Relocate and save our operational Buccaneer jets.

by Mike Overs in Kemble, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th August 2020 we successfully raised £25,085 with 531 supporters in 56 days

Due to reasons beyond our control, relocate two Blackburn Buccaneer jets from our base of 16 years to provide continued public enjoyment.

by Mike Overs in Kemble, England, United Kingdom

The volunteers of what is now The Buccaneer Aviation Group have been giving their time and energy for twenty years or more with the aim of restoring and then maintaining and preserving two ex-RAF Blackburn Buccaneer Cold War-era nuclear bombers to the point where they can demonstrate full operational capability, short of the three wheels leaving the runway.  

The prime objective of the group is to restore, maintain, preserve and demonstrate these examples of an innovative British aircraft.  These living examples of the last all-British bomber.

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Restoration was acheived in 2010 and since then we have run the jets regularly at Bruntingthorpe alongside other Cold War-era aircraft to honour those men and women and their families who designed, built, tested, flew and serviced this iconic British aircraft.  

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As seen in the video, we can and do demonstrate both aircraft a number of times a year as a living testimony to the skills of British engineers and aviators and for the education of our future generations in the history and legacy of our aircraft industry.

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 We are a working group with active volunteers from 10 to 72.  It is open to anyone who is simply willing to get stuck in; we will give anyone who wishes to work on these aircraft a warm welcome.

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With experience existing within the group on restoring and problem solving similiar British Cold War jets, it comes as no surprise to learn that lessons learned by the team are readily shared other aircraft restoration communities and we are the go-to group for solving Buccaneer related problems.  In Outreach activities, our members have been called upon by British Aerospace to move Buccaneer XV168 from their factory at Brough to the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington in 2013.

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And more recently we have been assisting Atlantic AirVenture in Shannon Ireland in returning their Buccaneer XX897 to a systems running state.

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The Buccaneer Aviation Group is a not for profit organisation and all the work is on a voluntry basis.  Sufficient funds are raised each year through membership subscriptions and a small shop which covers the operating costs.  Any surplus cash is spent on obtaining increasingly rare spare parts and ground equipment.  Over the years we has become self sufficient in most equipment it needs for regular maintenance.  Beyond, that no cash reserve exists.

In 2020 it was announced that Bruntingthorpe would no longer be available for the aircraft to demonstrate and hold the events that it has done for over 10 years.

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The team has two choices - abandon and scrap the aircraft or seek a new home where these remarkable aircraft can continue to operate to the limits of their capability for the joy and benefit of the public.

In abandoning the aircraft, which will be scrapped, the aviation community will not only lose the tangible legacy of the two aircraft but all the accumulated knowledge and experience of the volunteers and their willingness to reach out and help other restoration projects.  In addition we make ourselve available to special groups visiting the UK from all over the world, in this case aircraft modellers from Germany and Japan.

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This is as much history as a castle or a palace.  It is Industrial History.  These aircraft kept the peace during the Cold War whilst based in Germany and helped win the Gulf War.  One of the aircraft is credited with destroying an Iraqi transport aircraft.

Unsurprisingly, the team decided to do all it could to continue the legacy of these aircraft, to honour the past volunteers and seek a new home for them.  After discussions with three prestigious airfields, the team decided that the optimal choice for the new location was Kemble.

Kemble is a brand new start for us.  It gives the team the opportunity to shape a different future where we will still be able to demonstrate these iconic jets to the public, invite people to join the team and share our experience with others.

All of the work in preparing (dismantling) the aircraft and all the groups equipment will be undertaken by the volunteers, as will the reassembly at Kemble.  That is all within the gift of the group.

The team has a tight deadline of the end of September 2020 to vacate Bruntingthorpe and that will be achieved.

However, the group needs to find £24,560 to cover the cost of road transport for the two aircraft, four spare Rolls-Royce Spey jet engines, all of the ground and service equipment, three containers of spares and the tool storage containers and lockers.  Additionally, the cost includes police escort and highway alterations, lighting and traffic signs.  Specialised lifting at both Bruntingthorpe and Kemble is also included.

The total cost of moving is beyond our financial ability and although we are pledging £6000 from its own members, its in the raising of the balance of £18,560 that the team requests your support in this crowdfunder project.  

We are a cross-section of society and as such we are acutely aware of how difficult many of our fellow citizens are finding life at the moment.  It is with this awareness in mind we are so unbelievably grateful that you choose to support and fund this move and with it provide a life line for these two Buccaneers and all the experiences their continuing existance will to bring to many people.

Please help to relocate these aircraft and thereby saving these unique, iconic and innovative examples of British industial heritage and living industrial history alive.

