Heavy Gun Tank Conqueror Mark I

This Heavy Gun Tank Conqueror Mark I was on display at The Tank Museum.

Heavy Gun Tank Conqueror Mark I

The FV 214 Conqueror, also known as Tank, Heavy No. 1, 120 mm Gun, Conqueror was a British heavy tank of the post-World War II era. It was developed as a response to the Soviet IS-3 heavy tank. 

The Conqueror’s main armament, an 120 mm gun, which was larger than the 20-pounder gun carried by its peer, the Centurion. 

Heavy Gun Tank Conqueror Mark I

The Conqueror’s role was to provide long range anti-tank support for the Centurion. Nine Conquerors were issued for each regiment in Germany, usually grouped in three tank troops. 

Overall 185 Heavy Gun Tank Conquerors were built. The first was produced in 1955.

They were in service until 1966, both the Conqueror and the Centurion were replaced by the Chieftain.

There was a Heavy Gun Tank Conqueror Mark I at the Land Warfare Exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. I managed to photograph it back when I visited in 2019.

Heavy Gun Tank Conqueror Mark I

It was in a wider shot of the Land Warfare Exhibit that included an FV433 Abbot SPG, which I have cropped for this post.

English Electric Lightning Mk1

This English Electric Lightning was on display at Duxford. The Lightning is a  twin-engine (Rolls-Royce Avon 301 afterburning turbojets) sweep-wing, single-seat, supersonic fighter.

English Electric Lightning

The English Electric Lightning is a British fighter aircraft that served as an interceptor during the 1960s, the 1970s and into the late 1980s. It remains the only UK-designed-and-built fighter capable of Mach 2. The Lightning was designed, developed, and manufactured by English Electric, which was later absorbed by the newly-formed British Aircraft Corporation.

This aircraft, XM135, was the second production Lightning. It served with the Air Fighting Development Unit at RAF Coltishall, Norfolk, for three years. It then joined No. 74 Squadron, and served until 1964 as part of the Fighter Command Aerobatic Team. After a period of storage and maintenance it joined the RAF Leuchars Target Facilities Flight in Fifeshire. The aircraft joined No. 60 Maintenance Unit in 1971, and was acquired by the Imperial War Museum in 1974.

In 1966, an RAF engineer, Wing Commander ‘Taff’ Holden, accidentally flew the aircraft. While carrying out a ground test, he inadvertently activated the aircraft’s afterburners, and was forced to take off. He was able to land it safely. ”I needed to do one more test. On opening the throttles for that final test, I obviously pushed them too far, misinterpreting the thrust…and they got locked into reheat… I had gained flying speed…and I had no runway left. I did not need to heave it off the runway, the previous test pilot had trimmed it exactly for take-off and with only a slight backward touch of the stick I was gathering height and speed… Once airborne, with adrenaline running rather high, I found myself in a rather unenviable position. No canopy, no radio, an unusable ejector seat, no jet flying experience, Comets and Britannias somewhere around me and speed building up…’


Short Sunderland

The Short S.25 Sunderland was a British flying boat patrol bomber, developed and constructed by Short Brothers for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Short Sunderland

This aircraft was the first production Mk V . 15 May 1945 went to Calshot which was at that time a Flying Boat Servicing Unit. March 1946 she joined No.4 Operational Unit at Wig Bay, in July 1946 was put in Storage at 57 MU. December 1949 the aircraft was allocated to the French Aeronavale under the terms of an agreement between the French and British Governments. June 1950 the aircraft went to Shorts Brothers at Belfast to undergo modifications as specified by the French Navy. These were completed by Aug 1951 when the aircraft went to France via 57MU at Wig Bay. The aircraft went on to serve with various units of the Aeronavale. 30 January 1962 the aircraft was struck off charge. 1965 the aircraft was purchased by M Bertin from the French Navy training base at Brest and transported by road 353 kilometres to La Baule in Brittany where the inside was gutted out and she was turned into a discotheque and drinks club. In May 1976 the aircraft came to the attention of the Museum as it became known that the local authority wished to have the aircraft removed as it blocked the path of a proposed road.

Pre-production Concorde G-AXDN

Concorde G-AXDN forms part of the Duxford Aviation Society British Airliner Collection and is proudly on display in the Airspace hangar at IWM Duxford.

