Victor K2 Cockpit.
The cockpit is a new addition to the museum and was used as a
Training Simulator at RAF Marham. The Cockpit has all the original
fittings that were used during in Service.
The Handley Page Victor was initially designed as a Strategic
Bomber, but following problems with the Valiant Fleet, the Victors
were converted to a refuelling role. The cockpit we have was for
the K2 version of the tanker, the conversion be carried out by
Hawker Siddeley following the Demise of Handley Page. The
Victor conversion was done during the 1970’s and after seeing
action in the Falklands War in 1982 and the Iraq war in 1991 The
Victor fleet was retired in 1993.
One of the most famous missions that the Victor was used on was
the Black Buck missions during the Falklands War. The Mission
was to carry out a long range (8,000 mile) bombing raid to Bomb
Port Stanley Airfield to deny the Argentinian land based aircraft
using the airfield.
The Bombing raid deployed a Vulcan Bomber and Victor Tankers
to the Ascension Islands 3800 miles away. A mission was then
planned, using refuelling tankers, to enable a Vulcan Bomber to
carry out a bombing raid, using 21 1000lb bombs, and return
The mission had to be timed to happen before the British fleet
reached the Falklands, ideally in early May. This caused quite a
few problems, particulaly as only the uprated Vulcans, required
for the mission, were no longer fitted with the correct Bombing
and Navigation Systems. These had been removed, and some had
to be retrieved from the scrapyard, where they had been sent!!!
There was also problems with the re-fuelling probes, several
which had been broken during training. RAF Technicians had to
raid aircraft museums to remove the probes from aircraft that had
recently been delivered to the museums.
On April the 29th 3 Vulcans and 5 Victors set off for the Ascension
Islands. After passing the Azores the reserve Vulcan returned
home. On the 30th April the order was given to bomb the runway
on May the 1st.
Two Vulcans and the Victors set off but the primary Vulcan had to
turn back due to problems leaving one Vulcan to carry out the
raid. A series of refuelling stages took place, but following a
problem with one of the Victors refuelling probe only one Victor
remained to fuel the Vulcan. The Vulcan was using more fuel than
expected and in order that Vulcan could complete its mission the
Victor had to give it more fuel leaving it with not enough fuel to
return. The flight time was seven hours and the Victor only had
enough fuel for five!!
The Vulcan went on to complete a successful mission and Victor
was able to return safely after it was refulled by another Victor.
Come along to the museum to see the cockpit and learn more
about Victor and the role it played during the Cold War.