Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet

Survivor XL472

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XL472 - Horizon Aircraft Services (spares use), MoD St. Athan, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

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Gannet AEW.3 XL472 at St. Athan, 12th August 2014; author

Ending her active service life in 1978 with 849 Squadron B flight on HMS Ark Royal, XL472 was used for some years after retirement as an instructional airframe at Boscombe Down. She became part of Peter Vallance's collection at Charlwood but by 2012 was looking pretty rough, with 30 years or so exposure to the British climate having made quite a mess of her paintwork. With Peter's death, the collection at Gatwick was slimmed down somewhat and with XL472 up for disposal, Horizon bought her to use for spares to get XL500 into the air. She is now stored outside their hangar at St. Athan and once she has been fully stripped of useable spares may be cosmetically restored as a gate guard.

Information on this page current as of 12/08/2014

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