Vickers: Valiant (Four-Jet Bomber)
British four-jet bomber.
Note: This is a sub-section of Vickers Aircraft.
The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet high-altitude bomber, once part of the Royal Air Force's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s. The Valiant was the first of the V bombers to become operational, and was followed by the Handley Page Victor and the Avro Vulcan; however it was noticeably less advanced than its counterparts. Several Valiants were soon converted to perform various support roles, such as aerial refuelling tankers and reconnaissance aircraft.
The Valiant was intended for operations as a high-level strategic bomber. By late 1964 it was found that all variants of the Valiant showed premature fatiguing and inter-crystalline corrosion in wing spar attachment castings traced to the use of a poorly understood aluminium alloy, DTD683. Rather than proceeding with an expensive rebuilding programme, the Valiant was formally retired in 1965. Its duties were continued by the other V-bombers which remained in service until the 1980s.
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