Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor XL609

T.7 XL609 - Lakes Lightnings, Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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Hunter T.7 XL609 at Firbeck, June 1997; Alan Allen

XL609 first took to the skies in 1958, being delivered to the RAF just days later.

By 1985 she had retired and was allocated to RAF Lossiemouth for BDRT, being assigned the serial 8866M. Once Lossiemouth had finished with XL609, she was sold to a private owner and scrapped, the owner moving the cockpit to the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in the late 1990s, before moving it on to Firbeck. As you can see from the above photo, the cockpit section is a rather empty shell... In 2001 the cockpit was moved to Boscombe Down before moving again to the Yarmouth, Isle of Wight in 2005. After staying in Yarmouth for some time, the cockpit was then purchased by Cockpitmania who moved XL609 to South Molton in Devon in December 2011. But in 2013, the cockpit was brought by Lakes Lightnings who moved it to Spark Bridge, and that is where the cockpit of XL609 still remains to this day.

Since moving to Spark Bridge, front glazing has been fitted along with a canopy, making her look like a Hunter again!

Information on this page current as of 16/01/2022, last updated by Jake

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