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Avro Vulcan B2 XM597 of the Cottesmore Wing at RAF Luqa with groundcrew June 1967. 597 was delivered to No 12 Squadron in August 1963 and was soon merged into the Coningsby Wing. The Wing moved to Cottesmore in December 1964. Many of Cottesmore's aircraft were exchanged with Waddington in 1968 including 597. For periods during 1971 to 73, 597 was loaned to Boscombe Down for trials of the ARI 18228 PWR and its fin-mounted aerials. 597 later served with all the Waddington squadrons and because it had complete Skybolt hardpoints under its wing and the associated ducting (characterised by the small blister forward of the front hardpoints - extreme top left and above right), it was selected for 'Operation Corporate': the Falklands Campaign. Pylons were fitted to the hardpoints, one port and one starboard. 597 had an eventful war carrying out two Black Buck raids, the last of which ended up by by impoundment in Brazil. Fortunately, this historic aircraft has been preserved in Scotland.

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Nigel Corrigan collection © Crown Copyright

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