Avro Vulcan B1 XA903
Blue Steel
Olympus 593
Tornado RB199

XA903 History

15th Vulcan built by Avro at Woodford, near Manchester.

10 May 1957     First flight


17 May 1957      Aircraft cleared for Blue Steel Trials
31 May 1957     Delivered to Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down for modification to bomb doors.
27 Jan 1958     Returned to Woodford
19 Apr 1958     Carried Blue Steel for the first time
4 Jun 1959     Dropped Blue Steel for the first time
12 Nov 1960     Flown to Edinburgh Airfield, Australia for trials at Woomera range.
7 Feb 1961     Returned to Woodford

Olympus 593 Trials (Concorde engine)

19 Dec 1963     Allocated to Bristol Siddeley, Filton
3 Jan 1964     Delivered to Filton
9 Sept 1966     First Flight with the Olympus 593 engine fitted
1 Oct 1966     Dummies were thrown from the aircraft at 2000’ to ensure that the crew could escape without hitting the engine.
6 Feb 1970     After a port main undercarriage fire, out of action until Aug 1970
21 July 1971     Last Flight on the Concorde programme

RB199 Trials (Tornado engine)

4 Aug 1971     Transferred to Marshalls of Cambridge for conversion
9 Feb 1972     Returned to Filton
19 Apr 1973     First flight with the RB199 engine fitted
26 Jul 1973     The RB199 was run up for the first time
Apr 1974     RB199 re-heat was used for the first time
1977     Aircraft was totally re-wired
18 Aug 1978     Completed the RB199 Tornado trials

Post Service

8 Nov 1978     Allocated to Farnborough for ground training
22 Feb 1979     The last flight, from Filton to Farnborough
19 Jul 1979     Struck off charge
Sept 1984     Nose section removed and taken to Cardiff’s South Wales Aircraft Museum. The remainder was scrapped at Farnborough.
4 Feb 1993     Sold to a private owner, and was moved to Sidcup.
27 Jul 1999     After a change of ownership, it was moved to Wellesbourne Aviation Museum. Restoration started to replicate the Olympus 593 configuration
27 Jul 2006     Change of ownership. Retained at Wellesbourne.
11 Apr 2011     Moved to SW Scotland