Thunder & Lightnings

Avro Vulcan - Survivor XM569

B.2 XM569 - Gary Spoors & Dave Price, Jet Age Museum, Gloucester, Gloucestershire

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Vulcan B.2 XM569 at Jet Age Museum, 30th June 2024; Damien Burke

This one's a B.2 and is all that remains of the full aircraft that was displayed at the Wales Air Museum at Cardiff airport. The collection there expanded very quickly yet had no buildings to house the aircraft in at all, and being near the sea the salt air quickly made corrosion a big problem in their aircraft. The museum's owners didn't really treat the aircraft as historic exhibits - and applied some unusual paint schemes (e.g. RAF and then RAF Gulf War paint schemes on a Mk.1 Buccaneer!). Eventually the museum collapsed and the collection was dispersed; several of the aircraft were rescued, but a good number were scrapped. XM569 was one of the unlucky ones but the nose section was thankfully saved. It moved on to advertise a new leisure centre (The Planets) in Woking - made up as a rocket with silver paint and attached fins. It sounds bad, doesn't it! But thankfully when that task was complete, XM569's luck changed for the better. The fins were removed and the owners loaned it to the Jet Age Museum at Staverton where it was on display. However, in 2000 it was announced that the main hangar would be demolished, forcing the museum to close its doors and remove all aircraft from the site. The Vulcan cockpit was placed in the grass next to a handful of meteors, Buccaneer XX889 and Canberra WK124.

Around 2013, the museum managed to get a new site sorted with a decent size hangar being erected to house a small number of the exhibits. Once the building was finished, XM569 was placed on framework which raised the cockpit back to the original height. The cockpit is missing a few minor instruments and is usually open to the public.

In recent years XM569 received a repaint representing earlier Vulcans with the white underside and black radome, although the roundel is incorrect, with the central red circle being far too small. Due to being out in the elements all year long the paint is now starting to flake in places and looks rather faded.

Information on this page current as of 03/07/2024, last updated by Damien

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