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Vickers Valiant B(K)1: Cockpit Section

1956, Brooklands Aircraft Factory, On long term display

The Valiant was Britain’s first nuclear bomber and the only Royal Air Force aircraft to drop a live nuclear weapon. It was one of three famous ‘V bombers’, alongside the Avro Vulcan and Handley Page Victor. Although the Valiant was the simplest of the three, entering service more quickly, it featured advanced powered flying controls.

This aircraft was one of 44 dual-purpose bomber/tanker variants . A transport/airliner variant, the V1000, was also designed but was cancelled when the prototype was nearly complete. The Valiant’s expected operational lifespan was cut short by metal fatigue, largely because of a change to low-level flying. This cockpit section is from the last Valiant to fly, in 1968.