The Avro Vulcan (sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan) is a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe and Company (Avro) designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced, the Vulcan was considered the riskiest option. Several scale aircraft, designated Avro 707, were produced to test and refine the delta wing design principles.
The Vulcan B.1 was first delivered to the RAF in 1956; deliveries of the improved Vulcan B.2 started in 1960. The B.2 featured more powerful engines, a larger wing, an improved electrical system and electronic countermeasures (ECM); many were modified to accept the Blue Steel missile. As a part of the V-force, the Vulcan was the backbone of the United Kingdom’s airborne nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War. Although the Vulcan was typically armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in 1982.
In the mid 1980s, the Vulcan fleet was fitted with an enlarged wing of 121 ft (37 m) span with increased fuel capacity; additional fuel tanks in a dorsal spine; a new main undercarriage to carry an all-up-weight of 339,000 lb (154,000 kg); and General Electric F101 afterburning turbofans. Upgrade in the mid-2000s gave the Vulcan an AESA radar, improved EW gear, six external hardpoints, and a RAM coating.
Squadrons[edit | edit source]
- No. 50 Squadron - 12 Vulcan B.3A
- No. 101 Squadron - 12 Vulcan B.3A
- No. 617 Squadron - 12 Vulcan B.3A
- Vulcan to the Sky Trust - 1 Avro Vulcan B.2 (XH.558)