Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet - Survivor XL497

AEW.3 XL497 - Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum, Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

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Gannet AEW.3 XL497 at Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum, 26th August 2021; Damien Burke

XL497 first entered service with the Royal Navy in 1960 served on Hermes, Ark Royal, Victorious, Centaur and Eagle. Her last flight was from RAF Lossiemouth in 1978 and she was the gate guardian at HMS Gannet, Prestwick until June 1990 when was removed by road to RNAS Yeovilton to be repainted and weather sealed. Returned in November 1990, she was put back on display until the early 2000s when she was craned out to undergo another cosmetic restoration before being returned to the gate.

Bizarrely after all that work to spruce her up, the MoD put her up for disposal by auction in 2005 - nobody purchased her, however, and it looked for some time as if she'd end up going for scrap. Happily though, the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum finally took her on and she is now on display there, with a couple of chunks of HMS Ark Royal in front of her. The years have left her rather faded and in need of a sprucing up but I'm sure the museum have her on their radar for some attention soon.

Information on this page current as of 31/08/2021, last updated by Damien

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