Sunday, 24 April 2011

Granby HS Buccaneer S.Mk 2 B XV352 -RAF Manston History Museum

Cockpit section of Buccaneer XV352 preserved under cover in the Manston Airfield History museum. This machine flew ten sorties during Operation Granby ('Desert Storm'). The aircraft was scrapped in 1998 at St. Athan. John Hume of the Manston museum now has all the cockpit electrics working including the seat! Very impressive too, if a little cramped for me (below). According to John, all 12 Granby Buccs had the 'Sky Pirates' flag on the nose, each with a slightly different design. XV352 was one of the few not to feature any other nose artwork. The first Buccaneers to operate over Kuwait arrived at Muharraq (Bahrain) from RAF Lossiemouth on 26 January 1991. Eventually 12 aircraft were used to provide laser-designation for Muharraq and Dahran based Tornados. The first mission was flown on 2 February. A total of 216 sorties were eventually flown. The aircraft returned home in early March 1991. Rather poor quality period shots of XV 352 from a Fairford RIAT during the early 1990s.