Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter

Survivor XF509

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F.6 XF509 - Hornby Hobbies, RAF Manston History Museum, Kent

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Hunter F.6 XF509 at Fort Paul, 27th May 2017; Richard E Flagg

XF509 had a varied life, beginning with 54 Squadron in 1957 and moving on through the AFDS, RAE Bedford, some time with BAC at Filton (chase aircraft for the BAC 221 project) and finally 4 FTS at RAF Valley, ending its days as a gate guard at RAF Chivenor. On the station's closure, Humbrol (owners of Airfix) bought themselves this big kit and stuck it on a pole outside their plant in Hull; the amount of work necessary being considerably less than normal as the aircraft had been placed in similar position at Chivenor after a full restoration in 1990.

Sadly with the collapse of Humbrol and the closure of the factory, the aircraft was left to rot for many months. The receivers viewed it as an asset, when in fact it was worth very little, and it was vandalised with a smashed canopy resulting in the cockpit open to the elements, and the nose received a fair amount of graffiti (the factory suffered two attempts at burning it down too). Thankfully the museum at Fort Paull finally got hold of her and was is now being looked after once again!

In March 2021, Hornby Hobbies gladly announced that their CEO Lyndon Davies purchased the airframe privately and then donated it to Hornby Hobbies so to can reside outside the Hornby Hobbies factory in Hull once more as a tribute to the employees and members of their family to whom have sadly passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 18th June 2021, XF509 was road moved to the RAF Manston History Museum where it was put undercover and reassembled. While the resting place of XF509 is being finalised at Hornby Hobbies, the airframe will be restored by the volunteers at the Manston Museum over the next coming months.

Information on this page current as of 03/08/2021, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of XF509 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - Airliners.net - Airplane-Pictures.net - flickr.com - WorldAirPics.com - JetPhotos.net - PlanePictures.net