Where to see the Vulcan

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Canada, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 10-10-2015


Photo (c) Vulcan to the Sky Trust

Photo (c) Vulcan to the Sky Trust

Bear with me… this is going to be a slight departure from the usual focus of this site on airports and commercial aviation. I hope you will still read it!

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Avro Vulcan heavy bomber. I remember seeing them flying a lot in the 1980s, and have loved the fact that a last airworthy example has remained in flight for the past few years, performing at airshows all over the UK.

But the inevitable is now happening – the type is being retired from flight forever this month.

Surprisingly there are a number of Vulcans that you can still visit and see, and some of them are even kept in ‘working’ condition, if not actually flyable. So I thought I’d put together a list of where to see the Vulcan if you happen to be missing seeing it in the skies.



XH558 (G-VLCN)
Doncaster Sheffield Airport

The last airworthy example will retire to its base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport in northern England. Its hangar is being turned into a visitor experience and a working trust that will train young engineers to work on aircraft. Vulcan to the Sky Trust website,where you can donate to their excellent work.

This Vulcan will remain in ‘live’ condition and still taxi on occasion. But it will sadly be grounded.


Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield

Another complete example which has been restored into fantastic condition over the past couple of decades by the 655 Maintenance & Preservation Society. She is now capable of fast taxis. Unfortunately the future of Wellesbourne Mountford airfield is in doubt, so the future of this Vulcan is not entirely certain.


XL319 at Sunderland

XL319 at Sunderland

North East Land, Sea and Air Museum, Sunderland

As a regular volunteer at this museum, I see XL319 a lot. It flew into what was once Sunderland Airport in 1983 and took up residence in the new museum. It is still there, complete, and you can often go inside the cockpit. Museum website.


Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, London

A significant part of the collection at the RAF Museum in Hendon is XL318. It is complete, but has been reassembled following delivery to the museum. Museum website.


London Southend Airport

This is another Vulcan that was kept in working order following retirement. It was fully decommissioned for a time, but has recently been returned to power by the Vulcan Restoration Trust and it is often opened to the public.


BAE Woodford

The airfield at Woodford, near Manchester, has recently been demolished for redevelopment. But a huge white Vulcan still sits on the site. There is a proposal to build a new museum around this aircraft, which is the only Vulcan to wear the original all-white colour scheme.


RAF Waddington

One of the Vulcans which took part in the bombing of the Falkland Islands, XM607 sits as a gate guard at its former home of RAF Waddington. It is situated next to the public viewing area and in pretty good condition.


Newark Air Museum

Another complete Vulcan in great condition, and on display at the Newark Air Museum in Lincolnshire, England. It is occasionally opened to the public. Museum website.


XM597 at Museum of Flight, East Fortune

XM597 at Museum of Flight, East Fortune

National Museum of Flight, Scotland

The only Vulcan to reside in Scotland is XM597, which is at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune, not too far from Edinburgh. Museum website.


Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford

The other RAF Museum in the UK is at Cosford, close to Birmingham. Their Vulcan is XM598, which is displayed inside a hangar. Museum website.

This museum also holds the cockpit section of Vulcan XA893.



XM612 at Norwich

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

Displayed outside at this museum on the perimeter of Norwich Airport. Museum website.


Goose Bay

Vulcan at Goose Bay

Goose Bay Airport, Canada

The only Vulcan in Canada. This one flew across the Atlantic and had a technical problem which grounded it. As a result, it was decided to turn XL361 into a gate guard display to commemorate the RAF’s involvement with Goose Bay Airport.


Ashland Vulcan

Strategic Air and Space Museum, Ashland, NE

One of three Vulcans preserved in the USA. XM573 is complete and can be seen by visitors to the museum. She arrived here in 1982. Museum website.


Castle Air Museum, Atwater, CA

This museum is at the Castle AFB in California. Its Vulcan, XM605, arrived in 1981. Museum website.


XJ824 at Duxford

XJ824 at Duxford

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Displayed indoors at this famous British aviation museum in Cambridgeshire. Museum website.


Global Power Museum, Barksdale, LA

The third Vulcan in America. XM606 is displayed outside at this museum at Barksdale AFB. Museum website.


Midland Air Museum, Coventry

One of three Vulcans in the English Midlands, XL360 is displayed outside. It is usually open to the public. Museum website.


