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Photograph by Don Gilham
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Vulcan B2 XL391 of No IX Squadron in 1 Group markings at RAF Waddington in September 1979. 391 was the first Mk2 built from new with Olympus 301 engines. It came between a batch of 201-engined free-fall aircraft XL384-390 (which were subsequently retrofitted to Blue Steel/Olympus 301) and 201-engined Mk2 Blue Steels XL392, XL425 etc. Because of the extensive changes to the engine bays, 391 was not delivered to Boscombe Down until May 1963, some ten months after 392 was delivered to the RAF. 391 was completed with the full Skybolt attachment pods. 391 entered service with the Cottesmore Wing in July 1968 and moved with the Wing to RAF Akrotiri in February 1969. In January 1975, IX Squadron (including 391) transferred from Akrotiri to Waddington. 391 transferred to 101 Squadron in June 1980 and to 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron in July 1982. Wearing 44(R) markings, 391 was flown to Blackpool in February 1983 where it has sadly been neglected. There are plans to save 391 from the scrapman's torch. See links >>

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