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June 27, 2012
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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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:iconkooncds:
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.
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:iconws-clave:
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...
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:icontruemouse:
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.
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:icontruemouse:
truemouse Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Beautiful.
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional
sweet
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