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Avro Vulcan B2 XL392 of No 617 Squadron at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus in 1975. Originally a B2 Blue Steel, 392 was delivered to No 83 Squadron in August 1962 and pooled into the Scampton Wing in 1964. It was converted for the free-fall role in 1970, remaining at Scampton. 392 was allocated to No 617 Squadron in January 1973. The ground equipment is a STAD air-generator which was used for starting engines. A quicker method of starting was using the internal 'rapid' system but if a ground starter was available, it was generally used to save on 'rapids'. When making a 'rapid' start, usually only one engine was rapid started and the others started by cross-feeding air. All four engines would be rapid started on a scramble (assuming all the systems were serviceable) though with a small delay between each engine. The fabled 'mass rapid' button which started all four engines, the PFCs and the autostabs simultaneously was not used in my time - probably frightened too many chiefs.
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