Cape Town Jets: The Buccaneer

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CAPE TOWN JETS: The Buccaneer
Buccaneer - Twin engine tandem seat low level strike attack aircraft

Twin engine tandem seat low level strike attack aircraft powered by two Rolls Royce Spey non-afterburning bypass turbofans developing 12600 lb. static thrust each.

Equipped with terrain hugging radar, this attack aircraft is at its peak prowess low and fast. "Most air forces do have fast jets which were specially designed for the ground-attack mission. Almost certainly the best have been subsonic, examples being the Grumman A-6 Intruder and the BAE Buccaneer. They are superior because, compared with supersonic aircraft, they carry more, fly further, and can make their attack with at least equal precision and probably at lower altitude. As for speed, none of the supersonic types can actually attack at supersonic speed, and with its internal bombload of 4000 lb. the Buccaneer was faster than (for example) a Jaguar, Phantom, F-111, Mirage, F-15E, Tornado or Su-24 with the same load !" (The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes; The Development and Specifications of all Active Military Aircraft; Bill Gunston; ©1995 Aerospace Publishing Limited)


"The Buccaneer is a particularly good machine, with excellent performance 'on the deck' because of careful aerodynamic design, and first-class low-speed handling characteristics as a result of a 'super-circulation' boundary-layer control system. Transonic speeds are dangerous at very low altitudes, where buffeting might cause the aircraft to hit the ground before the pilot can correct. Design adjustments to prevent this buffeting are based on the American-developed theory of 'area-ruling' the fuselage to minimize drag and turbulent areas. First introduced on the F-102 Delta Dart, area ruling has since been used on a number of aircraft and can usually be seen in the fuselage, which has a number of waisting and bulging effects on it. In the Buccaneer there is a distinct bulge just aft of the rear end of the jet pipes."

"On account of rapidly improving air defense systems, the requirement for attack aircraft to be able to penetrate deep into enemy territory involved the aircraft coming very low, underneath the radar, thus leaving no chance for interception until it is too late. This option demands aircraft of great strength, for turbulence is acute at very low levels, and advanced avionics, with forward, downward and sideways looking radar hooked into a computer which can fly the aircraft round or over obstacles in its path much more surely than a pilot can. The very rigid structure of the Buccaneer proved ideal for the task" (Aviation, an Illustrated History, Christopher Chant, ©1983 Orbis Publishing, London)

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