Buccaneer Survivors

Page Last Updated: 21/11/2021

Please feel free to get in touch with TBAG’s Visual Storyteller, Jake, if interested in contributing information and photos to the survivors section here: jakewallacetbag@gmail.com

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 01/11/2012 – Cape Town

The Blackburn Buccaneer has done fairly well after retirement with several complete airframes in museums plus some taxiable ones too. A handful of cockpit sections preserved and there were even three flyers in Cape Town South Africa for a few years with Thunder City.


COMPLETE AIRFRAMES


XK488 – NA.39 – Fleet Air Arm Museum

Stored

XK488, the worlds only surviving NA.39 which was the third prototype built for the later Buccaneer. This airframe was mainly used for development work on the Gyron Junior engines which were used in the S.1 Buccaneers.

XK488 used to be displayed outside in a take off position but has since been moved to the storage hangar at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton where it can be seen today.

Photo Credit: Mike Overs/TBAG – 27/10/2011 – Fleet Air Arm Museum


XK532 – S.1 – Inverness

Stored

After retirement, XK532 went on to gate guard duties at RAF Lossiemouth’s before being replaced by XV863 in the Gulf War colours. The airframe was put in to storage for several years until it was moved to the Highland Aviation Museum in 2002. The museum unfortunately closed in 2019 with all the airframes moving on to private owners and to Moryavia.

XK532 is the only airframe that still remains on the former museum site and is currently awaiting a new home.

Photo Credit: Mike Overs/TBAG – 15/09/2019 – Highland Aviation Museum


XN923 – S.1 – Gatwick Aviation Museum

Displayed & Runner

XN923 was the second production S.1 which became a trials aircraft with the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough where it carried out several tests including the fixed refuelling probe. After retirement, the airframe spent many on the fire dump at Boscombe Down until March 1990 when XN923 was sold and moved to Gatwick for restoration and display. After years of hard work, the volunteers the airframe back to running condition making XN923 the worlds only running S.1 Buccaneer.

Today, the airframe can be seen on display outside at the museum and XN923 still has engines run every so often.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 26/06/2021 – Gatwick Aviation Museum


XN957 – S.1 – Fleet Air Arm Museum

Displayed

After XN957’s retirement from the Royal Navy in 1974, it was delivered to the Fleet Air Arm Museum for display a few weeks later. The airframe has been on display ever since with Buccaneer S.2B XV333 joining it in the late 1990’s.

Today, XN957 is displayed next to XV333, making it the only place in the world to see both an S.1 and a S.2 side by side.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 03/11/2021 – Fleet Air Arm Museum


XN964 – S.1 – Newark Air Museum

Displayed

Retiring in October 1976, XN964 was transported to the Loughborough & Leicester Aircraft Museum and was on display for a few years before moving to Castle Donington briefly in 1982. By March 1988, XN964 was road moved to Newark Air Museum where it under went major restoration work.

XN964 has recently under gone a repaint by volunteers and can be seen today outside one of the hangar at Newark on display.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 28/08/2021 – Newark Air Museum


XK526 – S.2 – RAF Honington

Gate Guardian

XK526 started life as an S.1 but was converted to an S.2 at the production stage.

After retirement in the early 1980’s, the airframe was placed on display as a Gate Guard by 1983. XK526 has been guarding the gates at RAF Honington ever since.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 12/01/2007 – RAF Honington


XN974 – S.2 – Yorkshire Air Museum

Display & Runner

XN974 also started life as an S.1 and was later converted to an S.2 at the production stage. XN974 was put on to the Royal Aeronautical Establishment for work trials, the airframe was also the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly the transatlantic route with out landing or in flight re-fuelling. XN974 made it’s last flight into Elvington in 1991 which was later joined by XX901 and XV168.

Today, XN974 can be seen on display back in its Royal Navy colours at the museum and is often statically run plus a small trundle every now and then.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 29/08/2017 – Yorkshire Air Museum


XV361 – S.2 – Ulster Aviation Society

Displayed

XV361 was sold to the Ulster Aviation Society in 1994. The airframe made what was thought to be its last landing RAF Aldergrove in Belfast with plans to road move it to UAS. After noticing several obstructions along the route when surveying it was decided the XV361 would fly one last time to Langford Lodge and made a record breaking flight of just 92 seconds. The aircraft was kept at Langford Lodge for many years. In 2004, UAS has to find a new location to house the aircraft, that new location being Long Kesh Airfield and so by 2006 XV361 was transported by road to one of the hangars at Long Kesh.

