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Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer Bomber Plane

Although often now referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer the aircraft was originally designed and built by Blackburn Aircraft Limited before they became part of the Hawker Siddeley conglomerate. The Blackburn Buccaneer was built to meet the 1953 Naval Staff Requirement NA 39 for a carrier-borne strike aircraft with long range and having the capability of operating below enemy radar and attacking shipping and ports with conventional and nuclear ordnance stored internally.

Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2


Initially designated the BNA (Blackburn Naval Aircraft), or BANA (Blackburn Advanced Naval Aircraft) the aircraft soon obtained the nickname of "Banana Jet", in later years, after a Blackburn Buccaneer shaved the top off a sand dune while on a training exercise in the USA, it obtained a second nickname of the 'Blackburn Bulldozer'. The bomb bay was of unusual design using a revolving partial cylinder as part of the fuselage instead of conventional bomb doors. The first production model, the Buccaneer S1 entered service with the Fleet Air Arm in 1962 powered by two Gyron Junior turbojet engines, these were soon upgraded by fitting more powerful Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines and re-designation to the Blackburn Buccaneer S.2.

The Buccaneer S2 variant was ordered in July 1968 for the RAF following the cancellation of orders for the American General Dynamics F-111 in favour of the Panavia Tornado, which was still under development, left the RAF with the need of an interim replacement for it's elderly Canberra bombers, as the Fleet Air Arm phased out it's large carrier force sixty-two of it's now unwanted Blackburn Buccaneer S.2's were modified and handed over to the RAF along with an additional forty-six new aircraft.


Although the RN Fleet Air Arm aircraft were never used in hostilities the RAF utilised twelve Buccaneer S2 aircraft in operation Operation 'Granby' in the 1990-91 Gulf War as laser designators for the RAF's Panavia Tornado GR1 and Sepecat Jaguar fighter bombers. The only foreign Air Force to purchase the Blackburn Buccaneer was the South African Air Force, who operated 15 Buccaneer S50's from 1965 until 1991, they were used operationally during the South African Border War.

Blackburn (Hawker Siddeley) Buccaneer S.2 Armament:

  • 12,000 lb (5,400 kg) of conventional and nuclear munitions carried in the bomb bay and on under-wing hard-points
Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S2 Bomber Plane

Blackburn (Hawker Siddeley) Buccaneer S.2 Specifications:

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 63 ft 5 in (19.33 m)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 3 in (4.97 m)
  • Wing area: 514.7 ft (47.82 m)
  • Maximum weight: 62,000 lb (28,000 kg)
  • Engines: Twin 11,100 lbf (49 kN) Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 101 turbofans
  • Maximum speed: 645 mph (560 knots, 1,040 km/h) at 200 ft (60 m)
  • Range: 2,300 miles (3,700 km)
  • Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,200 m)
  • Wing loading: 120.5 lb/ft (587.6 kg/m)
The Space Problem

To make maximum use of the limited space within an aircraft carriers hanger deck, the Buccaneer was designed with both a folding nose and wings as depicted in this photograph of a Buccaneer S1 (note the smaller round air intakes for the less powerful Gyron Junior turbojets, wing root air intakes and the shorter nosecone with less space for avionics).

Royal Navy Buccaneer S1 with wings and nose folded

RAF Buccaneer S2B

RAF Buccaneer S2B

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