Play / pause The cascading fuel plan

The cascading fuel plan

  • Bob Tuxford
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnet


In terms of the basic fuel plan, it was built around a

cascading system of Victor to Victor refuelling and er

so the initial formation was planned with four Victors in er

red formation, four Victors in white formation and then

three Victors supporting the two Vulcans,

the primary and his backup, in blue formation.

So a total of eleven aeroplanes.

After a couple of hours or so the

first eight tankers would refuel each other so

four on four and progress on towards the second bracket,

that would leave four Victors full to the gunnels

and in blue formation the one remaining Vulcan which was

obviously dedicated to the bombing task,

would be continuing en route with his tanker

out of those three available initially.

On to the second plan, second refuelling bracket,

there would be five Victors present with the one Vulcan

and basically the fuel was juggled amongst them all, er

the Vic, the Vulcan taking a couple more top ups because

he needed frequent refuelling. His tankage wasn't clearly

anywhere near as large as the Victor

so that at the end of bracket two,

the next er phase would be for the remaining

two tankers to press on to the third refuelling area

with the Vulcan in tow. Um the plan at bracket three,

would be for one of the Victors, as it happened myself,

to top up the Vulcan and then refuel the other Victor to full

and then the remaining Victor would then take on

the Vulcan to the final refuelling and then despatch him

400 miles north of the Falkland Islands

with enough fuel to go in, make his bombing run

and then recover up against the er Argentinian coast

up towards the Brazil area

and then refuel from the second wave of tankers

which had been despatched some five or six hours after

the initial departure to get two tankers to him at,

what we call the rear rendezvous

and to offer two hosedrum units and then

bring back the Vulcan who needed that final transfer

to get back to Ascension Island.

So that w.., that was the overall plan.

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