Profiles and Logos
The Victor was the last of the UK’s three V bombers delivered and operated together with the Handley Page Victor and the Vickers Valiant. The design of the aircraft was in response to Specification B.35/46 of January 1947 for a medium range bomber capable of carrying on 10,000lb bomb to a target 1,500 nautical miles away from any base in the world. Work began on the HP.80 design in 1947 with the aircraft having a distinct crescent-shaped swept back wing and area ruled fuselage.
The prototype WB771 made it maiden flight on 24th Dec 1952 and was given the official name Victor. The first production aircraft, the B.1 model was powered by Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire ASSa.7 turbojets and first flew on 1st June 1956. The B.2 was an updated version powered by the Rolls Royce Conway turbofan with the prototype XH668 making its first flight on 20th Feb 1959. The aircraft were initially deployed as Nuclear bombers utilising high level bombing but with the advent of SAM missiles the role moved to low level bombing.
Unfortunately the Victor was not designed in this role and suffered high fatigue so the aircraft were converted into Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) tankers with 24 B.2’s converted into K.2 aircraft, a role in which the aircraft excelled. The tankers were finally withdrawn from use in October 1993.