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Photograph by Bruce Woodruff
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XH558 with air sampling pods is followed by XH537. 558 was the first Vulcan B2 to be delivered to the RAF (earlier aircraft being used for intensive trials) when it was delivered to No 230 OCU at RAF Waddington in July 1960. It was ironically the last Vulcan to serve with the RAF being used by the Vulcan Display Flight until March 1992. Presently at Bruntingthorpe, 558 remains the centre of attention as efforts are made to return it to airworthyness. 537, the fifth B2 to be built, was one of the Vulcans retained for flying trials - in this case for compatibility with the Douglas Skybolt missile. Skybolt was cancelled in 1964 and in 1965, 537 was delivered to No 230 OCU. In 1978, 537 was converted to B2 MRR standard and delivered to No 27 Squadron. Shortly after the photograph above was taken (March 1982), XH537 was flown to Abingdon and was subsequently scrapped, the nose section being preserved.

Copyright © Bruce Woodruff

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