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, 23rd September 2023; Jake Wallace

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 of 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 could sit on the artic trailer. Thankfully this was not too 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 appeared abandoned at the museum, but thankfully at the start of 2019 a team of dedicated volunteers started to look after her and slowly began restoring her. Although the aircraft is rather complete, including two engines, she still has several gaps that need filling. Efforts are currently being made to get the aircraft fully hydraulically and electrically restored, with external lights coming back to life in 2023, and has even received a fresh lick of paint!

Follow the group's restoration journey on the Blackburn Buccaneer XV168 Restoration Project. Facebook page.

Information on this page current as of 25/09/2023, last updated by Jake

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