Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter

Survivor 'N-294' (really G-KAXF, ex XF515)

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N-294 - Dutch Hawker Hunter Foundation (flyer), Leeuwarden, Holland

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Hunter F.6A N-294 at Waddington, 5th July 2014; author

F.6A XF515 made its first post-restoration flight with owners Kennet Aviation in August 1998 and after some initial problems with the fuel pump, made its public debut less than a week later at the Cranfield Classic Jets airshow, where Rod Dean put on his customary stunning display, reacquainting himself with an aircraft he had previously flown in the RAF. XF515 looked absolutely beautiful and was a credit to her restorers; she was painted in the colours of 43 Squadron, who operated this particular aircraft from 1957 to 1964. Unfortunately when returning from the 1999 RIAT at RAF Fairford, the port main gear failed to extend fully. Electing to land at Luton rather than its home base at Cranfield, the pilot (Rod Dean) made a skillful landing holding the port wing up as long as possible and damage was mostly limited to the port drop tank and aileron. The damage was quickly repaired and XF515 was soon as good as new. Unfortunately after just a few years on the circuit, XF515 was grounded from late 2004 and was sold to a new foreign owner in late 2007. She was flown to Exeter in September 2007 for some work by Hunter Flying Ltd. and had Dutch colours applied to her - 'N-294' - and departed for Leeuwarden in Holland during late 2008. She is now a European airshow regular but only makes rare trips back to the UK. She's pictured here on one of those rare visits, with pilot Patrick Tuit winning the award for the best overall flying display at the 2014 RAF Waddington Airshow.

Information on this page current as of 03/08/2014

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