Artwork Description: The painting is entitled Vulcan and accompanied to the song Rule Britannia by Her Majesty's Royal Marines. The Avro Vulcan is a jet-powered tailless delta wing high-altitude strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe and Company designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. The Vulcan was designed in response to a specification issued in 1947; a four engined nuclear bomber was required as the growing menace of the Soviet Union made itself felt. In 1952, the first prototype of what would become the Vulcan (Type 698 VX770), was ready to fly. Piloted by Wing Commander Roly Falk, VX770 first flew on 30th August 1952 and, watched only by Avro employees and a small band of press, he showed just why he had fought for a fighter- style joystick instead of the traditional yoke. In August 1953 it was discovered at higher speeds, the wing was suffering from buffeting during manouevres, and the problem was serious enough to require a partial re-design. Delivery of production B.1s began in 1956 and the first squadron (83 Squadron) formed in May 1957.
Of the three V bombers produced, the Vulcan was considered the most technically advanced and hence the riskiest option. Several scale aircraft, designated Avro 707, were produced to test and refine the delta wing design principles.
Maiden flight: Aug 30, 1952
Length: 97' 1" (29.59 m)
Cruising speed: 566.69 mph (912 km/h)
Retired: Mar 1984
Manufacturers: Avro · Hawker Siddeley