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Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV350
Planes and Choppers
No: 4567   Contributor: Peter Langsdale   Year: 2006   Manufacturer: Blackburn Aircraft Ltd   Country: United Kingdom
Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV350

Only the second Buccaneer to be converted from Royal Navy specification for use by the Royal Air Force. Later used extensively by the A&AEE as a development airframe, playing a major role in the testing of laser guided bombs. Now preserved at the Nottingham East Midlands Aeropark, where it was photographed on 19 January 2006.
Picture added on 23 February 2008
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Information (edited) from the Flypast Forums:
This Buccaneer (XV350) first flew from Holme on Spalding Moor in 1967, was delivered to the Royal Navy in September of that year and then transferred to the RAF on January 1st 1969. However the aircraft never operated in RAF squadron service, being brought up to Martel capability in February 1969 and issued to 'A' squadron at the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down. XV350 was used initially for fin service trials and the development of 'Matra' rocket pods for the RAF.
In July 1973 the aircraft was detached to Edwards Air force Base, California and was used as a trials aircraft for a number of years. In 1980 she was detached to Elgin Air force Base, Florida again for trials.
XV350 returned to A&AEE in December 1981 and began trials of the laser designation 'Pave' system that was to prove so effective in the precision bombing operations in the 1991 Gulf War. The aircraft then transferred to Hatfield to commence trials for the Sea Eagle missile. In 1985 the aircraft became the fourth Buccaneer to receive the new ASR102 updated avionics package and in 1988 she operated at BAe Scampton for pre-service trials.
Finally XV350 was withdrawn from service on 28th April 1993. The AVA purchased the aircraft from RAF Shawbury and it was moved to the (East Midlands) Aeropark by road.

Added by Peter Langsdale on 15 October 2009.
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