Today, XV361 can be seen on display in the hangar with a few other airframes, it occasionally has it’s hydraulic system exercised such as wings, undercarriage, airbrake, etc.

Photo Credit: Mike Overs/TBAG – 21/10/2016 – Ulster Aviation Society


XN981 – S.2B – Errol

Stored/Dismantled

After XN981 retired, its existence was a little unknown with many sources stating it had been either scrapped or partially scrapped. TBAG volunteer Francis Wallace managed to visit the airframe in 2009, although the aircraft has been cut in places, he was surprised to find that everything was there but in kit form.

XN981 is still sat undercover in the exact same place today as it was back then.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace – 25/08/2009 – Errol


XT288 – S.2B – National Museum of Flight

Stored

XT288 retired with 12 Sqn in the late 1980’s when involved in a ground accident which resulted in one of the wings to become twisted. The airframe was then transferred to instructional uses for ground weapons handling as 9134M. XT288 was moved to the National Museum of Flight where it was externally restored for static display.

XT288 was put in storage around 2017 and is still in storage today.

Photo Credit: Mike Overs/TBAG – 29/04/2015 – National Museum of Flight


XV168 – S.2B – Yorkshire Air Museum

Displayed

The last ever Buccaneer to take off from an aircraft career, XV168, which made its last flight back to the birth place at Brough. The aircraft was put on display and became a memorial to the test pilots who lost their lives in the development of the Buccaneer. In 2013, XV168 was donated by BAE to the Yorkshire Air Museum and was road moved by August with the help of TBAG where it joined XN974 and XX901.

XV168 is currently being restored by a small number of volunteers and can be seen on display outside.

Photo Credit: Mike Overs/TBAG – 15/01/2017 – Yorkshire Air Museum


XV333 – S.2B – Fleet Air Arm Museum

Displayed

The third and final Buccaneer on display at the Fleet Air Arm museum, XV333 which retired in 1994 to the museum and was towed inside for display.

XV333, can be seen today on display beside S.1 XN957.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 03/11/2021 – Fleet Air Arm Museum


XV350 – S.2B – East Midlands Aeropark

Displayed

XV350 was used for weapon trials in service on projects such as the Pave Spike laser designator pod and made several flights over to the USA during these trials, the airframe being named ‘Tequila Sheila’. XV350 retired in April 1993 at East Midlands Airport for display at the Aeropark. It’s engines used to be run on a regular basis with hydraulic systems exercised, however, engine runs came to an end once the Aeropark was moved the other side of the Airport due to being close to a residential area.

Today, XV350 still has it’s hydraulic systems exercised every so often and can be seen on display at the Aeropark with many other aircraft.

Photo Credit: Adam Poultney – 30/05/2021 – East Midlands Aeropark


XV359 – S.2B – Topsham

Private

XV359 was retired to Culdrose in 1994 and was road moved to Predannack Fire School for instructional use as A2693. The aircraft was then returned to Culdrose for display and it regained Royal Navy colours. XV359 was put up for disposal in 2005 when it was sold to a private owner who transported the airframe to Topsham in Devon. It was sat out side for some time after the move before going undercover for restoration.

XV359 is not accessible to the public but is still well looked after and is kept undercover.

Photo Credit: Anthony Lee – 01/09/2009 – Topsham


XV863 – S.2B – Weston Aerodrome

Stored

The former RAF Lossiemouth gate guardian which replaced Buccaneer XK532 in the 1990’s. XV863 was replaced by a Tornado in the early 2000’s and was put into storage where it awaited sale. By 2007, the airframe was sold and transported to Dublin and road moved to Weston Aerodrome. XV863 has been put up for sale a few times over the years but never got sold. However, there are future plans for the Buccaneer to go on display at the Aerodrome.

The airframe currently sits at the far end of the airfield out of site waiting to be put on display.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 05/09-2018 – Weston Aerodrome


XV864 – S.2B – RAF Manston History Museum

Displayed

XV864 made it’s last flight into Manston Airport in April 1994 and it was soon moved over to the fire training school aircrew extraction training. The aircraft has been stripped of parts over the time it spent at the school.

After many years of not receiving TLC, the airframe was sold to a private owner who has put it on loan to the RAF Manston History Museum for static restoration by May 2021.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 22/09/2008 – Manston Fire Training School


XV865 – S.2B – Imperial War Museum (Duxford)

Displayed

Retiring in January 1994, XV865 became an instructional airframe at RAF Coningsby and was often seen on display with Phantoms. In 1999, the Imperial War Museum brought it and transported XV865 to Duxford Airfield where it was reassembled and placed on display. Over the years it has been restored and resprayed.

