The CAA today announced an easing of operating restrictions on the UK’s sole airworthy Vulcan
aircraft. The move allows the former RAF bomber to be now operated under daytime IFR rules, and in IMC, it was previously limited to VFR daytime operations.
The VFR limitation had represented a significant restriction to this historic aircraft built in 1960, and designed, as it was, from the outset to operate at high level in all-weather conditions and with a fatigue-limited airframe not suited to turbulence levels associated with low-level operation.
The aircraft may now, however, operate at altitudes and under flight rules which permit a greater degree of safety, fuel efficiency and longevity.
The Vulcan will become the first UK aircraft with a Permit to Fly to be allowed to operate under daytime IFR and in IMC, overturning the previous blanket VFR restriction on all ‘Permit’ aircraft.
The CAA also confirmed that it is engaging with the Light Aircraft Association to enable amateur-built and ex-type certified Permit aircraft - having agreed airworthiness characteristics and suitably equipped - to also be relieved of their day/VFR limitation on a by-aircraft basis.
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The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.