|Location:||National Cold War Exhibition|
The sturdily built nuclear-capable Buccaneer originated as the Fleet Air Arms’ principal latter-day low-level strike aircraft.
First flown April 1958, the Buccaneer S Mk 1 entered Fleet Air Arm service in 1961, with deliveries, latterly of the improved S Mk 2 variant, up to December 1968, and excelled in its long range, high speed, low level role, restricted only by the smaller carriers such as HMS Eagle and Ark Royal which 1960s defence cuts dictated its latter-day operation from. A number served also with the South African air force. The last Royal Navy Buccaneer squadron disbanded in December 1978 when the last ‘big’ RN carrier to date, HMS Ark Royal (immortalised in the 1970s BBC series ‘Sailor’ with theme tune ‘I Am Sailing’ by Rod Stewart’), paid off for scrapping.
A complete Gulf-War veteran RAF Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S Mk 2B can be seen in the Bomber Hall at RAFM London.