Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter

Survivor WT612

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F.1 WT612 - RAF Henlow (gate guard), Bedfordshire

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Hunter F.1 WT612 at RAF Henlow, 30th November 2020; Damien Burke

The oldest Hunter gate guard in existence is Henlow's F.1 WT612. First flying in July 1954, and actually one of the development aircraft, it didn't exactly have a long career, being grounded in 1957 and spending the years until 1984 as a ground instructional airframe, being gutted internally in the process, after which it was rescued and placed on the gate at Henlow. WT612 was looking somewhat faded and tired when I visited in 2002 but I'm told she's structurally sound, and in early 2004 she was moved to RAF Wittering for a complete repaint (alas lacking most stencilling), before being returned to gate guard duties at Henlow. In 2020 my visit found her green paint has turned a little brown but she generally still looks OK despite the clouded canopy quarter panels. With RAF Henlow slated for closure in 2023 (the airfield itself has already ceased activities), WT612 will no doubt come up for disposal sometime soon.

Information on this page current as of 02/12/2020, last updated by Damien

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