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AVRO VULCAN

Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 ©Nigel Key

ROLE
Strategic Bomber.

FIRST FLIGHT
30th of August 1952.

The Avro Vulcan is a tailless delta wing strategic bomber manufactured by A.V. Roe and Company.

The airframe is designed in a number of sub-assemblies, the centre section containing the bomb-bay and engine bays, the intakes and centre fuselage, the front fuselage incorporating the pressure cabin, the nose, the outer wings, the leading edges, the wing trailing edge and tail end of the fuselage.

The delta wings carried bladders for fuel storage and there was a single swept tail fin with a single rudder on the trailing edge.

To gain experience of delta wing behaviour, Avro produced two one-third scale aircraft, designated Avro 707, to study handling at low speed and a variant, designated Avro 707A, for high speed study.

The first Avro 707 first flew during September of 1949 but was unfortunately involved in a fatal accident shortly after. The second Avro 707 was built with an ejector seat and re-designated Avro 707B and flew in September of 1950.

The high speed Avro 707A flew in July 1951, however due to the delay in the 707 program information gained from these aircraft was largely insignificant to the design of the Vulcan but it was significant in proving the delta wing concept as tangible.

Further research into the design was carried out in the Wind tunnel at Farnborough which highlighted a required design change to the wing to reduce drag.

Prototype VX777, which flew during September of 1953, was modified to carry a longer nose undercarriage, had a bomb-aimers blister under the cabin and was fitted with four Bristol Olympus 100 engines producing 9,750 lbf of thrust each.

During test flights the aircraft suffered from buffeting when close to the speed of sound which was resolved by altering the delta wing to a Phase 2 wing which had a kinked and drooped leading edge and vortex generators on the upper surface.

The aircraft was also fitted with an auto-Mach trimmer which induced a nose up attitude during high Mach removing the tendency for the aircraft to go into a dive. After trials the Vulcan received its initial Certificate of Airworthiness in April 1956.

PRODUCTION
The Avro Vulcan was produced from 1956 to 1965, with 136 built.

ENGINES
4 x Rolls Royce Olympus 301s, producing 80,000 lb st.


Press play to hear the Vulcan

ARMAMENT
21,000 lb (9,525 kg) Bomb/Missile load

The RAF received its first Vulcan B.1, XA897, in September of 1956. To demonstrate the range and capabilities of the aircraft it immediately went on a round-the-world tour.

After development and trials of various B.2s the 12th production Vulcan B.2, XH558, was the first to be put in service with the RAF and was delivered in July of 1960.

After further development of the Vulcan it was able to carry the Blue Steel missile with the 26th B.2 XL317 being the first delivered to the RAF with this capability.

The later Vulcan B.2 aircraft were fitted with Olympus 301 engines producing a thrust of 20,000lbf each with seven other aircraft being converted around 1963.

The last Vulcan B.2 was delivered to the RAF in 1965 and remained in service until 1984. The B.1As were not further upgraded to B.2 specification and were withdrawn from service in 1968.

After retirement by the RAF, one example, B.2 XH558, named The Spirit of Great Britain, was restored for use in display flights and Airshows.

Crew - 5
Length - 105ft 6in (32.15m)
Wingspan - 111ft 0in (33.83m)
Height - 27ft 2in (8.26m)
Empty Weight - 81,888lb (37,144kg)
Max. Weight - 250,000lb (113,400kg)
Max. Speed - 640 mph (1,030 km/h)
Range - 4,600 miles (7,400 km)


PHOTOGRAPHS

Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015 RIAT 2015
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2013 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2013 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2015 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2013 RIAT 2013 RIAT 2015
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2011 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2011 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2013 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2011 RIAT 2011 RIAT 2013
Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2011 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2011 - pic by Nigel Key Avro Vulcan, RIAT 2011 - pic by Nigel Key
RIAT 2011 RIAT 2011 RIAT 2011


Photos copyright of ©Nigel Key




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