One of the stars of this summer's Royal International Air Tattoo in the Cotswolds has been unveiled by organisers.
Visitors to RAF Fairford on July 18-19 will have a rare opportunity to see a display by one of the most iconic warbirds of the Cold War era.
The world's only airworthy Vulcan bomber, which was restored to flying condition last year following a massive £7 million public campaign, will join hundreds of other aircraft at the world's largest military airshow.
The news will be greeted by thousands of people who had hoped to see the legendary aircraft at last summer's cancelled Air Tattoo.
Vulcan XH558, which was built in 1960, enjoyed a 33-year career in the RAF, including service during the Falklands War. Along with the Valiant and the Victor, the three aircraft comprised the Royal Air Force's legendary V-bomber force, designed to protect the UK from nuclear threat from the 1950s to the 1980s.
The ambitious restoration of XH558 was supported by a £2.5 million grant from the Lottery Fund, a £500,000 donation from philanthropist Jack Hayward, commercial sponsors plus contributions from more than 20,000 members of the public. The campaign also received significant fundraising support from the Air Tattoo throughout the restoration project.
Air Tattoo Director Mr Tim Prince said he was very excited to announce the participation of such a unique aircraft.
He said: "Like Concorde and the Spitfire, the Avro Vulcan is one of the few iconic aircraft that has the ability to have a profound impact on those who see it fly. Its sleek lines belie its thunderous power and it is simply breathtaking to watch.
"We are pleased to be able to give the thousands of people who had hoped to see the Vulcan fly at RAF Fairford last summer another opportunity to see this amazing aircraft."
The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
A delta-winged, state-of-the-art multirole fighter that is the pride of the French Air Force will makes its Air Tattoo flying display debut at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on July 18-19.
Piloting the highly agile fighter will be Capitaine Francois Forget and Capitaine Cedric Ruet, from St Dizier Air Base, where the French Air Force's first Rafale squadron is based.
Rob Windsor, Head of Aircraft Operations at the Air Tattoo, said the display by the French Air Force Rafale would undoubtedly be one of the highlights of this summer's airshow.
He said: "It's a great honour to be chosen to stage one of the Rafale's first military displays in the UK. I think people will be impressed by the Rafale's awesome power and agility."
The versatile Rafale, is France's answer to the RAF Typhoon but with an added nuclear strike capability.
Tickets for the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on Saturday have completely sold out for the first time in the event's history.
However, organisers have said some tickets still remain for Sunday's airshow. These can be purchased online via ticketmaster priced £34.95 each.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said the quality of the flying display combined with last year's cancellation meant that people were eager to attend the world's largest military airshow.
He said: "Anyone still without a ticket who would like to come and share the excitement of this unique event must act quickly and buy a ticket online for Sunday. There are no tickets for sale at the gates on either of the two days so please do not turn up on the day without a ticket."
Aircraft began arriving for the Air Tattoo this morning (Wednesday, July 15) with a B1-B bomber from the US Air Force. In total 85 aircraft touched down at the Cotswold Base, from countries including Jordan, New Zealand, Holland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy.
The arrivals continue throughout tomorrow, with the star of this summer's Air Tattoo, the Avro Vulcan, touching down on Friday.