Thunder & Lightnings

Folland Gnat - Survivor XS104 (G-FRCE)

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T.1 XS104 - Red Gnat Ltd. (restoration to fly), North Weald, Essex

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Gnat T.1 XS104 at North Weald, 29th September 2018; Damien Burke

XS104 first flew on 13th October 1964 and served with 4 FTS until July 1975 when she was transferred to the CFS on loan, returning to 4 FTS in April 1976. A bird strike put her out of action for the last half of May 1976 and she was damaged again in April 1978 and that was the end of her active RAF career. Transferred to RAF Cosford as ground instructional airframe 8604M on 14th November 1978, she was disposed of in the late 1980s.

Registered as G-FRCE in a striking blue and gold paint scheme, she spent some time on the airshow circuit but her registration was cancelled on 25th February 2000 after the owning company was wound up the month before and she spent some years stored out in the open at Cranfield. Jason Walker then acquired the aircraft, which despite reportedly poor condition was restored to flight once more by Kennet Aviation at North Weald and was back in the air during 2005.

It was a brief career and by 2008 her registration had been cancelled again. In late 2009 however she was acquired by Red Gnat Ltd. and is reportedly being restored to airworthy status once more.

Information on this page current as of 23/12/2020, last updated by Damien

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