Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet

Survivor XA460

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ECM.6 XA460 - Ulster Aviation Society, Long Kesh, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

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Gannet ECM.6 XA460 at Ulster Aviation Society, 21st October 2016; Mike Overs

XA460 retired in 1970 and was sold to the Flintshire College of Technology. Flown from Lossiemouth to Hawarden in 1971, she was towed behind a tractor to the college and used the Aeronautical Engineering Department for training purposes until 1995, when she became a gate guardian displayed in front of the college's main building. XA460 was once in good condition but the Welsh climate and the sea air had not been kind to her; covered in algae, showing signs of corrosion with damage in places and the canopy frames were so rotten she was open to the rain - no doubt the cockpits were total disaster areas. She really was a sad sight. In mid 2003 the college donated her to 750 (Thorne) Squadron ATC in Doncaster, and she was to be moved to the Aeroventure museum there but sadly the move to Doncaster was not handled well. The nose was hacked off; one prop blade was badly bent and another broken off when the nose gear collapsed. Others were then cut off so the nose could be lain on its side, which caused another to be bent too and the canopies to be smashed. An object lesson in how not to begin a restoration! Since her arrival at Doncaster slow but steady work has taken place on her, and she was slowly beginning to look like a Gannet again.

In December 2011, they donated her to the Ulster Aviation Society as she was more appropriate to them (being based in NI earlier in her life) and they have been going great guns with a restoration as the photo above shows.

Information on this page current as of 02/08/2021, last updated by Jake

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