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Royal Air Force operation Black Buck 1


30th of April 1982
R.A.F.  Ascension Island
Objective: Bomb the runway at Port Stanley, East Falkland.
There and back the excursion was a flight of 8000 miles.

Eleven Victor tankers and a Nimrod also participated to 
 refuel Vulcan XM607 six times.

The above sketch is my own work for reference only and may require corrections.

Physics in action :
Inevitably the payload of twenty-one 1000lb bombs affected the Vulcan's fuel consumption.
i.e. Five refills outward; and only one required on the home run.

This Black Buck story caught my eye 37 years after the Falkland Islands were invaded.
I was a draughtsman and design engineer at BAe (A.V.Roe) Woodford for about 30 years
(including 1982) and worked on all of the aircraft types mentioned above.

Victor XH672 (mentioned in the sketch) features greatly in my memories.
1993-September-30 she did a series of fly-pasts as a farewell tour of the UK.
BAe Woodford, Cheshire was on the list. I was there. It was the day I retired !
Later, 1993-Nov-30-1250 GMT, XH672 (Maid Marian) was directed  to
 RAF Shawbury where she was scrapped.

This romancing began for me when as a school-boy in the 1950s
I purchased many issues of Air Pictorial from our newsagent.

My thanks to Wikipedia and their contributors for much of the above data.

Link to Wikipedia/Operation Black Buck [1]

Link to YouTube / RAF Schools Project operation Black Buck

The number of the bomber refuellings has been debated for some time.
I have settled for six, in step with the above RAF Schools video (published 27 April 2018).
Mr Withers, pilot, participated in the video.

This image found on the internet might have the benefit of Crown copyright.
The Vulcan crew : In the centre is
captain Flt Lt Martin Withers (pilot, 36);  
flanked by 
Flying Officer Peter Taylor (co-pilot); Flt Lt Bob Wright (radar plotter); 
Flt Lt Gordon Graham (navigator); 
Flt Lt Hugh Prior (air electronics officer)
(Please help me to confirm the five names in left-to-right order.)

And out of the frame, Flt Lt R J Russell (air-to-air refuelling instructor)
his station would have been the supernumerary seat between the pilots.

So let's see where this leads to. If necessary, please offer me corrections.

Latest amendment / February 2020

© 2019-2020 Geoffrey Royle