XL426 first flew from the A V Roe & Co. airfield at Woodford, Cheshire, on Thursday 23 August 1962. According to her Form 4817, the flight lasted one hour and 35 minutes. A further four test flights followed before XL426 flew to RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, to join 83 Squadron.
Only a month later, our Vulcan would be on alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This saw the world stand on the brink of World War 3 for 14 days before the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its nuclear missiles from the Caribbean island.
Retired from service in 1986, XL426 was flown to Southend Airport with a total of 6,236 hours on the clock. She has now been at Southend for 36 years, longer than the time she spent with the RAF.
XL426's first flight aside, 23 August 1962 would appear to have been an otherwise quiet day. The only other event of note would seem to be the birth of musician Shaun Ryder. Born just 15 miles north-west of Woodford at Little Hulton, Shaun went on to be lead singer of the Manchester-based band, the Happy Mondays, in the 1980s.