Blackburn & Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer
The Last British Bomber
Anatoly Velichko aka VelAn
In 1952 command of Naval Forces of the Great Britain has defined requirements to the new strike jet plane of sea basing. These requirements were rather rigid and frequently inconsistent. Nevertheless English firms have presented on competition of 12 projects, including firm Blackburn with project B.103. Finally project of firm Blackburn has been realized.
The success of the project was provided with the most newest development in aerodynamics. Designers have applied new control systems which have allowed to improve behaviour of the plane on small speeds. For realization of requirements necessarily transsonic flight speeds on small altitude due to specially developed technologies it was possible to make very rigid wing. The fuselage has been developed in view of "rule of areas" that has in turn improved aerodynamic qualities of plane. An original payment for it became ugly appearance of plane however it had also the advantages. The plane has been equipped by the advanced avionics for that moment and due to greater internal spaces there were no problems with its accommodation both in the beginning, and at various updatings in the further.
The prominent feature became bomb bay to rather original design. Arms (nuclear bomb also) fastened to an internal wall of bomb bay. For dump bomb bay turned on 180 degrees and arms appeared already outside of the plane. Also the problem of decrease radar-tracking visibly in passing was solved. Except for that the arms could be accomodation on four points under wings. The plane had no gun.
The first flight has been accomplished in 1958 then during of some years tests were spent, lacks were eliminated. In 1960 the plane has received a proper name - now it officially referred to Buccaneer S.Mk.1. First serial planes began to act on fleet in 1961-1962. Soon the plane has received new more powerful engines, and already under marks S.Mk.2 has continued the perfection. The avionics improved, the new operated weapon was established.
In the end of 70th aircraft carriers of royal Naval Forces have been disbanded, need in naval "Buccaneers" has disappeared. Them in the mass order renominated in divisions of the Air Forces. There planes have quickly got accustomed, with shine having shown the uncommon qualities. By 90-th years of 20-th century "Buccaneers" were equipped the advanced weapon and avionics with very ample opportunities of fighting application.
However and their days have been ended. Gradually they were superseded by "Tornado". In 1994 last flight "Buccanner" took place. So has ended more than thirty-year history of very interesting plane.
Buccaneer S.Mk.2B - XV863
As the prototype for construction of model the plane of version S.Mk.2B with registration number XV863 has been chosen. The life of this plane has been rather sated by all events. From the moment of the first flight in far 1968 it became the indispensable participant of various research programs, repeatedly in current of 70th years participated in the Mediterranean and Atlantic cruises of aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, was continuously modified.
In 1979 has been modified under standard S.Mk.2B. Took part in 1980 in "Red Flag" manoeuvres on an air base in Nellis, Nevada, USA. Since 1984 participated in programs AUP (Avionics Upgrade Programme). At last, result of long-term service became assignment in the second squadron of "Buccaneers" for realization of operations RAF in Persian gulf, operation "Desert storm".
12 planes have been selected for participation in operation. 2 squadrons on 6 planes and two planes as spare. Before sending in a gulf all of them have been recoloured under specially developed scheme.
Besides each plane has received unique tail code. Our hero has received a code "S". Practically all planes had specific "nose art" and after end of operation all of them have received marks of number of sortie.
Buccaneer's operational flights had basically strike character. It were impacts on the single purposes and support of "Tornado" missions . Standard loading of planes was following. Fuel tank, AN/ALQ-101 "ECM" Pod, AN/AVQ 23E " Pave Spike " Pod. Also rocket "air-air" "Sidewinder" type or 1000 lbs GBU-16 " Paveway II " bomb could be established.
Our applicability - high-speed flights at low altitude...
And it we pure and new. New painting after returning from a gulf.
But here "witch", alas, has turned out enough vulgar.
The active service of the plane has ended during between 1992 and 1994 years. Now the plane is on preservation on air base RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. Its full biography look here
The old desire and the information on death of firm Airfix became the reason of purchase of this impressive box. It has appeared that inside of a box there are two full sets for construction of two "Buccaneer" versions - sea and overland. This gift set has appeared very opportunely. One model I have presented the friend and for construction have left an overland variant.
Plastic Airfix has quite decent quality, good surface, especially a wing and stabilizers. But it was aggravated with very strongly bent both parts of fuselage, especially bottom part. As a result the fuselage stuck together in three steps: first nose part, then average and, at last, back part. The wing has been bent in much smaller but, nevertheless, for correction and giving of durability it was necessary to paste longerons into console. Also it was necessary to clean the general trouble of the majority of manufacturers - thick edges.
Convergence of practically all details is very bad. Everywhere it was necessary to use putty. Panel lines everywhere was not enough, especially on fuselage. Lines wide and deep. Therefore available lines was necessary to grind and missing lines to cut through using schemes and photos.
Cockpit details and wheel bays very poor. For a cockpit the magnificent set from "NeOmega" was used. Wheel bays have been modified by means of a various wire. Other small details have appeared quite qualitative.
The choice of a variant of painting was dictated by several factors, and to one of them became absolutely disgusting decal quality. Terrible displacement of colors did not leave uniform chance for decal. As result was accepted decision to use one variants of Buccaneer from magnificent decal of Model Alliance "Gulf War Buccaneers".
Painting was made by enamels Hambrol and Xtracolor. Gouache, a pastel, varnishes Hambrol, ModelMaster metallizers were applied to furnish. In pictures of all planes which have visited a gulf, strong traces of operation are visible. I too have tried to show them.
Very interesting plane, not less interesting prototype in unusual painting. Many pleasure despite of serious problems with plastic. And certainly many thanks to all fans and admirers of Buccaneer which contain numerous resources on this remarkable machine. Especially for Andy White
. Information from his site has allowed to learn a lot of interesting and useful. And also mine of gratitude to everyone who has helped the literature, account materials. Regards.
HS Buccaneer S.Mk.2 AEROGUIDE #5
Peter R. Foster "RAF Buccaneer" Ian Allan Ltd. - Aircraft Illustrated Special 1987