First Flight of the First Production Vulcan B.1, XA889

On 4 February 1955, the first production Vulcan B.1, XA889, made its maiden flight, flying with the original Vulcan wing design.

In September 1955, Avro test pilot, Wing Commander ‘Roly’ Falk flew the second production Vulcan B.1, XA890, at the Farnborough Airshow. Falk amazed the crowds by performing a barrel roll, displaying the Vulcan’s fighter like handling.

During trials with the prototypes VX777 and VX770, handling problems were experienced as the aircraft approached the speed of sound at high altitude in tests at the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down . Rearwards moveme

aircraft to enter an uncontrollable dive. This was clearly unacceptable in any aircraft.

Type 698 & Vulcan B.1

Comparison of Vulcan Planforms

The solution to the issue included a ‘Phase 2 wing’ that featured a kinked and drooped leading edge and vortex generators on the upper surface. These had originally been tested on the Avro 707A, the reduced-scale test aircraft. The “Auto Mach Trimmer” was added to help mitigaate the problem.

Vulcan XA889 was too advanced in its production to be fitted with the phase 2 wing, but in 1956 the aircraft returned to Avro for Mod.84 – kinked and drooped leading edge to wings.

In March 1956, XA889 underwent acceptance trials for the aircraft type’s Certificate of Airworthiness at A&AEE and the Vulcan was cleared for entry into RAF service on 29 May 1956.

Dear Reader

Thank you for taking an interest in this article.
Did you know that Vulcan to the Sky is a charity? We rely on merchandise sales and donations from you, the supporter, to enable us to look after XH558 and tell her story.
Please help us to keep delivering articles of interest to you by donating below, or alternatively visit our Shop or see what projects we currently have on.

Related Articles

Blog: VTST Volunteer Tony Sykes

An unexpected gift from his wife for his birthday changed ex RAF and Red Arrows engineer, Tony Sykes and his son, Connors lives overnight. The duo were hooked from the moment they went to see Vulcan XH558 at Doncaster Sheffield…

Exercise Golden Eagle

50 years ago, on 27 July 1971, during his Royal Air Force training to become a jet pilot, HRH Prince Charles was introduced to the Vulcan. The pilot training for The Prince of Wales was codenamed ‘Golden Eagle’.  Flt Lt Graham Heath, who was Nav Radar on the flight with the prince, shared the experience with…

Cold War Stories: Red Steer – The Firebar Affair

An espionage story from 1966 – by Jim Debenham, VTST Volunteer If this were a fictional story it would have been written by none other than Ian Fleming, with James Bond as the lead character. During the heady days of…

Falklands War 1982 – Operation Black Buck

Operation Black Buck was a series of seven ambitious long-distance bombing missions conducted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Falklands War in 1982. It was the RAF’s most daring attack since Operation Chastise – the Dambusters raid in…

Flying the Vulcan During the Cold War

Reproduced from The Vulcan(Club Magazine) 23 Apr 08 Martin Withers Recently, during one of her campaign speeches, I heard Hilary Clinton state quite simply about her defence policy, that if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel or…

Q&A VTST Volunteer Geoff Higley

Vulcan to the Sky volunteer Geoff Higley, who lives in Grantham, was in the airforce for 20 years as a navigator.   Here in our Q and A he chats about his experience with the XH558 and how he shares his knowledge with…

JOIN US

Stay up to date with all of the latest news and updates

Vulcan to the Sky swoosh