1955 ... Vicker's 'Valiant'

... first of Great Britain's 'V-Bombers' to become operational, the 'Valiant' served in the Strategic Nuclear Strike role until an early retirement in 1965. Improvements in Soviet air defense made low level high speed flying a necessity- and the 'Valiant's ' airframe was not up to the task. The illustration depicts the bomber in an alternate air-to-air tanker role, using it's 'probe and drogue' system to refuel a strike aircraft . Of the 107 built, 44 had this tanker capability in the form of removable components.

all images- Right click- open in New Window= super colossal size!