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Vulcan B1A 101 Sqn 1 by WS-Clave Vulcan B1A 101 Sqn 1 by WS-Clave
The Avro Vulcan entered service with the RAF in 1956 as part of the 'V-force' of Cold-War nuclear deterrent bombers which included the Valiant and Victor.

The earliest load for the Vulcan was the 10-kiloton Blue Danube nuclear gravity bomb, which was quickly replaced by the Violet Club and Yellow Sun Mk 1 and 2 all of which were 400-kiloton weapons.

The Red Beard 25-Kiloton tactical bomb was also employed, but the largest and most specialised load was the Blue Steel stand-off missile which was fitted into modified Vulcans and had a range of 150 miles and a 1.1 megaton warhead.

As the deterrent force was handed to the Navy, the Vulcans were adapted to conventional bombing roles and the standard load was 21 x 1,000lb standard gravity bombs. The only combat missions flown were in 1982 very near the end of the Vulcan's life, during the Falklands/Malvinas war.

This example is a B.1A of 101 Squadron RAF circa 1962.
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kooncds Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
They way I see it, the Vulcan filled the same roll as the American B-52, albeit not as successfully.
WS-Clave Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
Yeah, and because we were slightly insane in the 50s and 60s we thought it was a good idea to have three different sorts of front line bombers made by three different companies. They were:

Avro Vulcan [link]
Handley-Page Victor [link]
Vickers Valiant [link]

They were all 4-engined high-speed subsonic bombers with nuclear carrying capability and none of them saw any significant combat so it's pretty much a non-starter to compare them with a B-52 which was used and improved so much over the years. [link]

The whole idea of nuclear bombers was completely killed off by ballistic missiles of course, and the switch to low-level role was traumatic, especially for the Valiant which had significant airframe cracking and went over to being a tanker, as did the Victor, but the Vulcan survived well and in my opinion was one of the best subsonic bombers ever made...
truemouse Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012
The three 'V' bombers. Would have been nice if they had re-instated the Vulcan when they brought the Victor back for the 1st Gulf War.

I guess after the cock-up with Port Stanley airport in the Falklands war they couldn't bring the Vulcan back with dignity.
truemouse Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
bear48 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional
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June 27, 2012
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