The airframe today can be seen on display undercover at Duxford.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 21/01/2011 – Imperial War Museum (Duxford)


XW530 – S.2B – Buccaneer Service Station

Displayed

An ex-Gulf War Buccaneer, retired in 1994, XW530 is the closest Buccaneer to RAF Lossiemouth today. The aircraft was brought by a private owner who put it on display next to his service station in Elgin. The aircraft has been on display ever since and can still be seen there today.

In August 2021, XW530 went up for sale and just a month later was sold to David Hamilton who wants to move it to the Scottish Deer Park for display.

Photo Credit: Adam Poultney – 17/07/2021 – Buccaneer Service Station


XW544 – S.2B – Cotswold Airport

Runner

XW544 retired for storage at RAF Shawbury in 1983. The aircraft was transferred to RAF Cosford as 8857M for ground weapons training and was often seen on display at the airshows. By 1993, XW544 came up for disposal and it was sold to Rob Goldstone who moved it to a scrapyard for storage in Shawbury. After years of being sat on its belly in the scrap yard, the airframe was sold to Dave, Andy and George who moved it to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome for restoration. Buccaneer groups XW544 and XX894 helped each other out restoring each aircraft back to running condition and in 2011, XW544 and XX894 became The Buccaneer Aviation Group. In 2020, Bruntingthorpe airfield was leased to Cox Automotive, after much discussion, TBAG moved both XW544 and XX894 to Cotswold Airport (Kemble) in August 2020.

XW544 currently sits airside with XX894 at Cotswold Airport and performs fast taxis on a regular basis.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 03/07/2021 – Cotswold Airport


XW547 – S.2B – RAF Museum London

Displayed

The only Buccaneer to be retired and preserved in the original ATRF, more commonly known as desert pink. XW547 retired in 1993 to RAF Cosford for preservation. The airframe was on display in Hangar 1 for several years before being road moved to the RAF’s second museum in Hendon, London.

Since being at Hendon, XW547 has moved hangars and is now much more viewable than the photo shows.

Photo Credit: Tom Moran – 16/05/2019 – RAF Museum London


XX885 (G-HHAA) – S.2B – RAF Scampton

Stored

XX885, the only complete Buccaneer today still persevered in the overall grey scheme. Brought by Hawker Hunter Aviation who at one point had hope of getting it back in the air. An Inspect & Repair as Necessary was completed by the engineers at HHA in 2003 of the entire airframe. Several anti-deterioration runs were carried out on a very regular basis. A full set of ground support equipment was overhauled too along with several spares. By 2005, the CAA gave XX885 the approval for flight in the UK, however, it is still yet to take to the air. Unfortunately, the airframe has not been given and anti-det run or been exercised in several years due to the Hunters taking priority.

Today, XX885 is tucked away in one of the HHA hangars with the Hunters.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 09/09/2017 – RAF Scampton Airshow


XX889 – S.2B – RAF Cosford

Stored

Another ex-gulf war airframe, XX889 receiving the most mission markings in the war of the type with 14 which can be seen on its starboard side. XX889 retired to St Athan for disposal in April 1994. Owners Gary Spoors and Dave Price moved the airframe to Enstone for a brief while before moving to Cotswold Airport for restoration and display. In May 2011, XX889 was on the road again, this time to Bruntingthorpe where it was cared by TBAG, making it the forth Buccaneer on site. XX889’s cockpit was restored and tidied up from what it was like, but it wasn’t long before XX889 was back on the road once again. The aircraft was moved to RAF Cosford for static display at the RAF Cosford 2018 airshow to celebrate RAF 100th.

XX889 is currently in storage at RAF Cosford waiting to be road moved to its final destination, South Wales Aviation Museum (SWAM) where it will go undercover and on display with the rest of Gary Spoors’ aircraft collection.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 10/06/2018 – RAF Cosford Airshow


XX894 – S.2B – Cotswold Airport

Runner

XX894 made its last flight into St Athan for disposal. Gary Spoors road moved XX894 alongside XX900 to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in 1994 for preservation. However XX894 left Bruntingthorpe in 1995 and was moved to Kemble airfield. At Kemble, XX894 mainly became a spares ship for XW986 (ZU-NIP). A few years later, the airframe was moved to Farnborough for static display at the airshow and storage. XX894 went up for sale was brought by Guy Hulme who moved it back to Buntingthorpe in 2003 with the vision to get it back to running condition. Groups XW544 and XX894 worked very closely together and eventually joined to make The Buccaneer Aviation Group in 2011. In 2011, Guy sold the airframe back to Gary Spoors which then got sold again to The Buccaneer Aviation Group who carried on the restoration. In 2020, Bruntingthorpe airfield was leased to Cox Automotive, after much discussion, TBAG moved both XW544 and XX894 to Cotswold Airport (Kemble) in August 2020.

XX894 currently sits airside with XW544 at Cotswold Airport and performs anti-deterioration runs on a regular basis, XX894 is still yet to have a trundle along the airports runway.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 03/07/2021 – Cotswold Airport


XX897 – S.2B – Atlantic Air Adventures

Displayed

XX897 was fitted with a Tornado F.3 nose to trial the Foxhunter radar used on the Tornado ADV. Retired to Bournemouth Airport in 1993 for preservation but was sold in 1998 to the Quicksilvers project who were interested in XX897’s engines, this resulting in its engines being ran every now and then with systems exercised. European Aviation provided the airframe with a hangar, fuel and any technical support that was needed, and so European Aviation repainted the airframe into their colours which can be seen on the tail. In 2005 XX897 was sold to a private owner who kept in in taxiable condition before being sold to Atlantic Air Adventure in Shannon, Ireland. The aircraft was kept on static display for many years until TBAG got it hydraulically working once again, exercising the wings, airbrake etc in return for the engines to help keep XX894 and XW544 in a taxiable state for years to come.

Today, XX897 can be seen on static display at the small museum but is not exercised on a regular basis.

Photo Credit: Mike Overs/TBAG – 07/04/2017 – Atlantic Air Adventure


XX900 – S.2B – Tatenhill Airport

Runner

Retired to St Athan for disposal in April 1994 and was sold to British Aviation Heritage and was moved to Bruntingthorpe alongside Gary Spoors’ XX894 to expand the collection. XX900 has been seen at most of the Cold War Jets open days displaying fast taxi runs. In 2020, Bruntingthorpe airfield was leased to Cox Automotive, after much discussion between the owner of the collection and XX900’s chief engineer, the airframe was allowed to move to Tatenhill Airport where it can be kept in a taxiable state.

XX900 is still yet to stretch it’s legs at Tatenhill Airport but does have the occasional anti-deterioration run to keep systems exercised.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 24/08/2019 – Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome


XX901 – S.2B – Yorkshire Air Museum

Displayed

Retired to St Athan in 1994, XX901 was sold to the Buccaneer Aircrew Association who moved it to Kemble Airfield for storage before transporting it to Yorkshire Air Museum in the late 1990’s. The airframe soon received a repaint back into it’s desert pink colours and was put on static display along side XN974 and was later joined by XV168.

XX901 can be seen on display at the museum either outside or in the hangar.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 18/08/2013 – Yorkshire Air Museum


ZU-AVI (XW988) – S.2B – Thunder City

Stored – For Sale

The first Buccaneer to arrive at Thunder City 1996 after being sold to them the previous year. The airframe was put is static display in the hangar until ZU-BCR (XW987) arrived the following year. It wasn’t long before Thunder City got the permission to fly the Buccaneer in South Africa by the SA CAA. ZU-AVI spent many years in the skies again along side ZU-BCR and ZU-NIP which all appeared on the fly displays at airshows. Due to the crash of Lightning ZU-BEX, the collection was temporarily grounded. By 2012, ZU-AVI under went maintenance before taking to the skies again. The fleet was ground again around 2016 and was put up for sale in 2019.

The collection has now been pushed out the hangar and are stored outside awaiting sale.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 31/10/2012 – Thunder City


ZU-BCR (XW987) – S.2B – Thunder City

Stored – For Sale

ZU-BCR joined ZU-AVI at Thunder City in May 1997. ZU-BCR took to the skies with ZU-AVI and ZU-NIP for many years and displayed at airshows. Due to the crash of Lightnings ZU-BEX, the fleet was temporarily grounded but took to the skies once more by February 2012. The fleet was ground again around 2016 and was put up for sale in 2019.

The collection has now been pushed out the hangar and are stored outside awaiting sale.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 01/11/2012 – Thunder City


ZU-NIP (XW986) – S.2B – Thunder City

Stored – For Sale

After retirement, XW986 spent a while at Wellesbourne with Vulcan XM655 before being brought and road moved to Kemble Airfield by Delta Jets in 1996. There were efforts to get XW986 to fly in the UK, but due to being a complex aircraft this was much easier said than done. The airframe was sold to Thunder City in the early 2000s and there were efforts to get it flying again. By 2002, XW986 took to the skies again and departed for Thunder City just a few weeks later, being the last Buccaneer to fly in UK skies. Flown as ZU-NIP, the airframe took part in several airshows in South Africa alongside ZU-AVI and ZU-BCR. Due to the crash of Lightning ZU-BEX the fleet was temporarily grounded, however ZU-NIP had a cracked wing spar resulting in the airframe never taking to the skies again but was seen on static display at Thunder City. By 2016, the collection was grounded again and put up for sale in 2019.

