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Concorde’s First Supersonic Test Flight

Although the maiden flight was on 2 March 1969, on 1 October 50 years ago, Concorde prototype 001 made the type’s first supersonic proving flight. On its forty-fifth test flight the aircraft broke the sound barrier attaining a speed of…

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…

1970 – 1982 – Tactical Roles

Following the transfer of the strategic deterrent role to the Royal Navy’s Polaris fleet, on 30th June 1969, the RAF maintained three nuclear-capable Vulcan wings with different weaponry, and accordingly different standard of aircraft. The Scampton Vulcans were designated B…

Adrian Sumner

Someone with a true understanding and passion for the Vulcan is retired Wing Commander Adrian Sumner, who has flown around the world in this aircraft. Now a volunteer at the Vulcan to the Sky Trust, he explains his remarkable journey…

Return of the Vulcan

A retrospective by Robert Pleming In an article, which was originally published in the Royal Academy of Engineering’s magazine Ingenia in March 2012, Dr Robert Pleming writes about the Vulcan’s historical importance and the significant role the aircraft played during…

Ramblings from the AEO’s Panel – Part 3

Barry Masefield was the Air Electronics Officer (AEO) for Vulcan XH558 and had flown in this iconic aircraft for over 30 years, also being a key member of the Vulcan Display Flight (VDF), the RAF Unit which memorably flew the aircraft on the…

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NEWS

The latest news from the Trust

A Statement from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust

John Sharman, chair of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust said: “It is with great sadness that the Trustees of The Vulcan to the Sky Trust announce the sudden death of Dr Robert Pleming on February 2. “Robert was a…

Pre-commencement works start for The Vulcan Experience

Pre-commencement works start for The Vulcan Experience, but support is still needed to get the project off the ground. Contractors have started pre-commencement works for the new hangar at Doncaster Sheffield Airport that will become The Vulcan Experience. The team…

Green Technology to be at the heart of new aviation visitor experience

A Green Technology Hub will be at the heart of the new Vulcan Experience, giving young people an insight into how scientists and engineers are tackling the climate change challenge. The charity responsible for returning Vulcan XH558 to flight is…

A Long Overdue Reunion – by Ed Whitaker

On Sunday 24th July there were two long-overdue reunions. Firstly with XH558, not seen in the flesh since the early 1970’s, and with Adrian Sumner, not seen in the flesh since the late 1980’s! Invited by Carolyn Cordran (from our…

Vulcan XH558 Inspiring Young People: Engineering Day, Saturday 23 July

Not our usual engineering day as it was the day before we ground run on the Sunday. As we knew we were planning to taxy the aircraft we had a couple of gremlins to sort out. One being putting the…

Record breaking Canberra WK163 to be reunited with cockpit

The charity aiming to restore the record-breaking English Electric Canberra WK163 to flight has announced that it will be reunited with its original cockpit following a successful auction bid in America. The Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST), who successfully restored…

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AIRCRAFT

Read about the aircraft

Vulcan XL427

Completed on 29 September 1962 and fitted with Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modified. Served with: 83 Squadron October 1962 (Scampton Wing), 617 Squadron September 1969, 27 Squadron March 1971, 230 OCU June 1972, 617 Squadron July 1972, 230 OCU…

Vulcan VX770

In 1946 the Air Ministry drew up requirements for bombers to replace the existing piston-engine heavy bombers such as the Avro Lancaster and the Avro Lincoln. The Air Staff Operational Requirement OR.229 was for ‘a medium-range bomber landplane capable of…

Canberra WK163

Built by AV Roe at Woodford in 1954 as part of a contract for 100 B2 Canberra aircraft, WK163 was taken on charge with controller (aircraft) on 28th January 1955. The same day the aircraft was transferred to Armstrong Siddeley…

Vulcan XH558

Avro Vulcan serial number XH558 was ordered under a MoD contract placed in September 1954. XH558 was completed at Avro’s Woodford factory in 1960 and was first flown on 25 May that year. The aircraft was finally completed on 30…

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SQUADRONS

Read about the squadrons that operated the aircraft

83 Squadron

Strike to defend Badge: An attire. The red deer’s antler is in reference to the squadron’s association with Scotland. The attire has six points commemorating an outstanding occasion in the First World War when six DFCs were awarded for one…

12 (B) Squadron

Leads the Field Badge: A fox’s mask – approved by King George VI in February 1937. Based on a suggestion when the squadron was equipped with the Fairey Fox, an aircraft of which they were proud and the sole operators.…

617 Squadron

Aprés moi, le déluge – (After me, the flood) Badge: On a roundel, a wall in fesse, fracted by three flashes of lightning in pile and issuant from the breach water proper – approved by King George VI in March…

44 (Rhodesia) Squadron

Fulmina regis iusta – (The King’s thunderbolts are righteous) Badge: On a mount an elephant. Based upon the seal of Lo Bengula, the chief of the Matabeles on conquest. The seal shows an elephant which, in the case of this…

35 (XXXV) Squadron

Uno animo agimus – (We act with one accord) Badge: A horse’s head winged. The badge commemorates co-operation with the Calvary during the First World War. Formed on 1 February 1916 at Thetford, Norfolk, from a nucleus flight of No.9…

230 OCU

No. 230 Operational Conversion Unit was first created on 15 Mar 1947 at RAF Lindholme, by re-designation of No. 1653 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF, to convert crews onto the Avro Lancaster, Avro Lincoln and de Havilland Mosquito bombers. This unit…

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AIRFIELD

Read about where all aircraft were located

RAF Gaydon

RAF Gaydon is a former Royal Air Force station located 5.2 miles (8.4 km) east of Wellesbourne, Warwickshire and 10.8 miles (17.4 km) north west of Banbury, Oxfordshire. RAF Gaydon opened in 1942 and is known for its role during…

RAF Cottesmore

We Rise to Our Obstacles RAF Cottesmore opened on 11 March 1938. The station was used mainly for training, and the first squadrons were equipped with Vickers Wellesley aircraft, but soon converted to Fairey Battles. Later RAF Bomber Command took…

RAF Wittering

RAF Wittering is located in Cambridgeshire and the district of East Northamptonshire. Although Stamford in Lincolnshire is the nearest town, the runways of RAF Wittering cross the boundary between Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.Wittering’s use as a military airfield dates back to 5 May 1916 when it began as Royal Flying Corps (RFC)…

RAF Waddington

RAF Waddington is located beside the village of Waddington, just south of Lincoln. The station opened in 1916 as a Royal Flying Corps flying training station. Hundreds of pilots, including members of the US Army, were taught to fly a…

RAF Scampton

RAF Scampton stands on the site of a First World War Royal Flying Corps landing field, which had been called Brattleby. The station was closed and returned to agriculture following the First World War, and reactivated in the 1930s. It…

RAF Finningley

During the refurbishment of the Royal Flying Corps station at Doncaster in 1915, a decision was taken to move operations temporarily to an airstrip at Bancroft Farm at Finningley. This flight of aircraft is thought to have consisted of Royal…

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