Famed Falklands veteran bomber under restoration after years outside
At RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, a small team of groundcrew are working in in their own time to restore Avro Vulcan B2 XM607, which famously cratered the runway at Port Stanley airfield on 1 May 1982 during the first ‘Black Buck’ mission of the Falklands conflict. Having already transited the 3,700 miles from its base with No 44 Squadron at Waddington to position to Ascension Island on 1 May 1982, with Flt Lt Martin Withers at the controls, XM607 flew more than 3,300 miles from Ascension to drop 21 1,000lb bombs on Stanley airfield in what was then the longest bombing mission ever undertaken. Five of the bombs failed to explode on impact, but of the other 16, one hit the centre of the 150ft-wide runway.
XM607 went on display on the gate at Waddington in January 1983, a month after being retired from service. With the need for a new building where it was sitting, the Vulcan was to spend time stored at several locations on the base until, in 2003, it was moved to a site close to the A15 road. As serious deterioration set in, during the summer of 2021 XM607 was moved to the hangars for restoration work to begin.