Book Review
Blackburn Buccaneer
Aviation Series Blackburn Buccaneer
  • Blackburn Buccaneer

by: Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]


The Blackburn Buccaneer was a fast low-level strike aircraft developed during the Cold War for the Fleet Air Arm (FAA). There were the under-powered S.1 and the later Spey-engined S.2 versions. They served aboard carriers and then were accepted for service by the Royal Air Force (RAF) after the F-111 and TSR.2 orders were cancelled. When carrier aviation was dismantled, the remaining FAA Buccaneers were transferred to the RAF. Although they were put on detachments for various crises, the British versions only saw actual combat in Desert Storm (er, Granby for the Brits), just before they were retired. The only foreign country to buy the Buccaneer was South Africa (SAAF), where it was used in combat.
The Book

This book was written by Kev Darling and published in 2006 by The Crowood Press (ISBN 1-86126871-8). It covers the whole history of the Buccaneer from development to retirement. The book has 190 8.5"x11" pages. Most of the photos are B&W with some color photos in the middle of the book. Some illustrations are from official manuals. There are no scale drawings or color profiles. There are 218 black and white and 25 color photos.

There are 10 chapters:

Naval Warfare - the Evolution of the Aircraft at Sea
Building the Fleet Air Arm's Big Iron
Pirate of the Skies - the Buccaneer Begins Flight Testing
The Buccaneer Joins the Navy
The Buccaneer Described
Flying the Buccaneer
Building a Better Bomber - The S.2
The Buccaneer with the Royal Air Force
The Buccaneer with the SAAF
The Gulf War and Withdrawal

There are 5 appendices:
Buccaneer Units
Buccaneer Crashes
Buccaneer Production
Preserved Buccaneers
Technical Details

In Depth

There is a lot of wonderful information here. The history of every Buccaneer made is told. If you want to make models of an S.2 which saw service in the FAA, RAF, and flew in the Gulf War, this is the book.
The modeler will be pleased by many photos of the Buccaneer throughout its life. I think there is a photo of an aircraft for every squadron that it served with.
The super detailer will love the "Buccaneer Described" and "Flying the Buccaneer" chapters. There are photos of the pilot's cockpit, wing fold, nose fold, main gear bays, air brake, engine intake, tail bumper, and chaff/flare dispensers as well as wonderful illustrations from official manuals showing wing fold, both cockpits, ejection seats, canopy, Boundary Layer Control (BLC), wing spar, access panels, landing gear, bomb bay, engine, recon camera fit. Included are little operational tidbits like how the flaps were fully lowered when parking the aircraft for more than a short while or else the flaps and the flight control system would get out of sync.
There are color photos in the middle of the book that cover FAA, RAF, SAAF, and test establishment aircraft, including Gulf War schemes.

If you love the Buccaneer and especially if you want to super detail a model of it, this is a must have book.
I bought this from Amazon for $32.97 USD
Highs: This book is an excellent history of every Buccaneer with some nice diagrams and photos of details.
Lows: There are no scale plans or color photos of interiors.
Verdict: This is definitely a book to get if you are planning to make a Buccaneer kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 1-86126-871-8
  Suggested Retail: $49.95 USD
  PUBLISHED: Jan 04, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Gary Kato (GaryKato)

Copyright 2021 text by Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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