List of surviving Avro Vulcans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Avro Vulcan is a British jet-engine strategic bomber operated by the Royal Air Force from 1956 until 1984. Of the 134 production Vulcans built, 19 survive today. None are airworthy, although three (XH558, XL426 and XM655) are in taxiable condition. All but four survivors are located in the United Kingdom. Of the four Vulcans deployed in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War – XM597, XM598, XM607 and XM612 – all survive today.

Surviving aircraft[edit]

All locations are in the United Kingdom, unless otherwise stated.

Serial Geographic location Institutional location History Photo
XH558 Doncaster, South Yorkshire Robin Hood Airport The last airworthy Vulcan (XH558) was restored to flying condition by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust. The first post-restoration flight, which lasted 34 minutes, took place on 18 October 2007.[1][2] After performing displays every season from 2008 until 2015 inclusive, XH558 last flew on 28 October 2015.[3] This was due to the withdrawal of support from the "technical authorities" without whom the aircraft is prohibited from flying, under Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations. The aircraft structure and systems are 10% beyond the flying hours of any other Vulcan, meaning identifying signs of fatigue and stress failure were becoming more difficult.[4] Vulcan XH558 - M1DLG.jpg
XJ823 Irthington, Cumbria Solway Aviation Museum The 22nd B.2, later converted for the MMR role. Completed 20 April 1961, delivered to 27 Squadron a day later. Latterly with 50 Squadron and then Station Flight, Waddington. It was sold on 21 January 1983 to Tom Stoddard and David Hutchinson of the Solway Aviation Society, which at the time had only one other aircraft, a Meteor jet. Last flight was its arrival into Carlisle Airport in January 1983. Now stored in the open air, as part of the seasonal museum.[5][6][7] Exhibit at the Solway Aviation Museum - - 1309128.jpg
XJ824 Duxford, Cambridgeshire Imperial War Museum Duxford Completed 11 May 1961, delivered to 27 Squadron five days later. Latterly with 101 Squadron. Flew into Duxford on 13 March 1982. Displayed inside Hangar 1, then outside while it was redeveloped as Airspace, moving back inside on completion.[8] Watkin Vulcan (490286459).jpg
XL318 Colindale, London Royal Air Force Museum London The first B.2 delivered to 617 Squadron, The Dam Busters, based at RAF Scampton, on 1 September 1961. Performed its last flight (and last of the 617 as a Vulcan unit) on 11 December 1981, filmed for Yorkshire Television's 617-The Last Days of a Vulcan Squadron. Withdrawn and allocated to the RAF Museum on 4 January 1982, delivered by road from Scampton to Hendon in sections, being reassembled in the Bomber Command Museum (now Bomber Hall) by June 1982.[9][10] Vulcan (941577457).jpg
XL319 Sunderland, Tyne and Wear North East Aircraft Museum The second B.2 delivered to 617 Squadron based at RAF Scampton, on 20 October 1961. Delivered from RAF Waddington to Sunderland Airport (the former RAF Usworth) on 21 January 1983, the largest aircraft ever to land on the site, performing a small display. Displayed outside as part of the adjacent museum's collection. After the airport was closed on 31 May 1984 (the runway being built over for the Nissan car factory), it was moved with the rest of the museum's collection to an adjacent site, still displayed in the open air, with cockpit tours on certain days.[11][12] Avro Vulcan B.2 XL319, NELSAM, 27 June 2015 (02).JPG
XL360 Baginton, Warwickshire Midland Air Museum Completed 28 February 1962, delivered to 617 squadron on 2 March. Latterly with 101 Squadron. it was sold to the MAM on 26 January 1983. Delivered to the MAM's site on the north side of Coventry Airport on 4 February, then moved with the rest of their collection a short distance away by 1990, where it is on display in the open air. Cockpit opened daily to visitors. Named City of Coventry in preservation, in recognition of the city's funding the aircraft's purchase.[13] Avro Vulcan B.2A ‘XL360’ (23313331884).jpg
