Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor XL573 (G-BVGH)

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T.7 XL573 - South Wales Aviation Museum, St. Athan Airport, Wales

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Hunter T.7 XL573 at South Wales Aviation Museum, 30th October 2021; Jake Wallace

Built as a T.7, XL573 first flew on 17th April 1958 and entered service with the DFLS at RAF West Raynham in July 1958. She had a varied career, going through periods with AFDS, DFCS (coded L) and then 229 OCU at RAF Chivenor. After brief periods with variouso ther units in the 1970s, she was given red and white training colours and joined 4 FTS at RAF Valley.

In February 1980 she was given all over camouflage and joined 237 OCU, the Buccaneer OCU, at RAF Honington. 237 would be her final unit, staying with them through movements to RAFG Laarbruch and eventually RAF Lossiemouth. She was retired in 1991 and put up for disposal in 1993.

She was acquired by Barry Pover's Classic Jet Aircraft Co. and became G-BVGH (Barry's Very Good Hunter), and was a regular airshow performer some years ago. However, by 2007 she had been grounded. She spent some time at North Weald being maintained by The Jet Centre for a new owner but then went through a number of owners before being bought in March 2011 by Mark Stott who intended, with Hunter Flying at Exeter, to get her back in the air in time for the Hunter 60th Anniversary airshow at Kemble in 2011. Sadly it wasn't to be but she did get back into the air later in the year, then was resprayed in this dull overall silver scheme, and was operated until 2015 or so.

Then, in common with most of the UK's Hunters, she was grounded once more. Acquired by GJD, she spent a short time at RAF Cosford to be part of the RAF 100 static display, but soon moved on to display at South Wales Aviation Museum.

Although there are no plans to ever get XL573 flying again, at least she can be seen on display at a museum, undercover!

The picture above shows XL573 outside the main hangar doors due to a nightshoot event being held in the evening - she is now back undercover in the hangar.

Information on this page current as of 31/10/2021, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of XL573 on the following sites:

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