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Photograph by Chris Finney
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Avro Vulcan B2 XH555 of No 230 OCU RAF Finningley at Edinburgh, South Australia in September 1966. Confusingly, the aircraft has a crew entrance door indicating an aircraft from the Scampton Blue Steel Wing (note the Scampton badge and the Blue Steel squadrons' badges right) but with its early narrow intakes and underwing Skybolt blisters, this aircraft is clearly not a B2 Blue Steel. The door could have been robbed from B2 Blue Steel XL444 that resided with the OCU from June 1966 to June 1967. Note the single 'air commodore' star below the roundal. Perhaps the AOC at 1 Group had secured himself a 'jolly'! 555's movements are unfortunately poorly recorded. Its first flight was circa January 1960 and it was retained for intensive flight trials until delivered to No 27 Squadron at Scampton in July 1961. It took part on Operation Skyshield II, testing the North American air defences later that year. As No 27 Squadron reequipped with Blue Steel (from November 1962), its earlier aircraft were transferred — 555 going to No 230 OCU at RAF Finningley. 555 suffered a heavy landing at Finningley, reportedly in 1968, though there is very good evidence that it served with the OCU until the following year. In any event, 555 was declared Cat 5 and used for fatigue and structural testing.

Identification courtesy Craig Bulman, author of The Vulcan B.Mk2 from a Different Angle >>

© Chris Finney. This photograph first appeared on Airliners.Net >>

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