XL361 Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada CFB Goose Bay Completed 14 March 1962, being delivered to 617 Squadron the next day. Latterly with 9 Squadron, due to a fire in the fuselage during a trans-Atlantic flight from Woodford to Offutt AFB in Nebraska, XL361 had to make an emergency landing at CFB Goose Bay on 13 November 1981, site of an RAF unit and used regularly as a Vulcan exercise base. With the fleet being retired, it was not repaired, instead being positioned as the RAF unit's gate guardian. At the request of the mayor of the adjacent town of Happy Valley, the RAF gifted it to the community on 14 June 1982, on condition it was displayed within the locality in a dignified manner in RAF colours, with any future changes in its status to be agreed with the British government. Presented to the Labrador Heritage Society Museum in 1983 but remaining at the airbase, which doubles as a civilian airport, it is still displayed in the open air.[14][15][16] AvroVulcanGooseBay.JPG
XL426 Southend-on-Sea, Essex Southend Airport XL426 (G-VJET) is preserved in taxiable condition at Southend Airport, England.[17] XL426 at Southend Airshow 2008 (cropped).jpg
XM573 Ashland, Nebraska, United States Strategic Air and Space Museum The 101st Vulcan produced, delivered in March 1963. Donated by the RAF to the museum adjacent to Offutt Air Force Base, Bellevue, Nebraska, in 1982 as a token of the links between the RAF and the US Strategic Air Command, based at Offutt. Its last flight was a display at Offutt during its handover, as part of the closing ceremony of the RAF detachment at the base, which also featured three other Vulcans, plus flypasts by a USAF trio of the B-52, KC-135 and FB-111, the types flown against by Vulcans in RAF-SAC bombing competitions. Moved to the museum just outside the base perimeter the next day, it was displayed outside until the relocation of the museum to Ashland, Nebraska in 1998, moving indoors. Moved outside in 2015 due to lack of space.[18] XM573 Avro 698 Vulcan (7517250972).jpg
XM575 Castle Donington, Leicestershire East Midlands Aeropark Delivered to 617 squadron in May 1963. Took part in the Falklands War victory flypast over London on 28 October 1982. Last flight was its delivery to East Midlands Airport in January 1983, being given the civilian registration G-BLMC. Displayed outside in the Aeropark musueum, a volunteer museum run on behalf of the airport, on its boundary. Preparations were made in 1983 to fly it to a planned museum at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome recently purchased by the Walton family (eventual owners of XH558 from 1993), although the move never took place as EMA society's funds ran out before it could be made airworthy. Moved once, when the aeropark was moved from one side of the airport to the other. Three of four engines were periodically run until the move to the new location where noise restrictions are in place.[19][20][21] Avro 698 Vulcan B2A, UK - Air Force AN0299350.jpg
XM594 Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire Newark Air Museum The penultimate Vulcan built, completed on 9 July 1973 and delivered to 27 Squadron ten days later. A 1982 permission for a Vulcan to be sold to the volunteer-run NAM was initially delayed by the Falklands War, and then refused because their runway at the former RAF Winthorpe, now Winthorpe Showground, was deemed unsafe to land a Vulcan. It had never received such a heavy aircraft, or any kind of jet. The decision was reversed after remedial works, on the basis that one Vulcan needed to be retained in the local area (to Waddington). Latterly with 44 Squadron, it became the first Vulcan earmarked for preservation to be paid for, bought by Stuart Stephenson on 19 January 1983, and the only one to be delivered to a non-licensed UK airfield. Its last flight was its delivery from Waddington on 7 February 1983, complete with a display cut short by an arriving blizzard. Displayed outside and regularly powered up until the 2000s, when Health & Safety rules prohibited further use. Sold to the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association (its chairman being the original purchaser) in early 2004, and loaned back to the NAM. Cockpit tours by appointment.[22][23][24] Avro Vulcan B2 XM594 (6952334197).jpg
XM597 East Fortune, East Lothian National Museum of Flight Completed on 26 August 1963, it was delivered to 12 Squadron the next day. The only other surviving Vulcan to have engaged the enemy in the Black Buck missions, setting the record for longest bombing raid in Black Buck 5, and causing an international incident when it had to divert to Brazil in Black Buck 6, both feats commemorated with two mission markings and a Brazilian flag painted on the nose. Latterly with 50 Squadron. it was delivered to the museum on 12 April 1984. Displayed outside Hangar 1.[25][26][27] Museum of Flight Vulcan 05.jpg
