Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor E-430 (composite with XG226 and XF418)

F.51 E-430 - Privately owned (dumped?), Gatwick Aviation Museum, Charlwood, Surrey

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Hunter F.51 E-430 at Gatwick Aviation Museum, 6th August 2023; Damien Burke

E-430 was built as an F.51 and delivered to the Royal Danish Air force in 1956. In 1974 she was sold back to Hawker Siddeley at Dunsfold, in the hope she would be refurbished and sold on again. Sadly, this was never meant to be, and instead she ended up transported to Thorpe Park for display.

Whilst she resided at Thorpe Park, she was repainted from her overal green Danish scheme into a grey/white Royal Navy colour scheme, representing a GA.11, although she was given the serial of XF418 (the port wing is that of XF418, though the fuselage is E-430 and the starboard one comes from XG226!). The airframe was later moved to the Gatwick Aviation Museum, where she was on display for some time, lacking any serial number by this point.

In 2016, she was sold to a private owner and was moved away from the museum buildings a couple of years later. Since then, she has become increasingly overgrown and is slowly turning green (she'll look like her old Danish self soon enough!). She is now surrounded by notices stating that the airframe is not looked after by the museum - I guess they're a bit fed up with people asking what's going on! Just before the pandemic hit it had been donated to a local college but covid appeared to put paid to their plans to move it. The museum has assisted with a transfer of ownership to a new owner and dismantling for a move is expected to start in October 2023.

Information on this page current as of 22/09/2023, last updated by Damien

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