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Photograph by Carmel J Attard
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Avro Vulcan K2 XM571 at RAF Gibraltar in June 1985. 571 was delivered as a B2 Blue Steel to No 83 Squadron in February 1963 was subsequently pooled into the Scampton Wing. The last Blue Steel aircraft to be delivered to the Scampton Wing were seven Olympus 301-engined aircraft (XL384-XL390) that had originally been delivered to the free-fall wing at Coningsby with 200-series engines. The arrival of these seven extra aircraft allowed the earlier Blue Steel aircraft to go through a lengthy modification programme without the Wing losing strength. But had the modification programme have been maintained, the Wing would have been seven aircraft over unit establishment. Consequently, the last seven 200-series engined Blue Steel aircraft to be delivered (XL445-446, XM569-573) emerged from the programme in the free-fall role. 571 reentered service in January 1967 with the Cottesmore Wing and for the next 15 years also served at Waddington, Akrotiri and Scampton. In January 1982, 571 returned to Woodford where it had been first assembled for conversion to a K2 tanker and served with No 50 Squadron until 1984. Allocated the serial 8812M, 571 was flown to RAF Gibraltar in May 1984 for 'preservation'. It was scrapped in 1990.



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