Thunder & Lightnings

Folland Gnat - Survivor XK724

F.1 XK724 - Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Warwickshire

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Gnat F.1 XK724 at RAF Cosford Museum, 1st September 2012; Francis Wallace

XK724 was the first of six Gnat F.1s ordered by the Ministry of Supply for evaluation purposes and first flew on 26th May 1956. The airframe went on to gun firing trials at A&AEE Boscombe Down until 1956 when she transferred to Folland Aircraft Ltd for development flying. Next, she was used for trials of the installation of a liquid oxygen system and trials on ground handling before becoming a chase and support airframe for the development of the Gnat Trainer aircraft.

XK724 retired in February 1961, received the serial 7715M, and moved to No.71 Maintenance Unit based at RAF Bicester for mobile display use. In 1967, she transferred to the RAF College at RAF Cranwell for instructional use before being restored there around 1985 for display. Later that year, she was road moved to the RAF Midlands Museum (RAF Cosford) for display.

For the majority of her time at Cosford, could be seen in their 'War in the Air' Hangar, hidden in the corner behind their Avro Lincoln. In 2016, the museum moved XK724 into storage where she remained hidden until December 2022, when she was pulled out and loaded onto a low-loader, heading for the Midland Air Museum (MAM) in Coventry.

XK724 can be seen today on display at MAM in their Robin hangar where it sits alongside their Victor B.1 cockpit XH592.

Information on this page current as of 06/02/2023, last updated by Jake

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