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Oh Buccaneer.....

Not the song by Blondie, but hard not to hum it when the aircraft of the same name comes to mind!

E-YARD (RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders East Yorkshire) always promote extra curricular activities and have, amongst it's ranks Kelvin "Tapper" Turner. He is a retired RAF technician, who, many, many years ago (sorry Kelvin!) worked on the Blackburn Buccaneer when it was an operational aircraft.

Kelvin now volunteers at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, near York.

Kelvin organised a guided tour of the cold war nuclear payload carrying aircraft, of which Elvington has three examples.

The tour started with 9 members of the club, including Keira the Club Dog, met Kelvin behind the black hangar at noon!

The group were taken to the most operable of the three aircraft XN974, a test bed aircraft which had over twice the operational flying hours of any other Bucaneer when it was retired. With live hydraulics, electrics and fully serviced and running engines, the only thing it's not allowed to do is fly!

Kelvin had dispensation to allow the group to cross the barriers and have an inimtate look inside the cockpit and the bomb bay.

The group then moved outside to view the actual aircraft Kelvin used to service in various combat zones throughout the world.

Whilst it's paintwork is a little dull, it is still hydraulically and electrically live. Kelvin's love of this aircraft had him state that "...while ever I can still get here I will look after this old girl. I will, even if it kills me, take her back to bare metal and repaint her myself"

Guy G decided he would make a great pilot, whilst Club Dog Keira couldn't stop grinning at her own nuclear capability....

The final aircraft Kelvin had the privelige of showing the club members was an aircraft that was still painted in its last combat role colours - Desert Storm. Still displaying successful 'kill' stickers for targets destroyed in the Gulf War.

A fascinating day out for E-YARD club members, with a lot of anecdotal stories from our own Buccaneer Techie!


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