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First of the V-Bombers and saw operational service at Suez in 1956.
Vickers Valiant B1 (WB215) 2nd aircraft Vickers Valiant B1 (WB215) 2nd aircraft
The Vickers Valiant was a four jet high altitude strategic bomber and was the first, and most conservative in design, of the V-Bombers (the others being the Victor and the Vulcan).
The first prototype (WB210) was flown at Wisley on 18th May 1951 but was subsequently lost following an in-flight fire on 12th January 1952.
Two additional prototypes were built, the last of these being the sole Valiant B.Mk 2 (WJ954), which was designed for low level night penetration missions but not ordered for production.

The production Valiant B.Mk 1 served in pure bomber, photo-reconnaissance and tanker roles, as detailed below. The Valiant featured a moderately swept shoulder-mounted wing on a circular section fuselage with swept cruciform tail surfaces. Power was provided by four Rolls-Royce Avon engines that were buried in the inner wing, with wing root intakes and trailing edge exhausts.
Vickers Valiant BK1 RAF (WZ376) refuelling Vulcan B1 RAF (XH478) Vickers Valiant BK1 RAF (WZ376) refuelling Vulcan B1 RAF (XH478)
Production deliveries commenced in January 1955 and the type supported Britain’s nuclear weapon development in 1956 and 1957 with a Valiant (XD818) dropping Britain’s first H-bomb on 15 May 1957.
In the interim intense operations against Egypt in October 1956 saw four RAF Valiant squadrons conducting high level strikes against a number of Egyptian airfields.

By modern standards, the Valiant programme was conducted very successfully in a short space of time, less than four years passing between first flight of the prototype and delivery of production aircraft to service.
Vickers Valiant B2 (WJ954) Vickers Valiant B2 (WJ954)
The aircraft was reliable in service, but when transitioned to a low-level penetration role in 1964, wing spar fatigue cracks soon became apparent and the type was prematurely withdrawn from service in January 1965.


Valiant B.1
39 Built
39 x pure bomber variants, inc five pre-production Type 674s powered by Avon RA.14 engines (with the same 9,500 lb thrust as the earlier Avon 201) and 34 x Type 706 full-production aircraft, powered by Avon RA.28 204 or 205 engines (with 10,500 lb thrust each), longer tailpipes, and water-methanol injection for takeoff boost power.
Valiant B.(PR) Mk 1 (Type 710)
8 Built
Bomber/photo-reconnaissance aircraft.
Valiant B.PR (K) Mk 1 (Type 733)
13 Built
Bomber/photo-reconnaissance/tanker aircraft
Valiant B.(K) Mk 1 (Type 758)
44 Built
Bomber / tanker aircraft. Tanker variants had a removable tanker system in the bomb bay, and used a hose-and-drogue aerial refuelling system.
Valiant B. Mk 2 (Type 673)      Prototype only (WJ954)

Specification (Valiant B.K.1)

Four 10,000 lbst Rolls-Royce Avon RA28 turbojets
114ft 4in
Maximum Weight
140,000 lb
Capacity & Armament
5 crew (plus 2 in tanker role); one 10,000lb bomb, or 21 1,000lb bombs, or two 1,615 Imp gal fuel tanks in bomb bay
Maximum Speed
567mph at 30,000ft
Range (underwing tanks)
4,500 miles


There appears to be only 1 remaining complete aircraft in the Uk (see below) plus 4 cockpit sections in museums.
Valiant BK.1
RAF Museum, Cosford, UK

More information

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