Thunder & Lightnings

Handley Page Victor - Survivor XH669

K.2 XH669 - Nigel Towler, Cockpit Collection (for sale), Rayleigh area, Essex

Click for previous survivorSurvivor imageClick for next survivor

Victor K.2 XH669 at Rayleigh?, 25th January 2021; Hansons Auctioneers

XH669 was the second B.2 and first flew on 6th August 1959, being handed over to the Controller (Aircraft) in December 1959. She was put back on loan to Handley Page and flown at the 1960 Farnborough SBAC display to show off the new Victor B.Mk.2.

After that she served with 100 and 139 Squadrons. In June 1963 she was converted to a B.2R, and in June 1966 joined the OCU at RAF Wittering. She finished her bomber career in October 1968, being delivered back to Handley Page for storage pending conversion to K.2 tanker.

She was duly converted to a K.2 at Woodford in 1970 and by 1977 was in service with 57 Squadron at RAF Marham. In April 1982, after the Argentines invaded the Falkland Islands, she was deployed to Ascension Island as part of the build-up to the retaking of the Falklands. She was then in regular use as part of the refuelling force supporting Vulcan and Nimrod operations over the South Atlantic, including taking part in Operation Black Buck 1, refuelling Vulcan XM607. On this sortie she was due to be the final tanker to refuel the Vulcan before the attack run, but while she was herself being refuelled she broke her refuelling probe off, so had to offload her own fuel to the other Victor and swap over.

After the Falklands war, she returned to the UK and finished her active career with 55 Squadron at RAF Marham from 1986 onwards. In June 1990 she suffered an inflight engine hot air leak, making an emergency landing at RAF Waddington, and never flew again. On the dump at Waddington for some years, she was scrapped in May 1995, with the nose being kept. Nigel Towler acquired her for his reclusive Cockpit Collection and has since acquired a number of parts that could go together with her to make a substantially complete exhibit. However, she is now up for sale by auction.

Information on this page current as of 27/01/2021, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of XH669 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - - - - - -