Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor XN981

S.2B XN981 - Morris Leslie (stored, dismantled), Errol, Scotland

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Buccaneer S.2B XN981 at Errol, 7th July 2021; Phil Adkin

Originally ordered as an S.1, XN981 was built as an S.2 and delivered on 4th February 1965. First seeing service with 700B Flight at RNAS Lossiemouth, she went on to serve with 801 NAS, embarking on HMS Victorious during June 1966. She also served with 809 and 800 NAS later in her RN career before being transferred to the RAF in 1971 after being converted to an S.2A, serving with 237 OCU and 12 Squadron before returning to the RN in early 1973. She was upgraded to carry Martel missiles (S.2D status), served with 809 NAS again before once more being transferred to the RAF (having been converted to an S.2B). She spent her remaining career bouncing between 208 and 12 Squadrons until retirement in 1994.

At this point her fate became a little unclear, with some sources stating she had been scrapped, others that she had been partially scrapped with just the fuselage remaining. However, as you can see from the photo above, she wasn't scrapped at all! Francis found her to be basically all there, albeit dismantled (and the port engine/wing root area has been cut off prior to transport to her current location).

Since being at Errol, very little has changed to the airframe if anything, hopefully, it could be reassembled someday rather than left to sit gathering dust in pieces.

Information on this page current as of 29/11/2021, last updated by Damien

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