Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor XE624

FGA.9 XE624 - Privately owned (stored, dismantled), Wickenby Airfield, Lincolnshire

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Hunter FGA.9 XE624 at Wickenby, 18th September 2019; Richard E Flagg

Originally built as an F.6 and serving with 263 Squadron, XE624 was converted to FGA.9 standard and re-issued, this time to 1 Squadron. After a brief period with 54 Squadron it then joined 229 OCU/79 Squadron. A few years later she ended her active life with 234 Squadron and was placed into storage. RAF Brawdy at the time had an F.51 on the gate, and the decision was taken to replace it with a 'real' RAF Hunter, so XE624 took the F.51's place and had been there since 1985.

In April 2002, though, she was acquired by Phoenix Aviation of Bruntingthorpe and moved there, being sold in early 2005 to new owner Steve Petch. Steve informed that the cockpit was in superb condition, and the canopy has even avoided the usual fate of becoming cloudy. In January 2008 Steve moved her to the Metheringham Airfield Visitors Centre but being a good 45 minutes from his home he found it increasingly difficult to continue working on her and when the current owner made him an offer, he sold her on.

Since moving to Wickenby, the aircraft has been sat on its belly rather unloved, its canopy had started to turn cloudy but the cockpit was covered with some sort of tarpaulin a few years back but is now shredded to pieces due to the elements as the photo above shows. - Hopefully something will happen with this Hunter sooner rather than later.

Information on this page current as of 18/06/2021, last updated by Jake

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