Bluebird team restores Vulcan bomber to former glory at North East Land Sea and Air Museum in Washington
Volunteers have restored a much-loved RAF plane to its former glory.
The Avro Vulcan bomber is a star exhibit at the North East Land Sea and Air Museum (NELSAM) in Washington. With a wingspan of 111 ft and a length of 101 ft, it was the largest aircraft ever to land at Sunderland Airport, which closed in 1984 to make way for Nissan.
After two years of planning the plane is looking its best again. Only 136 Vulcans were ever built; between 1956 and 1965. They featured in the Cold War and Falklands campaign and were retired by the RAF in 1984.
Under the guidance of engineer Bill Smith, the team of 20 volunteers was assembled by Fiona McDonald, a Vulcan enthusiast. They had previously worked on the rebuilding of Donald Campbell’s hydroplane Bluebird, which famously crashed in 1967.
Museum chair, David Charles, thanked the team and Interlink Scaffolding who also provided their services free of charge.
Mr Charles said “The Vulcan effect is amazing. Now that they are all museum pieces it is truly amazing that this team have been brought together to restore our Vulcan.
“Through the power of Twitter, Fiona sent out the call. The Bluebird supporters rallied to the task and travelled from as far as Dundee, Birmingham and the South Coast. To give up their time in this manner is nothing short of amazing.
“They have all said they will be back again at the end of July to paint the tail. The NELSAM volunteers and public of Sunderland salute their efforts”.
For more information visit www.nelsam.org.uk