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Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Development – Part Three

Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and is among those who are credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb”. He was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, which was to be the Manhattan Project’s secret…

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…

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Development – Part One

The discovery of the neutron and its properties is central to the extraordinary developments that lead to the first atomic bomb in 1945, and the subsequent years of nuclear deterrent. Britain could be considered the birthplace of atomic vision and…

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Development – Part Eight

1949 – While Britain raced towards their first nuclear weapon, Russia was also advanced in their building of a nuclear device. The Soviet design was an implosion-type bomb, based on the ‘Fat Man’ device which was detonated by the US…

Black Buck Memories

Barry Masefield, former XH558 Air Electronics Officer, relives his experiences back in 1982.  This article first appeared in a special 20th Anniversary edition of ‘The Vulcan’ Magazine in May 2002.  The Build-up It was 04.30 hours on 2nd April 1982, when 150…

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Development – Part Seven

January 1947 – Clement Attlee’s government had made the decision that Britain required an independent nuclear deterrent to maintain its position in world politics. Arriving late to a GEN 75 Committee meeting in October 1946, and after hearing some objections…

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NEWS

The latest news from the Trust

October Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for October 2020

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…

Education and environment experts sought for Yorkshire based charity board

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) charity is seeking to appoint two new Trustees, one education expert and one environmental expert, to its board. The charity was responsible for returning the iconic aircraft, Vulcan XH558, to flight, as well…

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…

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…

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 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…

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 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…

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…

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SQUADRONS

Read about the squadrons that operated the aircraft

9 Squadron

Per noctem volamus – (Throughout the night we fly) Badge: A bat – approved by King Edward VIII in November 1936 as an authorised version of a badge highlighting the Squadron’s night-bombing duties. Formed at St Omer, France on 8…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

50 Squadron

Sic fidem servamus – (Thus we keep faith) Badge: A sword in bend severing a mantle palewise. This unit formed at Dover and adopted a mantle being severed by a sword to show itsconnection with that town, the arms of…

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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 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 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 Wyton

In times of heightened international tension, the V-force, already loaded with their nuclear weapons, could be flown from their main base to a further 26 dispersal bases, where they could be kept at a few minutes readiness to take-off. The…

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…

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…

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