Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1952 (first flight), 1956 (service debut)
Type: Strategic bomber
Weight: 88,573 lbs empty (37,144 kg)
Height: 26 ft 6 in (8 m)
Wingspan: 99 ft 5 in (30.3 m)
Length: 97 ft 1 in (29.59 m)
Max Speed: 645 mph (1038 km/h)
Ceiling: 55,000 ft (17,000 m)
Engine: Bristol (Rolls-Royce) Olympus (x4)
Range: 2,607 mi (4,171 km)
Armament: 1,000 lb conventional bomb (x21), Blue Danube nuke, Violet Club 400 kt nuke, US Mark 5 nuke, Yellow Sun Mk. 1 400 kt nuke, Yellow Sun Mk. 2 1.1 Mt thermonuclear bomb, Red Beard nuke (shown)
Along with the Handley Page Victor and Vickers Valiant, the Avro Vulcan formed the core of the Royal Air Force’s strategic nuclear strike force during the Cold War as the “V-force.” First entering service with the RAF in September 1956, the Vulcan was intended to carry Britain’s nuclear weaponry and act both as a deterrent to full-blown warfare with the USSR as well as provide a nuclear strike capability to the British in the event that the Cold War were to “go hot.” Despite being originally designed as a nuclear bomber, the aircraft would actually see combat by dropping conventional bombs instead. This circumstance was one which was shared with its American cousin, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. During the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands, Avro Vulcans based on Ascension Island launched raids against Argentine positions on the islands utilizing conventional bombs and Shrike anti-radiation missiles. Known as Operation Black Buck, the missions covered 3,400 nautical miles and held the record for the longest bombing raid in history until it was broken by USAF B-52s during Operation Desert Storm. The Vulcan was finally retired from RAF service in 1984. In 2015, the last flying Vulcan, XH558, conducted its last airshow and was grounded due to lack of funds to maintain it.
The arctic fox doing a bit of a Slim Pickens impersonation with the Red Beard is Alex and she belongs to Bering on FA.