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Photograph by Peter Middlebrook
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Avro Vulcan B1A XH502 of the Waddington Wing at the marshalling point of RAF Waddington's RW 21 circa March 1964. Photographs of white B1As are uncommon and colour photographs of white B1As are rare.

As the B1s reentered service as B1As, the B2s were also coming into service and grabbed much of the publicity. Cold war paranoia was such that few private photographs were taken at this time.

502 was delivered as a B1 to No 617 Squadron at RAF Scampton in November 1958. In 1961, 617 Squadron reformed with B2 Blue Steels and its B1s reformed as No 50 Squadron at RAF Waddington. 502 was converted to B1A standard in 1962 and subsequently pooled into the Waddington Wing. In January 1968, 502 was put on the Waddington fire dump. The nose was salvaged and used as an escape trainer. In June 1976, the nose was reported to be on the Waddington dump.

Peter Middlebrook remembers:

"The four Vulcans in the background are the QRA aircraft. The QRA pans were behind the ops block, and the four aircraft could have been on the runway and away in a very short time if they had ever been needed."

© Peter Middlebrook.

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