An historic Blackburn Buccaneer XV168, which was recently donated to the Yorkshire Air Museum by BAE Systems at Brough East Yorkshire, will be re-Dedicated in honour of the Blackburn test aircrew who gave their lives in the development and testing of the Buccaneer type, on Saturday 26th October at 14:00pm in the Museum’s Chapel.
XV168 was originally dedicated 20 years ago, shortly after it flew ‘home’ on 15th October 1993 from Lossiemouth, the first and last occasion on which a Buccaneer would land at Brough, no other having ever flown into or out of the airfield. The aircrew who lost their lives in two separate incidents were: John G Joyce; Trevor D Dunn; ‘Sailor’ G R I Parker and Gordon R Copeman. A plaque with the aircraft has stood at Brough for 20 years, until the aircraft’s move to Elvington on the 18th August this year.
Redevelopment of the Brough site led to the decision being taken to offer the airframe to the Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial as the most fitting place to house this aircraft. The Buccaneer design underwent development trials at Elvington Airfield and the company’s site at Holme on Spalding Moor, close by, so the type has an historic connection to XV168’s new locality.
XV168 complements the two other Buccaneers within the Museum’s collection, these being Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XX901 and the Hawker Siddley (Blackburn) Buccaneer S.2 XN974, which was the prototype for the Fleet Air Arm Naval version of the low level strike attack aircraft, which is kept in ‘live’ ground operational condition.
As part of the ceremony on Saturday, XN974 will indeed be powered up, as it stands with the others in a unique Buccaneer display. Relatives of the aircrew have been invited to attend, some of whom are living in America, along with Professor Robert Blackburn, grandson of Blackburn Aircraft Company founder (Robert Blackburn), and his sister Janie Rayne. Members of the Blackburn Aircrew Association have also been invited to the occasion.
BAE Systems have produced a new plaque, to note XV168’s new location here at the Yorkshire Air Museum, in keeping with the Museum’s style of aircraft signage.