XM598 Cosford, Shropshire Royal Air Force Museum Cosford Completed on 30 August 1963, it was delivered to 12 Squadron at RAF Coningsby on 4 September. Was the originally designated bombing aircraft for Black Buck 1, but which had to turn back minutes into the flight. Withdrawn with disbandment of 44 Squadron, the last bomber unit, on 21 December 1982. Performed its last flight on 20 January 1983, being delivered to Aerospace Museum Cosford, incorporating a final display over the museum. Displayed outside until relocation into the new National Cold War Exhibition building in May 2006, opening 8 February 2007.[28][29][30] Vulcan 1 (3447359902).jpg
XM603 Woodford, Greater Manchester Woodford Aerodrome Completed 29 November 1963, it was delivered to 9 Squadron on 4 December. Latterly with 44 Squadron, it was the test-bed aircraft for the K2 tanker conversions. later being sold to British Aerospace for preservation, being delivered to Woodford on 12 March 1983. Some parts removed for support of XH558, XM655 and XL426. It is now owned by Harrow Estates that purchased the airfield from Avro Heritage Ltd. The Vulcan has now been restored by 47 members of the Avro Heritage museum, being unveiled on 25 October 2016. It is repainted in its anti-flash white livery with black radome and tail.[31] Avro Vulcan XM603 at Woodford-Cheshire-UK.jpg
XM605 Atwater, California, United States Castle Air Museum Completed on 17 December 1963, it was delivered to 9 Squadron on the 30th. Latterly with 50 Squadron. it was donated to the United States Air Force in 1981, being delivered to Castle AFB on 2 September and formally handed over six days later.[32] Avro Vulcan B.2 ‘XM605’ (29235765244).jpg
XM606 Bossier City, Louisiana, United States Barksdale Global Power Museum Completed on 18 December 1963, it was delivered to 12 Squadron on the 30th. Latterly with 9 Squadron. It was donated to the United States Air Force, being delivered to Barksdale AFB on 7 June 1982 and formally handed over on 14 June 1983.[33] Barksdale Global Power Museum September 2015 41 (Avro Vulcan B.2).jpg
XM607 Waddington, Lincolnshire RAF Waddington Completed on 30 December 1963, it was delivered to 35 Squadron on New Year's Day 1964. XM607 was the bombing aircraft in Operation Black Buck, raids one, two and seven. Latterly with 44 Squadron, it was withdrawn on 17 December 1982 and became a static exhibit alongside the Waddington runway.[34] XM607 SIDE VIEW.JPG
XM612 Horsham St Faith, Norfolk City of Norwich Aviation Museum Completed on 28 February 1964 by A.V. Roe Co. at Woodford, Manchester, she was delivered to 9 Squadron on 3 March 1964. During the Falklands conflict of 1982, she was one of 5 airframes selected to reposition to Ascension Island to bomb the runway at Port Stanley. She was due to be the lead Vulcan on the 3rd Black Buck raid on 13 May 1982, however the mission was cancelled due to strong headwinds. After her return to RAF Waddington in December 1982, she was decommissioned and was sold to the City of Norwich Aviation Museum for the total sum of £5026 on 19 January 1983, being delivered on the 30th.[35] XM612 (32658455880).jpg
XM655 Wellesbourne, Warwickshire Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield XM655 (G-VULC) was the antepenultimate Vulcan to be built, and is the youngest surviving example, preserved in taxiable condition at Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield by the 655 Maintenance & Preservation Society. XM655 initially flew with 9 Squadron, and was also operated by Nos. 44, 50 and 101 Squadrons. In 1984, XM655 was sold off to Roy Jacobsen who intended to keep her airworthy, but the costs proved prohibitive and also the runway was too short for it to take off, and XM655 was left to deteriorate. Title of XM655 then passed onto John Littler, owner of Wellesbourne Mountford Airfield, who intended to get her to a taxiable condition, but not airworthy. As well as MaPS maintaining it, the 150 City of Oxford Air Cadets helps to maintain it.[citation needed] After restoration work, XM655 made her first public taxi run on 16 February 1997, with another two runs later that year. Since then, XM655 has made more or less annual public taxi runs, usually in June, as part of the Wellesbourne Wings and Wheels show. At various of these events, the display of XM655 has been accompanied by flypasts by the BBMF, the Red Arrows and Vulcan XH558. XM655 was also used by the crews of XH558 as required for currency and ground training.[36] Avro 698 Vulcan B2, UK - Air Force AN2253959.jpg


  1. ^ "The Vulcan Bomber returns to the sky." BBC News, 18 October 2007.
