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Blackburn
Buccaneer

Robust carrier-borne strike aircraft which served with distinction with the Royal Navy and subsequently with the RAF.
Blackburn Buccaneer MkII Head On Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 head on
 
The Blackburn NA.39 was a rugged carrier-borne high speed low-level strike aircraft became, in its production form it became the famous Buccaneer 20th August 1960. The NA.39 prototype XK486 however, was first flown at RAE Bedford on 30th April 1958 with the first Buccaneer S. Mk 1 XN922 being flown on 26th January 1962.  
 
Blackburn & General Aircraft were absorbed into Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd (HSAL) in 1960 but continued to trade under its original identity. From 1st July 1963, a divisional structure was created, with Blackburn becoming the Hawker Blackburn Division and from this date onward all products were styled as 'Hawker Siddeley' types, rather than under the name of their original parent firm.

The Buccaneer made use of boundary layer control on wings and tailplane to allow operation from the relatively small British aircraft carriers. The area ruled fuselage featured a rotating bomb bay and two jet engines integrated in the wing roots. Two crew were seated in tandem under a single sliding canopy, with a search radar mounted in the nose. Air brakes were incorporated into a bullet fairing at the rear of the fuselage, this opening laterally to provide its braking action.

Designed from the outset for low level operation over land and sea, the Buccaneer had an immensely string structure. Production aircraft were assembled at Brough and then towed 18 miles on their own wheels to Holme-on-Spalding Moor for flight test.

The S Mk 1 entered service trials with the Royal Navy in 1961 although the design was re-engineered to accommodate the more powerful Spey engine and designated Buccaneer S Mk 2 (which is readily identified by its large elliptical engine air intakes).  The prototype S. Mk 2 XK526 first flew on 17th May 1963.
 
Production comprised 20 x NA.39 development aircraft, 40 x DH Gyron Junior-powered Buccaneer S. Mk 1, 84 x RR Spey-powered S. Mk 2.
 
Blackburn Buccaneer NA39 Strike aircraft with Gyron Junior Engines Blackburn Buccaneer NA39 Strike aircraft with Gyron Junior Engines
 
The S Mk 50 was developed as a land-based strike aircraft for the South African AF, to whom 16 aircraft were sold. They featured the Bristol Siddeley BS.605 rocket assisted engines, specifically designed for 'hot and high' airfield operations although the rockets were rarely used and latterly removed.  The variant also saw the removal of the powered wing folding found on the Royal Navy marks.
 
After withdrawal from Royal Naval service upon retirement of their carriers, 62 x S Mk 2 were transferred to the RAF with the fleet being augmented by another 49 'new-build' Buccaneer S Mk 2B's.  These new aircraft featured an increased all-up weight, larger weapons bay, increased fuel capacity and 16,000 lb weapon load.
 
In RAF service, the type, equipped with laser designation equipment for Paveway laser-guided bombs, served with distinction in the First Gulf War in 1991.
 
The last Buccaneers were withdrawn from RAF service in 1994.
Blackburn Buccaneer Image Gallery

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Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk1 RN (XN929) at Farnborough Air Show 1962
Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk1 RN (XN929) at Farnborough Air Show 1962

Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk1 RN (XN929) at Farnborough Air Show 1962

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Blackburn Buccaneer S South African AF (G-2-1) 1965
Blackburn Buccaneer S South African AF (G-2-1) 1965

Blackburn Buccaneer S South African AF (G-2-1) 1965

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Blackburn Buccaneer S2 Production at Hawker Siddeley Aviation at Brough
Blackburn Buccaneer S2 Production at Hawker Siddeley Aviation at Brough

Blackburn Buccaneer S2 Production at Hawker Siddeley Aviation at Brough

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Blackburn Buccaneer S2 RAF (XV352) air to air 1979
Blackburn Buccaneer S2 RAF (XV352) air to air 1979

Blackburn Buccaneer S2 RAF (XV352) air to air 1979

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk2 RAF (XV350) air to air late 1969
Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk2 RAF (XV350) air to air late 1969

Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk2 RAF (XV350) air to air late 1969

