We are very delighted to announce that Vulcan XL426 is moving to a new home under cover at London Southend Airport.
XL426 is relocating to the airport’s Hangar 6 for an initial five-year period. The hangar will become our engineering and visitor base. XL426 was moved off her parking pan on the airport’s eastern perimeter for the final time on 5 May to a temporary holding location until the hangar is ready.
The move to Hangar 6 is expected to take place in the next few weeks.
Since the beginning of May our volunteers, assisted by London Southend Airport, have been busy preparing the hangar for XL426’s arrival. Tasks have included: upgrading of the hangar’s electrical services, replacement of ceiling tiles, bring the hangar doors back into full 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 our ground equipment and stores.
We have been in negotiation with London Southend Airport since early 2017 over the 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 London Southend Airport. This extra space included the area of XL426’s former parking pan, meaning a new site had to be found for the Vulcan.
Glyn Jones, CEO Stobart Aviation has said: “The Vulcan is a key part of the history of London Southend Airport and is 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.”
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.
London Southend Airport is assisting us practically and financially with XL426’s move so that the costs, and the ongoing cost of running the hangar, remain affordable. We will, however, soon be launching a campaign to raise funds to improve our engineering facilities in the hangar and to make it a high quality environment in which the public can visit XL426.
In the meantime, though, anyone wishing to contribute can do so via the donation button on the home page of this website. All donations will be very gratefully received. In keeping with our policy of total openness, we must point out that our lease contains a six-month break clause. London Southend Airport, however, has said it does not envisage ever implementing this. The lease on our former parking pan contained a similar clause and we survived there for over two decades!
The public’s first chance to see XL426 in its new home will be on Fathers’ Day, Sunday June 18th, when we are holding our next Visit the Vulcan Day. Further Visit the Vulcan Days will take place on Sunday August 20th and Sunday September 24th.