Thunder & Lightnings

Folland Gnat - Survivor 'PF179' (really XR541)

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T.1 PF179 - Gnat Display Team, North Weald airfield, Essex

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Gnat T.1 PF179 at Bruntingthorpe, 10th October 2010; Matthew Wainwright

XR541 first flew on 8th July 1963 and served with 4 FTS at RAF Valley initially, bouncing between 4 FTS and CFS over the years. finningley jubilee flypast 77 until a landing at RAF Mona on 7th February 1978, when her brakes failed and she took the arrester barrier. With the Gnat scheduled to go out of service in the near future, she was stripped for spares and transported to RAF St. Athan for instructional use as 8602M in December 1978. At St. Athan she was used by the Civilian Craft Apprentices School, and at some point was painted in camouflage colours - the mock serial of PF179 is thought to be a Painters and Finishers course number. Disposed of in the 1990s, her history becomes a little unclear - possibly residing with Everetts in Ipswich, then reportedly sold to the USA in 2007 but this probably didn't actually happen as Phoenix Aviation at Bruntingthorpe acquired her in 2010 from Global Aviation at Binbrook. She was being looked at with a view to returning her to ground running condition but has now moved on to North Weald.

Information on this page current as of 08/05/2013, last updated by Damien

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