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.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 06:00 am
Chair of NELSAM, David Charles, is delighted with the restoration of the Vulcan bomber.

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.

NELSAM chair David Charles and Bluebird engineer Bill Smith are delighted with the work on the Vulcan bomber.

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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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.

The imposing Vulcan bomber is a star exhibit at the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum in Washington.

“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

NELSAM chair David Charles and Bluebird engineer Bill Smith are delighted with the work on the Vulcan bomber.
NELSAM chair David Charles and Bluebird engineer Bill Smith are delighted with the work on the Vulcan bomber.