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Photograph by Bruce Woodruff

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Avro Vulcan B2 bomb-bay looking forward with an 'A' tank in the forward position. The cranked front spar is easily seen behind the red door lock below which is the forward Blue Steel recess that has been skinned over. Note how the rear of the tank was cut away so that a Yellow Sun weapon could be carried in the bomb-bay behind the 'A' tank. The underside was recessed to accommodate a Blue Steel missile. In the Blue Steel fit, the tank was mounted a few feet further back. Originally, a range of stainless steel bomb-bay tanks were designed including two forward tanks, one optimised for Yellow Sun and the other for Blue Steel. To save money, a single compromise forward 'A' tank was finally built. The only other stainless steel tank finally built was the rear 'E' tank that was fitted to Blue Steel aircraft. The capacity of both tanks was approximately 5750lb each. Fifty 'A' tanks were ordered (25 for free-fall aircraft and 25 for Blue Steel aircraft) and 25 'E' tanks were ordered. The tanks were fitted in the mid-60s. Later, 8000lb capacity alloy cylindrical tanks were fitted to many aircraft. Plans to fit Vulcan B1As with bomb-bay tanks never materialised.

Copyright © Bruce Woodruff.

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