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Photograph by Craig Bulman
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Located on the turning loop of the ORP is Avro Vulcan B2s XJ783 of No 617 Squadron on a dispersal exercise to RAF Leeming in October 1979. 617 Squadron was the first and the last B2 Blue Steel squadron. Although the last Blue Steel sortie was flown in 1970, all the subsequent aircraft the squadron flew in the free-fall role were former Blue Steel aircraft - except for 783 which was the only XH or XJ aircraft to serve with the Squadron. 783 had originally been delivered to No 83 Squadron at Scampton in March 1961 but as 83 Squadron reequipped with B2 Blue Steels, 783 was transferred and served at Coningsby, Finningley, Waddington, Cottesmore and Akrotiri, returning with No 35 Squadron to Scampton in January 1975. 783 transferred to 617 Squadron in November 1978.

© Craig Bulman.

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