Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor XW547

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S.2B XW547 - RAF Museum ('Pauline, Guinness Girl'), Hendon, London

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Buccaneer S.2B XW547 at RAF Hendon Museum , 22nd May 2012; Francis Wallace

XW547 was delivered to the RAF on 31st October 1972 and began life with 15 Squadron RAFG at Laarbruch two days later. She went on to serve with 12 Squadron, 237 OCU, 216 Squadron, received new wings in late 1980 (a result of inspections after the Red Flag Buccaneer crash that was caused by spar fatigue) and then onward to 208 Squadron and 12 once more. She took part in 1983's 'Operation Western Fox' - slamming Martel missiles into old ships in Florida - and by 1986 was Sea Eagle-capable. She received her desert pink war paint in January 1991 and was flown to Muharraq Air Base in Bahrain to be part of the RAF Buccaneer force in Operation Granby - the 'first' Gulf War. She retained her colours after that brief war and finished her career with 12 Squadron, being withdrawn from use in 1993 and earmarked for preservation at the RAF Museum at Cosford.

After several years there, she was relocated to Hendon where she remains on display to this day. XW547 is otherwise known as Guinness Girl or Pauline, and the tipple assigned to her was The Macallan. A few years back, XW547 moved into Hangar 6 where she has been exposed to the natural light, and has been positioned much better than she was, making her easier to view and to get a better photo! She can be seen above how she was back in 2012, displayed in poor lighting and faced into a corner of the hangar, making the front of her near impossible to view. XW547 is the only Buccaneer to still wear her original ATRF desert colours.

Information on this page current as of 29/01/2021, last updated by Jake

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