Talk:V bomber

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"The only known combat mission involving V-bombers took place in the 1982 Falklands War... " Not sure it seems that Valiant dropped conventional bombs during the Suez crisis.

Victor B1 [RR Variant][edit]

Can't find reference to XA923; XA934 & XA 925 operating as Radar Recci Flight ["lightning motif"]on similar operations as that of the USAF U2 [RAF Wyton & RAF Alconbury] Can you advise of any references historically or otherwise.


So, why were they called the V-bombers? I had always assumed that it was because they were V-shaped, although only the Vulcan is a proper delta-wing. Which came first - the designs, the names, or the term 'V-bomber'? Was it a reference to Churchill? Was 'V-Bomber' a formal term at all? Ashley Pomeroy 21:29, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I believe the reference is to "Vengeance" in the sense of a deterrent second-strike capability, but I don't have a source for that offhand. Cromis 20:19, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

The RAF writes in a pdf at their website: "The term V-Force originiated from the bomber's names - Valiant, Vulcan and Victor" (page 5)
But of course, this doesn't explain why all the names started with V in the First place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

This page is (in part) based on "The Vickers Valiant" version 1.1, by Greg Goebel. The original version (placed in the public domain) can be accessed at:

(Moved the above "original source" info to the talk page. If it's public domain, notice of the original source isn't relevant in the article itself. Cromis 20:19, 25 July 2005 (UTC))

"potential positive economical effects"[edit]

I removed a sentence reading "Britain had been economically bled dry by World War 2, and the potential positive economical effects were attractive." from the end of the 4th paragraph, after the note that such bombers would be more expensive but fewer in number. It wasn't clear to me what was meant - was it that the bombers would be cheaper overall than a mass bomber force, or that the development of a jet bomber would be economically useful? Cromis 20:24, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

The simple fact was that with the coming of atomic weapons Britain had no need for massed fleets of bombers, with nuclear weapons only ONE bomber-per target was needed, and, provided that they could as reasonably as possible guarantee that the bomber would get through, one only needed one bomber per city, with a few 'spare' to make allowances for accidents, aborts, etc. So the force was calculated as being sufficient to destroy the requisite 66% of Soviet infrastructure needed to make the Soviet Union incapable of carrying on any war that it started. This was in the days before ICBMs and guided missiles became a threat. The only possible opposition to the V Bombers would have been Soviet fighters and, as the V Bombers could all fly higher than the opposing Soviet fighters that would have been sent up to stop them, the 'ONE bomber-per target' principle was probably sound.
You see, because of the way the speed of sound varies with height (actually temperature) a subsonic fighter that can reach 500-550-mph can often only do this speed at one height, and this is very unlikely to be at its maximum altitude, as at say 55,000ft, the speed of sound is lower, and the fighter may well be close-to or at its critical Mach number before it gets to the height of the bomber. So an opposing Soviet fighter might have been as fast as a V Bomber, but it couldn't do that speed at the height the V Bombers would have been flying at. To reach these heights the Soviet fighter would have been forced to reduce its speed, due to the reduction in the speed of sound with height, and the fighter eventually reaching its critical Mach number. So to all intents and purposes, the V Bombers were just about un-catchable by Soviet fighters, at least during the early years
Any reduction in costs of a reduced number of bombers needed was purely coincidental, even if it was an advantage, but then again, this reduction of costs was probably offset by the vast additional cost of producing the nuclear weapons themselves, with the sites at Aldermaston, Burghfield and Windscale and all the corresponding nuclear-related infrastructure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Added "Popular culture" section[edit]

The V-Bombers were an integral part of public culture during the Cold War. Even Alfred Hitchcock planned to make a movie based on such an airplane. Imho this is of significance for this article. And before an overeager Editor deletes this section again, I would like to see this discussed here first, ok? (talk) 18:22, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Had a look at your popular culture addition about the book Village of Stars, it does not appear to be notable and connection from a fictional delta wing aircraft and V bomber is original research (obviously an AVRO Vulcan is not really encylopedic), the book or the author do not appear to be notable (and the film was never made) so probably more suited in article about the cold war or if you think it is notable enough an article about the book. So if its notability is not established with regard to being about V bombers and not a fictional likeness the popular culture section should be deleted. MilborneOne (talk) 21:38, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Reporting about the content of a book is not original research! Or else we couldn't have any references here. Pls check the meaning of that term, imho you are seriously mistaken. As for the book, it's a contemporary work about the role of the V-Bombers in cold war and the author, David Beaty, had expertise knowledge about this topic. Both tactical and strategical problems and policies are covered in it. Also, pls note that there is a "popular culture" section in the articles about the Vulcan bomber, too. I didn't add the information there, because Beaty didn't explicitly mention the Vulcan, but the book is relevant for the general role of V-Bombers during that time. (talk) 22:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I still think your criticism is over the top, but for the sake of peace here, I removed the "obviously a Vulcan" part. However, the book explicitly mentions the plane being a V-Bomber, so it is relevant in this context. I recommend reading it, you can get it cheap at second hand stores, Amazon, or EBay. (talk) 23:07, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
One other point: V-Bomber is a term used by the public, especially during the cold war. The RAF preferred instead the term V-Force (check the refs I've added). So, the focus of this article is explaining the term V-Bomber (not details about the planes, which can be found in the articles about Valiant, Vulvan, and Victor), and imho the usage in popular culture is an essential part of this. (talk) 22:44, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Pls help and correct www refs[edit]

