Air International 2007-02
D.Hobbs - Blackburn Buccaneer /Legends of aviation/ (1)
One of the 20 development batch Buccaneers, XK487, was used by Ferranti as a flying test-bed for the TSR2 radar. It was photographed at a 'snowy' Holme-on-Spalding Moor in 1963.
This Buccaneer S.1 of 800 NAS is about to be launched from the waist catapult of HMS Eagle. The bridle is tensioned and the blast deflector has been raised. The flight deck officer has his green flag lifted and waits for the pilot to signal that he is ready to be launched.
A Buccaneer S.1 of 809 NAS. seen in its element, at low level over the sea and at high speed.
Spot the odd man out. No.736 NAS's first Buccaneer S.2, XT275, is flying in the number four 'box' position as the squadron's instructors practise aerobatics in 1967. The photograph illustrates the larger air intakes needed by the S.2 for its Rolls-Royce Spey engine and its faired wingtips.
As can be seen from this rare colour image of the prototype NA.39.XK486, there were very few design changes between it and the final production Buccaneer. In spite of a demanding specification, the designers at Blackburn Aircraft 'got it right first time'
No.809 NAS Buccaneers.1 XN924/220, finished overall in the gloss white anti-radiation paint scheme then current for nuclear strike aircraft.
Befitting their low-level maritime role, Buccaneers began receiving an overall extra dark sea grey colour scheme in 1968, as displayed on S.2, XV863/020, of 809 NAS. This squadron operated Buccaneer S.1s during 1963-65 and was re-formed with S.2s in January 1966.
Buccaneer XK523, the seventh aircraft, had the distinction of carrying out the first catapult launch from a carrier. The trials were performed, together with XK489, from HMS Victorious in January 1960. Note the bridle falling away from the aircraft. The catapult system was later modified to retain the bridle for re-use.