Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor XV361

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XV361 - Ulster Aviation Society, Long Kesh (stored), Lisburn, Northern Ireland

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Buccaneer S.2 XV361 at Long Kesh, September 2007; Eric Gray

Pictured here tucked up inside a nice warm hangar is XV361, which flew into retirement with the Ulster Aviation Society back in 1994. In 2002 her hydraulic systems were exercised - the first time the hydraulics had seen any use since 1994, so well done to all involved for getting her wings moving at all! She's normally kept indoors as you can see so is in excellent condition as a result. Originally serving with the FAA (on both HMS Victorious and Ark Royal), she transferred to the RAF and life with 12 Squadron. After being given Sea Eagle missile capability she transferred once more, to 208 Squadron, and spent the rest of her active career at Lossiemouth. She holds the record for the shortest planned flight by a Buccaneer - 92 seconds, from Aldergrove airport at Belfast to Langford Lodge! This was because the plan had been to road her from Aldergrove to Langford Lodge, but somebody pointed out the number of trees at the side of the roads en-route would entail dismantling the aircraft and the decision was taken to fly her instead. She was well looked after at Langford Lodge for 10 years but in 2004 the UAS' lease was terminated. After much effort they identified a new site and with a couple of stays of execution they hung on until 2006 when XV361 was moved by road to one of the old WWII hangars at the former Long Kesh airfield (better known to many as the site of infamous Maze Prison and its "H blocks"). Visits are currently possibly by appointment only.

Information on this page current as of 14/04/2009

Find other photos of XV361 on the following sites:

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