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Photograph by Tony Coles
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Avro Vulcan B2 Blue Steels XL425, XL443 and XL392 of the Scampton Wing on the ORP at RAE Bedford in December 1966. Bedford was one of a number of airfields designated as medium bomber dispersal airfields and was furnished with a platform for four V-bombers. Unlike the main bases where the platform was at the end of the main runway, Bedford's ORP, in common with some other dispersals, was a short taxi away.

Tony Coles remembers: "A point of possible interest is that the nearest a/c, XL392 is carrying a Blue Steel Wet Round (BSWR) - hence the fire tender which was in permanent attendance ready to douse with water any leaks of HTP.  The vast majority of Blue Steel sorties at Scampton in those days was with the Training Round (BSTR) ie with no nasty missile fuel to worry about.  A BSWR trip was quite an event in the early days of Blue Steel and so, on reflection, I'm a bit surprised that they sent one to Bedford for a week.  My log book records departing Bedford for Scampton in XL 392 and completing a four hour BSWR trip. "

© Tony Coles.

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