Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Aeroguide 30 - Blackburn Buccaneer S Mk.1-2

ADAPTING aircraft originally designed for use from land bases to enable them to operate from carriers at sea has been a common expedient throughout the history of aviation, particularly where equipment for the Royal Navy has been concerned, but the acquisition by land-based air forces of machines produced specifically for deployment from flight decks has been a much less frequent occurrence. After World War II, however, a number of aircraft made this transition with remarkable success, perhaps the best-known example being the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. One British aircraft that made made the move, with equal success if not in the same numbers, was the Buccaneer. Whilst the content this Aeroguide does not ignore the naval connection, it concentrates on Buccaneers most recently in British service�those in the Royal Air Force, some of which were former Royal Navy aircraft. The majority of the close-up photographs were taken at Lossiemouth in February 1984, and aircraft from Nos 12 and 208 Squadrons were at the time showing evidence of a recent deployment to Cyprus in response to the crisis in the Lebanon: an interesting feature of these Buccaneers, not widely reported, was the deletion of the starboard underwing serial number in order to eliminate the 'V' effect of the paired serials which could have formed an aiming point for hostile ground-based missile batteries. Most of the photographs depicting No 237 OCU Buccaneers were taken at Honington in August 1983.