcan: Last Airworthy Bomber To Take To The Skies For Jubilee

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The only remaining airworthy Vulcan bomber is to take to the skies during 2012 for a Diamond Jubilee tour in honour of the Queen, it has been announced.

The much loved British delta-winged aircraft will fly at air shows and displays across the UK as "A Salute to Her Majesty".

The sight of Vulcan XH558 - named the Spirit of Great Britain - roaring overhead will be one of the more dramatic events planned to mark the milestone.

Dr Robert Pleming, chief executive of the Vulcan To The Sky Trust which bought and restored the bomber, said: "The Trust is currently planning for the Spirit of Great Britain to visit over 30 destinations around the country, touring Britain for the Diamond Jubilee as no other icon of her era can - she will be seen by millions of people. We will help to honour all that is great in Britain, particularly its aviation and engineering achievements, during the sixty years of Her Majesty's reign."

Organisers have said that although no plans for an official Jubilee fly-past over London have been announced, they are already making preparations to meet safety requirements should an aerial tribute be launched.

Dr Pleming also said his wish list of places he would like the bomber to fly to included Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

The Vulcan will also celebrate its Diamond Jubilee next year as it flew for the first time on August 30 1952.

The aircraft's list of technical achievements included innovations like electrically-powered flying controls and one of the first applications of anti-lock brakes.

Its speed and agility was so close to a fighter's, it was given a fighter-style control column in place of the traditional bomber pilot's yoke, and its design was used as a basis for Concorde.

The Vulcan has a special relationship with the Royal Family as the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Prince Michael of Kent have all piloted the plane. Michael, the Queen's first cousin, attended the launch of the Jubilee project, at the RAF Club in London, to publicly show his support for the initiative.

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Vulcan to take Diamond Jubilee tour