The collection has now been pushed out the hangar and are stored outside awaiting sale.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 31/10/2012 – Thunder City


XV344 – S.2C – QinetiQ Complex

Gate Guardian

XV344, also know as ‘Nightbird’ was used for many trials throughout its flying career, its last trial being Night Vision in the late 1970s. The airframe retired in late 1994 and was road moved to Farnborough for gate guard duties.

Today, XV344 is still on display as gate guard duties but is not publicly accessible to the public.


412 – S.50 – Waterkloof

Gate Guardian

After 412 retired in South Africa, it was mounted with gear down, banked with nose down as a gate guard. The plinth was changed with the gear now up, banked with nose up.

The airframe can still be seen today displayed on this plinth.


414 – S.50 – SAAF Museum Swartkop

Displayed

Once 414 had retired, the airframe was put on display in a hangar in Swartkop, South Africa.

Today, 414 is still seen on display in the hangar with several other Buccaneer related items also on display around it.


416 – SAAF Museum Ysterplaat

Undergoing Restoration

416 was put on display at the SAAF Museum in Ysterplaat from 1996 to 1997 when it was transported to Thunder City for display in their hangar and was repainted. By 2007, the aircraft moved from Thunder City to the military side of Cape Town International Airport where it was in outside storage. By 2013, 416 was moved back to Ysterplaat museum where it was placed into one of the hangars on site to begin its restoration journey. In March 2019, the airframe received a repaint and returned to the restoration hangar.

The restoration work continues today on 416.


421 – S.50 – SAAF Museum Swartkop

Undergoing Restoration

421 was transported for storage to the SAAF Museum at Swartkop. During a storm, the roof of the hangar collapsed resulting in 421 getting damaged. The airframe spent several years after this incident untouched in open storage until a small team of volunteers retrieved it from a storage yard and towed it to one of the hangars at the museum in Swartkop for restoration.

To this day, restoration work continues on 421.


422 – S.50 – National Museum of Military History

Displayed

Protected by the elements, 422 is under cover on display at the National Museum of Military History and has been since retirement.


COCKPIT SECTIONS


MDC Test Rig – Unknown – Gravesend

Private

The MDC test rig was used to in the development of the Detonation Cord system, a system which shatters the canopy just before the the seats ejection, making ejection much safer as the seat won’t have to punch through the canopy. The test rig was seen at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in the late 1990’s before moving on to a private owner who moved it to Gravesend in Kent with his other cockpit section XN928.

The MDC test rig is uncover in a garage alongside XN928 which is not publicly accessible to the public.


XK533 – S.1 – Stoneykirk Aviation Museum

Undergoing Restoration / Displayed

XK533 crashed on 10/10/1963 into the Moray Firth just one miles from RAF Lossiemouth when on a single engine approach. The cockpit section was put on display at the National Museum of Flight in the 1990s but was soon moved into storage by the early 2000s.

The cockpit emerged from storage after being purchased by the Stoneykirk Aviation Museum in October 2021. The cockpit is now, at long last, undergoing restoration!

Photo Credit: Damien Burke / HandmadeByMachine


XN928 – S.1 – Gravesend

Private

XN928 was displayed as a complete airframe at the Wales Air Museum, the aircraft went through several paint scheme at the museum included desert pink which S.1’s never flew in. When the museum closed, XN928 was brought by Phoenix Aviation at Bruntingthorpe and was scrapped with the cockpit being saved at stored at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome for some years. XN928 was then brought by a private owner in the late 1990s and was temporarily stored at Manston with XV352 before moving on to Gravesend where it has since been chopped below the cockpit floor.

XN928 is currently undercover in a garage with an MDC Test Rig which are not accessible to the public.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 21/10/2017 – Gravesend


XN929 – S.1 – Location Unknown

Status Unknown

A Buccaneer simulator once at the Flight Simulator Centre in Navenby Lincolnshire thought to be XN929.

Please feel free to get in touch if you know the whereabouts of this cockpit section.


