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|Vickers Type 673 Valiant B2|
|Vickers Valiant B2 Pathfinder in high gloss black default livery|
|Aircraft||Type 673 Valiant B2|
|Primary Use||Military, Interdictor Strike|
Aircraft Background Edit
The RAF Bomber Command Pathfinder Force (PFF) was established in 1942. Their objective was to lead night bombing attacks and mark targets for the main bomber force using flares and incendiaries. The squadrons in this force did not have dedicated equipment but took first delivery of new equipment such as the De Havilland Mosquito and the OBOE radar bomb aiming system.
Vickers developed one of the pre-production Valiants into the B. Mk 2 Pathfinder as a dedicated bomber for the PFF. The aircraft was designed to fly at low level (5000 feet) and high speed - 582 mph versus the Valiant’s 414mph sea level speed. It therefore had strengthened wings and internal load bearing structures. The new spars took up the space where the Valiant’s undercarriage retracted, so new pods were added for a rather graceful undercarriage retraction.
The gloss black paint finish earned the aircraft the nickname ‘The Black Bomber’ at the 1954 Farnborough air show. The pathfinder was not put intro production as bomber command’s tactics had now changed to small bomber forces dropping nuclear bombs from high altitude. The 1964 switch of the V-bomber mission to low level would have been ideal for the Pathfinder and made the Vulcan and Victor redundant.
The RAF next focused on a low level bomber for the TSR2 requirement and finally for the Tornado- introduced 28 years later. The Tornado IDS has the same low level cruise speed and combat payload as the pathfinder !!
X-Plane Development Edit
There are no additional liveries with this aircraft