Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor ZF580 (ex 53-672)

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ZF580 - Classic Air Force, Newquay Cornwall Airport, St. Mawgan, Cornwall

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Lightning F.53 ZF580 at Samlesbury, 7th May 2007; Neil Airey/Lakes Lightnings

Built for the Royal Saudi Air Force, 53-672 first flew on 28th November 1967 from Samlesbury. Her 7th flight was a demonstration to some Kuwaiti guests and helped seal the deal of the Kuwaiti Lightning purchase. Delivered to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in November 1968, she served with the Lightning Conversion Unit at Dhahran, then 2 Squadron until retirement in the 1980s. In January 1986 she was bought back by BAE as part of the Tornado F.3 purchase deal, and flown back to Warton as ZF580. Stored for some time at Warton, she was eventually earmarked for display duties at her birthplace, Salmesbury. Initially displayed on her wheels, she was soon mounted as seen in the photo above, and given a pair of missiles too. It's a pity about the paint scheme - it really represents no particular Lightning and is just roundels on top of bare metal. With her condition deteriorating, BAE elected to have her replaced by a fibre glass mockup and she is now being used to create the mould for that by Gate Guardians at Newquay. After that work is complete, Classic Air Force will restore her and put her on display once more.

Information on this page current as of 02/07/2014

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