R88 Vulcan radar operator’s cameras, £5000 at Sworders.

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One of the most recognisable – and popular among enthusiasts – of post-war military aircraft, it was the second of the RAF’s ‘V bombers’ and like the Valiant and Victor provided part of the UK’s nuclear deterrent force for 15 years. It even saw action in the Falklands War in 1982 on long-range missions to attack Port Stanley airfield.

Two lots at Sworders(25% buyer’s premium) auction on January 31 came from Vulcans.

A pair of R88 Vulcan radar operator’s cameras, each with a Dallmeyer Super-Six Anastigmat F-2 F/1-9 lens, 485930, 13in wide x 12½in high (33.5 x 32cm), was offered together with two original reels, comprising two unboxed examples, ref no 14A/5189, and two boxed reels. Another pair numbered 485875 and 489398 came with two original reels, unboxed.

The cameras were mounted on top of the H2S Ground-Mapping Radar display and captured 35mm images from the radar screen on bulk 35mm film. Collectors are mainly interested in the lenses, it seems.

It was not known whether these were working examples. Each lot was estimated at £2000-3000 and sold for £5000. One is off to the US and another to a UK bidder. The vendor had a large collection (Sworders has sold others previously in the last 6-9 months).

JH Dallmeyer was a British company founded in London in 1860 by a Prussian-born optician. It manufactured photographic lenses and telescopes. After several changes of ownership it is now owned by Thales.