Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor 'RJ577' (ex XL577, G-XMHD, G-BXKF)

T.7 RJ577 - Royal Jordanian Air Force Historic Flight (flyer), Amman, Jordan

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Hunter T.7 RJ577 at Cotswold Airport, 17th July 2014; Richard E Flagg

First flown on 30th April 1958, XL577 was delivered to the RAF in July of that year and went on to serve with 229 OCU/234 Squadron at RAF Chivenor, wearing an overall silver scheme with yellow trainer bands. In November 1976 she moved to RAF Brawdy and the Tactical Weapons Unit, and by April 1979 had moved to 237 OCU/2 TWU at RAF Lossiemouth, wearing green/grey camouflage and coded 01. She retired to Cranwell in March 1981, given the serial 8676M, and was used as an instructional aircraft until 1995.

XL577 was sold and transported to the Flight Simulation Centre in Lincolnshire in 1995, but in 1997 moved again to Delta Jets based at Kemble (now Cotswold Airport). Delta Jets registered the aircraft as G-BXKF and began what turned out to a rather in-depth and long-term restoration effort using only volunteers. She was paint stripped to bare metal and fully rewired, finally flying again in late 2004. She was given Blue Diamond colours representing XL571, but retaining her own serial number. Delta Jets sadly closed their doors in 2011, resulting in the airframe being stored outside, and it looked as if she would never return to the skies again.

However, she was sold to Midair Squadron who got her back flying again in 2014 as G-XMHD, alongside Hunter XL573 and Canberra XH134. XL577 was then repainted into the Midair colour scheme of overall silver. Midair didn't last long, folding in 2015, and in 2016 XL577 was removed from the UK civil register. She soon had Jordanian markings applied and after making a few test flights, she departed from Kemble for the final time on 2nd May 2016, bound for Jordan.

She apparently remains in flying condition and is displayed from time to time, now wearing camouflage colours and full Jordanian markings.

Information on this page current as of 28/05/2024, last updated by Damien

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