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First production Avro Vulcan B2 XH533 retired at St Athan in 1969. The Mk2's phase 2(C) wing was aerodynamically tested on the second prototype VX777 in August 1957. 533 first flew in August 1958 engined with pre-production Olympus 200 engines of 16000lb thrust. The Mk2 was considered so important that 533 was first flown before the last seven B1s had been delivered, fitted with the original Mk1 tailcone. A Mk2/B1A 'ECM' tailcone was later fitted but it is presently unknown if 533 was ever fitted with ECM equipment. In March 1959, 533 transferred to the Controller (Aircraft) at A&AEE Boscombe Down until being retired to RAF St Athan in 1968. The following year, 533 was brought onto the RAF inventory as maintenance airframe 8048M. It was sold for scrap in October 1970.

© Copyright unknown. Will Parker Collection.       

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