Airspeed and Money

Is what it takes to fly , especially if your plane is the Sukhoi SU-27 (still two available!) or perhaps an F-104 Starfighter.  Ian Pringle decided he had to have his very own nuclear bomber, a  Blackburn Buccaneer S.2.  It required a little effort:

Flying the Buccaneer poses a particular problem for a private pilot and fast jet novice: it only has one set of controls. So your first flight is effectively your first solo. This was my challenge. As I walked around this enormous 64 ft long, 16 ft high, 41,000 lb  machine, I felt some serious doubt creep in. Why was I was doing this?

Military aircraft are  expensive to acquire, maintain and the fuel is non trivial for general aviation pilots. Suddenly, filling up the tank on the SUV seems pretty good compared to a 2,000 gallon fill up.


2 responses to “Airspeed and Money

  1. virgil xenophon

    The Buccaneer is the finest low-level attack bird ever made!Like our F-105 it had an internal bomb-bay as was built for the same nuke mission–except as anti-shipping as opposed to 105s WP gnd tgts, but though not as fast on the deck, had greater range and capacity and was built ground-up as 2-seater which helped with ECM, tgting, etc.

    Were *I* King, my answer to the Chinese fleet build-up would to build a slew of those w. updated electronics.

    Fat chance EITHER is going to happen…

    • Aside from failing wings spars it had a pretty good record. Old doesn’t mean bad, even if it isn’t sold by Lock-Mart. Many agree that the Spad would do pretty well in COIN operations if refitted with new avionics.

      There are A-4’s; F-8’s; an F/A2 Harrier and an F-4 in civilian hands. But no Thuds! We have one on the ramp at our airport, sans engine, next to a Phantom. Both are awesome planes. Unusual in that the prevailing technology of that era employed spitter vanes on the intakes. Don’t know of any other planes with that design.

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