Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor XN957

S.1 XN957 - Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset

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Buccaneer S.1 XN957 at Fleet Air Arm Museum, 3rd November 2021; Jake Wallace

XN957 made its first flight on 3rd April 1963 and was delivered to the Royal Navy later that year. The airframe made its last flight in September 1971 and was delivered to the Fleet Air Arm Museum later that same month for display.

In the early 1990s, XN957 was put into storage at Cobham Hall for a few years before being put back on display where it was joined by Buccaneer XV333 in 1994, making the Fleet Air Arm Museum the only place in the world where you can see an S.1 and S.2B parked side by side. The museum also has the Buccaneer prototype - the NA.39 XK488, which is in storage in Cobham Hall. One day, hopefully, we'll be able to see all three side by side on display!

Being inside almost all its retirement life, XN957 is in very good condition and is complete! Everything that should be in the cockpit is there, apart from one or two instruments, she is still fitted with engines and is also in her original paint colours! However, she is missing her port main undercarriage door, we believe this is from where the museum staff has had to put a gag (a piece of metal around the undercarriage leg to prevent it from collapsing) around the leg as it was starting to collapse around 2007. Hopefully, the door will be refitted at some point.

In 2022, the Carrier Exhibition underwent refurbishment, with some aircraft going into storage, while others came out of storage, and a few others being repositioned. XN957 was repositioned and now sits in between a Sea Harrier and Sea Vixen XS590. Unfortunately, Buccaneer XV333 is one of a few aircraft to leave the exhibition, meaning you can no longer see an S.1 and S.2B side by side.

Information on this page current as of 08/08/2022, last updated by Jake

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