This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.



JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 465



The 2007 Preservationist of the Year


Dr Robert Pleming

 The Preservationist of the Year award winner 2007  - a person who has achieved something exceptional in a particular year, but, in this case, one might argue that the period covered is closer to ten years.

The 2007 Preservationist of the Year

Receiving the 2007 Preservationist of the Year Award from Prince Michael was Dr Robert Pleming, CEO of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust for "leading the Trust in its efforts to return the last potentially airworthy Vulcan to the air".

The 2007 Preservationist of the Year


Robert's commitment

Having gained his Doctorate at Oxford and pursued a very successful career in IT, a fateful conversation in the mid-1990s with the then owner of the Vulcan sparked Robert's resolve to return this iconic Cold War warrior to flight. XH558 was the first Vulcan B2 to be delivered to the RAF (earlier aircraft being used for intensive trials) when it was delivered to No 230 OCU at RAF Waddington in July 1960. It was also the last Vulcan to serve with the RAF, being used by the Vulcan Display Flight until March 1992.

The 2007 Preservationist of the Year


Moving towards flight status

In April 2000, with technical feasibility proved and the decision from British Aerospace to support the project behind him, Robert moved on voluntarily from his Cisco career to the full-time unpaid role of Project Director for what was then the Avro Vulcan XH558 Plan-to-Flight Project. Since that time Robert has worked to bring the engineering project to the position in which it stands today, and his experience and lifelong enthusiasm for aviation contribute to ensuring a successful return-to-flight for this historic aircraft.


The 2007 Preservationist of the Year


The usual money problems!

 It has always been an uphill battle; the first Heritage Lottery Fund application was refused before a successful grant was secured in June 2004. However, twelve months ago the unbelievable complexity of returning Roy Chadwick's world-beating aircraft design to flight status looked like it would sink the project through lack of funds.


The 2007 Preservationist of the Year


Help from Sir Jack Hayward

 With the engineering staff having received their advanced dismissal notices, amongst the innumerable benefactors who came forward at this last moment to keep the project afloat was one of the Transport Trust’s Vice Presidents, Sir Jack Hayward OBE. His significant cash injection served to bring the aircraft tantalisingly close to the roll out and first flight although sadly the target of leading the Falklands Conflict 25th anniversary flypast was missed.

The 2007 Preservationist of the Year


The most challenging and complex project ever undertaken anywhere

 Returning the Vulcan to the Sky has been the most challenging and complex project ever undertaken anywhere. Asked why he took on the task, Robert's answer was direct. “At the end of the day a Vulcan overhead is a truly magnificent sight - once you see it, you'll never forget it. And we should never forget those brave men and women who never returned from the South Atlantic, so I want to bring that sense of awe, inspiration and history to new audiences, particularly the younger generation.”


Transport Trust




The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


Read more

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR