British Aerospace (Blackburn/Hawker Siddeley) S.1 Buccaneer (XN964)

British Aerospace (Blackburn/Hawker Siddeley) S.1 Buccaneer (XN964)  [@ Newark Air Museum]

Designed in 1954 to meet a Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm  requirement for a high-speed strike aircraft capable of operating from existing (small) carriers and having sufficient firepower to destroy major Soviet surface units, the Blackburn B103 Buccaneer flew for the first time on the 30th April 1958.  The type replaced the FAA's Supermarine Scimitar in the attack role.  Forty production Buccaneer S.1 aircraft, with Bristol Siddeley Gyron Junior turbojets, were delivered from July 1962, and were followed by 84 more powerful S.2s with Rolls Royce Spey turbofans.  Sixteen S.2s were also supplied to the South African Air Force, these being fitted with an auxiliary rocket motor to improve ‘hot and high’ take-off.  The Royal Navy’s surviving S.2s were transferred to the RAF from 1969, undergoing substantial refurbishment and modification for the low-level strike role, in which they replaced the Canberra and filled the gap created by the cancellation of TSR2.  The ex-RN Buccaneers were designated S.2A, a further 43 new aircraft being equipped to carry the Martel anti-radar missile and designated S.2B.  The Panavia Tornado GR.1 progressively replaced the Buccaneer.

XN964 was built at Brough and first flew in July 1963.  It served in Singapore before joining 801 Squadron on HMS Victorious in January 1964.  XN964 later served with 736 and 803 Squadron before becoming a trials aircraft in 1970 at RAE and RRE and later served as an instructional airframe at Hawker Siddeley's Brough plant.  After a time at East Midland Airport in the mid 1980's it was transported by road to Newark in March 1988.