The Museum’s Blackburn Buccaneer S2 XN974 was successfully 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 has been put back into its original livery as the prototype for the Fleet Air Arm / Royal Navy variant of this strike and reconnaissance aircraft. The Buccaneer was highly regarded as a stable and formidable low-level strike platform, with a total payload of 16 000lbs, comprised of conventional bombs and, in the case of the Naval / Maritime variant, Martel anti-ship missiles. Ground based aircraft used Paveway laser guided bombs. It had a maximum speed of 690 mph, or Mach 0.92, powered by twin Rolls Royce Spey engines.
The crisp new paintwork was unveiled by Commodore Paul Sutermeister DL RN Rtd. and Museum Director Ian Reed, by removing the magnificent 9ft Royal Navy Ensign that once flew aboard HMS York from the nose of XN974. The Ensign has now been very generously donated to the Museum by the York Royal Naval Association. We were delighted that the Branch Standard and another were presented on the day, along with a contingent of 12 excellently presented Sea Cadets from York.
Following this short ceremony, the Museum’s team brought the aircraft to life as she officially rejoined the Museum’s live aircraft fleet, demonstrating the versatile control surfaces and folding wings which makes her so popular on the Museum’s Thunder Days.
Buccaneer XN974 is one of three Buccaneers at the Museum and 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. Our calendar of events gives more details of chances to see the Buccaneer running live throughout the year.