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Avro 707A WD280

As part of the V-Bomber project to supply a new fleet of strategic bombers for the Royal Air Force, each competing manufacturer was required to build a 1/3 scale model for flight testing. The Avro 707 was therefore built to test the aerodynamics of the Avro Type 698 Vulcan, and five examples were constructed. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Derwent Mk8 turbojet engine, the Avro 707A was capable of high subsonic speeds, with an intended design speed of over 500 knots (920 km/h).

After their use in the Vulcan project, one of the two Avro 707As was provided to the Royal Australian Air Force to conduct aeronautical research. WD280 was transferred from the Royal Air Force in March 1956, and was loaded aboard the brand-new aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne, for the voyage to Australia. Arriving in Sydney in May 1956, the 707A was then transferred to HMAS Sydney and shipped to Melbourne to begin test flying at RAAF Base Laverton. Operated by the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU), WD280 was equipped with recording instrumentation, and was flown in a variety of tests including low-speed airflow separation and handling of the then new delta wing design. The aircraft finished flying with ARDU in 1963, and in 1967 WD280 was sold to Mr Geoffrey Mallett, and was transported to his home in Williamstown where it was a feature of his back garden until being obtained by the RAAF Museum in 1999. After a period on display at the Museum, the aircraft has been relocated for some minor restoration work and inspections, much of which is being carried out by Mr Mallett.

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