Thunder & Lightnings

Vickers Valiant - Survivor XD826

BK.1 XD826 - The Cockpit Collection (for sale), Rayleigh area, Essex

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Valiant BK.1 XD826 at Rayleigh?, 25th January 2021; Hansons Auctioneers

XD826 first flew on 15th December 1956 and entered service with 7 Squadron at RAF Honington in February 1957. XD826 went on to serve with 90 Squadron from July 1960, 138 Squadron at RAF Wittering from October 1961, 232 OCU at RAF Gaydon from April 1962 and finally 543 Squadron from October 1964 until retirement in December of that year.

She was struck off charge in March 1965 and allocated for ground instructional use at RAF Feltwell as 7872M, but most of the airframe was actually scrapped at Wyton with only the nose section being kept - for use as a Navigation and Bomb-aiming System procedures trainer. After her useful days were at an end, she was given to No. 1289 ATC Squadron at Stratford-upon-Avon, where she was put on external display.

Sadly by September 1984 she had ended up on the dump at RAF Abingdon but happily didn't stay there long, popping up in 1986 at the (now defunct) Wales Aircraft Museum at Rhoose. She was repainted here, though oddly was marked up as 'WZ826'. Unfortunately with the Museum's collapse, she moved on once more in 1992. She next appeared on Foulness Island as part of Nigel Towler's reclusive Cockpit Collection.

In the ensuring years, it doesn't appear that any progress was made on a restoration other than the sourcing of various missing or spare parts. She's now up for sale by auction at Hansons Auctioneers where there seem to be somewhat high expectations for her value!

Information on this page current as of 09/05/2022, last updated by Jake

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