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Mini Goes to War

Mini RAF Livery 19822012 sees the 30th anniversary of the war for the Falkland Islands and many television programmes are analysing what happened in that period. One of the most fascinating was shown as a Channel 4 documentary and treated with great respect despite the Monty Pythonesque way in which success was achieved. Channel 4's programme entitled the Falklands' Most Daring Raid tells the story of the re-assembling of an all-but-obsolete Vulcan Bomber and how the pilots had to be re-trained in the use of using none-nuclear bombs which need to be dropped with greater precision - what has this to do with a Mini - well I'll let the pictures tell their own story!


Mini and RAF Vulcan

Maybe Mini is trying to hitch a lift?

From the Channel 4 web-site:

On 30 April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission: to fly a Vulcan bomber to the Falkland Islands and bomb Port Stanley's runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Task Force depended on its success.

However, the RAF could only get a single plane - a crumbling, Cold War-era Vulcan - 8000 miles south to the Falklands, because just one bomber needed an aerial fleet of 13 Victor tanker planes to refuel it throughout the 16-hour round-trip. At the time it was the longest-range bombing mission in history.

From start to finish, the seemingly impossible mission was a comedy of errors, held together by pluck and ingenuity.

On the brink of being scrapped, only three of the ageing nuclear bombers could be fitted out for war, one to fly the mission and two in reserve. Crucial spare parts were scavenged from museums and scrap yards - one vital component had been serving as an ashtray in the Officers' Mess.

In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, which they hadn't done for 20 years, and conventional bombing, which they hadn't done for 10 years either.

The RAF scoured the country for Second World War iron bombs, and complex refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5 pocket calculator.

With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF's hopes riding on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge: fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and lack of fuel.

Of the 21 bombs the Vulcan dropped, only one found its target. But it was enough to change the outcome of the war.

Astonishingly, this great feat has been down played into near obscurity by history, but this documentary brings it back to life, providing a thrilling and uncharacteristically upbeat account from the Falklands War: the Dambusters for the 1980s generation.

Mini - the Police Car

Mini as a Police Car

Mini joins the Fleet of Police cars - most Forces used the nifty little Minis - their 'Panda' livery was very popular in the toy models.

1966 East Suffolk Police fleet of Mini Vans

East Suffolk Police, ahead of other forces, proudly show off their squad of mini vans in 1966

1968 Mini fleet in Liverpoor

Liverpool Police Police Fleet

Panda Van on Show

Restored Minis for Merseyside Police

A force to be reckoned with - Liverpool adopt a whole fleet of the Mighty Minis to help them tackle crime! Two examples of restored Minis in 2010 at the Brooklands Museum

GMP Panda

In Panda livery GMP Mini

Greater Manchester Police Mini in Workshop

GMP Mini in Workshop

'Super-Mini' from 'Crypton' used by the Greater Manchester Police of the 1960s visit the museum for more

Mini carries the Royal Mail

Beautifully restored and preserved Royal Mail van - all images courtesy of Norman Nelson via Fb

Royal Mail Mini Van from front

Royal Mail Mini Van

Royal Mail Mini Van Bonnet

Royal Mail Mini Van

Royal Mail Mini Van interior of rear

Royal Mail Mini Van interior

Royal Mail Mini Van interior close up

Royal Mail Mini Van dashboard

Royal Mail Mini Van livery


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Page updated : 19th May 2017