Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor XN983

S.2B XN983 - Privately owned, Stoneykirk Aviation Museum, Stoneykirk, Stranraer

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Buccaneer S.2B XN983 at the Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Museum, 2nd December 2020; Damien Burke

Built as an S.2 and first flown on 8th March 1965, XN983 was delivered to the Royal Navy later that month. In October 1968 she was returned to Brough for conversion to S.2B standard (Martel missile capability) and returned to FAA service in September 1969. This didn't last long as she was transferred to the RAF in June 1970, entering service with 12 Squadron, with whom she appears to have stayed throughout her RAF career. On retirement in 1994 she was scrapped at Shawbury, with the nose section being saved, initially as part of the Terrington Aviation Collection, but later moving to Fenland & West Norfolk Aviation Museum in 2000.

Since being on display at Fenland, the cockpit has been fully restored by her then-owners and looks fantastic as a result. The canopy was removed and placed to one side, allowing XN983 to sit flush against a wall, also allowing visitors easy access to both the pilot's and observer's cockpits.
She's been at Fenland since 2000, and is in excellent condition with her cockpit open for inspection and canopy on a stand nearby. The cockpit was also treated to a repaint into overall Extra Dark Sea Grey, representing her FAA service. Oddly XN983 had a doppelganger - ex-FAA S.1 XN956 was used as a battle damage repair training airframe at RAFG Laarbruch, painted up in RAF markings with 'XN983' applied as a serial number. In this guise, the aircraft appeared in a BDR training video but watch closely and you'll see the small S.1 intakes that give the game away.

As the Fenland & West Norfolk Aviation Museum was going to close, XN983 was put up for sale, being purchased by a private owner who moved the cockpit to Stoneykirk Aviation Museum on the 1st of February 2023.

Information on this page current as of 01/02/2023, last updated by Jake

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