The Avro Vulcan was a British military aircraft built by the Manchester-based company of A.V. Roe. Designed and test-flown in the early 1950's, the Vulcan was a delta-winged, long-range bomber powered by four Rolls-Royce jet engines that had a five-man crew, a range of 1500 nautical miles, an operating ceiling of 50,000 ft. and a payload of 10,000 lbs.

The Vulcan had its test flight on August 31st, 1952 and the first production plane flew in 1955.

The aircraft satisfied the RAF's prime objective in the 1950's: Having the capability to deliver nuclear bombs to distant targets, thereby keeping Britain in the exclusive club of 'nuclear powers'. The high operating ceiling and distinctive, anti-flash, all-white paint scheme both hinted at the Vulcan's nuclear role. Later models reverted to a more typical camouflage scheme when the aircraft's nuclear 'baton' was passed on to the Royal Navy's submarine-based Polaris missile in 1969. After this, the Vulcan adopted more low-level flying roles with conventional, (i.e. non-nuclear), weaponry.

One interesting piece of trivia is that Vulcans were used by Rolls-Royce as the testbed for engine development for the world's most famous delta-winged aircraft: Concorde.

The last RAF Vulcan squadron was disbanded in 1984. In nearly 40 years of service, the Vulcan bomber saw action just once, during the Falklands War, when they flew over 8,000 miles from Ascension Island to the Falklands - at the time, the longest bombing sorties in the history of warfare.