Aston Martin Vulcan Pays Homage to Its Cold War Era V Bomber Namesake

With all its paranoia and the relentless arms race between the East and the West, the Cold War did give birth to some breathtaking pieces of technology like the Avro Vulcan British delta-winged bomber.
Aston Martin Vulcan and Vulcan XH558 1 photo
Photo: Aston Martin
It's not quite a Blackbird, but the Vulcan was Britain's view of a strategic bomber back in the `50s when this design had its maiden flight. It was never used in actual combat, and its primary role was that of deterring Soviet Russia from launching a nuclear attack, in fear of the second-strike retaliation the Vulcan could provide.

A lot of the Avro Vulcans were then turned into maritime reconnaissance aircrafts, but slowly they were being retired from action. The Vulcan XH558 in particular was first converted for recon missions, and then it became an air-to-air refueling tanker in 1982. In 1984, it was withdrawn, but continued to be used during display flights.

It was grounded for a few years, swapped owners, it then went through a restoration process that made it airworthy again - all in all, it had a pretty rough life, and now it's getting ready for its final flight. Since third party companies responsible for maintaining the plane withdrew their support, 2015 is to be Vulcan XH558's last flying season.

So everybody wanted to give it a proper send-off. To do that, a modern vehicle employing the same name (and not by coincidence) was called upon: the Aston Martin Vulcan.

The track-only performance supercar from Aston Martin is an 800 hp plus monster with a full carbon fiber body and a "very hard to acquire" status. Only 24 lucky owners are able to take advantage of the car's multiple performance adjustments that allow them to individually customize their track experience.

Piloting the plane was Martin Withers DFC, Chief Pilot and Operations Director, the same man who flew it for the past few years. The Vulcan XH558 performed a fly-past over the parked Aston Martin, making for a very dynamic picture with two of the most impressive British technical achievements.

Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “Clearly the Avro Vulcan provided the inspiration for the naming of our most extreme sports car, and I’m delighted that we have been able to unite the ‘two Vulcans’ and deliver our own tribute to this world-renowned aeronautical phenomenon.

It must have been a very emotional moment for all those involved in the Vulcan XH558 project, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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