Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor XX889

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S.2B XX889 - Gary Spoors, RAF Cosford, Shropshire

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Buccaneer S.2B XX889 at Cosford Airshow, 10th June 2018; Damien Burke

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 was the fourth Buccaneer on site at the time. The Buccaneer Aviation Group took care of XX889, and restored her front and back cockpits while she was at Bruntingthorpe.

In June 2018, XX889 was moved to RAF Cosford to be placed on static display for the annual airshow celebrating 100 years of the Royal Air Force. XX889 remains at Cosford to this day, but current plans will see her move again in the late summer of 2021 to her new permanent home at the South Wales Aviation Museum (SWAM) located at St Athan.

Information on this page current as of 07/12/2020

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