THE skies above Abingdon will resound with the roar of the Avro Vulcan bomber as it makes its first air show appearance this year.

The Vulcan XH558, which is the only remaining airworthy model of the bomber, is booked to star at the 12th annual Abingdon Air and Country Show at Dalton Barracks on Sunday, May 8.

It will be the first time the Cold War plane, which is now privately owned, has flown over the town for 21 years.

The Vulcan retired from Royal Air Force service in 1993 and The Vulcan to the Sky Trust was formed to preserve it. Headed by Dr Robert Pleming, the trust raised enough funding to begin restoring the plane in 2005. Following a £3.5m two-year restoration the bomber took to the air again in October 2007.

The Vulcan will headline a four-hour flying display at the Abingdon air show. The show will also feature grounded aircraft, tank rides, live music and other family attractions.

Show organiser Neil Porter said: “It has got that wow factor. It is something unique and we are pretty lucky to get it.

“The aircraft has such a large following and is just as popular as the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.”

Dr Pleming said: “It is gratifying that XH558 is able to return to the Abingdon show after such a long break and I am sure that she will be afforded a very warm welcome.”

The Vulcan’s bombing of Port Stanley airfield in the Falkland Islands in 1982 were key in helping the British defeat Argentina’s forces.

The trust faces a constant battle to raise money to keep the plane in the air and needs to raise £125,000 for maintenance before it can come to Abingdon. Missing the target could ground it forever or see it sold overseas.

The bomber has stayed at RAF Brize Norton during the summer for the last three years.

But, this year, it will be based at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster.

Dr Pleming said: “We operate one of the world’s most complex historic aircraft without any support from Government or the RAF.

“Although our commercial revenues are growing substantially, we are still dependent on the generosity of her supporters.”

Mr Porter said: “It is an ongoing thing as it is quite an expensive beast to fly.

“We all hope the weather behaves, aircraft serviceability is 100 per cent, and the funding is there to allow XH558 to fly down to us, display and return home.”

Tickets to the show at Abingdon Airfield are available from local tourist information centres and at