Blackburn
Buccaneer

A 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 Aircraft Company NA.39 was a rugged carrier-borne, high-speed low-level strike aircraft and in its production form, it became famous as the 'Buccaneer'.
 
The Blackburn NA.39 prototype (XK486) was first flown at RAE Bedford on 30th April 1958, piloted by Derek Whitehead. 
 
Blackburn & General Aircraft were absorbed into Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd (HSA) during 1960 but the company continued to trade under its original identity until on 1st July 1963. Under HSA, a 'Divisional structure' was created and Blackburn became the Hawker-Blackburn Division. Thereafter, all products were styled as 'Hawker Siddeley' types, rather than under the name of their original parent firm.

The Hawker Siddeley 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 (a design technique used to reduce an aircraft's drag) featured a rotating bomb bay and two jet engines, integrated in the wing roots. The 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, opening laterally to provide its braking action.

Designed from the outset for low-level operation over land and sea, the HS Buccaneer had an immensely strong structure. Whilst production aircraft were assembled at Brough, Yorkshire, they were then towed 18-miles on their own wheels to Holme-on-Spalding Moor for flight test.
 
On 26th January, the first production HS Buccaneer S Mk1 (XN922) took off on 23rd January 1962. Sadly, this aircraft was later involved in a fatal crash on take-off at Boscombe Down, on 5th July that same year.
  
The HS Buccaneer S Mk 1 entered service trials with the Royal Navy in 1961, although the design was later re-engineered to accommodate the more powerful Rolls-Royce Spey engine, which was required for carrier take off.  It was  designated as the HS Buccaneer S Mk 2 (which is readily identified by its large elliptical engine air intakes).
 
The prototype HS Buccaneer S. Mk 2 (XK526) first flew on 17th May 1963.
 
Production comprised of 20 x HS Buccaneer NA.39 development aircraft, 40 x DH Gyron Junior-powered HS Buccaneer S. Mk 1 and 84 x RR Spey-powered HS Buccaneer S. Mk 2.
 
Blackburn Buccaneer NA39 Strike aircraft with Gyron Junior Engines Blackburn Buccaneer NA39 Strike aircraft with Gyron Junior Engines
 
The HS Buccaneer 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 the retirement of their carriers), 62 x HS Buccaneer S Mk 2 were transferred to the RAF, with the fleet being augmented by another 49 'new-build' HS 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, and 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 © 2021 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 © 2021 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 © 2021 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 © 2021 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 © 2021 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 © 2021 BAE Systems. All rights reserved)

 

Variants


Blackburn NA.39 Prototype and pre-production development aircraft.
Buccaneer S.1 Production model powered by De Havilland Gyron Junior 101 turbojet engines.
Buccaneer S.2 Development of the S.1, powered by the Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines
Buccaneer S.2A Reworked and slightly modified Royal Navy S.2 aircraft for RAF use.
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 with upgraded avionics.
Buccaneer S.2D Upgraded to S.2B standard, operational with Martel anti-radar systems and bomb door tank removed.
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


HS Buccaneer S.1
(XK532)
Highland Aviation Museum, Inverness Airport, Scotland
www.aviationmuseum.eu
HS Buccaneer S.1
(XN923)
Gatwick Aviation Museum, Surrey, UK
www.gatwick-aviation-museum.co.uk
HS Buccaneer S.1
(XN957)
Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, Somerset, UK
www.fleetairarm.com
HS HS Buccaneer S.1
(XN964)
Newark Air Museum, Nottinghamshire
www.newarkairmuseum.org
HS Buccaneer S.2
(XK526)
RAF Honington, Suffolk, UK
www.raf.mod.uk/rafhonington
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XN974)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire
www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XN974)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire, UK
www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XT288)
National Museum of Flight, Scotland
www.nms.ac.uk/flight
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XV333)
Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton, Somerset, UK
www.fleetairarm.com
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XV350)
Aeropark, East Midlands Airport, Donnington, Derbyshire, UK
www.eastmidlandsaeropark.org
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XV361)
Ulster Aviation Society, Lisburn, Northern Ireland
www.ulsteraviationsociety.org
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XV865)
 IWM Duxford
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XV865)
 IWM Duxford
www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XW544)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XW547)
Royal Air Force Museum, London
www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XX889)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XX894)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XX897) 
Irish National Air Museum, Atlantic AirVenture Park, Shannon Airport, Ireland
www.atlanticairventure.com
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XX900)
Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, UK
www.bruntingthorpeaviation.com
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XX901)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire, UK
www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
HS Buccaneer S.2B
(XW530) 
Buccaneer Service Station, Elgin, Moray, Scotland
HS Buccaneer S.50
AFB Waterkloof, Pretoria
www.saairforce.co.za/the-airforce/bases/5/air-force-base-waterkloof
HS Buccaneer S.50
(414)
SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop, Pretoria
www.saafmuseum.org.za
HS Buccaneer S.50
(416)
SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop, Pretoria
www.saafmuseum.org.za
HS Buccaneer S.50
(421) 
SAAF Museum, AFB Swartkop, Pretoria
www.saafmuseum.org.za
HS Buccaneer S.50
(422)
National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg, SA
www.ditsong.org.za