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)
Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk 2B RN (XW525) 1972
Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk 2B RN (XW525) 1972

Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk 2B RN (XW525) 1972

The images on this site are the property of BAE Systems (Copyright © 2016 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)

Variants

Blackburn NA.39 Prototype and pre-production development aircraft.
Buccaneer S.1
20 Built
Production model powered by De Havilland Gyron Junior 101 turbojet engines.
Buccaneer S.2
84 Built
Development of the S.1 improvements, powered by the Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines
Buccaneer S.2A Reworked' and modified Royal Navy S.2 aircraft for RAF.
Buccaneer S.2B Variant of S.2 for RAF squadrons with increased capability for anti-radar or anti-shipping missiles.
Buccaneer S.2C Upgraded to S.2A standards.
Buccaneer S.2D Upgraded to S.2B standard, operational with Martel anti-radar systems.
Buccaneer S.50     Variant for South Africa with manually folding wings and could be equipped with two single-stage rockets to assist take-off from hot-and-high airfields.

Specification

Powerplant 2 × Rolls-Royce RB168-1A Spey Engines
Wingspan 44 ft 0 ins (13.41 mts)
Weight Takeoff: 30,000 lbs (14,000 kg) Loaded: 62,000 lb (28,000 kg)
Capacity 2 crew (Pilot and Observer)
Length 63 ft 5 in (19.33 m)
Max speed                667 mph (580 kn) at 20,000 ft (6,000 m)
Range 2,300 miles (2,000 nm, 3,700 km)

Survivors

Buccaneer S.1
(XK532)
Highland Aviation Museum, Inverness Airport, Scotland
www.aviationmuseum.eu
Buccaneer S.1
(XN923)
Gatwick Aviation Museum, Surrey, UK
www.gatwick-aviation-museum.co.uk
Buccaneer S.1
(XN957)
Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, Somerset, UK
www.fleetairarm.com
Buccaneer S.1
(XN964)
Newark Air Museum, Nottinghamshire
www.newarkairmuseum.org
Buccaneer S.2
(XK526)
RAF Honington, Suffolk, UK
www.raf.mod.uk/rafhonington
Buccaneer S.2B
(XN974)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire
www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
Buccaneer S.2B
(XN974)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire, UK
www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
Buccaneer S.2B
(XT288)
National Museum of Flight, Scotland
www.nms.ac.uk/flight
Buccaneer S.2B
(XV333)
Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, Somerset, UK
www.fleetairarm.com
Buccaneer S.2B
(XV350)
Aeropark, East Midlands Airport, Donnington, Derbyshire, UK
www.eastmidlandsaeropark.org
Buccaneer S.2B
(XV361)
Ulster Aviation Society, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
www.ulsteraviationsociety.org
Buccaneer S.2B
(XV865)
 IWM Duxford
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
Buccaneer S.2B
(XV865)
 IWM Duxford
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
Buccaneer S.2B
(XW544)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
Buccaneer S.2B
(XW547)
Royal Air Force Museum, London
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london
Buccaneer S.2B
(XX889)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
Buccaneer S.2B
(XX894)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
Buccaneer S.2B
(XX897) 
Irish National Air Museum, Atlantic AirVenture Park, Shannon Airport, Ireland
www.atlanticairventure.com
Buccaneer S.2B
(XX900)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
Buccaneer S.2B
(XX901)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire, UK
www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
Buccaneer S.50
(412) 
AFB Waterkloof, Pretoria
www.af.mil.za
Buccaneer S.50
(414)
SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop, Pretoria
www.saafmuseum.org.za
Buccaneer S.50
(416)
SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop, Pretoria
www.saafmuseum.org.za
Buccaneer S.50
(421) 
SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop, Pretoria
www.saafmuseum.org.za
Buccaneer S.50
(422)
National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, SA
www.ditsong.org.za

More information

BAE Systems Heritage (Brough) via: heritage@baesystems.com
 
Please note that the information shown is based on that available at the time of the creation of this web page - If you have any additions or corrections please contact: Heritage@baesystems.com