The British and French pre-production aircraft had several changes in design compared to the earlier prototype Concordes. These consist of a lengthened fuselage, smaller passenger cabin windows, a new glazed visor design and the aircraft were fitted with the Olympus 593-4 engines. The pre-production aircraft were used to further develop the design of the final production aircraft.

Other changes to the design included a different wing plan form that of the prototypes, a larger fuel capacity, and different air intake systems. Both the two pre-production Concordes differed in size and design from each other, the French one which built last, being close to the final production design.

G-AXDN flew faster than any other Concorde! She flew higher and faster than any other Concorde history.

Avro 683 Lancaster Mk X

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same wartime era.

Built by Victory Aircraft Ltd. Ontario. 18 Dec 1944, arrived 45 Group for departure to UK. Commissioned in early 1945. Arrived in England 5 January 1945 and was allocated to 20MU at Aston Down. 8 April 1945, assigned to 428 Squadron R.C.A.F. at Middleton St. George, County Durham. Squadron attached to No. 6 Bomb Group. 3 May 1945, damaged on training flight, repaired by AV Roe before returning to 428 Squadron service 4 June 1945 returned to Canada and put into storage 7 November 1951 went to DeHavilland and extensively modified for Maritime Reconnaissance and Rescue duties. Served in this role until March 1959 when it was again put in storage. Sold to a private individual it was shipped to the UK in 1986, it was then sold to the IWM.

Westland WS-61 Sea King

The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters.

This Sea King was on display at Duxford.

Westland WS-61 Sea King

British anti-submarine helicopter, crew of 2-4. Engines: two Rolls-Royce Gnome H1400-2 turboshaft. Served with 814 Naval Air Squadron aboard HMS Invincible as HAS 6 from 1990 – 2000. Operational service in 1st Gulf War 1991, Bosnian conflict and Kosovo 1999.

Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B

This Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B was on display at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2B

The Blackburn Buccaneer is a British carrier-capable attack aircraft designed in the 1950s for the Royal Navy (RN). Designed and initially produced by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough, it was later officially known as the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer when Blackburn became a part of the Hawker Siddeley Group, but this name is rarely used.

The Buccaneer was originally designed in response to the Soviet Union’s Sverdlov-class cruiser construction programme. Instead of building a new fleet of its own, the Royal Navy could use the Buccaneer to attack these ships by approaching at low altitudes below the ship’s radar horizon. The Buccaneer could attack using a nuclear bomb, or conventional weapons.

The Buccaneer entered Royal Navy service in 1962. The Buccaneer was purchased by the RAF, entering service in 1969 having initially been rejected in favour of the TSR-2. The TSR-2 was cancelled and the replacement project the F-111K was also cancelled, so the RAF did end up with the Buccaneer.

The Royal Navy retired the last of its large aircraft carriers in 1978, moving their strike role to the British Aerospace Sea Harrier, and passing their Buccaneers to the RAF.

The ending of the Cold War led to a reduction in strength of the RAF, and the accelerated retirement of the remaining fleet, with the last Buccaneers in RAF service being retired in 1994 in favour of the Panavia Tornado.

The Buccaneer at Duxford is he 2SB variant of S.2 for RAF squadrons. Capable of carrying the Martel anti-radar or anti-shipping missile. Forty-six built between 1973 and 1977, plus three for Ministry of Defence weapons trials work.



Grumman TBM-3E Avenger

This Grumman TBM-3E Avenger is on display at Duxford.

Grumman TBF Avenger

CF-KCG is a former Royal Canadian Navy aircraft in civilian hands in Canada since 1960 later as a sprayer, following an accident in 1976 the aircraft was bought by the Museum. Painted as 46214 of the United States Navy to represent an aircraft flown by George H. W. Bush.

The Grumman TBF Avenger (designated TBM for aircraft manufactured by General Motors) is an American torpedo bomber developed initially for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and eventually used by several air and naval aviation services around the world.

The Avenger entered U.S. service in 1942, and first saw action during the Battle of Midway. Despite the loss of five of the six Avengers on its combat debut, it survived in service to become the most effective and widely-used torpedo bomber of World War II, sharing credit for sinking the super-battleships Yamato and Musashi (the only ships of that type sunk exclusively by American aircraft while under way) and being credited for sinking 30 submarines. Greatly modified after the war, it remained in use until the 1960s.