Thunder & Lightnings

Folland Gnat - Survivor XM693

T.1 XM693 - Hamble Aerostructures, Hamble, Hampshire

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Gnat T.1 XM693 at Hamble, 2nd May 2021; Damien Burke

The short nose on XM693 is explained by it being one of the T.1 development aircraft. First flown on 8th March 1960, she served with A&AEE on Ministry of Aviation trials until retired to instructional use (as 7891M) at RAF Bicester in 1965 - actually to be used as a recruitment aid by being taken to various events. She gained the Red Arrows colours while with the RAF Exhibition Flight at Abingdon.

British Aerospace at Hamble (now Hamble Aerostructures) re-acquired the airframe and it has been on display at Hamble on what is now part of Folland Sports FC's ground to mark Folland's most famous product ever since, still wearing the rather inappropriate Red Arrows colours. The plaque below her reads 'GNAT T.Mk.1 manufactured by FOLLAND AIRCRAFT on this site 1960'. The canopy is covered in silver vinyl and the paint job is holding up well, having been repainted in recent years.

Information on this page current as of 02/05/2021, last updated by Damien

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