Air Pictorial 1986-01
J.Rawlings - Blackburn's Buccaneer (1)
On 30th April 1958 Derek Whitehead took XK486, the first Blackburn N.A.39, into the air on its maiden flight from the R.A.E. airfield at Thurleigh, Beds Seen on final approach, the aircraft has the original air brakes and instrumented nose probe
XN923, the second production Buccaneer S.1, spent much of its life at R.A.E. Farnborough, where it had various detachable noses for equipment development until 1967
Buccaneers XK526 and XK527 were DB aircraft converted to S.2 prototypes. Seen with four Martel missiles under its wings is XK527
In 1968 No. 809 Squadron, which had already served in H.M.S "Hermes", formed its own aerobatic team, "Phoenix Five", which performed at that year's SBAC Display
For the Buccaneer S.2 a new I.F.T.U. No 700B Flight, was formed at Lossiemouth on 9th April 1965. Unit badge on XT271's fin is red and white
The second-line squadron. No 736, flew Buccaneer S.2s after the S.1s and retained the same badge on its aircraft's fins. Note SNEB rocket pods under the wings
XN929, one of the first production S.1s, with trial refuelling probe
Initially the Buccaneer was powered by two D.H. Gyron Juniors. XK488, the third NA.39, served as the engine development aircraft at Hatfield
Commissioned at R.N.A.S. Lossiemouth in March 1961, No. 700Z Flight introduced the Buccaneer S.1 into naval service - XN933 "682" was one of the Flight's aircraft
The third production Buccaneer S.2, XN976, appeared at the 1964 SBAC Display at Farnborough with a Martin Bullpup installation under wing
The first operational Buccaneer S.2 squadron was No. 801 which served aboard HMS "Victorious" (as here, aircraft with fin code "V") and later "Hermes"; seen at Lossiemouth in 1968
The first operational RN squadron was No 801 which took its Buccaneer S.1s aboard HMS "Ark Royal" in February 1963
The second squadron with S.1s was No. 809, which emblazoned its red phoenix on the intakes of its Buccaneers; XN924 at Lossiemouth, summer 1964
The S.1 continued in service with No 736 Squadron until 1971, by which time it was training more RAF, than RN crews, hence the fin stripes
The final Buccaneer S.1 squadron was No 800, whose aircraft (XN968 illus.) operated from H M S "Eagle" and saw action in the Radfan area of Aden