Thunder & Lightnings

Folland Gnat - Survivor XK740

F.1 XK740 - Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire

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Gnat F.1 XK740 at Southampton, 15th January 2022; Damien Burke

Third of the F.1 development aircraft, XK740 first flew on 6th March 1957 and spent most of her active life on engine development flights. Once her trials use was complete, she was retired to instructional use at RAF Church Fenton in 1967, and at some point acquired a spurious Red Arrows colour scheme. In 1974 it was struck off charge for exhibition use and ended up at the RAF Museum at Cosford prior to being disposed of to the Southampton Hall of Aviation (now Solent Sky) in 1987.

They returned her to the Hamble factory where she was originally built and British Aerospace stripped the paint, refurbished the airframe and restored the original paint job using the original drawings - thus this is one of the very few airframes that is wearing a 100% authentic 'factory finish' - in that it was carried out at the right factory too!

Information on this page current as of 05/02/2022, last updated by Damien

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