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Britains forgotten jet bombers

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posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 05:59 PM
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While attention usually focusses on the Vulcan, quite a few members of this site may be unaware that it was only one element in a bomber force known as the V-force.

This was the force created to carry Britains post war nuclear deterrent, which task it carried out until the redeployment of the nuclear deterrent in the form of the Royal Navy's Polaris missile force.

Development of the V force was launched in 1946 and four companies were tasked with producing prototypes. Avro and Handley Page, famous for their wartime Lancaster and Halifax bombers, were to produce prototypes incorporating every technological advance possible in order to produce the ultimate subsonic bombers, from these two one was to be selected for service.

Another pair of companies were tasked with producing less advanced prototypes as an insurance against the failure of the more advanced types. The companies who won these contracts were Short, who had built the RAF's first four engined monoplane bomber, the Stirling, in WW2 and Vickers who's Wellington was the only really successful bomber in RAF service by 1939 when the war started.

Shorts produced the SA.4 Sperrin which was virtually a conventional design. Its one unusual feature was its superimposed pair of engines on each wing, in the event this ended up being the only one of the four designs not to recieve a service order.


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Vickers decided to make their bomber as close to the RAF's specification as they could without making it too complicated. This move paid off as their aircraft demonstrated performance close to the RAF's specified target and yet was flying as early as 1951, demonstrating the opportunity for the RAF to retire its piston engined Avro Lincoln and Boeing Washington's earlier than expected.

The Valiant thus became the first true V bomber when it entered service in 1955, the Valiant also became the first British bomber to drop an atomic bomb in trials. It later became the first V bomber to drop bombs in anger during the 1956 Suez crisis, all of which shows that this aircraft doesn't really deserve to be forgotten.








Following the Vulcan, covered in a thread of its own, the final V bomber was the Handley Page Victor, this was the biggest and most powerful of the trio and the last new strategic bomber ever to enter RAF service.



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Having already bought the Valiant the RAF's intention of choosing one winner form the Vulcan and Victor whilst keeping the other two designs in reserve had gone out of the window and the decision was taken that the Valiant would be retained in service and then joined by both the new bomber thereby removing the risk of technical faults causing the grounding of the entire V-force.

Following the switch to low level bombing techniques in the early '60's
cracks were found in the wing spars of the Valiant fleet, despite the fact that fitting new spars was a perfectly practial solution ( and was done on other types in service) the financial folly of Britain operating three different types of strategic bomber had long since dawned so, as the oldest and least capable of the trio, the opportunity was taken to retire the elegant Valiant in 1964.

The Vulcan and Victor carried on until the Victors greater range and payload marked it out as the most suitable of the pair for conversion to a tanker, which work was carried out from 1969 by Hawker Siddeley. Finally the Vulcan was retired from frontline service during 1983-84, a short stay of exection being granted by the bad timing of the Argentine Invasion of the Falkands, six months later they wouldn't have had to worry about Vulcan raids.

[edit on 20-10-2005 by waynos]

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[edit on 21/10/2005 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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very intersting that 2 out of the 3 pictures of the Victor are of the tanker version that was only retired recently



The Victor also carried a greater payload over longer range than the Vulcan - BUT during 1982 , all of the available victor airframes were allready converted to tankers , so the RAF had to choose the second choice for the BlackBuck missions - the Vulcan.


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all 3 V bombers at goosebay - in the anti flash `white`

[edit on 20-10-2005 by Harlequin]


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[edit on 21/10/2005 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:21 PM
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The Vulcan wasn't 2nd choice for the Black Buck raids, it had already been the only long range bomber in RAF service for over a decade by then so choice never came into it.

BTW, I can only use the pictures I've got, and besides, every Victor was built as a bomber


[edit on 20-10-2005 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:26 PM
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and


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2 more of the `forgotton` V bombers.

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[edit on 21/10/2005 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Keep the pics coming


If anyone has pics of the Vulcan and Valiant dropping a load of bombs to go with the Victor one above that would be great.



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:46 PM
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only 1 bomb matey





will you dance a blue danube with me






21 1,000 lb `ers

and

www.raf.mod.uk...


got to be a link as its BIG


blue steel.

[edit on 20-10-2005 by Harlequin]



posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:51 PM
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and heres a valiant as a TANKER!!




posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 12:40 AM
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Using the Victor as a tanker had its issues. David Chaundler describes how in his trip from Ascension to the Falklands the top speed of the Herc was slower than the slowest speed of the Victor, so re-fueling had to be done in a shallow dive to allow the C130 to catch up. He then distinguished himself by parachuting into the South Atlantic to take command of 2 Para.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 03:34 AM
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Great stuff, thanks.

Never heard that about the C-130 before, makes me wonder what the landing speed of the Victor was, must've been pretty scary bringing that in


edit; of course a fully loaded Victor would have a higher minimum speed than an empty one, doh


[edit on 21-10-2005 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 06:42 AM
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Yes, talk about forgotten bombers... The model itself is very nice, it looks heavy and strong, I don't have so much knowledge about the plane, therefore I chose only to post some pics...


Victors



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Canberras

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Check out this link too...


Bombers

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[edit on 21/10/2005 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 07:42 AM
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canberra`s arn`t really `forgotten` as the RAF still use them today (as ELiNT birds)



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 05:10 AM
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as always Waynos i look forward to reading your informative posts.

the handley page 'Victor' has to be one of the most evil and awesome looking planes ever built....i thing it puts the b2 to shame as far as 'agressive' looks go?

It's been repeated several times now but Discovery channels 'Wings' has a documentary on there called 'Victors,Vulcans and Cuba' (or something to that effect?) its essential viewing for any one interested in the above thread.

I got to see the Vulcan fly many times from RAF woodford and as ive said before....goose bumps every time.....my great uncle actually worked on it (and shackletons)..he was there on the test flight when the pilot barrel rolled it over the hangars and shattered all the windows.........i would have paid my life savings to have seen that!!!

Regards.



posted on Oct, 23 2005 @ 06:52 AM
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My own personal favourite memory of the Vulcan was walking home from school, it would have been about 1980, and four Vulcans in finger four formation thundered over the rooftops of Maltby High Street, right in front of me at very very low level. Absolutely amazing sight, I thought they were going to bomb Doncaster



posted on Oct, 28 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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I had never realised just how nice looking the SA.4 Sperrin actually was, does anyone know if a complete on still exists?

I remember my uncle being a navigator on the victor and how fond of that old bird he was. Its a shame that no one really appreciated these great bombers in their heyday, when they were the deterrant which stopped the unspeakable from happening. I wonder if there is a niche for such a bomber that the RAF is overlooking, after all you cant exactly strap that many bombs to a Tornado or even an F35.


Jensy



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