XN962 – S.1 – RAF Museum Cosford

Displayed

XN962 retired from service in 1971 and was scrapped in 1972 with the cockpit surviving. For many years the cockpit could be seen as various airshows before going on display at the RAF Museums. The cockpit moved between the RAF’s two museum sites for some time plus gaining a repaint in RAF colours which S.1’s did not serve with and gained the incorrect serial of ‘XN972’. The cockpit was finally out on permanent display at the RAF Museum Cosford.

Today, XN972 can be seen on display in the Cold War hangar at RAF Cosford.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 01/09/2012 – RAF Museum Cosford


XN967 – S.1 – City of Norwich Aviation Museum

Displayed

After XN967 retired, it was put on display at the Flambards Theme Park in Cornwall but was scrapped in 1995 with the cockpit section sold to the Muckleburgh collection where it was stored for a while. The cockpit section was sold again to a private owner who moved it to RAF Coltishall to join his other nose section. The cockpit was soon restored and repainted before moving to the City of Norwich Aviation Museum where it was placed on display.

XN967 is now undercover with several other cockpit sections at the museum.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 12/01/2007 – City of Norwich Aviation Museum


Unknown Test Rig – S.2 – South Yorkshire Air Museum, Aeroventure

Displayed

A test rig built around the 1960’s at Brough. After the ATC had finished with the cockpit, it appeared in public view in the 1980s around XN979’s disappearance. XN979 unfortunately crashed into the sea after a carrier take off with the cockpit saved and used for training at Brough. With the disappearance of XN979 as this test rig appeared, this cockpit section was thought to be XN979 for over 20 years. After many years of being untouched at AeroVenture, the cockpit was sold to two TBAG volunteers, Carolyn Cordran and her son Marcus. Carolyn and Marcus plan to restore the cockpits interior and exterior over the next few years as a little project. After they discovered in 2020 that this cockpit was not XN979, they now plan to tell both the test rig’s and XN979’s stories.

The test rig can be seen at AeroVenture today along side Vulcan cockpit XL388 undergoing restoration.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 28/08/2021 – Newark Air Museum, Cockpit-fest


XT277 – S.2A – Welshpool

Private

Like XN974, XT277 started life as an S.1 before being converted to an S.2A at the production stage. The airframe retired in 1983 to Shawbury and was transported to RAF Cosford to the School of Technical Training, here it was used for instructional use until 1993 when it was scrapped with the cockpit surviving. XT277 was brought by a private owner who moved it to his place in Welshpool.

XT277 currently sits under cover with several other nose sections and a Jaguar fuselage which are not accessible to the public.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 25/09/2006 – Welshpool


XT284 – S.2A – Felixstowe

Private

Scrapped at Hanningfield Metals after retirement at St Athan. The cockpit was saved and brought by a private owner who moved it to Felixstowe and has been restoring it ever since.

XT284 remains outside and restoration continues, the cockpit is not accessible to the public.


XV163 – S.2A – Stramproy

Private

Another airframe which started life as an S.1 and later converted to S.1A standard at the production stage. XV163 retired to Shawbury for storage in 1992 and was later scrapped in 1994 leaving the cockpit intact. By 2003, the cockpit was seen in Holland with Action Events who had converted the cockpit to a ‘Top Gun Flight Simulator’. A year or two later, XV163 was put on display at the Aviodrome Museum in Lelystad, but it didn’t stay there long before being sold to the International Aircraft Solutions Park who intended to restore the section back to its original condition. It’s unknown how far they got with the restoration before it moved on to a private owner who moved it to Stamproy.

Photo Credit: Damien Burke / HandmadeByMachine.com – 16/09/2005 – Lelystad


XN983 – S.2B – Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Museum

Displayed

XN983 first started its flying career as an S.2 and was converted to an S.2B two years later. It was scrapped at Shawbury in 1994 with the cockpit saved for the Terrington Aviation Collection. In 2000, XN983 was transported to the Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Museum for display.

XN983 today can be seen undercover back it its Royal Navy colours with the canopy removed so both front and rear cockpits are easily accessible.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 20/10/2013 – Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Museum


XT280 – S.2B – Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum

Displayed

Retired and scrapped in 1994, the cockpit of XT280 could be seen at Dundonald Aviation Centre alongside Buccaneer cockpits XX888 and XV161 and various other sections until 2004 when the collection closed. XT280 was road moved to Dumfries & Galloway museum where it received an RAF camouflage scheme on its port side with the starboard being painted in Royal Navy colours. The cockpit was put undercover a few years back and received a repaint into overall Royal Navy colours.

Today, the cockpit can be seen on display at the museum in good condition complete with engine panels, making the cockpit much larger than it was.

