Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor XE601 (G-ETPS)

FGA.9 XE601 - Apache Aviation (stored, spares use), Istres, France

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Hunter FGA.9 XE601 at Kemble, 18th June 2011; Damien Burke

Built in 1956 as an F.6, XE601 was retained by Hawkers for certification work and in 1964 was converted to an FGA.9, first flying as such in April 1965. In 1966 she joined the A&AEE fleet at Boscombe Down and remained in continuous service there for 42 years, becoming the last FGA.9 in military service in the UK. She was fitted with large underwing tanks with a spray nozzle at the end, which provide army troops with as-realistic-as-you-want-to-get training in dealing with chemical and biological air attack. After retirement in 1999 she was placed on loan to the Boscombe Down Museum, but in 2004 put up for tender. Initially acquired by a Canadian Hunter operator, thankfully she has not been lost to the UK because Skyblue Aviation then acquired her later in the year. The Hunter Flying Club returned her to airworthy status and she flew as G-ETPS on 21st June 2005. Since then she's moved on again to Gerald Williams and was part of the all too short-lived Team Viper display team. After being grounded at Waddington undergoing an engine change for some time, she sadly left the UK in December 2011 for new owners Apache Aviation in France. Unfortunately they have since used her as a spares ship and she is, by all accounts, never going to fly again.

Information on this page current as of 03/08/2014, last updated by Jake

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