Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor 'XN972' (really XN962)

S.1 XN972 - RAF Museum Midlands, RAF Cosford, Shropshire

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Buccaneer S.1 XN972 at Cosford , 21st April 2022; Jake Wallace

XN962, despite appearances, never served with the RAF and is an S.1.

She was delivered to the RN (809 NAS) in July 1963, and went on to serve with 800 NAS in 1964 (including time on HMS Eagle) and by the late 60s was with 736 NAS, ending her active career with NASU at Lossiemouth. She was withdrawn from use in January 1971 and scrapped the next year, with the nose section being retained.

This was used as a recruitment aid for a long time, being trucked around to various airshows etc, and has several cutaway panels so you can see the internal structure. At some point she gained the RAF colour scheme - and the wrong serial of XN972 - and has bounced between the RAF Museum's Cosford and Hendon sites, settling finally at the Cosford. Pity, she's at the RAF Museum really - it would make much more sense to repaint her back to FAA colours and display her at a Museum with more of a Navy theme. If you look closely at some of the markings, especially the 'FIRE PANEL' marking, you can see her original Navy colours showing through! They even pained the lip of the intake silver, to make it look like the steel lip on the S.2, which the S.1 never had. Another thing that has been noticed is the Ejection Seats she has are not Buccaneer, but that aside, internally she is very complete.

It's also been noted with displeasure that when she was at Cosford some years ago you could look inside the cockpit for free, but when she moved to Hendon you were first charged £1.50 for the privilege, and now she's back at Cosford you cannot do so at all.

XN962 is one of many airframes in the Cold War Hangar that are difficult to photograph, the Buccaneer is difficult due to poorly placed signs, and bright backlighting as the photo above shows.

Information on this page current as of 24/04/2022, last updated by Jake

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