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Completed in August 1959 and retained by the manufacturers, the fourth Avro Vulcan B2 XH536 at the Farnborough Air Show in September 1959. 536 carries a Hawker Siddeley (Avro's parent company) logo behind the roundel and the words 'BRISTOL SIDDELEY OLYMPUS ENGINES' in the intake. (Bristol engines had merged with Armstrong Siddeley earlier that year). Note how 536 has yet to be fitted with an ECM tailcone. 536 was delivered to A&AEE at Boscombe Down in December 1959 and was officially allocated to the Ministry of Aviation for engine trials in May 1960. 536 entered RAF service in November 1965 with the Cottesmore Wing but crashed in February 1966 when it struck the ground during terrain-following training with the loss of its IX Squadron crew.

The preliminary trials of the General Dynamics terrain-following radar ARI 5959 were held in 1965 on Victor B1 XA933. Vulcan trials were carried out on B2 XM606 which was loaned to the Ministry of Aviation from June 1965 to May 1967. Some references claim that 536 crashed during terrain-following radar trials but the crash date of February 1966 was long before TFR trials on 606 had been completed. Before TFR, crews practised a form of terrain-following using maps and the H2S radar. This may explain the discrepancy.

Via David Frith, QinetiQ. © Crown Copyright >>

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