On Saturday, November 25, to mark the 30th anniversary since its arrival at the Yorkshire Air Museum, the Handley Page Victor ‘ Lusty Lindy‘ fired up its engines. Hundreds of people attended the event and heard the iconic Cold War strategic bomber being run-up. ‘Lusty Lindy’ flew into the museum on November 25th, 1993 at 2.12 pm. At that exact time on Saturday 25th November 2023, the aircraft, which saw action as a tanker in the Falklands conflict, carried out an engine run for the public. As reported on the Yorkshire Air Museum’s website, the Handley Page Victor K.2 tanker evolved from the original Victor B.2, ‘V’-bomber, which entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1961. The first K.2 flew from Woodford on March 1, 1972. It had a crew of five and was powered by four Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans of 20,600 lb thrust each. It had a maximum speed of 640 mph (Mach 0.92) at 40,000 feet, a ceiling of 59,000 feet, and a range of 3,500 miles.
XL231 joined 139 Squadron on February 1, 1962, returning to Handley Page for conversion to a B(S.R) Mk 2 in November 1963 and joining the Wittering Wing in July 1964. It was converted to become the prototype K.2 Tanker on January 23, 1972, and saw service in the Falklands War, in support of the air operations from Ascension Island, and later in the Gulf War. It was flown into retirement at Elvington in November 1993.
The Yorkshire Air Museum sits on the former site of Bomber Command Station RAF Elvington. This station was typical of the many that were dotted around the whole of Britain during World War Two. Over 30 airfields were in operation within the York area alone. RAF Elvington was originally a grass airfield but in 1942 it was completely rebuilt with the addition of three hardened runways. It was re-opened in October of that year with the arrival of 77 Squadron and their new four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers.
In 1983, the original WWII Control Towers and buildings had become derelict and a small team led by local resident Rachel Semlyen set about trying to save this special site. They negotiated a temporary lease and began the long process of clearing the land and restoring the buildings, to turn it into a Museum. In June 1985, the Yorkshire Air Museum and Allied Air Forces Memorial were born and granted charitable status. It began receiving donations and artifacts and purchased the wartime site which now extends to 20 acres. Since opening, the Memorial Museum has grown in strength and reputation.