East Midlands Aeropark

On display in this compact open-air museum next to the runway at East Midlands Airport, close to Nottingham and Leicester. Museum website.


Solway Aviation Museum, Carlisle

Finally, XJ823 is tucked away in north-west England, a few miles from the border with Scotland, at Carlisle Airport. Museum website.



In addition to these complete airframes, you can also see part fuselages of Vulcans in the following locations:

  • Aeroventure Museum, Doncaster
  • Jet Age Museum, Gloucester Staverton Airport
  • Bournemouth Aviation Museum
  • Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum

Plus a few cockpit sections in private hands.



I hope this has given you some good insight about where to see the Vulcan bomber in all its glory, even though it is now grounded. Go and visit some of these magnificent aircraft and inspect them at close quarters.


Finnair A350 enters service

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Finland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 08-10-2015


Finnair A350 enters service

Finnair has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350XWB, OH-LWA (cn 018) an a flight from Toulouse to Helsinki. It is the first of 19 aircraft on order.

This makes Finnair the first airline in Europe to operate the A350, after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines started flying the type.

The Finnair A350 enters service amid much hype, and the airline will be flying it on a series of crew familiarisation routes on many of its European schedules from 9th October, before it enters service on long haul routes to the Far East from November.

Finnair A350

The aircraft will join the airline’s all-Airbus fleet of 45 aircraft in operation, today comprising 30 A320 Family aircraft and 15 A330/A340s.

 “Finnair has enjoyed a long and prosperous working relationship with Airbus and the A350 takes our cooperation to another level. This aircraft is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience,” says Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.
“At Airbus, we’re proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350 XWB,”  said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350 XWB’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.‎”

For a full list of Finnair’s short haul and long haul A350 routes, please visit our A350 Routes Page.


British Airways’ first 787-9 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 01-10-2015


British Airways 787-9

British Airways yesterday took delivery of their first Boeing 787-9, G-ZBKA, at London Heathrow following a flight directly from Paine Field near Seattle.

The aircraft is the first of 18 that the airline has on order, and complements its fleet of eight shorter 787-8 aircraft operating on long haul services.

All of the aircraft will be based at London Heathrow, and will initially fly to destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Austin, Kuala Lumpur and San Jose.

The 787-9 is likely to appear on a few domestic or European services for crew familiarisation. However, the first dedicated service is from London Heathrow to Delhi, starting 25th October 2015.


Keep an eye on our Boeing 787 Dreamliner Routes Page for all routes flown by each airline.

Catching up with the Boeing prototype aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 14-09-2015


Recently we put together a post charting the various prototype aircraft produced for each Airbus type. It proved popular, so next in line is the Boeing prototype aircraft.

The prototype model is the first of the type to fly, and will later be joined by other examples to help achieve flight certification.

Following this, the prototype will often either be kept for future testing and modification, delivered to an airline customer, sent to a museum or stored and ultimately scrapped.


Boeing 707 (original 367-80)

707 prototypeN70700. Preserved at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA (alongside Washington Dulles Airport).

Boeing 707-100

Crashed 17 September 1965.

Boeing 717

N717XA. Scrapped at Long Beach, CA. Parts may still exist.

Boeing 720

Scrapped in 1982.

Boeing 727-100

TMOF 727 Arriving at TMOF

TMOF 727 at Museum of Flight

N7001U. Preserved at Everett Paine Field, being readied for a return to flight. It will be flown to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, WA.

Boeing 727-200

Scrapped in 2003.

Boeing 737-100

737-100 prototype

N515NA. Preserved at Museum of Flight, Boeing Field, Seattle, WA.

Boeing 737-200

Scrapped in 2013.

Boeing 737-300

Scrapped in 2006.

Boeing 737-400

N406US. Withdrawn from use and being broken up at Tucson, AZ. May be gone already.

Boeing 737-500

Scrapped in 2013

Boeing 737-600

737-600 prototype

LN-RRO. Active with SAS.

Boeing 737-700

© Marco Dotti
N707SA. Active with Southwest Airlines.

Boeing 737-800

737-800 prototype

TC-SNY. Active with SunExpress.

Boeing 737-900

737-900 prototype N302AS

N302AS. Active with Alaska Airlines.

