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Photograph by Andy Leitch
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Avro Vulcan B1 XA901 was broken up at RAF Cranwell in 1972. The 13th production Vulcan, XA901 served with 230 OCU and was recorded giving displays at Bentwaters and Bovingdon in 1960. Fitted with Olympus 101 engines, it was not converted to B1A standard. Surplus to requirements, XA901 was delivered to Cranwell in 1965 as an instructional airframe. It was kept reasonably serviceable even though it was stored outside. As such, the engine fire bottles were permanently connected to the vital bus bar — a fact discovered during a nocturnal visit by a flight cadet who, not satisfied by discharging one bottle, discharged the lot. Whether or not this incident accelerated 901's fate is unknown but it's a good (and true) story. The flight cadets above, if anyone can recognise them, were not involved.
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