Avro Vulcan pilot John LeBrun on bomb loads

Whilst the Vulcan was capable of carrying conventional payloads, it originally formed the backbone of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, as retired Vulcan pilot John LeBrun discusses

The Avro Vulcan entered service in Mk 1 form in 1956, joining the Vickers Valiant which had become operational the previous year. The Handley Page Victor completed the V-Force trilogy when it entered service in 1958.

Thankfully, none of the jets were ever asked to carry out their primary function, that of delivering a nuclear payload. Whilst the Vulcan was arguably the most technically advanced, the Valiant has the distinction of being the only V bomber to actually drop a nuclear weapon, albeit for test purposes.

Each of these aircraft were designated as medium bombers as a result of their range and were known as V Bombers due to a quirk in the naming convention, simply put, each one had a name that began with a V.

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