Thunder & Lightnings

Fairey Gannet - Survivor XG797

ECM.6 XG797 - Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire

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Gannet ECM.6 XG797 at Duxford, 10th October 2004; Damien Burke

Built as an AS.4, XG797 first flew on 8th March 1957 and was delivered to storage with the RN in April of that year. Not issued to a frontline unit until May 1959 (810 NAS), she spent only a year with them before going into storage with the Aircraft Holding Unit at Culdrose, before being put on loan to 700 NAS at Yeovilton and later Culdrose. In late 1963 she was converted to an ECM.6 at Lee-on-Solent, with the work completed by the end of March 1965. Her next user was 831 NAS at RAF Watton from May 1965, but it was a short career with them, as she was retired to ground instructional use at Arbroath, the RN Apprentice School, in June 1966. Unusually she was rescued from this use and put back into the air, first with NASU and then 849 HQ Flight at Brawdy from May 1967. She was finally retired from flying duties and went back to Arbroath in August 1968. Prior to disposal into preservation, she was roaded to Lee-on-Solent in February 1971 and transported from there to Duxford in May 1972. At some point in the late 80s or early 90s she was repainted in her current scheme, representing her time with 831 NAS. She was in superb condition, but while work was underway on extending the Superhangar she was stored outside for some time and suffered some weathering and minor damage. This appears to have mostly been put right now that she's back indoors in Hangar 3. She's pictured here on a rare outing to join the static line-up at one of the Duxford airshows, in October 2004.

Information on this page current as of 29/03/2009, last updated by Jake

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