Plane spotters will get a rare opportunity to see the last example of an RAF Vulcan nuclear bomber when it passes over Salford this weekend.
The Avro Vulcan XH558, manufactured at Woodford Aerodrome near Stockport in the 1960s, has been touring UK airshows and displays after a long restoration project.
It will be retired this year.
Flying hundreds of miles around the country, the two pilots of the long-range bomber will steer the Vulcan to 17 airports and aerodromes around the UK in a tribute to the country’s V-Force nuclear deterrent.
Huge crowds are expected to gather at vantage points along the route to catch a final glimpse of the famous warplane.
Clad in distinctive camouflage markings, the XH558 is a delta-winged strategic nuclear bomber operated by the RAF during the Cold War.
After its first flight in 1960 it remained in military use until 1993.
The northern leg of its journey on Saturday 10 October will see the plane fly over Salford’s City Airport at Barton.
Weather conditions appear to be favourable, with only light cloud over Greater Manchester.
The route will take it south from Doncaster, passing over Tyldesley and Astley before approaching City Airport from the north-west, using the aerodrome as a turning point in its journey south towards Cheshire.
The exact times are subject to change, but its thought the Cold War nuclear bomber will be visible over Salford skies at around 2.50 to 3pm.
It will then continue south along the route of the M62 over Irlam and Cadishead, turning at Lymm before flying west towards RAF Woodford at Stockport.
The XH558 has been restored to airworthy condition by the Vulcan To The Sky Trust with £6.5 million of public donations.
The V-Force name comes from the three aircraft that carried Britain’s first nuclear deterrent – Vulcan, Victor and Valiant.
“The last flying example of the V-Force, which protected Britain’s shores throughout the Cold War, will dip her wings for a final time,” said Vulcan to the Sky chief executive Dr. Robert Pleming.
“This is a salute to the men and women who were prepared to give their lives for their country during a period of remarkable tension, inspiring courage and technical innovation.”