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RAF Operation Black Buck 1 ( of 7 )

Eight refuellings of Vulcan bomber XM607 over the South Atlantic Ocean
from Ascension Island to Port Stanley and back.

May Day / 1982

More than 11 Victor tankers and a Nimrod participated in this complex operation.
In addition to the 8 'refreshments' of the Vulcan I guess there were
about 10 Victor-to-Victor fuel transfers.



The payload of 21 x 1000lb bombs was bound to affect the Vulcan's fuel consumption.
i.e. 7 refills outward; and only 1 refill on the home run.

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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 !

1993-Nov-30-1250 GMT, XH672 (Maid Marian) landed for the very last time,
her resting place RAF Shawbury, where she was broken up
with some parts going to the Aerospace Museum at RAF Cosford.

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.
The sketch plan is my own aide-memoire.

Link to Wikipedia/Operation Black Buck



Footnote and group photograph


Photo of 5 airmen / beside Vulcan XM607

This photo & script, found on the internet might be Crown copyright.
Webmaster comments :
"The script is rather vague. Can anyone identify the airmen in the image ?"
 
I guess that they are the actual crew of 5
Flying Officer Peter Taylor (co-pilot); Flt Lt Bob Wright (radar plotter);
Flt Lt Martin Withers (pilot); Flt Lt Hugh Prior (air electronics officer);
Flt Lt Gordon Graham (navigator)
And out of the frame was 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, please offer me corrections if necessary.




© 2019 Geoffrey Royle