Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor ZU-NIP (ex XW986)

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S.2B ZU-NIP - Thunder City Aircraft Company (for sale), Cape Town, South Africa

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Buccaneer S.2B ZU-NIP at Thunder City, 31st October 2012; Francis Wallace

XW986 is an ex-RAE aircraft (hence the paintscheme) and was bought by Delta Jets when it left service. At the time of sale, the aircraft was not in great condition with the tailplane removed and other parts missing. It lived at Wellesbourne Mountford next to Vulcan XM655 for a while, but when Delta moved to Kemble in 1996, XW986 went with them, and was restored to near-perfect condition. Efforts to fly it in the UK were frustrated by the CAA for a long time and just when there seemed a glimmer of hope for the aircraft she was sold to Ian Pringle in South Africa.

Permission was granted for some test flights here in the UK and on Friday 29th March 2002 she flew for the first time in 9 years. She sadly departed these shores a few weeks later and was then based at Mike Beachy Head's Thunder City operation.

Unfortunately with Thunder City being effectively shut down by the CAA after identifying various maintenance failings that cost pilot Dave Stock his life in the crash of their Lightning ZU-BEX, that meant ZU-NIP was grounded. She was put up for sale by auction in November 2011 but did not sell.

In 2019 she was once again advertised as being up for sale.

Information on this page current as of 19/03/2021, last updated by Damien

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