Handley Page Victor SR Mk 2

Victor with bomb bay open 2

In March 1958 two newly delivered Victor’s, XA924 and XA925, arrived at RAF Gaydon in Warwickshire. The two aircraft were fitted with the ‘Yellow Aster’ radar at Radlett before being deployed to RAF Wyton, where they were attached to 543 Sqn as the ‘Radar Reconnaissance Flight’.

The Victor took over the Strategic Reconnaissance (SR) role from the Valiant B(PR) 1 when it was withdrawn from service due to fatigue problems. The Victor carried a fan of eight F96 36in or 48in focal length camera plus an F96 6in camera. The film magazines of the F96 cameras were capable of carrying 1260 exposures.

Victor pod

From May 1965 until its disbandment in May 1974, 543 Sqn based at RAF Wyton was equipped with 6 Victor B.2(SR) aircraft dedicated completely to the Strategic Reconnaissance (SR) role. However, this activity was usually conducted over the sea and was later redefined as Maritime Radar Reconnaissance(MRR).

The aircraft were often fitted with air filters carried under the wing to detect radioactive particles in the Upper Air.