We are delighted to announce that our Blackburn Buccaneer S2 XN974 will be rolled out for public viewing on Wednesday 31st May at 11:00am, following an extensive re-paint. This marvellous example of the Yorkshire built Buccaneer type has been returned to its original livery as the prototype for the Fleet Air Arm / Royal Navy variant of this strike and reconnaissance aircraft.
The aircraft will be unveiled by Commodore Paul Sutermeister DL RN Rtd and Museum Director Ian Reed, who will remove the 9ft Royal Navy Ensign that once flew aboard HMS York from XN974. Following this, the Buccaneer’s two mighty Rolls Royce Spey engines will be fired up and the aircraft will roll forward under power and conduct control surface display under power. The aircraft has been kept in live, ground operational condition since it flew into retirement here at Elvington, close to its spiritual home, on 19th August 1991.
Throughout the winter months, regular visitors to the Museum will have seen the aircraft progress through various stages of paintwork and mechanical overhaul, including a very popular engine start in February. Many visitors have commented on the quality of the new paintwork as it drew closer to completion.
Museum Director, Ian Reed FRAeS ONM comments: “There is no doubt that Buccaneer XN974 now looks absolutely pristine in the striking sea grey colours with white undersides and Fleet Air Arm decals, as if it had just come off the production line at Blackburn’s Brough factory. It really is a thing of beauty and is a tribute to the skills of Andre Tempest as an aircraft painter and Grant Sparks and other Aircraft Heritage volunteers who have contributed greatly to the project.”
XN974 will be amongst the 7 live aircraft in the Museum’s collection to take part in the forthcoming “Thunder Day”, taking place on Sunday 4th June, fittingly marking the 53rd anniversary of its first flight.