Thunder & Lightnings

Avro Vulcan - Survivor XL319

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B.2 XL319 - North East Aircraft Museum, Sunderland Airport, Tyne & Wear

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Vulcan B.2 XL319 at North East Aircraft Museum, 6th July 2019; Adam Poultney

Looking rather faded is the North East Aircraft Museum's XL319. Unfortunately the paintwork on Vulcans was meant to be renewed every few years but this sort of task is huge and expensive for museums to undertake. The result is as you see - dark green becomes light green or even brown and the grey paint just bleaches to light grey. from XL319 was delivered to the RAF in October 1961 and served with 617, 44 and 83 Squadrons at Waddington and Scampton. Flown into retirement at the Museum in January 1983, XL319's cockpit is normally opened up for visitors on bank holidays; you can always ask at other times though, bribery apparently works well. Sadly as well as suffering the weather outdoors for the last 27 years, she has also suffered occasional vandalism and in the winter of 2009/10 heavy snowfall tipped her onto her tail, damaging the ECM bay doors. She's back on all her wheels now, thankfully - and has recently provided some parts to assist with the Bluebird K7 restoration. While XL319's cosmetic appearance was pretty awful, there is an ongoing restoration effort - see this thread on the Key forums. Engine No.4 has since been fully restored which saw XL319s first ever run in 36 years back in July 2019 - just three more engines to go...! XL319 is now currently undergoing a repaint.

Information on this page current as of 09/03/2021, last updated by Jake

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