Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer

Survivor XZ431

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S.2B XZ431 - John Hoole, South Yorkshire Air Museum, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

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Buccaneer S.2B XZ431 at Bruntingthorpe, 27th April 2019; Jake Wallace

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 often hangared. As a result 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 travelling exhibit and can be seen above at Bruntingthorpe attending the 25 Years of Retirement event held by The Buccaneer Aviation Group. During 2020 XZ431 has had a fresh lick of paint by the volunteers at The Vulcan Restoration Trust who have done an amazing job. She's now moved to the South Yorkshire Air Museum and is undercover. She has a Facebook page here.

Information on this page current as of 02/03/2021, last updated by Jake

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