Designed to mount high speed maritime strike operations from the decks of Britain’s relatively small aircraft carriers, the Blackburn Buccaneer was a real brute of an aeroplane, built like a brick outhouse and the most capable aircraft of its type in the world – it also happened to be the heaviest aircraft the Royal Navy had ever operated. Perhaps nothing illustrates the rugged, no nonsense approach to the aircraft’s design philosophy than its manufacture and flight testing procedure.
Constructed at Blackburn’s Brough facility, each completed Buccaneer was transported by road, on its own undercarriage, to the company’s Holme-on-Spalding Moor airfield for flight testing, a towed journey on normal roads of around 16 miles. Although developed as a naval aeroplane, the Buccaneer was also offered to the Royal Air Force as a capable strike and reconnaissance aircraft, however, at that time, they only had eyes for the BAC TSR-2 and dismissed the Buccaneer almost out of hand.
Cancellation of the TSR.2 project and a later decision not to purchase the American built General Dynamics F-111 jet led the RAF to rather reluctantly accept the Buccaneer as a Canberra replacement, with the aircraft entering squadron service some seven years after it entered service with the Navy.
|Number of Parts||141|
|Dimensions (mm)||L268 x W186|