Thunder & Lightnings

Folland Gnat - Survivor XP540

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T.1 XP540 - Privately owned, North Weald airfield, Essex

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Gnat T.1 XP540 at North Weald, 9th April 2011; Damien Burke

First flown on 5th June 1963, XP540 served with 4 FTS throughout her RAF career, with a brief stint under Ministry of Aviation charge in late 1964. She was retired in October 1978 and flown to RAF Abingdon to be struck off charge and given the maintenance serial of 8608M. She was then delivered - by road - to RAF Halton where she spent many years as an instructional airframe before being disposed of in 1991 (after a failed deal in 1990). She moved to Bruntingthorpe and by 1995 was reassembled and on display at the main gate - shortly afterwards she moved to Arbury College and has now shown up at North Weald. As you can see she has been paint stripped and is missing various components such as the flying control surfaces, wingtips and canopy, and on my visit at least appeared to be pretty much derelict with many panels open to the elements. However despite this her condition doesn't appear at all bad with only minor corrosion evident.

Information on this page current as of 14/08/2011, last updated by Damien

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