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Blackburn Buccaneer

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Old April 8th 18, 03:09 PM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
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Default Blackburn Buccaneer


The Blackburn Buccaneer was a British carrier-borne attack aircraft designed in
the 1950s for the Royal Navy (RN). Designed and initially produced by Blackburn
Aircraft at Brough, it was later officially known as the Hawker Siddeley
Buccaneer when Blackburn became a part of the Hawker Siddeley Group, but this
name is rarely used.

The Buccaneer was originally designed in response to the Soviet Union's massive
Sverdlov-class cruiser construction programme. Instead of building a new fleet
of its own, the Royal Navy could use the Buccaneer to attack these ships with
relative impunity by approaching at low altitudes below the ship's radar
horizon. The Buccaneer could attack using a nuclear bomb, or conventional
weapons, in engagements lasting less than a minute, quickly flying out of range
whilst its weapons struck. It was later intended to carry short-range
anti-shipping missiles to further enhance its survivability against more modern
ship-based anti-aircraft weapons

The Buccaneer was a mid-wing, twin-engine monoplane; with a crew of two in a
tandem-seat arrangement. In service, the Buccaneer was required to regularly fly
at sea level in order to avoid radar and enemy air defence systems, often flying
long range missions from both aircraft carriers and shore bases. The aircraft
had an all-weather flight capability; due to the extensive electronics used on
the type, for navigation and fire-control functions; these systems also greatly
assisted the crew during low level flight operations. The Buccaneer was one of
the largest aircraft to operate from British aircraft carriers, and continued
operating from them until the last conventional carrier was withdrawn in 1978.
During its service, the Buccaneer was the backbone of the Navy's ground strike
operations, including the critically important nuclear strike mission.

In order to enable the aircraft to perform effectively in the crucial low level
flight conditions it was operated under, several major design features were
integrated into the Buccaneer. The then-new technology of boundary layer control
(BLC) was studied extensively, and a fully 'blown' wing was adopted,
significantly improving low-speed performance crucial to effective carrier
operations. The Buccaneer featured a large internal bomb bay, in which a wide
range of conventional and nuclear armaments could be housed, in addition to
external weapons mounting points. The fuselage of the aircraft was designed for
exceptional strength and durability, and to resist the phenomenon of metal
fatigue exacerbated by prolonged flight operations at low altitude.

Maritime strike aircraft

National origin
United Kingdom

Blackburn Aircraft Limited,
Hawker Siddeley

First flight
30 April 1958

17 July 1962

31 March 1994

Primary users
Royal Navy
Royal Air Force
South African Air Force

Number built

The Buccaneer entered service with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) on 17 July 1962, when
801 NAS was commissioned at RNAS Lossiemouth in Scotland. The Buccaneer quickly
replaced the FAA's Supermarine Scimitar, which had previously been performing
the naval attack flight duties. In addition to conventional ordnance, the
Buccaneer was type-approved for nuclear weapons delivery in 1965; weapons
deployed included Red Beard and WE.177 drop-bombs, which were carried internally
in a rotating bomb-bay. Two Fleet Air Arm operational squadrons, and a training
unit were equipped with the Buccaneer S.1. The aircraft was well liked by Navy
aircrew for its strength and flying qualities, and the BLC system gave them
slower landing speeds than they were accustomed to. The Buccaneers were painted
dark sea grey on top, and anti-flash white on the undersides.

The Buccaneer was retired from Fleet Air Arm service with the decommissioning in
1978 of the Ark Royal, the last of the navy's fleet carriers. Their retirement
was part of a larger foreign policy agenda that was implemented throughout the
1970s. Measures such as the withdrawal of most British military forces stationed
East of Suez were viewed as reducing the need for aircraft carriers, and
fixed-wing naval aviation in general. The decision was highly controversial,
particularly to those within the Fleet Air Arm. The Royal Navy would replace the
naval strike capability of the Buccaneer with the smaller V/STOL-capable British
Aerospace Sea Harrier, which were operated from their Invincible class aircraft

Specifications (Buccaneer S.2)

General characteristics
Crew: 2 (Pilot and Observer)
Length: 63 ft 5 in (19.33 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft (13.41 m)
Height: 16 ft 3 in (4.97 m)
Wing area: 514.7 ft (47.82 m)
Empty weight: 30,000 lb (14,000 kg)
Loaded weight: 62,000 lb (28,000 kg)
Powerplant: 2 Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 101 turbofans, 11,100 lbf (49 kN) each

Maximum speed: 667 mph (580 kn, 1,074 km/h) at 200 ft (60 m)
Range: 2,300 mi (2,000 nmi, 3,700 km)
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,200 m)
Wing loading: 120.5 lb/ft (587.6 kg/m)
Thrust/weight: 0.36


Hardpoints: 4 under-wing pylon stations for up to 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of
bombs, & 1 internal rotating bomb bay with a capacity of 12,000 lb (5,443 kg)
and provisions to carry combinations of: Rockets: 4 Matra rocket pods with 18
SNEB 68 mm rockets each
Missiles: 2 AIM-9 Sidewinders for self-defence or 2 AS-37 Martel missiles or
4 Sea Eagle missile
Bombs: Various unguided bombs, laser-guided bombs, as well as the Red Beard or
WE.177 tactical nuclear bombs
Other: AN/ALQ-101 ECM protection pod, AN/AVQ-23 Pave Spike laser designator pod,
buddy refuelling pack or drop tanks for extended range/loitering time



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