Thunder & Lightnings

Avro Vulcan - Survivor XM605

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B.2 XM605 - Castle Air Museum, Castle AFB, Atwater, California, USA

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Vulcan B.2 XM605 at the Castle Air Museum, 2nd September 2019; Castle Air Museum

XM605 entered service with the RAF on 30th December 1963, with 9 Squadron. She went on to serve with the Coningsby, Cottesmore and Waddington Wings before progressing to 101 Squadron in 1973 and then finally 50 Squadron in 1979.

Vulcans, as part of the NATO nuclear deterrent, regularly visited the USA - lone ranger missions, bombing competitions and squadron deployments. XM605 was earmarked for preservation and upon her retirement was flown to Castle AFB on the 2nd of September 1981, being presented to the Castle Air Museum 6 days later after demilitarisation. The RAF were back the next year to remove the refuelling probe (desperately needed during the Falklands war) but brought it back again afterwards!

XM605 is in generally complete condition and lacks only a brake chute, but there is some corrosion as you'd expect from an aircraft stored outside - and the cockpit has suffered a fair amount of water damage. An ex-Vulcan ground crew member was helping out with XM605 and had got as far as correcting the aircraft's incorrect nose-low stance and powering up some of the electrical system but unfortunately had a falling out with the museum and they won't let him work on it any more.

The current crew chief on the aircraft now has a XM605 website too though it's not been updated for some time. As you can see, she desperately needs a repaint but with the sheer number of airframes at the museum, I suspect she's a long way down the list for that sort of expensive attention.

Information on this page current as of 21/01/2021, last updated by Damien

Find other photos of XM605 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - Airliners.net - Airplane-Pictures.net - flickr.com - WorldAirPics.com - JetPhotos.net - PlanePictures.net