V bombers

The United kingdom´s strategic nuclear strike force, officially known as the V-force or Bomber Command Main Force was formed by the Royal Air Force, during the 1950s and 1960s. They used the three aircraft that represented the V`s. The Vickers Valiant, Avro Vulcan and Handley Page Victor, one aircraft with a striking shape. These aircraft also were known as the V-class, another synonym.

The Vickers valiant is a four-jet bomber, it was the first V bomber to become flyable and operational, the aspect of this aircraft is conventional with simple aerodynamics. As noticed the engines are not located on pods, instead they are located embedded in wing. Therefore, in aspects of maintenance this represents a difficulty. The Valiant has the lethal load capacity of a single 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) nuclear weapon or up to 21 1,000 lb (450 kg) conventional bombs in its bomb bay.

Valiant V bomber in 1961 at Filton Airfield, Filton, Bristol, England. Source: Arpingstone at English Wikipedia

Talking about the second V bomber introduced, the Avro Vulcan, a delta-wing subsonic bomber, the design has a smooth and stylized shape, but at same time a flying wing because of the large wing span. The main weapon of the Vulcan is nuclear. However, the payload allows to carry up to 21 x 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs in a secondary role. A relevant mission where the Vulcan was used, the Falklands war with Argentina, in which the Vulcans bombarded airfields and flew 6,300 km.

Avro Vulcan in airshow with a unique howl sound. Source: Wonkabar007/Youtube

The last V bomber to mention is the Handley Page Victor, undoubtedly the weirdest of the V-class. As a jet-powered strategic bomber, the design of this model is surprising, for that time was a futuristic-looking, streamlined aircraft. It has a dihedral effect on wing and a T tail, a crew capacity of five and a lethal load up to 35 × 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs. The aircraft in service has been subjected to modifications including the air refueling capacity, so it was also converted to aircraft tanker.

Handley Page Victor. Source: goodfon.com
Page Victor as Air tanker. Source: RuthAS/Wikipedia

With all the aging problems this aircraft faced as fatigue, and the introduction of new advanced-technology aircraft, the V bombers were converted into aircraft tankers serving until 1984.




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