I don't know how to properly format those www refs. They look somewhat disorderly now. Would be nice if an experienced editor would correct this. (talk) 19:30, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Btw, some pages of the Stuart Wilson book I referenced can be read at Amazon: (talk) 20:24, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Uh, is information at a TV channel website allowed as reference? Pls check this: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

How many V-Bombers at the peak?[edit]

I am a bit sceptical about this sentence in the intro: "The V-Bomber force reached its peak in June 1964, with 50 Valiants, 39 Victors and 70 Vulcans in service." Now, this sentence above is copied from a website about the V-Bombers, and the valifity of that claim isn't proven there. But when we look at the Avro Vulcan article, we find this: "A total of 134 production Vulcans were manufactured (45 B.1 and 89 B.2), the last being delivered to the RAF in January 1965." Now, 134 Vulcans in 1965, instead of a mere 70 in 1964 seems to shift the peak into the later year, right??? Somehting doesn't compute here, and I am inclined to delete the 'body count', as long as it isn't based on facts. Thoughts? (talk) 13:14, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Quick look at the production list I would guess that the peak is probably due to the fact that the Vulcan B1s were withdrawn from use as the B2s were delivered and a number had been lost in accidents so the maximum at one time of 70 would seem to be reasonable.MilborneOne (talk) 19:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, that's a point, I have to look this up. Even though I'm flabbergasted that 45 multi million dollar planes should simply haqve been scrapped, and not upgraded or converted. I'm not totally convinced yet. (talk) 20:31, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
On second thought - you wanna say, 19 (89-70) brandnew Vulcan B2 planes were lost in accidents in that short a time? Doesn't really make sense to me. (talk) 20:34, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
It is normal for an air force to not have every plane in its fleet at operational readiness. This is because some need to be kept in to quickly fill in for other active aircraft should something go amiss, to swap out so that planes can undergo extensive maintainence but keep the active numbers steady; but also to reduce costs. It may have been detirmined that to keep some in extended readiness rather than active service would be necessary to meet financial pressures. Additionally, it was common for several of the V-bombers to be dedicated to functions other than the nuclear deterrent, experimental modifications, training and instructional roles, or even assisting in the development of engines and future aircraft could all be happening, and I can easily see 20 or so being diverted away for these auxillary 'service' roles that are important to perform, but mean those aircraft aren't available immediately for service. If there was a huge military crisis, no doubt the reserve aircraft would have been pressed back into service, budgets and reserve capacity be damned, but that obviously isn't everyday running. It's like the situation with the modern day American B-1 Lancer, less of them flying even though they're fairly new and useful as heavy bombers go, the in-service numbers have been reduced as a diplomatic act, a lesser necessity for an overly-strong display of military capability, and ultimately to save money for other functions. Likewise, if the US felt the strategic need they would all be ripped out of mothballs, but that's extremely unlikely to happen. Kyteto (talk) 19:23, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Cuban Missile Crisis[edit]

Perhaps someone should mention that at one point during the Cuban Missile Crisis the nuclear-armed V-Force Vulcans and Victors were on the point of being sent off to attack the Soviet Union, the lead aircraft being at the end of the runways with their engines running, awaiting the signal to go. I'd add it myself but I can't remember where I read or heard it. I think it may have been a BBC Radio 4 programme not long ago, as I seem to remember several members of the crews of some of these aircraft talking about it. Apparently it was all pretty hairy, nail-biting, stuff, and it was only recently that they were given permission to talk about it. Perhaps someone here might like to do some research on it and add it to the article.

Also, some mention of the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) system might be useful, otherwise it isn't clear how the V-force differed from some other bomber forces. The aircraft one-point start-up system springs to mind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Operational Life[edit]

Vulcans and Victors (as tanker aircraft) were used in the 1982 Operation Black Buck missions so I am wondering why this article refers to the aircraft being in service 1958 and 1956 respectively. Three Vulcans XM597, 598 and 607 are identified in the Operation Black Buck article as being involved in operational bombing missions. The article on the Handley Page Victor states that it was retired nine years after the last Vulcan. Unfortunately, the Vulcan article does not give a last operational use date, although note should be taken that, according to the article, the last production Vulcans were delivered to the RAF in January 1965. Can someone clarify the dates and modify the dates in the relevant articles please? Vulcans and Victors must have been operational in 1982. If the Vulcans were retired immediately after the Falklands War (1982), Victors must have been operational until 1991. It seems to me that there are so many inconsistencies that clarification is essential to meet the Military History project objectives.

It is a little complicated, but here goes: The Vulcan was the last V-bomber flying as an actual bomber, and was retired as such in 1982. The Vulcan, and Victor, actually flew for longer, but as refuelling tankers rather than bombers. Thus, the Victor outlived the Vulcan, but it had stopped being a bomber long before the Vulcan's retirement. The Victor was operational in 1991, but it hadn't carried any bombs of any sort for around two decades at that time. Kyteto (talk) 19:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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