Victor K2 tanker Military Aircraft
The Victor K2 tanker started it's life as one of Britain's nuclear "V" bomber force along side the Vickers Valiant and Avro Vulcan as the Handley-Page Victor B2 nuclear bomber. The first of the "V" bombers to enter RAF service was the Vickers Valiant in May 1951, second was the Avro Vulcan in September 1956, the last was the Handley-Page Victor B2 in April 1958. All three bombers were intended to fly to their targets at high altitudes to avoid enemy fighters but changes in fighter and missile design resulted in a change to low level attacks being required, the Vickers Valiant's design proved unsuitable resulting in metal fatigue and the aircraft being retired in January 1965.
Operating the remaining "V" bombers over longer routes and at lower altitudes used more fuel than they could carry so it was decided to convert the Handley-Page Victor B2 bombers into fuel tankers to re-fuel the Avro Vulcan force from 1966 to 1968. It is of note that Victor K2 tankers re-fueled the Avro Vulcans that attacked Port Stanley in the Falklands during the conflict with Argentina in 1982, also during the first Gulf War eight Victor K2 tankers provided tanker support to both US Navy and RAF aircraft before being retired in October 1993.
Although no Victor has been certified to fly since their retirement from the RAF in 1993 the aircraft shown above, XM715 "Teasin' Tina", is maintained in a taxing condition by the British Aviation Heritage Centre at Bruntingthorpe took off accidentally during a "fast taxi" in error during September 2009 reaching an altitude of 150 feet, the aircraft was in the control of an an amateur pilot in the co-pilots seat when the engineer froze when he should have closed the throttles, fortunately a retired RAF pilot, Squadron Commander Prothero aged 70, who had flown Victors several decades before had been allowed to sit in the pilots chair for the taxi run and once he realised what had happened rapidly took control and landed the aircraft safely. Later Squadron Commander Prothero reported that he had considered doing a complete circuit in order to make a normal landing but was aware that the aircraft was not certified as airworthy and had not flown for over 15 years so could not be relied on to fly safely over the houses in the area.
Handley-Page Victor B2 Specifications:
- Wing Span: 120 ft. (36.48 m)
- Length: 114 ft. 11 in. (35.03 m)
- Height: 28 ft. 1 in. (8.57 m)
- Engines: Four 17,250 lb thrust Rolls-Royce Conway R.Co.11 turbojets
- Empty Weight : 91,000 lbs (41,275 kg)
- Maximum Takeoff Weight: 216,000 lbs (97,980 kg)
- Maximum Speed: 650 mph (1,030 kph) @ 40,000 to 50,000 ft
- Service Ceiling: 60,000 ft
- Range: 3,500 miles
"Teasin' Tina" Accidental
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Victor K2 tanker Military Aircraft Picture & Information