New exhibition dedicated to the Handley Page Victor in Neatishead opened by one of its most famous pilots
- Credit: Archant
It is one of the most recognisable aircraft from the Cold War era.
And today a new exhibition dedicated to the Handley Page Victor has opened at the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum in Neatishead.
The aircraft played a key role in the UK's airborne nuclear deterrent and was one of three types of V-bombers operated by the RAF.
After being converted to a tanker prior to the Falklands War, it was eventually retired from service in 1993.
But people will now have the chance to climb back inside its cockpit as part of the new exhibition near Horning.
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The display was officially opened this morning by one of the Victor's most famous pilots, Sqn Ldr Bob Tuxford.
During the Falklands War, Mr Tuxford and his crew were instrumental in the success of the first Black Buck mission in 1982.
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His Victor helped ensure a Vulcan bomber had enough fuel to drop its payload over Port Stanley Airport.
And he did so knowing that his own aircraft did not have enough fuel to make the return flight back to the Ascension Islands.
The operation, which took place over April 30 and May 1 in 1982, was the longest-ranged bombing mission ever undertaken at the time.
Speaking at the museum, Mr Tuxford, who spent several years at RAF Marham in the 1970s, said: 'It was a question of either giving fuel to the Vulcan or turning the whole formation back.
'The down side was that as I turned home [after refuelling the Vulcan] we had seven hours to go and only five hours [worth of fuel] left.'
His aircraft was eventually met by another tanker and was able to land safely at the islands.
During his career in the RAF, he said he spent the equivalent of around 10 days in the museum's Victor, which was used to train pilots.
It was donated by the Aircraft Preservation Foundation.
Geremy Britton, from the organisation, said: 'It seems fitting that this aircraft, having undoubtedly been used by most victor pilots to train in, is based where it was co-ordinated, but furthermore, is within a short travel time from RAF Coltishall, which was a V-Bomber dispersal base, and RAF Marham, the Victor fleet's primary operating base.'
Visit www.radarmuseum.co.uk for more information.