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A personal view of the Canberra PR7 – 1959-61 – Geoff Higley, VTST Volunteer

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…

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 Stories: Operation Gold / Stopwatch

On 19 October 1945, just over two months after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, English writer George Orwell’s essay, “You and the Atomic Bomb” , was published in a British newspaper. This is thought to be the origin of the term ‘cold war’.  The Cold…

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…

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…

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

October Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for October 2020

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…

February Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for February 2021

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…

August Lottery Draw

558 Lottery winners announced for August 2021

Environment expert sought for charity board

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) charity is seeking to appoint an environmental expert, as a new Trustee, to its board. The charity was responsible for returning the iconic aircraft, Vulcan XH558, to flight, as well as operating her…

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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…

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…

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SQUADRONS

Read about the squadrons that operated the aircraft

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 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 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 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 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 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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