Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor XX889

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XX889 - Gary Spoors, Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire

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Buccaneer S.2B XX889 at Bruntingthorpe, 24th March 2012; author

Delivered to the MoD(Procurement Executive) on the last day of 1974, XX889 began her RAF career with 16 Squadron at RAF Laarbruch and went on to serve with 15, 12 and 208 Squadrons. By 1986 she had been upgraded to carry Sea Eagle missiles and was transferred to 237 OCU in December of that year, returning to 12 Squadron in May 1987. She took part in the 1991 Gulf War, painted in desert pink colours and named 'Longmorn' (no nose art). She had lost her desert pink scheme by October 1991 and in August 1992 gained new grey colours. She ended her career with 208 Squadron, and her last flight was on 7th April 1994 to 19 MU at RAF St. Athan for storage prior to disposal. Bought by Gary Spoors and Dave Prive, they put her on loan to the Jet Age Museum at Gloucestershire (Staverton) Airport. Work there concentrated on the cockpit - the front cockpit was fairly complete, but the rear cockpit had over 90% of the instrumentation missing. Work by Buccaneer Engineering began in April 2003 and quite a lot of instrumentation was re-installed. The aircraft was repainted in her current scheme for static display at RIAT 2003 at RAF Fairford - part of the '100 years of flight' exhibition. She then moved to storage at Staverton while the Jet Age Museum looked for another home, but as this has yet to happen, she was moved once again, in April 2007, to Kemble and the care of the Buccaneer Society. Work on her restoration continued and a repaint into her Gulf War colours was completed in early 2008. Sadly her welcome at Kemble was outstayed and in May 2011 she moved to Bruntingthorpe, where she is now the fourth Buccaneer on site! She needs a lot of work before her systems are brought back to life and even more to return her to taxiable condition.

Information on this page current as of 25/03/2012

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