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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…

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Development – Part Two

On 2 August 1939, the US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, received a letter written by Leó Szilárd, a Hungarian-German-American physicist and inventor who conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933 and patented the idea of a non-fission nuclear reactor in…

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…

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…

Operation Sky Shield

Operation Sky Shield was a series of three large-scale military exercises conducted in the United States. The Cold War games were carried out by the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to test defences…

Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent Development – Part Four

On 8 May 1945, Winston Churchill announced German armed forces had surrendered unconditionally. But, the World War had not completely ended. In his speech announcing VE Day Churchill spoke of Japan, saying “We may allow ourselves a brief period of…

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NEWS

The latest news from the Trust

November Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for November 2021

September Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for September 2020

Plans for a national V-Force Memorial to be built at The Vulcan Experience

The charity responsible for safeguarding the iconic Vulcan V-bomber, XH558, is planning to build a national memorial to honour the men and women of the Royal Air Force’s V-force squadrons who served the nation during the Cold War. The memorial…

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…

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…

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…

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AIRCRAFT

Read about the aircraft

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 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 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

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 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 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 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 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 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…

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