Cold War Era

Here are some cool night photos of the venerable Blackburn Buccaneer strike aircraft

The cool photos in this post were taken at the former RAF Kemble base (now known as the Cotswold airport) and feature two Blackburn Buccaneer strike aircraft (XW544 and XX894).

The cool photos in this post were recently taken by our friend Andrew Timmerman from Finn Aviation Photography at the former Royal Air Force (RAF) Kemble base (now known as the Cotswold airport) and feature two Blackburn Buccaneer strike aircraft (XW544 and XX894).

Timmerman explained:

“The event was organized by Threshold.aero. The day started with an Anti-Deterioration run on both engines on Buccaneer XW544. After sunset, XX894 was used for the wing folding shoot.”

Threshold.aero does regular photo shoots at different locations in the UK that are specifically focused on the aviation photographer to get that special shot.

According to the The Buccaneer Aviation Group (TBAG) both XW544 and XX894 is a Buccaneer S.2Bs and both served with the RAF. XX894 is currently painted to represent Fleet Air Arm Buccaneer XV869 ‘020’ just several weeks before retirement to celebrate the Buccaneers service in both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

After the Buccaneers retirement both XW544 and XX894 became part of the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground. Both aircraft took part in fast taxi runs at almost every Cold War Jet and TBAG event.

As already reported, in 2020, Bruntingthorpe’s days of seeing vintage cold war jets fast taxi down the 2 mile long runway sadly came to an end. After much discussion, The Buccaneer Aviation Group elected to move both XX894 and XW544 to Cotswold Airport as this prospering location allows both aircraft to continue doing what they do best…. blasting down the runway!

The Blackburn Buccaneer was a robust carrier-borne strike aircraft which served with distinction with the Royal Navy and subsequently with the RAF. Designed from the outset for low-level operation over land and sea, the Buccaneer had an immensely strong structure.

The Buccaneer entered service trials with the Royal Navy in 1961.

After withdrawal from Royal Naval service (upon the retirement of their carriers), 62 Buccaneers were transferred to the RAF, with the fleet being augmented by another 49 ‘new-build’ Buccaneers. These new aircraft featured an increased all-up weight, larger weapons bay, increased fuel capacity and 16,000 lb weapon load.

16 Buccaneers were sold to the South African Air Force.

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.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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