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Avro Vulcan B2 XH539 carrying a development Avro Blue Steel stand-off bomb. Completed in September 1959, 539 was retained for trials and was formally delivered to the Ministry of Aviation for joint Blue Steel trials in May 1961. Later, 539 was allocated to the A&AEE at Boscombe Down but retired in December 1971. In 1972, 539 was flown to Waddington for crash-rescue training. Still painted white, it stood out like a sore thumb and was eventually toned-down with olive paint.

Carmel J Attard collection © BAE Systems (Thanks to Ian Lowe, Woodford)

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