Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet - Survivor XL503

AEW.3 XL503 - Fleet Air Arm Museum (stored), RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset

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Gannet AEW.3 XL503 at Fleet Air Arm Museum, 18th November 2015; Chris England

XL503 first took to the skies on the 13th April 1961 and was delivered to the Royal Navy a month later. The airframe retired to RNAS Yeovilton in July 1972 to become a part of the Fleet Air Arm Musem's collection.

XL503 was placed undercover into the Carrier exhibition and has been left in the condition it left service. The grime and staining make it look like a still-active aircraft and certainly make a change from museum exhibits that are either glossy factory-fresh jobs or badly faded!

In 2012, XL503 swapped places with the museum's other Gannet XA466. XA466 going on display in the Carrier exhibition and XL503 going into storage in Cobham Hall.

XL503 is no longer on display but can be seen occasionally when the museum opens the doors to Cobham Hall which only happens a handful of times a year.

Information on this page current as of 04/11/2021, last updated by Jake

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