Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor XN981

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XN981 - Morris Leslie (stored, dismantled), Errol, Scotland

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Buccaneer S.2B XN981 at Errol, 25th August 2009; Francis Wallace/Blackburn Buccaneer Society

Originally ordered as an S.1, XN981 was built as an S.2 and delivered on 4th February 1965. First seeing service with 700B Flight at RNAS Lossiemouth, she went on to serve with 801 NAS, embarking on HMS Victorious during June 1966. She also served with 809 and 800 NAS later in her RN career before being transferred to the RAF in 1971 after being converted to an S.2A, serving with 237 OCU and 12 Squadron before returning to the RN in early 1973. She was upgraded to carry Martel missiles (S.2D status), served with 809 NAS again before once more being transferred to the RAF (having been converted to an S.2B). She spent her remaining career bouncing between 208 and 12 Squadrons until retirement in 1994. At this point her fate became a little unclear, with some sources stating she had bene scrapped, others that she had been partially scrapped with just the fuselage remaining. However, as you can see from the photo above, she wasn't scrapped at all! Francis found her to be basically all there, albeit dismantled (and the port engine/wing root area has been cut off prior to transport to her current location). The engines and ejector seats are missing but basically this is a complete airframe and while the current owner has no plans to put her back together, perhaps in future this will be done - certainly this is a better result than being scrapped.

Information on this page current as of 28/08/2009

Find other photos of XN981 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - Airliners.net - Airplane-Pictures.net - flickr.com - WorldAirPics.com - JetPhotos.net - PlanePictures.net - Blackburn-Buccaneer.co.uk