The James Bond Vehicle Library

Avro Vulcan B.1

09/04 2001, updated 12/10 2011   by PS

Avro Vulcan B.1
Preparing for NATO mission
Avro Vulcan B.1
Thunderball, 1965
Copyright © Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (EON Productions), all rights reserved.

007 Relations

Thunderball - 1965
Villain/henchmens vehicle


A type B.1A (45 delivered 1955-59) was armed nuclear or conventional bombs. The B.2 (89 delivered 1960-65) with Blue Steel air-to-surface missile. After 1964 the nuclear bombs and Blue Steel's were withdrawn and the planes main task was as a conventional low-level force. RAF planned to withdraw all Vulkans between June 1981 and June 1982, but in course of the retake of the Falklands in 1982 the Vulkans was refitted and renovated. They made five conventinal bombing missions against the runways of Port Stanley airfield. It was at that time the longest bombing mission in the history, 4.000 miles (6.437 km) with multiple inflight refuellings and no alternates or diversions. Two years after the Falklands War, in March 1984, the last Vulcan squadron was disbanded, but the Vulcan Display Team continued to operate the Vulcan very publically until early 1993.

The plane in the flying scenes is a B.1 model, XH506 of the Waddington Wing. However the plane Angelo boards on the ground is XA913, also a B.1a of the Waddington Wing (101 Squadron)

In the film the plane and its two nuclear bombs are hijacked in a NATO training exercise by Angelo Palazzi who through plastic surgery is posing as the NATO pilot Francois Derval. Angelo lands the plane on the sea in the Bahamas near the yacht 'Disco Volante' and SPECTRE recovers the bombs.

The Vulcan model used in the Bahamas for the underwater filming, was blown to pieces with dynamite when the filming had ended to prevent others from photographing it. The framework has now become a reef.

Only one Vulcan remains airworthy thanks to donations. If you want to learn about the project and/or donate then visit the website Vulcan to the Sky Trust Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558.

Technical Data

  • Manufacturer: Avro (UK)
  • Type: B.2
  • First flight (B.2): 30th August 1958
  • Engine: 4 Bristol Siddeley Olympus 301 (thrust 20.000 lb - 9.072 kg each)
  • Width: 111 ft (33,83 m)
  • Fuselage length: 99 ft 11 in (30,46 m)
  • Overall length: 105 ft 6 in (32,15 m)
  • Height: 27 ft 2 in (8,26 m)
  • Wing area: 3.964 sqft (368,27 m2)
  • Max take-off weight: 250.000 lb (113.400 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 645 mph (1.0038 kmh) at 12.200 m
  • Top height: o/19.800 m
  • Service Ceiling: 61.000 ft (18.600 m)
  • Range (with max bombload): 4.600 miles (7.400 km)
  • Capacity: (1A) 9.500 kg bombs
    (B2) 1 Blue Steel air-to-surface missile
  • Crew: 5
  • ID: XH506


  • None

Sources and Links

Alverdens Fly i Farver - Bombefly, Politikens Forlag 1966 (Blandford Press Ltd, London) side 109.
An illustrated Guide To Modern Bombers, Bill Gunston, Salamander Books Ltd, 1968, page 26-31.


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