Flying Stations is proud to present the first pack in a two-part series of Blackburn Buccaneer models for FSX Acceleration. This pack covers the S.1 variant and features a high-detail virtual cockpit, superb texturing and highly accurate flight handling based on the official Pilot's Notes and technical manuals.
In order to familiarise pilots, the following features are available:
The Blackburn Buccaneer was a British low-level strike aircraft with nuclear weapon delivery capability serving with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force between 1962 and 1994, including service in the 1991 Gulf War. Designed and initially produced by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough it was later known as the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer when Blackburn became a part of the Hawker Siddeley group.
In the early 1950s the Russian Navy introduced the Sverdlov class cruiser into service. Light cruisers by Second World War measure, they were fast, effectively armed, and numerous. They presented a serious threat to the merchant fleets in the Atlantic, as the German "pocket battleships" of the war did, but in far greater numbers and over 25% faster. To counter this threat the Royal Navy decided not to use a new ship class of its own, but a new specialised strike aircraft employing conventional or nuclear weapons instead. Operating from its fleet carriers and attacking at high-speed and low-level, it would offer a solution to the Sverdlov problem.
The Buccaneer entered service in 1962. In addition to conventional ordnance, in 1965 the Buccaneer was type-approved for nuclear weapons delivery i.e. the Red Beard and WE177 bombs. All nuclear weapons were carried internally in a rotating bomb-bay.
A total of six FAA squadrons were equipped with the Buccaneer: 700B/700Z (Intensive Flying Trials Unit), 736 (training), 800, 801, 803 and 809 Naval Air Squadrons. Buccaneers were embarked on HMS Victorious, Eagle, Ark Royal and Hermes.
On 28 March 1967, Buccaneers from RNAS Lossiemouth bombed the shipwrecked supertanker Torrey Canyon off the western coast of Cornwall to make the oil blaze and to avoid an environmental disaster. The Buccaneers aboard HMS Ark Royal took part in a mission over British Honduras shortly before its independence to deter a possible Guatemalan invasion. They also took part in several exercises in the North Sea, "taking out" ground and naval targets, while always ready to respond to any Soviet interference.
The Buccaneer left Fleet Air Arm service with the decommissioning of the Ark Royal in 1978.
The first RAF unit to receive the Buccaneer S.2B was 12 Squadron at RAF Honington in 1969. This was to remain a key station for the type as 15 Squadron equipped with the Buccaneer the following year, before moving to RAF Laarbruch in 1971.
With the phased withdrawal of the Royal Navy's carrier fleet during the 1970s, Fleet Air Arm Buccaneers were transferred to the RAF, which had taken over the maritime strike role. 62 of the 84 S.2 aircraft were eventually transferred, redesignated S.2A. Some of these were later upgraded to S.2B standard.
From 1970 with 12 Squadron initially, followed by 15, 16, 237 OCU, 208 and 216, the RAF Buccaneer force re-equipped with WE.177 nuclear weaponsAt peak strength Buccaneers equipped six RAF squadrons, although for one year only. A more sustained strength of five squadrons was made up of three squadrons (15, 16, 208) plus 237 OCU (a war reserve or 'Shadow Squadron') all assigned to SACEUR for land strike duties in support of land forces opposing Warsaw Pact land forces on the Continent, plus one squadron (12 Squadron) assigned to SACLANT for maritime strike duties. After 1983 the land strike duties were mostly re-assigned to the Tornado aircraft then entering service, and two Buccaneer squadrons remaining (12, and 208) were then assigned to SACLANT for maritime strike duties. Only the 'Shadow Squadron' 237 OCU remained assigned to a war role of land strike assigned to SACEUR until it stood down from its war reserve nuclear delivery role in 1991.
After a Buccaneer suffered a structural failure in mid-air during a Red Flag exercise, the entire RAF Buccaneer fleet was grounded in February 1980. Investigation discovered serious metal fatigue problems. 60 aircraft were selected to receive new spar rings and the nascent 216 Squadron was subsequently disbanded. Later the same year, the UK-based Buccaneer squadrons moved to RAF Lossiemouth.
The Buccaneer saw war service during the 1991 Gulf War when twelve examples were rushed to the area to provide a laser designation capability for British aircraft. They flew 218 missions, both designating for other aircraft and dropping 48 laser-guided bombs themselves. The last Buccaneers were withdrawn in March 1994 when 208 Squadron disbanded.
South Africa was the only country other than the UK to operate the Buccaneer, where it was in service with the South African Air Force from 1965 to 1991. Of the 16 aircraft ordered, one was lost on its delivery flight, and 15 entered service. SAAF Buccaneers saw active service during the Border War in South West Africa, notably at Cassinga in 1981.
Article courtesy of Wikipedia.