The 'Save the Vulcan campaign' fears it will fall into the hands of scrap merchants, and today they will carry a model of XH 558 to Parliament to demand the threatened Vulcan, on display at RAF Waddington, is given to the nation.
Next Tuesday sealed envelopes containing offers for the 40-year-old nuclear bomber will be opened. The MoD wants to be rid of it by the end of next month and the RAF Museum already has the one it wants - the aircraft that dropped thermo-nuclear weapons in tests.
XH 558, 109ft long and weighing 50 tons, is airworthy and crewmen are on stand-by to deliver it to its new owner.
To keep the aircraft flying much longer will require pounds 2.5m of immediate maintenance and then an estimated pounds 292,000 a year. And then there is insurance . . . .
If the nation cannot bear the cost of retaining the Vulcan, RAF Waddington would like to keep it airworthy at least until 3 July - the station's air day.
A dignified send-off could be provided on
1 April at a royal review at RAF Marham to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the RAF's foundation as an independent service. There are, however, no plans to include the aircraft in what is a private function.
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