Executive Alliance lifts off in bid to rehome Vulcan bomber and inspire a new generation of engineers with support of CBE+

March 3, 2021

The charity behind the iconic Avro Vulcan XH558 has launched a new fundraising initiative for the business community, in a bid to secure sponsorship for a new hangar and educational facility in Doncaster.

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has created the ‘Vulcan 558 Executive Alliance’ – a membership group open to businesses from across the UK. The group’s support will help fund the build of the new Vulcan Experience at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, where XH558 will be housed.

CBE+, specialist process and precision manufacturer, have played a vital role in pushing the Executive Alliance project’s timeline forward, donating both time and money to get it off the ground. CBE+ have been involved in the creation of this business sponsorship opportunity and key members of the business sit on the project’s organising committee, helping to promote the cause.

The Vulcan Experience will focus on educating and inspiring the next generation of engineers and will also house a Green Technology Hub which will seek to find solutions to climate change through innovation and aerospace technology.

To support this, CBE+ are hosting a STEM project at their factory, in partnership with Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) and The Work-wise Foundation. The Chesterfield-based manufacturing firm are currently housing an original fuel tank (as used in the conversion of Vulcan to a tanker) and two spare original Delta Wing Tips which form the stock of parts used to maintain the iconic British- engineered Vulcan XH558, owned by the Trust and delivered for preparation, restoration, and subsequent display in The Vulcan Experience.

The project was the brainchild of Dr Robert Pleming, CEO of VTST, who sadly passed away in early February this year, having dedicated more than two decades of his life to preserving the memory of XH558.

John Sharman, chair of VTST, said: “We were proud to recently launch the new Executive Alliance group and invite businesses to join us in our mission to create a truly immersive and educational experience for the next generation of engineers, here in South Yorkshire. A place that will without doubt inspire young people to consider careers in STEM in the future and preserve the legacy of XH558 for years to come.

“Robert, who passed away unexpectedly last month, was so passionate about this project and it is heartbreaking that he will not get to see his vision come to life.

“We’re hoping the business community will get behind the project and help us fulfill Robert’s ideas, engaging with young people across the region and capturing the imaginations of tomorrow’s engineers through the power and legacy of XH558.”

The Vulcan Experience will also be home to a V-Force Memorial, honouring the men and women of the Royal Air Force’s V-Force squadrons, who served the nation during the Cold War.

Businesses that join the Executive Alliance will, in return for sponsorship, receive a package of benefits including having their name displayed on a dedicated members’ wall in the new hangar.

John, added: “This is a great chance for businesses to play a part in history, as we set out to create a new home for XH558, preserving her legacy and allowing new generations to be inspired by her presence and story.”

Marie Cooper, CEO of CBE+, is a dedicated supporter of Vulcan to the Sky’s cause and worked closely with Robert. She said: “The business will continue to work with the charity and support the delivery of Robert’s vision for the future of XH558 as an inspiration for green technology as well as an aeronautical milestone. His mission was to engage young people in the possibilities that a career in engineering can create to tackle the challenges facing the world today. He was a truly inspirational character and his legacy will live on through the materialisation of his vision. It’s our job to make that happen.”