Thunder & Lightnings

Handley Page Victor - Survivor XM715

K.2 XM715 - British Aviation Heritage, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire

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Victor K.2 XM715 at Bruntingthorpe, 9th January 2022; Damien Burke

XM715 was produced in the fourth B.2 batch and served with 139 and 100 squadrons, 232 OCU, 543 squadron, 232 OCU again and was converted to K.2 standard (ninth such conversion) and ended up with 55 squadron before being retired, sold to the Walton family and preserved at Bruntingthorpe aerodrome. Not only does she sport her Granby nose art ('Teasin' Tina'), she also 'Victor Meldrew' nose art on the other side - testament to her character apparently.

On 3rd May 2009 a fast taxi run in a gusting crosswind went somewhat awry with the result that XM715 became airborne - thankfully the crew got her back on the deck quickly, without significant airframe damage, and most importantly with no injuries. That therefore became the last ever flight of a Victor!

She's had a couple of complete repaints while at Bruntingthorpe, in 1998 and 2010. The repaint she had in 2010 came out more of a desert pink colour, rather than the hemp colour she is meant to be. As you can see in the photos above, the paint has faded over time and is now looking much less pink than she once did a few years back.

Due to Cox Automotive now leasing the airfield exclusively for car storage and their shutting down of any aviation activities on site, XM715 has been imprisoned in a corner of the airfield along with the Nimrod and Comet. Being almost a mile away from the rest of the collection which are now all next to the QRA shed, it doesn't look like she'll be getting many visitors. The volunteers are keen to keep XM715 in running condition and hopefully even do static runs occasionally, but her days of blasting down the runway appear to be over. Since my last visit it looks like a lot of hard work has gone into clearing the pan around her so that static engine runs could be possible again.

Information on this page current as of 09/01/2022, last updated by Damien

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