  2. ^ "XH558 Vulcan Bomber first flight.", 18 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Final Flight report" Archived 9 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine Vulcan To The Sky, 30 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Last flying season for Vulcan bomber XH558." BBC News, 29 May 2015.
  5. ^ McLelland (2012) Appendix 1
  6. ^ News & Star (14 March 2007). "Unsung Hero".
  7. ^ Aircraft: Vulcan B.2A. Solway Aviation Museum. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  8. ^ Imperial War Museum (2013). "Avro 698 Vulcan B2". IWM Collections Search. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  9. ^ RAF Museum. "Individual History XL318" (PDF). Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  10. ^ Avro Vulcan B2. RAF Museum. Retrieved: 27 November 2015.
  11. ^ Avro Vulcan B2 XL319. North East Aircraft Museum. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  12. ^ North East Aircraft Museum. "History of Usworth Aerodrome". Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  13. ^ Midland Air Museum (27 November 2015). "Explore our Exhibits".
  14. ^ CBC (14 June 2013). "RAF Vulcan Bomber".
  15. ^ Willis 2007, p. 77.
  16. ^ RAF correspondence, 1982
  17. ^ "Red Arrows to Salute the Southend Vulcan." Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  18. ^ Avro Vulcan B.Mk II. Strategic Air and Space Museum. Retrieved: 37 November 2015.
  19. ^ Aircraft on display. East Midlands Airport. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  20. ^ East Midlands Airport (27 November 2015). "Avro Vulcan B.Mk2A (XM575)" (PDF).
  21. ^ David Walton (3 July 1993). "The Vulcan - Gone - But Not Forgotten". RAF Waddington Air day official programme.
  22. ^ Aircraft List: Avro Vulcan B.2 XM594. Archived 28 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Newark Air Museum. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  23. ^ Nottingham Post (24 January 2013). "A rare opportunity to step inside the cockpit of an iconic aircraft".
  24. ^ Aviation News. "Vulcan XM594 - Delivery Diary". Archived from the original on 1 March 2005.
  25. ^ National Museum of Flight. "Aircraft location". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  26. ^ National Museum of Flight. "Avro Vulcan". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  27. ^ Vulcan bomber to be airshow draw. BBC News, 15 July 2009. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  28. ^ RAF Museum (27 November 2015). "Individual History XM598" (PDF).
  29. ^ Siddeley Vulcan B2 Hawker Siddeley Vulcan B2. National Cold War Exhibition. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  30. ^ RAF Museum (27 November 2015). "Hawker Siddeley Vulcan B2".
  31. ^ Vulcan XM603 # 1. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  32. ^ Castle Air Museum. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  33. ^ British bomber may soon be relic of the past. Archived 1 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Shreveport Times. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  34. ^ Avro Vulcan XM607 at RAF Waddington. Flickr. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  35. ^ Avro Vulcan B.2, XM612. City of Norwich Aviation Museum. Retrieved: 28 August 2010.
  36. ^ "XM655 History.", 3 September 2008.