Thursday, 14 July 2016

Avro 707c

 Today we visited RAF Cosford for a coffee on our way to another place.  I always like to see what is around and today we spotted the Avro 707c out in the fresh air.
 This was the last of 4 prototypes to evaluate the wing configuration for the Vulcan bomber.  The first one flew from RAF Waddington in July of 1953 (707a)  a second 707a was built to modify the aerodynamics and a third (707b) was built to evaluate the air intakes and air scoop.
 This aircraft was built as a two seater and it is essentially a 1/3 scale aerodynamic model of the Vulcan prototype.  It was a treat to walk around this aeroplane as it is seldom seen in the open air.
 This was the resulting aircraft - a Vulcan B2. I photographed this one at RAF Finningley during the September 1973 airshow.  These aircraft were part of the nuclear strike force at that time.
 This Black and White image is of a Vulcan on the quick reaction pan at the end of the main runway at RAF Finningley in late 1973.  This photograph was taken with a Russian built Zenith E camera using Kodak ASA 1000 Film.
 These pictures are from 1975 when the Vulcans were still the main attack bomber in the RAF.  They had a crew of 5 and only the pilot and co-pilot had ejector seats.  The technical crew had the entry hatch under the nose section through which to escape.  I ran out of Kodachrome film and had to take this picture using Orwochrome film, a cheap Czech import which produced a yellow/green bloom and a very grainy image.  Photoshop has rescued it a bit.
The Vulcan was a noisy aircraft and the roar of the 4 Olympus engines is a distinctive sound that is not easily forgotten.  This bomber could climb at a rate better than some of the early jet fighters and it was strong and powerful enough to roll and loop - something that earlier bombers could not do.
Alas - it was a big and easy target for modern missiles, so its battle advantage was short lived, but when it went into service it was a world beating design.

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