Photo Credit: Tom Moran – 31/03/2019 – Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum


XV165 – S.2B – Ashford

Private

XV165 was retired and scrapped in 1994 leaving the cockpit in good condition. The nose section was moved for display at the Jet Age Museum, unfortunately the museum was forced to shut their doors in the early 2000 by the airport authorities. XV165 was transported to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome for display in 2007, the cockpit was seen lead of tyres for a several weeks before being placed on a proper trolley. XV165 moved again in January 2010 to Spanhoe for display, however, it didn’t stay long before being sold to a private owner who moved it to Ashford.

XV165 is currently not accessible to the public.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 15/05/2007 – Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome


XV352 – S.2B – RAF Manston History Museum

Displayed

XV352 last flew in 1994 into St Athan for storage, the airframe was scrapped eight years later and the cockpit saved. It was brought by a private owner who moved it to Manston where it was stored outside alongside cockpit XN928 before going undercover at the museum. XV352 has kept its overall grey colours which are also still worn on XX885 preserved at HHA.

XV352 can be seen today undercover which has since been joined by XV864 displayed outside.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 16/08/2006 – RAF Manston History Museum


XV867 – S.2B – Morayvia

Undergoing Restoration

XV867 was scrapped in the early 1990’s with the cockpit being put to one side for preservation. XV867 was brought by a private owner who put it on loan to the Highland Aviation Museum with a few of their other cockpits and received and overall green paint scheme. The private owner put his collection on loan to Morayvia and moved them from the Highland Aviation Museum in 2018. After its arrival at the museum, Morayvia’s volunteers have started restoring it to display condition.

XV867 was last seen in 2018 being paint stripped, since then it has been tucked away in one of the buildings on site being restored by the volunteers.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 11/09/2007 – Highland Aviation Museum


XW527 – S.2B – Vigolzone

Private

Scrapped at Hanningfield Metals in 1994 with the cockpit section saved and sold to a private owner who moved it down to Italy. XW527 has since been placed undercover.

XW527 was last seen on display with the Aeronautical Weapon Association in 2019.


XW541 – S.2B – Lavendon

Private

XW541 was grounded in 1980 after just 9 years of service due to spar damage resulting in it being stripped of parts to keep the rest of the fleet flying. The airframe moved to Foulness Island to be used for weapon trials, once the aircraft wasn’t needed XW541 was scrapped and the cockpit was sold to a private owner who moved it to their place in Welshpool where it went undercover and was later joined by cockpit section XT277. XW541 went up for sale in 2011 and went on to another private owner who moved it to his place in Lavendon for restoration.

The cockpit is currently not accessible to the public.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 22/06/2014 – Lavendon


XW550 – S.2B – Cotswold Airport

Stored/Displayed

XW550 was grounded in the early 1980s after having severe cracks through the wing spar, the aircraft was stripped of parts and scrapped at St Athan in the 1990s. The cockpit of XW550 was acquired by a private owner who stored it in their garage for restoration, however, the restoration never happen and was left untouched for almost two decades before being brought by TBAG volunteer Francis Wallace with a vision to getting it restored and used as a travelling exhibit to promote TBAGs activities. TBAG moved XW550 at the end of 2016 to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome where XW544 and XX894 were kept at the time. The cockpit soon underwent restoration work and in just over three years, XW550 went from two empty cockpits too being 99% complete plus a re-spray and mounted to a trailer. With Bruntingthorpe being leased to Cox Automotive and TBAG deciding its new base would be Cotswold Airport, XW550 was put into storage at Bridgnorth.

XW550 was brought out of storage in early September and was towed down the Cotswold Airport where is was reunited with XX894 and XW544. The cockpit will be stored airside with the two complete airframes until events when it will be put on display for visitors to climb in and out of.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 17/07/2021 – Bridgnorth


XX888 – S.2B – South Yorkshire Air Museum, AeroVenture

Undergoing Restoration & Displayed

XX888 was scrapped in the 1990s with the cockpit surviving. It was first seen on display at Dundonald with XT280 and XV161, however the Dundonald Aviation Centre closed by 2004 and XX888 was sold to a private owner who moved it to Barnstaple who intended to restore the cockpit. During its time at Barnstaple the cockpit was chopped just below the cockpit floor making it more manageable to store. In 2020 XX888 was put up for sale and was sold to a private owner in June 2021 that moved it to the South Yorkshire Air Museum where it is now the third Buccaneer cockpit on site.

It is seen here at after just 7 weeks worth of restoration!

