Blackburn Buccaneer XW544
Photographed at Bruntingthorpe airfield on 21 May 2011.
Delivered to the RAF in June 1972, XW544 entered service with 15 Sqn at RAF Laarbruch, moving to 16 Sqn in 1979 and back to 15 in 1982. In 1983 she was grounded - possibly one of the airframes found to have spar cracks that were not economically repairable - and was put into storage at RAF Shawbury. In early 1984 she was issued to No.2 School of Technical Training (as 8857M) at RAF Cosford, but by the end of 1985 had been put into storage at RAF Shawbury once more, with parts being used to keep other Buccaneers in the air. By 1993, with the retirement of the Buccaneer fleet, she had ceased to be of any use to the RAF and was disposed of, being dismantled and transported to a scrap yard near Shawbury. Bought by Rob Goldstone, she spent some time in the storage at the yard but was taken by road to Bruntingthorpe in October 2004. Work has gone on since then to return her to full taxiing condition, with highlights being repairs to her hydraulics enabling the wings to be spread in July 2007 (every other hydraulic system - airbrakes, bomb bay, arrestor hook etc. also now works) and her first engine run for 25 years in May 2008.
Picture added on 13 June 2011 at 12:15