VRT1 50th Anniversary of the Vulcan's First Flight
The series cover in the series marks the 50th Anniversary of the first flight of the Vulcan with artwork showing the white prototype Vulcan on it's first flight and Vulcan XM607 taking off from Ascension Island in May 1982 during the Falklands Conflict. The covers a Royal Mail definitive stamp cancelled with our BFPS postmark for the 50th Anniversary of the Vulcan's first flight. There are five signed variants available plus a signed First Day Cover.
The first special is signed by:
Group Captain V N Cramer OBE FIMgt, Officer Commanding No 27 Squadron (1961-63)
Group Captain J R Tanner, Officer Commanding No 12 Squadron (1964-66)
Wing Commander M G Bradley AFC MA, Officer Commanding No 50 Squadron (1967-69)
The second special is signed by:
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Craig GCB OBE MA, Officer Commanding No 35 Squadron (1963-65)
Group Captain A M Christie AFC MRAES, Officer Commanding No 9 Squadron (1966-68)
Group Captain F R Lockyer OBE, Officer Commanding No 44 Squadron (1962-64)
The third special is signed by:
Air Vice-Marshal D Bower CBE AFC, Officer Commanding No 617 Squadron (1958-60)
Air Commodore A C L Mackie CBE DFC*, Officer Commanding No 101 Squadron (1957-59)
Wing Commander L F Banks DFC AFC, Officer Commanding No 83 Squadron (1958-60)
The fourth special is signed by:
Air Commodore S A Baldwin, Officer Commanding No 44 Squadron (1980-1982) last CO of a Vulcan Bomber Squadron
Air Commodore C P Lumb CBE, Officer Commanding No 50 Squadron (1981-1984) last CO of a RAF Vulcan Squadron
Group Captain P W Mayes, Officer Commanding No 9 Squadron (1980-1982)
The fifth special is signed by:
This cover is signed by all three Black Buck pilots - on the same cover - which is a first for an official issue/cover. The signatories are Squadron Leader Neil McDougall DFC, who flew Black Buck 4,5 & 6 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his attacks, the second signature is that of Squadron Leader John Reeve, who flew Black Buck 2 and the third signature is that of Flight Lieutenant Martin Withers DFC who flew Black Buck 1 and 7, the first and last of the bombing strikes and was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his involvement.
XL426 Taxi Run
There was another variant which was taken aboard XL426 for a high speed taxi run and signed by Group Captain Bill Burnett, a former Vulcan pilot with No 617 Squadron and also flew XL426 and also signed by Ken Hyde, who acted as the AEO on the taxi-run
VRT1 - ASCENSION ISLAND FDC
Ascension Island produced four stamps to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Falklands War, as one of the stamps showed the Vulcan at Wideawake Airfield on the island we have produced just 200 full set First Day Covers. The postmark shows a Harrier jump-jet and all the covers have been cancelled by the Ascension Post Office, upon their return we have had the covers signed by Group Captain Jeremy Price CBE, who was the senior RAF Officer, Ascension Island in 1982 during the conflict.
The VRT had 600 covers produced with slightly different artwork showing Vulcan VX770 on its first flight on the 30th August 1952 with Vulcan XL426 landing at Southend Airport on 19 December 1986. The cover bears the Avro and Vulcan Restoration Trust logo in colour and bears a Queen's Golden Jubilee Gold Definitive stamp cancelled with the official 40th Anniversary of Avro Vulcan XL 426 - Southend Airport postmark. Furthermore the cover has been flown in a VC10 of No 101 Squadron and then carried aboard Vulcan XL426 on a taxi-run at Southend Airport on the 24th August 2002.
One version of the cover has been signed by the three members of the Vulcan Restoration Trust who taxied the covers: John Reeve, a former Vulcan pilot who took part in the Black Buck raids when the Vulcans bombed the Falkland Islands in 1982, Geoff Ledbetter also a former RAF Vulcan crewman and also Ian Scott (200 were produced and signed on the day)
Another version was produced signed by Bruce Dickinson, of Iron Maiden fame who took the control of XL426 for a high speed taxi run in August 2006.