RML AD Group racing with Vulcan XH558 in 2010

In Support of Vulcan XH558 The RML AD Group's Lola HPD will be carrying a poignant and significant additional logo this season in support of AVRO Vulcan XH558, the last surviving airworthy V-bomber from Britain's Cold War defence force. To mark...

In Support of Vulcan XH558

The RML AD Group's Lola HPD will be carrying a poignant and significant additional logo this season in support of AVRO Vulcan XH558, the last surviving airworthy V-bomber from Britain's Cold War defence force. To mark the 50th birthday of XH558 in May 2010, the crest of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust will appear on the side of the racecar, with the official Vulcan silhouette on the engine cover.

While the period in Britain's history that the Vulcan represents is a distant memory for most people, XH558 remains an impressive reminder of Britain's cutting-edge technological achievements of the past, and is one of the major attractions on the hugely popular air show calendar. Since she returned to the skies in late 2007 after a £7 million rebuild, more than 2.5 million enthusiasts are calculated to have travelled in pilgrimage across the length and breadth of the country to catch a glimpse of her iconic delta-winged shape, and to experience the famous stomach-churning "howl" of her four Rolls-Royce Olympus 202 jet engines.

Vulcan XH558 Video Appeal

But those many spectators do more than just gaze in awe, for Vulcan XH588 is simply unique, not only in being the last of her breed, but also in the way she can make grown men weep and young children jump up and down in frenzied excitement. The so-called "Vulcan Effect" touches hearts and can significantly increase visitor numbers at events where she's scheduled to appear.

Crucially, however, Vulcan XH558 is supported almost entirely by private donations and corporate sponsorship. If she is to remain airborne this year, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust needs to raise a total of £800,000 this spring, with a target of £300,000 set for the end of February. By announcing this new addition to the team's livery for 2010, RML AD Group hopes to help publicise the Trust's challenge, and to encourage supporters to sign the on-line birthday card and, if they can afford it, pledge their support. (If the embedded video item above does not display correctly in your browser or email, please click this link.)

Vulcan XH558 | Waddington 2008 | Photo: Marcus Potts/CMC Mike Newton, CEO of AD Group and co-driver of the team's Lola HPD, has become a keen supporter of the Trust's work. He and his wife Ann stepped forward to fund the original test flight programme that enabled XH558 to achieve the vital certification that permitted the Vulcan to participate in her first season of displays in 2008. The two have remained closely involved ever since.

Vulcan XH558 Birthday Appeal "Ann's father was in the RAF, and I am an experienced pilot, so we both have an interest in aircraft and flying, but there's something very special about the Vulcan," said Mike Newton. "When the Trust needed help in 2008, Ann and I were delighted to be able to offer our support. Now we're in a position to take that relationship forwards with AD Group, not only by carrying the Trust's logo on the race car, but also by fitting FlightVu on-board cameras to XH588 for this season's displays, so that her flights can be recorded for posterity."

Robert Pleming, CEO of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust says: "On behalf of Vulcan XH558 and all her supporters, a huge thank-you to Mike and Ann, and to all at AD Group. It's true to say that without their help in 2008 and since, millions of people would not have had the opportunity to see the spectacular sight of XH558 in air displays around the country. We're all delighted that we're able to bring such an iconic example of the best of British engineering back to where she belongs - in the air, entertaining and inspiring the public. The addition of the Vulcan logo to the Lola HPD's livery this year gives us a great opportunity to take the Vulcan story to a new audience in this her 50th Birthday year. Very many thanks once again."

The team at RML AD Group is proud to be associated with Vulcan XH558, and urges anyone with an interest in this fabulous aircraft to visit the Trust's website and sign the on-line birthday card. If there are any teams, sponsors or corporate groups reading this that might be in a position to offer more than mere moral support, please contact the Trust urgently.

-source: rml ad group

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Series Le Mans , European Le Mans
Drivers Mike Newton