1964: Valiant hydrogen bomber Dutch flypast
RAF Vickers Valiant BK.Mk1 XD824 in a low pass over Groningen Eelde airport in The Netherlands (EHGG) during an airshow on 13 June 1964, almost 15 months before it was phased out. In the late 50's Valiant XD824 took part in operation Grapple to test the British hydrogen bomb. The aircraft was then stationed at Christmas island, painted all white. On 8 November 1957 it made the first succesful drop of the hydrogen bomb, which exploded over the ocean at 6600 ft. An earlier attempt with another Valiant was not a success because the bomb delivered only one tenth of the power of the later explosion. Valiant XD824 made its first flight on 31 October 1956 and was delivered to the RAF on 24 November 1956 as one of a 107-strong Valiant force. It was struck off charge on 5 September 1965 and broken up at Marham, another piece of aviation history gone forever.The photo is one of my first pictures taken at an airshow with my brand new Agfa Click camera, with a shutter speed of at most 1/30, which made panning pretty risky. The rest of the images was not really a success, but this one turned out to be quite acceptable, at least at the time.
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