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De Havilland Vulture S.1 - No.17 Squadron, RAF Germany, 1969

De Havilland's submission to GOR.339 came from their Christchurch team under the leadership of W.A. Tamblin who proposed the De Havilland Vulture, a radical design featuring a variable incidence wing with podded Rolls-Royce RB.142R Medway turbofan engines. Tamblin's design was slightly smaller than most of the other submissions to GOR.339 and, apart from the variable incidence wing, it featured supersonic drop tanks and a bulged conformal belly tank to help it achieve the range requirement. In addition, De havilland's experience of 'buddy' refuelling techniques with the Sea Vixen were incorporated into their design from the outset and the company pitched a minimum change version at the Admiralty for carrier-based interception and strike. Air Ministry officials were delighted at De Havilland's claimed 70,000lb all-up-weight and with a general correlation between an aircraft's all-up-weight and cost their design soon became favourite to win the GOR.339 competition and in early 1959 they were awarded a contract for 220 aircraft for the RAF and 80 aircraft for the Royal Navy. 

Entering service in early 1968 with No.6 Squadron in the UK the aircraft soon spread it's wings to become the backbone of RAF Germany with the Vulture S.1 eventually replacing all remaining Canberra and Hunter squadrons and reaching a peak strength of eleven squadrons in RAF Germany by 1973.

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Nice One Cocas!

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