Teasin' Tina - Handley Page Victor K.2 Tanker
Handley Page Victor Gulf War Aviation Aircraft Plane Art Print by Aviation Artist Chris French FGAvA
With the loss of the Vickers Valiant tanker in 1965 it became imperative for the RAF to replace the aircraft as quickly as possible. At the same time, the Cottesmore Wing had been disbanded and a number of Victor B.1 were set aside for conversion to tankers.
The first aircraft to be produced were known as B(K).1A as the conversion had been fairly simple using a single point fuelling probe mounted at the rear of the Victor’s bomb bay. 55 Squadron re-equipped with six such aircraft in May 1965. Eventually, 24 aircraft were converted to either B(K).1 or 1A standard.
The ultimate tanker version of the Victor, and the version shown here, was the K.2. A three-point tanker, the original idea had surface back in 1965, but it was not until 1972 that the maiden flight of a K.2 took place. Both 55 and 57 Squadrons would be equipped with the aircraft, with the B(K).I leaving service in 1977.
Operation Corporate and the Black Buck mission of 1982 (see our ‘Into Wideawake’ print below) showed how effective the aircraft was. However, due to the age of most aircraft by 1991 and the Gulf War only 55 Squadron was operational. Now in the hemp coloured camouflage the aircraft gave excellent service. In time honoured tradition, the crews of ‘55’ gave their aircraft some wonderful artwork. This is XM715 Teasin’ Tina