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Good morning all!

I am just wondering whether anyone knows how the Blue Steel missile was attached to the V-bombers, specifically the Avro Vulcan. I have seen a Pathe film of Blue Steel showing the ground crew "winding" the missile up into the bomb bay of the Valiant, I am not sure whether this would be the same with the Vulcan?

On a related note, having been to Cosford and seen their Blue Steel far too many times for it to be deemed normal behaviour :P (only kidding, Cosford is a wonderful place) I noticed that on the horizontal "wing/winglets" at the rear of the missile, there are two cylinder shaped attachments which are attached just above these wings. I don't think that the Cosford Blue Steel was a test vehicle so I don't think it could be carrying any sort of flare to mark its location (if the test vehicles ever used such a setup), however I suspect that it has something to do with its suspension from the V-bombers???

I also tried obtaining an estimate for how much it would cost to copy some Blue Steel technical drawings from the national archives and the answer came back- £350!!! So a dead end there... -_-

Anyway, thanks for reading my verbal ramblings,

Sam

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If you can get hold of the Arthur Bentley (IIRC) drawings for the Handley Page Victor which were reproduced in Scale Models in around 1979/80 they show a trapeze-like structure installed in the weapons bay from which the Blue Steel was suspended. Due to the weight of Blue Steel I assume a similar arrangement was used on the Vulcan fleet. I suspect that the film you refer to shows a test round which may simply have been an aerodynamic trials example and therefore not fully equipped (and definitely not fuelled) and was light enough to be winched into the aeroplane by hand, but I could be seriously wrong probably. I have an idea that hydraulic winches were used for live and training rounds but again I could be wrong and I might be lying.

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Thanks Finn that first picture is the best one I've found so far, showing the attachment of the missile.

Regarding the film, it was a Pathe publicity/propaganda video rather than an operational demonstration so it could have been a demo round, they seemed to have the equipment for it though, hmmm. I've never heard of that structure and I think the next logical step would be for myself to have a poke around the net for these plans you mention.

Thanks for the info so far chaps,

Sam

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Hi,

I have a 1/72 Vulcan waiting to be built myself, if its any help there are two books that are very good for the modeller.

The Vulcan Aeroguide by AD HOC Publications and the On Target Special the V bombers by the avaition workshop publications ltd, both still available.

there is also a two part documentary on BBC Iplayer at the moment, Cold War Hot Jets and the second part is the V force with some really good film shot, you may get some good info from that.

Rob

Edited by Robster

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Yeah I first saw the cold war hot jets on YouTube a couple of months ago-superb stuff! Also I suggest "Jet! When Britain Ruled The Skies", for a better understanding of civilians jets :) Thanks for the book suggestions, I'll definitely check those out!

When enquiring about diagrams of the vulcan rear crew panels, I asked the vtts guys and they suggested The vulcan story 1952-2002 by Tim Laming. Having bought it, it is exceptional, lots of cutaway diagrams, plan diagrams, component diagrams as well as the history of the vulcan and avro 707, not to mention countless photos of the vulcan and blue steel (only one shows a close up of the suspension of the missile but it is still hard to see the details. I'm not sure if I'm legally allowed to post the photo due to copyright, although I think it can be used for educational purposes....I might post it later.

Thanks,

Sam

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