Military Aviation

The RAF Buccaneer attack aircraft that performed a record-breaking short flight of 92 seconds

In 1994 Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV361 was put up for disposal by the Ministry Of Defence and purchased by the Ulster Aviation Society.

Filmed in 1994 the interesting video in this post features the latest flight of Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV361.

According to Ulster Aviation Society website, Buccaneer XV361 was the final aircraft of a batch of 30 S.MK.2s ordered in 1966 for the Fleet Air Arm. Delivered in 1968, it was flown in the strike-attack role and also operated as a tanker serving with 809 and 800 NAS, flying from the carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Ark Royal.

Sydenham records show it delivered in from Lossiemouth in February 1972 and not flying again until May 1973, still in primer (the long stay suggests this was the conversion to S.Mk.2B).

Two more visits were made to Sydenham, January-March 1974 from Honington and February-May 1975 from St Athan and in 1978 the aircraft embarked on HMS Ark Royal for the carrier’s final tour of duty.

In November 1978 it was transferred to the RAF and flown to Bitteswell for upgrades before being issued to 15 Sqn at Laarbruch Germany in early 1982. The following year it transferred to 12 Sqn at RAF Lossiemouth and was one of six Buccaneers deployed to Cyprus in September 1983 to support troops on UN peacekeeping duties in Lebanon.

Returning in April 1984 the aircraft stayed with 12 Sqn until 1986 when the airframe was updated to carry the Sea Eagle ‘Anti-Ship’ missile and subsequently flew with 208 Sqn for the rest of its service life.

Prior to the Buccaneers’ retirement six aircraft were repainted in the markings of all the RAF squadrons to operate the type, with XV361 being painted as a 15 Sqn aircraft.

In 1994 the Aircraft was put up for disposal by the Ministry Of Defence and purchased by the Ulster Aviation Society (UAS), initially being flown to Aldergrove and then Langford Lodge in April that year.

The “Bucc” landed at RAF Aldergrove, but it was impractical to move it by road to the UAS facility at nearby Langford Lodge, so the RAF crew flew it in a record-breaking short flight of 92 seconds, depicted in this video. They didn’t bother with undercarriage retraction. In 2005, the UAS moved its collection to an old World War Two hangar at a former RAF base at Long Kesh, Lisburn, where the Bucc has been a major attraction in the UAS collection.

Photo credit: Rob Schleiffert from Holland via Wikipedia

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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