09/04 2001, updated 12/10 2011 by PS
A type B.1A (45 delivered 1955-59) was armed nuclear or conventional bombs. The B.2 (89 delivered 1960-65) with Blue Steel air-to-surface missile. After 1964 the nuclear bombs and Blue Steel's were withdrawn and the planes main task was as a conventional low-level force. RAF planned to withdraw all Vulkans between June 1981 and June 1982, but in course of the retake of the Falklands in 1982 the Vulkans was refitted and renovated. They made five conventinal bombing missions against the runways of Port Stanley airfield. It was at that time the longest bombing mission in the history, 4.000 miles (6.437 km) with multiple inflight refuellings and no alternates or diversions. Two years after the Falklands War, in March 1984, the last Vulcan squadron was disbanded, but the Vulcan Display Team continued to operate the Vulcan very publically until early 1993.
The plane in the flying scenes is a B.1 model, XH506 of the Waddington Wing. However the plane Angelo boards on the ground is XA913, also a B.1a of the Waddington Wing (101 Squadron)
In the film the plane and its two nuclear bombs are hijacked in a NATO training exercise by Angelo Palazzi who through plastic surgery is posing as the NATO pilot Francois Derval. Angelo lands the plane on the sea in the Bahamas near the yacht 'Disco Volante' and SPECTRE recovers the bombs.
The Vulcan model used in the Bahamas for the underwater filming, was blown to pieces with dynamite when the filming had ended to prevent others from photographing it. The framework has now become a reef.
Only one Vulcan remains airworthy thanks to donations. If you want to learn about the project and/or donate then visit the website Vulcan to the Sky Trust Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558.
Alverdens Fly i Farver - Bombefly, Politikens Forlag 1966 (Blandford Press Ltd, London) side 109.
An illustrated Guide To Modern Bombers, Bill Gunston, Salamander Books Ltd, 1968, page 26-31.
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