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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…

Blog: VTST Volunteer Steve Ware

Former engineer and Vulcan tour guide Steve Ware has always been fascinated by the world of aviation, and more so with one aircraft in particular – the Vulcan XH558. Here he tells us why volunteering to share the story of…

A personal view of the Canberra PR7 – 1959-61

I had flown the Canberra B2 for three years before converting to the Photo Reconnaissance version in 1959. The difference from a three man B2 to a two man PR7 meant that the navigator was expected to do some of…

Blog: VTST Volunteer Malcolm Stainforth

They say it takes a village to raise a child, well it certainly takes an army of supporters and volunteers to look after a heritage aircraft. One of the volunteers who gives his time to ensure that Avro Vulcan XH558…

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…

Cold War History – Cuban Missile Crisis

From February 1962 onwards two jets in every major RAF base, armed with nuclear weapons, were on standby for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). QRA is a permanent state of readiness to “scramble” when an alert is received. Britain was applying…

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NEWS

The latest news from the Trust

Operation Safeguard – an appeal to secure the future of Avro Vulcan XH558 takes off

The charity behind one of the last icons of British military history is launching a £4m rescue mission to secure its future. The Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST), who were responsible for restoring XH558 to flight, has confirmed that…

School children set to support Vulcan XH558’s Operation Safeguard

A new innovative four-way partnership led by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) is set to inspire the next generation of engineers in a project that supports the Trust’s latest fundraising drive – Operation Safeguard. The project will see…

Names Under the Wing Update

We are very pleased to announce that the name plaques for the Diamond Anniversary of XH558’s First Test Flight have now been applied. This new set of plaques joins supporters’ names from previous campaigns; the 25th Anniversary of XH558’s Final…

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…

January Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for January 2021

February Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for February 2021

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AIRCRAFT

Read about the aircraft

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…

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…

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SQUADRONS

Read about the squadrons that operated the aircraft

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…

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…

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…

101 Squadron

Mens agitat molem – (Mind over matter) Badge: Issuant from the battlements of a tower, a demi lion rampant guardant – approved by King George VI in February 1938. The battlements symbolise the Squadron’s pioneering role in the development of…

27 Squadron

Quam celerrime ad astra – (With all speed to the Stars) Badge: An elephant – approved by HM King Edward VIII in October 1936. The badge was based on an unofficial emblem first used in 1934 and commemorates the Squadron’s…

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.…

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AIRFIELD

Read about where all aircraft were located

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…

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 Honington

RAF Honington is a Royal Air Force station located 6 mi (9.7 km) south of Thetford near Ixworth in Suffolk, England. Although used as a bomber station during the Second World War, RAF Honington is now the RAF Regiment depotConstruction…

RAF Marham

Opened in August 1916 close to the former Royal Naval Air Station Narborough, later RAF Narborough, the Marham base was originally a military night landing ground on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) site within the boundary of the present day RAF…

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 Coningsby

RAF Coningsby is a Royal Air Force station located at located 13.7 kilometres (8.5 mi) south west of Horncastle, and 15.8 kilometres (9.8 mi) north west of Boston, in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It is a Main…

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