Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor XS458

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XS458 - Russell Carpenter (taxiable), Cranfield, Bedfordshire

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Lightning T.5 XS458 at Cranfield, 13th August 2007; author

Now a rather special bird. The only T.5 in the UK in running order, this is XS458. Rescued by Tony Hulls from scrapping when businessman Arnold Glass's plans to get a number of Lightnings flying came to nothing, she has been restored from poor condition into an immaculate example of the breed. Now in better order than she was when in service, XS458 is regularly taxiied amidst the Cessnas at Cranfield and the airfield supports the presence of this bit of aviation history. With the College of Aeronautics a longtime resident here too, it's only right some of Britain's aeronautical heritage is preserved in active condition here. It was sold a while back to another big Lightning fan - Russell Carpenter. The engineering team are at Cranfield often and if you're very lucky you may see a taxi run. She's worn several paint schemes, as Russell likes to keep her looking fresh - the current one is a mix, with a 111 Squadron scheme on the starboard side and a 92 Squadron scheme on the port side, decorated with the squadron flashes of each unit that operated the Lightning. If you are interested in supporting XS458 and want to come along to a taxi run (or indeed have a seat on one!), then email Russell and ask for details.

Information on this page current as of 12/10/2008

Find other photos of XS458 on the following sites:

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