Boeing 747-100

747 prototype

N7470. Preserved at the Museum of Flight, Boeing Field, Seattle, WA.

Boeing 747-200B

Scrapped in 2003

Boeing 747-300

Scrapped in 2010.

Boeing 747-400

N661US Delta Boeing 747-400 prototype

N661US. Recently retired at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, GA. Will be preserved at Delta Flight Museum.

Boeing 747SP

Scrapped in 1999.

Boeing 747-8i

FlightAware Photo
Photo Courtesy of FlightAware.com

9K-GAA. Active with Kuwait Government.

Boeing 747-8 Freighter

LX-VCA 747-8 prototype

LX-VCA. Active with Cargolux.

Boeing 757-200

757-200 prototype

N757A. Active as a testbed with Boeing. Usually at Boeing Field, Seattle, WA.

Boeing 757-300

757-300 prototype

Julian Herzog [GFDL or CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

D-ABOA. Active with Condor.

Boeing 767-200

Scrapped in 2006.

Boeing 767-300

JA8236. Scrapped, but cockpit retained with Scroggins Aviation for movie work.

Boeing 767-400

767-400 prototype

By Curimedia | P H O T O G R A P H Y [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

N825MH. Active with Delta Air Lines.

Boeing 777-200

777-200 prototype

By Aldo Bidini [GFDL 1.2, GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

B-HNL. Active with Cathay Pacific.

Boeing 777-300

777-300 prototype

By Kentaro Iemoto from Tokyo, Japan [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

B-HNE. Active with Cathay Pacific.

Boeing 787-8

Picture from http://news.mynavi.jp/articles/2015/06/24/boeing787dreamliner/

Picture from http://news.mynavi.jp/articles/2015/06/24/boeing787dreamliner/

N787BA. Preserved at Nagoya Chubu Centrair Airport, Japan.

Boeing 787-9

© Nathen Sieben
ZK-NZC. Active with Air New Zealand.


Comac ARJ21 to enter service in February 2016

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 04-09-2015


Comac ARJ21

By Peng Chen (Flickr: China ARJ-21) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The long-delayed Comac ARJ21 regional jet is to finally enter service in February 2016, eight years after its first flight.

Chengdu Airlines will be the first operator of the type, taking delivery of two examples later this year. They will undertake pilot training, before entering service on domestic regional flights from its home base. The airline, which is owned by Comac, will eventually take 30 of the smaller ARJ21-700 variants.

To date there are orders for 342 ARJ21-700s from carriers mainly situated in China and the Far East. The larget ARJ21-900 is still on hold, with no orders.

Despite this entry into service of the first two aircraft, Comac does not anticipate beginning the production until later in 2016 when the relevant certification has been received. It has also abandoned plans to have the aircraft certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after ongoing delays.

The Comac ARJ21 very much resembles the Douglas DC-9 and Boeing 717 in my eyes, and has similarities to the Bombardier CRJ. The ARJ21-700 model can carry up to 90 passengers and has a range of 2,000 miles in the ER version, making it ideal for covering the Chinese regional market.

The two aircraft expected to enter service with Chengdu Airlines are B-010L and B-938L (c/n 105 and 106 respectively). B-1110L (c/n 104) has also been part of the testing process.


Estonian Air moving into Swedish domestic market

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Miscellaneous Spotting, Sweden, Western Europe | Posted on 28-08-2015


Estonian Air CRJ900 at Stockholm Arlanda

Estonian Air has announced plans to move into the Swedish domestic market by announcing two new routes.

The airline will commence services from the winter timetable this year, starting on 25 October, on the following routes:4

  • Stockholm Arlanda – Arvidsjaur
  • Arvidsjaur – Gallivare

Both flights will operate 11x weekly and act as an extension of each other (ie Stockholm – Arvidsjaur – Gallivare). They will be operated by Estonian’s CRJ900 aircraft equipment.

The airline also operates from Tallinn to Stockholm Arlanda with the CRJ900.


First Finnair A350 rolled out

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Finland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 27-08-2015


Finnair A350

The first fully painted Airbus A350 for Finnair has rolled out of the paint shop at Toulouse and here’s the picture.

The aircraft is OH-LWA, and is one of 19 on order with the airline. The first delivery is due in September, with flights commencing in October.

See our Airbus A350 Routes Page for more information.