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 28/08/2021 – Newark Air Museum, Cockpit-fest


XX892 – S.2B – Blue Sky Experiences

Private – For Sale

XX892 made its last flight into RAF Lossiemouth and was soon scrapped and the cockpit saved for possible preservation. The cockpit moved to Blue Sky Experiences, a paintball site in Perth, XX892 was put on show in the ‘Puzzle Zone’ on site so has not become a target.

The cockpit today can be seen in a poor state with no canopy, it has also recently been accounted that XX892 is up for sale if anyone wants a restoration project.

Photo Credit: Francis Wallace/TBAG – 25/02/2009 – Blue Sky Experiences


XX893 – S.2B – Luftfahrt und Technik Museum

Displayed

XX893 was scrapped St Athan in 1994, the cockpit was brought by private owners who moved it into storage at Portmoak in 2004 awaiting restoration. By 2010 the cockpit was sold to another private owner that had the vision to convert the cockpit into a flight simulator, but this did not go ahead and the Luftfahrt und Technik Museum in Germany brought it for restoration and display at their museum. XX893 was exported to Germany in May 2010 where it was slowly restored and received a repaint around 2017.

The cockpit today can be seen on display at the museum in Germany with public access to the cockpits.


XX895 – S.2B – Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre

Undergoing Restoration & Displayed

Retired to St Athan in 1994 for disposal. XX895 had the tail cut and was repainted back into its gulf war colours for display at Planets Leisure Centre Bar. When the bar was sold to new owners, XX895 was removed and brought by a private owner who scrapped and put the cockpit into storage at Bicester and then Fenny Compton. After several years of being untouched, the cockpit was sold to a private owner in 2013 who moved XX895 to Thorpe Camp for restoration at the end of 2015.

Today, XX895 can be seen back at its correct height once again complete with a nose cone, intakes and even engines panels making it one of the largest Buccaneer cockpit sections around. 

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 28/08/2021 – Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre


XX899 – S.2B – Newark Air Museum

Displayed

XX899 was scrapped at Hanningfield Metals and was acquired by a private owner who restored the cockpit section at the Midland Air Museum in Coventry for several years. Late 2018, the owner decided to relocate XX899 to Newark Air Museum for display.

The cockpit is currently in the process of being repainted and is on display with a number of other cockpits.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 23/06/2019 – Newark Air Museum


XZ431 – S.2B – South Yorkshire Air Museum, AeroVenture

Displayed

XZ431 made its flight into RAF Marham for instruction use as 9233M where it sat outside for several years. The airframe was sold off to a private owner at an auction in 2000 who intended to export XZ431 to Belgium, however, plans soon changed to display it in the UK as a memorial to the Buccaneers chief designer Roy Boot, but this also changed. The airframe was brought by the OFMC and used for spares recovery for XX885, once gutted XZ431 was scrapped in 2002 leaving just the cockpit. One of the previous owners looked into exporting it back to Belgium, just the cockpit section this time, but the plan fell through once again and was sold to Phoenix Aviation who moved it to Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in 2006 where it stayed on display for a little while. XZ431 was sold to a private owner once again who moved it to the South Yorkshire Air Museum, AeroVenture. A small team of volunteers restored the cockpit as a travelling exhibit and can often be seen at many aircraft related events. In 2020, the cockpit was temporarily relocated to Southend Airport for a repaint which was done by the Vulcan Restoration Trust; the repainted was completed in early 2021 and was soon moved back to AeroVenture.

XZ431 can be seen on display at the South Yorkshire Air Museum undercover with cockpits XX888 and an unknown test rig.

Photo Credit: Jake Wallace/TBAG – 27/04/2019 – Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, attending TBAG’s 25 years of retirement event


XV337 – S.2C – RAF Laarbruch Museum

Displayed

XV337 was sold to Retro Aviation in 2007 where it had some restoration work done but went up for sale just a couple years later in 2009. The cockpit was sold to the RAF Laarbruch Museum in 2009 who exported it to Germany later that same year where it underwent restoration and a repaint into 16 Sqn.

XV337 is seen today undercover, on display at the museum.

Photo Credit: Richard E Flagg – 09/06/2010 – RAF Laarbruch Museum


XK527 – S.2D – North Wales

Private

XK527, one of two Buccaneers that flew as both an S.1 and an S.2, later in life the aircraft was used for trials work after retirement before being scrapped. The cockpit was sold to a private owner who transported it to Bournemouth Aviation Museum where it was restored. The cockpit moved on to another private owner than continued the restoration. The cockpit was sold again and moved up to Aberdeen in Scotland where it was mounted on a trailer so can be easily moved around. XK527 was sold once more to a private owner who moved it to somewhere in North Wales.

It is unknown what the currently status of XK527 is.


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