Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor XZ431

S.2B XZ431 - Andrew Carnill, South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, AeroVenture, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

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Buccaneer S.2B XZ431 at South Yorkshire Air Museum, 14th August 2021; Lucas Walpole

First flown in July 1977, XZ431 served with 12 Squadron at RAF Honington and later both 12 and 208 Squadrons at RAF Lossiemouth. On retirement, XZ431 was flown to Marham for ground instructional and BDRT use as 9233M but was kept in good condition, and was often undercover. As a result of this, she was in pretty good condition for a good while until kept out of doors for several years, which left her corroded and fading.

Auctioned off in 2000, she was bought by a collector who planned to transport her to a museum in Belgium - sadly this fell through, as did another plan to display her somewhere in the UK as a memorial to the Buccaneer's chief designer, Roy Boot. She was put up for sale once more and bought by the OFMC to provide spares for XX885 and scrapped once spares recovery was complete. The nose was earmarked for the Belgian collector but once again he failed to transport her out of the UK so she went to Phoenix Aviation before being bought by her current owner. John mounted her on a trailer for use as a traveling exhibit but displayed her at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, AeroVenture for the majority of the time. In 2020 XZ431 was moved to Southend Airport where it received a fresh lick of paint from the volunteers at the Vulcan Restoration Trust who have done an amazing job of it. She's then returned to the South Yorkshire Air Museum where it is kept undercover. XZ431 is currently back at Southend Airport for a brief visit this winter while the Vulcan Restoration Trust touches up the paintwork ready for traveling around the country again in 2022.

Information on this page current as of 16/11/2021, last updated by Jake

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