Bristol Airport Aviation Fair

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 19-08-2015


Bristol Airport Aviation Fair

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, Bristol Airport Spotting are hosting another Aviation Fair in partnership with Bristol Airport on Sunday 20th September 2015 between 10.30am and 4.30pm in aid of the airport charity of the year which this year is Children’s Hospice South West.

The event will take place within the Bristol Room which is located in the airport administration building. There will be free car parking.

Entry to the event is £1.50, and you will find a large amount of exhibitors coming along. Visitors to the fair this year can expect to see Bristol Aero Collection, miniature Bristol Airport project, IPMS Avon model club, T7 Models, Fly2Help aviation charity, Aviation Postcard Man, Bristol Airport Police and South West Aviation Photographers to name but a few.

The Bristol Room has great views across the apron of aircraft departing, arriving and taxiing just a short distance from the windows, ample seating will be available to sit and watch the activity.

For more information and directions to the event please visit – http://www.bristolairportspotting.co.uk/bas-events/aviation-fair-2015/

Register your interest in attending the fair by joining the event on Facebook

LATAM to become one airline brand

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 06-08-2015


LATAM logo

LATAM Airlines Group – the combined company that runs TAM Brasil and the various LAN airlines is to merge under one brand from 2016, it has been announced.

In a statement today, the company said:

LATAM Airlines Group has decided to take another step forward to unify our brands under one name: “LATAM”.

With the new brand, we will continue the legacy of leadership that started decades ago with LAN, TAM and their respective affiliate carriers. Both brands contributed for many years to the growth and development of the region, and today more than ever, we are committed to the future of Latin America and connecting it to the world. The new brand allows us to offer a better, consistent service throughout our network, which in turn strengthens our position in the region.

“LATAM” will bring together all the passenger and cargo airline operations of the LATAM Airlines Group carriers: LAN Airlines and its affiliates in Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador; in addition to TAM Linhas Aéreas S.A., and its subsidiary TAM Air Transport Mercosur S.A. (TAM Airlines (Paraguay), and the cargo carriers comprised of LAN CARGO, LAN CARGO Colombia, ABSA (TAM Cargo) and Mas Air. The new brand will not impact the registered names of any of the above mentioned companies.”

Lan Chile A320t

TAM 777

The first aircraft in the new livery will appear in the first half of 2016. In the meantime, the logo here is the first sign of the new branding.


World Airports Spotting Book – One Week To Go

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting Equipment Reviews | Posted on 05-08-2015



Since I announced the sneak peak at my upcoming World Airports Spotting Guides book last month, the response has been fantastic.

We’ve had lots of pre-orders for the book, and lots of comments of support from eager spotters who are looking forward to getting their hands on the book.


Pre-Order Now. Free Gift!

If you read the original post, you’ll notice that I hinted that it would be worth your while pre-ordering, rather than waiting for the book to be released before getting your copy.

The reason for this is that everyone who orders in advance will receive a free gift from me. Yes, that’s right. A new digital product being developed here at Airport Spotting Blog that will go on sale later in the year will be given free of charge to everyone who pre-orders World Airports Spotting Guides! The only way to get it after launch date will be to buy it.

But that’s not all…

Everyone who pre-orders will also be in with a chance of winning a 1/400 scale model from GeminiJets! The lucky winner will be drawn at random and awarded this brand new airliner model.

So there’s every reason to order your copy straight away!

Pre-orders for World Airports Spotting Guides will close one week from the day of this post, on 12th August.


What’s it all about?

In case this is new to you, World Airports Spotting Guides is a brand new book written and researched for aircraft spotters full of useful and practical information on where to spot at airports around the world. Specifically it includes:

  • Over 300 airports
  • Detailed spotting locations
  • Maps of many of the airports
  • Spotting hotel suggestions and details of views
  • Museums and other attractions located at airports

The world airports spotting book features airports both small and large, from mega hubs to regional gateways, from desert boneyards to cargo airports. I’ve deliberately picked the most interesting places to pursue your hobby.


If you’ve read any of my previous books you’ll know that the quality and research is great and you’ll be able to use this for both pre-trip planning and whilst on the go.

So don’t delay… pre-order World Airports Spotting Guides today. The next time I write about this, the book will be released and the bonus offers will be gone!