Thunder & Lightnings

Hawker Hunter - Survivor XG290

F.6 XG290 - Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum Airfield, Wiltshire

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Hunter F.6 XG290 at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, 18th March 2023; Jake Wallace

First flown on 20th November 1956, XG290 was delivered on the 18th of December that year and spent much of her active career with the A&AEE at Boscombe Down, where she was the original 'Porton Tank' aircraft, fitted with modified drop tanks for simulating chemical attacks on troops. She also carried out research linked to engine surge problems when gun firing.

She retired to ground instructional duties as 8711M at No.1 SoTT at RAF Halton in October 1981, and after a few years there was put on display at RAF Bentley Priory in 1987, before being disposed of to storage at CDSE Swanton Morely in 1990, then on to Bruntingthorpe during 1991. Jet Heritage at Bournemouth acquired her in 1992 where she was used as a spares ship for G-HHUN. A result of this meant XG290 was heavily stripped and later dismantled, with the nose moving to a private collector in 1996. The tail section was initially dumped but then became part of T.7 XL578 (qv).

Tony Dyer's Air Defence Collection acquired the nose, moving it to Kirkstead in 2010, restoring her to the condition you see her in today. XG290 later moved onto the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, where she is displayed in one of their hangars next to two smaller Hunter nose sections.

Information on this page current as of 30/03/2023, last updated by Jake

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