Thunder & Lightnings

Blackburn Buccaneer - Survivor XV168

S.2B XV168 - Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, Yorkshire

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Buccaneer S.2B XV168 at Yorkshire Air Museum, 15th January 2017; Mike Overs

XV168 entered service with 801 NAS, this airframe was the very last Buccaneer to take off from and aircraft carrier when being transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1978.

Throughout XV168 many years of service with the Royal Air Force she was operated by 12 and 208 Squadrons and 237 OCU. Upon the retirement of the Buccaneer from Royal Air Force service XV168 was selected to return to its place of birth at Brough, now part of BAE Systems where she made her last ever flight on 15th October 1993 and became the only Buccaneer to land at Brough with the help of a portable arrestor system and it's tail hook.

She was then put on display there as a memorial to the test pilots and flight test observers who lost their lives in the development of the type.

In 2013, the airframe was donated by BAE to the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington. In the summer of 2013, The Buccaneer Aviation Group spent a couple weekends at Brough preparing XV168 for the road move to Elvington by getting her hydraulic systems back up and working to retract the undercarriage so she can sit on the trailer. Thankfully this was not to difficult due to how complete the aircraft was and so on the 18th August of that year she joined Buccaneer XN974 and XX901 at the museum (see photos above).

After the road move she was sadly fairly unloved and abandoned at the museum, but thankfully at the start of 2019 a team of dedicated volunteers are started to look after her and slowly start restoring her. Although the aircraft is rather complete, she still has parts that have been robbed from her over time along with two poor engines so it's unlikely she will ever run again, but it's not impossible.

Efforts are currently being made to get her fully hydraulically and electrically restored. They are now hoping to get her wings up so she can be pushed inside the hangar for a shiny new repaint!

Follow the groups journey on the Blackburn Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project Facebook page here!.

Information on this page current as of 05/03/2021, last updated by Jake

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