V-bomber cockpits taken on at Duxford

At the end of last year, the Essex-based Cockpit Collection donated a pair of V-bomber noses to IWM Duxford

The cockpit sections of Vickers Valiant XD826 and Handley Page Victor B.2 XH669 arrived at their new home on December 9, 2022.  

The Valiant made its first flight on December 15, 1956 and went on to serve with 7 Squadron at Honington, 138 Squadron at Wittering, 232 OCU at Gaydon and finally the co-located 543 Squadron. It was withdrawn from use in December 1964.

Although the aircraft was scrapped the following year, its forward section was retained for use as a navigation and bomb-aiming procedures trainer. After retirement from that role it was acquired by the Wales Aircraft Museum at Rhoose Airport, and following that attraction’s closure it was saved by Cockpit Collection’s Nigel Towler in the early 1990s.

The cockpit of Valiant XD826 was delivered to Duxford on December 9, 2022
The cockpit of Valiant XD826 was delivered to Duxford on December 9, 2022 IWM

XH669 was the second Victor B.2 to fly, on August 6, 1959, and operated by 100 and 139 Squadron at Wittering. It was converted to K.2 tanker status by Handley Page in 1968, and went on to participate in Operation Black Buck on May 1, 1982, refuelling Avro Vulcan XM607 during the Falklands conflict. After ending its service ‘life’ in 1990 at Marham, the majority of the airframe was scrapped in 1995, with Nigel successfully obtaining the forward fuselage.

The forward section of Victor XH669
The forward section of Victor XH669 KEY