Nocturnal Pioneer

First flown more than 50 years ago, the Buccaneer XV344 eventually made its mark as a test aircraft , playing an important role in night trials. Peter Cooper profiles its fascinating career

Buccaneer S.2C XV344 sits inside the headquarters complex of defence firm QinetiQ at Farnborough, Hampshire. The colourful aircraft, resplendent in its ‘raspberry ripple’ livery, serves as an internal gate guard – but also celebrates its 15 years of extensive and highly valuable research flying.

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