The Avro Vulcan is a delta wing subsonic bomber that was operated by the Royal Air Force from 1953 until 1984. The Vulcan was part of the RAF's V bomber force, which fulfilled the role of nuclear deterrence against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was also used in a conventional bombing role during the Falklands conflict with Argentina.
The first prototype Vulcan medium bomber flew on August 30, 1952. The Vulcan B.1 long-range medium bomber entered production in 1953, with the first production model flying on February 4, 1955. Planned re-equipment of Nos. 44, 50 and 101 Squadrons of RAF Bomber Command and No. 230 Operational Conversion Unit squadrons with this type was completed by the beginning of 1960. The B.Mk. 1A had electronics in a bulged tail-cone but was otherwise similar to the B.Mk. 1. Both versions carried five crew members, and progressively more powerful turbojets were installed during the production life of the B.Mks. 1 and 1A versions of the Vulcan.
The Vulcan B.2 was an extensively developed version of the basic design, featuring a wing of reduced thickness/chord ratio with more pronounced compound sweepback on the leading edges and slightly swept trailing edges. A prototype flew for the first time on 31 August 1957, and the first production aircraft flew a year later. Deliveries to No. 83 Squadron commencing in July 1960, and No. 617 Squadron was the second unit to receive this type as well as being the first to receive the Avro Blue Steel Mk. 1 stand-off missile which was the standard weapon of the Vulcan B.2. The Vulcan B.2 was initially powered by 17,000 lbst. Olympus 201 turbojets but was progressively engined with the Olympus 301.
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