The Vulcan Restoration Trust (VRT) have announce that Vulcan XL426 will be moving to a new home under cover at London Southend Airport. XL426, owned by the VRT, will relocate to the airport’s Hangar 6 for an initial five-year period with the first part of the move to a temporary holding location already under way until the hangar is ready.
Since the beginning of May VRT volunteers, assisted by London Southend Airport, have been busy preparing the Hangar 6 for XL426’s arrival. Tasks have included upgrading of the hangar’s electrical services, replacement of ceiling tiles, bring the hangar doors back into operation and an extensive amount of cleaning and tidying. The hangar, together with the adjacent Hangar 5, measures some 4,000 square metres and will also provide space for VRT’s ground equipment and spares.
VRT and London Southend Airport have been in negotiations since early 2017 over a new site and agreement to relocate XL426 to Hangar 6 was reached at the end of April. The move is necessary due to extra car parking space being needed for the increasing numbers of passengers using Southend Airport. This included the area of XL426’s former parking pan, meaning a new site had to be found for the Vulcan.
VRT Trustee Richard Clarkson said: “This is fantastic outcome for XL426 and the VRT. Getting XL426 under cover is something we have dreamed about for many years and it is now a reality. London Southend Airport has been incredibly positive and helpful throughout the whole process, and we can’t thank them enough for the support they have provided and will continue to provide. A roof over XL426’s head opens up many opportunities for us, both in terms of engineering and increased public access to the Vulcan.”
Glyn Jones, CEO Stobart Aviation said : “The Vulcan is a key part of the history of London Southend Airport and incredibly popular with visitors so we have been very pleased to work with the Trust to provide it with a new home that helps their objective of creating an even better visitor experience, at the same time as helping us grow as an airport”.
London Southend Airport is assisting VRT practically and financially with XL426’s move so that the costs, and the ongoing hangar cost of running the hangar, remain affordable. VRT has, however, launched a campaign to raise funds for it to improve its engineering facilities in the hangar and to make it a high quality environment in which the public can visit XL426. Details of how to contribute to the fund can be found on the VRT’s website: www.avrovulcan.com.
The public’s first chance to see XL426 in its new home will be on Fathers’ Day, Sunday June 18th, when VRT will hold one of its popular Visit the Vulcan Days. Further Visit the Vulcan Days are planned for Sunday August 20th and Sunday September 24th.