For any further information please contact us through our web site, www.thebuccaneeraviationgroup.com 

or directly through The Buccaneer Aviation Group Shop Operations at michaelovers@btinternet.com

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

"Buccaneer Territory" Framed Print

Framed 26.5" x 23.5" print 6/250 entitled "Buccaneer Territory" by Jon Westwood. Type in this Dropbox link to see the picture itself .... https://www.dropbox.com/s/eix2d4mrd43nf4o/IMG_0408.JPG?dl=0

£10 or more

Newsletter featuring offers & project updates

Weekly Newsletter (during the event, thereafter, monthly until Spring 2021) which will containing the chance of many offers and prizes. A veritable Buccaneer Treasure Trove of offers. Keep in touch with The Buccaneer Aviation Group.

£20 or more

Personalised sponsors certificate.

Each pledge of £20 will be rewarded by The Buccaneer Aviation Group with the issuing of a unique, personalised and numbered Thank You certificate in recognition of their part in relocating and saving our Buccaneers.

£35 or more

41 of 60 claimed

Invite to an informal At Home Day.

Join us at Home. Jets will be open with working volunteers in attendance & photo opportunities. Look around, see what we get up to. Perhaps use the day as a sample opportunity to think about joining the team & help maintain the jets & our ground equipment? Just take us as you find us. In order for us to ensure your safety, numbers and ages will be restricted at each event & attendance must be booked in advance. T&C's apply.

£55 or more

Invite to a fast taxi event at our new base.

Join us at Kemble to experience the sight & sound of the Buccaneers your pledge has help to keep alive. This invite is intended to allow for free entry to a fast taxi run . However it is not vaild for events at the location that are not organised by us even if we may be participating. In order for us to ensure your safety, numbers and ages will be restricted at each event and must be booked in advance. Other T&C's will apply.

£100 or more

31 of 62 claimed

Invite to an Anti-Deterioration Experience Day

Come and experience up close the smell & noise of our jets. Ear defenders are a must! Anti-det day's are unpredictable, so come again if you are disappointed. Kemble an active airfield and that dictates the way the day is run but still fun. In order for us to ensure your safety, numbers and ages will be restricted at each event and must be booked in advance. Other T&C's will apply.

£200 or more

Your name on the main wheel undercarriage door

Our very special Roll of Supporters. This roll will be displayed on the main undercarriage door or doors of each Buccaneer. A discreet but a very visible way of us saying "Thank You" for the part you played in relocating and thereby saving these unique and innovative examples of the British aircraft industry and paying testimony to all those that designed, built, maintained and flew these remarkable aircraft.

£27 or more

10 of 10 claimed

TBAG signed "Buccaneer" Combat Machines book

TBAG's operations crew inclucing pilots have signed these ten Combat Machines 84 page, heavily illustrated A4 sized soft covered books. Author Tony Buttler includes contributiond from Group Captain Tom Eeles and Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork and used TBAG's XW544 as reference in the "Walk Around" section. View the cover here ..... https://www.dropbox.com/s/5xgi88sfj2yo8yd/thumbnail.jpg?dl=0

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Buccaneer S.2B "MacRoberts Reply" Framed print.

Framed 21.5" v 17.5"print entitled - "North Sea Sortie" Buccaneer S.2B "Mac Roberts Reply" of No XV Sqn by Keith Aspinall 2003. Picture here on this Drop Box link .... https://www.dropbox.com/s/izumg8auicmbxen/IMG_0405.JPG?dl=0

£100 or more

1 of 1 claimed

"Sea Witch" 208Sqn Buccaneer Gulf War Framed Print

Framed 22.5" x 18.5" print of "Sea Witch" - 208 Squadron Buccaneer XV863/S Debbie/Sea Witch or Tamnavoulin flying over a burning Iraqi airfield after a successful raid during the Gulf War. Type in this Dropbox link to view the picture .... https://www.dropbox.com/s/klj1h54yrveqh47/IMG_0448.JPG?dl=0

£250 or more

13 of 13 claimed

Invite to sit in a Buccaneer during Anti-Det run.

An Anti-Deterioration Day but from the back seat! Come & experience from a unique perspective the smell & noise of our jets. Ear defenders are a must! Anti-det day's are unpredictable, so come again if you are disappointed. In order for us to ensure your safety, numbers and ages will be restricted at each event and must be registered and booked in advance based on a first pledged, first served basis. Other T&C's will apply.

£320 or more

1 of 1 claimed

72 signature Buccaneer Aircrew Association poster.

A unique 60 x 40 cm framed Buccaneer Aircrew Association poster. Signed by 72 RAF Buccaneer aircrew at the bi-annual Buccaneer Aircrew Association dinner as RAF Honington in 2016, this poster comes with a signed letter from Group Caption Tom Eeles, the Chairman of the BAA.

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