Avro Vulcan XH477

Hill of St Colm, Aboyne, Aberdeen

 
     
 
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Aircraft Type Photo

 

BELOW: RAF Avro Vulcan bomber on display at Air Fete '84.

 

RAF Avro Vulcan bomber on display at Air Fete '84

 

Photo: 1984-2008 TSGT Jose Lopez Jr. Released by the author to the public domain. Original source: US Department of Defense.

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Type and Background

 

RAF Avro 698 B.1A Vulcan / XH477

 


 

Aircraft Type Nickname: "The Tin Triangle".

 

 

The Avro Type 698 Vulcan was designed as a high-altitude atomic bomber. It was the first four-engine bomber to designed with delta wings. Originally conceived of as a flying wing, the design was modified during development to incorporate the nose and fuselage section seen on the production Vulcans.

 

The prototype flew in August 1952, piloted by Wing Commander Roly Falk. After further modifications to the wing, etc. the Vulcan B.1 entered service with the RAF in 1957. The aircraft were assigned to No. 83 Squadron at RAF Waddington.

 

As it the B.1 version became increasingly vulnerable to Soviet air defences, a modified version—the B.2—was proposed and built. The B.2 was equipped with more powerful Rolls-Royce Olympus 301 turbojet engines, together with an electronic warfare (ECM) suite in the tailcone. Certain of the Vulcan B.1s—such as the one featured here—were upgraded with some of the B.2 modifications. These modified B.1s were re-designated 'B.1As'

 

Ultimately, however, the Vulcan bomber was becoming increasingly vulnerable to missile attack at high altitude. Therefore, it's role was changed to that of a low-level attack bomber. The role of atomic weapon platform was then assumed by the Royal Navy's Polaris missile fleet.

 

The Vulcan was never used in combat as a nuclear bomber. However, it was used extensively as a conventional bomber during the Falklands Campaign in 1982.

 

Ultimately, the Vulcan bomber was replaced by the Tornado multi-role aircraft.

 

Several Avro Vulcans have been preserved at various locations. At least one has been restored and is now flying again with Vulcan to the Sky Trust

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Accident Details

 

In keeping with its revised role as a low-level bomber, Vulcan XH477 was on exercise over the Scottish Highlands. The aircraft had departed earlier from RAF Waddington in Lincoln, England, where it was based, and was carrying out a night low-level exercise.

However, during the exercise, the Vulcan failed to clear a hill in Glen Tanar, and crashed with some force close to Hill of St Colm. Sadly, all crew were killed on impact.

 

 

 

 

 

Aircraft Crew Casualties

 

Those who died in this accident were:

 

Pilots:

  • Flt Lt David Allen Blackmore

  • F/O Derek George Faulke

Navigators:

  • Flt Lt Arthur David Roper

  • Flt Lt Gerrold Bartley Ross

Air Electronics Officer (AEO):

  • Flt Lt John Rodney Chapman.

 

 

 

 

Crash Site Photos

 

 

BELOW: Assorted wreckage fragments from the Avro Vulcan bomber.

 

Assorted wreckage fragments from the Avro Vulcan bomber.

 

Photo: © 2016 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: The main Vulcan debris field on Hill of St Colm.

 

The main Vulcan debris field on Hill of St Colm.

 

Photo: © 2016 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Aluminium and rusted steel sections.

 

Aluminium and rusted steel sections.

 

Photo: © 2016 Gary Nelson

 


 

BELOW: Impact crater containing Vulcan wreckage.

 

Impact crater containing Vulcan wreckage.

 

Photo: © 2016 Gary Nelson

 


More photos from Gary Nelson's collection on

 

Page 1-B and Page 1-C

 



Other photos below

 


 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

NOTE: The following photos, kindly provided via Cameron Paterson, were taken a few days after this aircraft crashed in June 1963, and before any of the wreckage had been moved.

 

 

BELOW: Mishap en route: Bob Bruce gets his Jeep stuck in the soft ground!

 

bob bruce gets his jeep stuck

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: The debris field, showing the widely scattered and highly fragmented wreckage of the Vulcan bomber.

 

Vulcan debris field

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: One of the Vulcan's Rolls-Royce Olympus 301 turbojet engines lies buried in the peat.

 

engine buried in the peat

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: Another view of the engine buried in the peat.

 

another view of the engine buried in the peat bog

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: A general view of the Vulcan's wreckage.

 

a general view of the vulcan's wreckage

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: Overview of the impact area.

 

overview of the impact area

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: Alistair Skene, Sandy Buchan (wearing kilt) and one other person among the Vulcan wreckage.

 

alistair skene, sandy buchan and unknown

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: Sandy Buchan standing on a section of the burnt wing.

 

sandy buchan on section of burnt wing

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: Sandy Buchan with a life raft from the Avro Vulcan.

 

sandy buchan with life raft from the Vulcan

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: Right hand engine nacelle.

 

right-hand engine nacelle

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 


 

BELOW: A shoe on a section of the Vulcan's wing.

 

a shoe on a wing of the vulcan

 

Photo: © 1963-2013 Dennis Paterson via Cameron Paterson.

 



 

BELOW: Engine nacelle wreckage from Avro Vulcan XH477.

 

part of the vulcan's wing

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 


 

BELOW: Another large section of wreckage from the Vulcan bomber.

 

another large section of wreckage from the Vulcan bomber

 

Photo: © 2013 Neil Daniel.

 



 

BELOW: Looking NE along one of the furrows where the remaining Vulcan wreckage is scattered.

 

looking north-east to crash site along furrows

 

 Photo: © 2008 Tim Bendix

 


 

BELOW: Another furrow with some small pieces of wreckage from the Vulcan, close to the main impact point. Hill of Cat (2,435 ft) can be seen in the distance, to the South.

 

another furrow with some small pieces of wreckage from the Vulcan

 

 Photo: © 2008 Tim Bendix

 

 

 

FORWARD TO PAGE 1-B

 


 


 

 

Photo Gallery

 

For additional, larger, photos, please select

 VULCAN-HILL-OF-ST-COLM

from the drop down Album Menu in the Photo Gallery.

 

 


 

 

 

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Crash Date / Site

 

Pages last updated: 23 July 2016

 

(Route and more wreckage photos added.)

 


 

Accident Date: 12 Jun 1963

 

Accident Site:

Hill of St Colm (700m / 2,296ft)

(Glen Tanar)

 

Region: Aberdeenshire (Southern Grampians)

 

Nearest town or village:

Aboyne or Ballater

(near Aberdeen)

 

Nearest large town:

Banchory (E)

 

OS Grid Ref. N/A

 

GPS Ref: N/A

 

Present Condition: Small pieces and fragments only remain onsite. Some pieces now with Grampian Transport Museum (see Crash Site Photos below and in Photo Gallery). Most of the wreckage was removed by RAF recovery teams.

 

 

 

Aircraft Details

 

 

Registration or Serial: XH477

 

Operator: RAF (44 (Rhodesia) Squadron)

 

Operating Station: RAF Waddington

 

Station Location: Waddington, Lincoln, England.

 

Current Station Status:

Operational military station (RAF).

 

Current Station Name: RAF Waddington

 

 

 

 

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