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Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor XK488

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NA.39 XK488 - Fleet Air Arm Museum (stored), RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset

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NA.39 XK488 at Fleet Air Arm, 27th October 2011; Mike Overs

XK488 is now the only remaining NA.39 in the world which is the prototype for the later Blackburn Buccaneer. This was the third airframe built wearing the blue and white NA.39 prototype scheme.

The airframe first took to the skies on 31st October 1958 at Holme on Spalding Moor before being delivered to de Havilland at Hatfield in 1960. XK488 was mainly used for development work for the Gyron Junior engines which were also fitted to the Buccaneer S.1. These engines were fairly light but could have done with slightly more power than what the Gyron Junior produced.

XK488 made its last flight in the mid-1960s and was brought by The Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton. After it arrived at the museum, her engines were removed and she was given a lick of paint before being put on display at the entrance in a take-off position in 1979! Unfortunately, due to being sat in the elements, XK488 needed some much-needed TLC work by 2001 and so the decision was made to remove her from the entrance and move her to Cobham Hall for storage.

XK488 still remains inside Cobham Hall today sadly, which is only accessible by appointment which you book before your visit. The museum also houses S.1 XN957 and S.2 XV333, making the FAA the only place in the world you can see an NA.39, S.1, and S.2 all in the same place!

Hopefully, XK488 can one day be moved to carrier exhibition to be on display next to XN967 and XV333.

Information on this page current as of 06/12/2021, last updated by Jake

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