Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet - Survivor XL472

AEW.3 XL472 - South Wales Aviation Museum (stored), St. Athan Airport, Wales

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Gannet AEW.3 XL472 at South Wales Aviation Museum, 4th August 2019; Damien Burke

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, sadly the paint was starting to look rough by 2012, but overall was in a good state and surprisingly complete!
With making room for the museum's new hangar, the collection at Gatwick was slimmed down somewhat and with XL472 up for disposal. The airframe was sold to Horizon to be used as spares to get XL500 into the air.
The airframe was complete with no cuts in the metalwork until it came to the road move to St Athan, XL472 was supposedly cut in several places just to try and get the wings up.

XL472 can be seen today in outside storage at the South Wales Aviation Museum (SWAM) where it is looking rather sorry for itself. There are plans to restore to a static exhibit at some point in the future.

Information on this page current as of 31/10/2021, last updated by Jake

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