Thunder & Lightnings

SEPECAT Jaguar - Survivor XX734

GR.1 XX734 - Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum Airfield, Wiltshire

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Jaguar GR.1 XX734 at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, 18th March 2023; Jake Wallace

First flown on 5th August 1974 and delivered to the RAF later that month, XX734 initially served with the OCU at RAF Lossiemouth and then 6 Squadron at RAF Coltishall. She was then 'borrowed' from the RAF as part of the sales effort to get the Indian Air Force up and running with the Jaguar as soon as possible, and accordingly, re-registered her as G-27-328 before being delivered to the IAF as JI014 in August 1980. She returned to the UK in 1982, and was immediately relegated to storage at Shawbury and then onward to ground instructional use at Farnborough in late 1983.

She later moved to Coltishall in late 1984 to be used for Battle Damage Repair Training. After many years of abuse and being robbed for parts for other Jaguars, she was finally disposed of, it is thought to Harwell, where she was used for explosives research, suffering the loss of many parts of the airframe. Then disposed of to a scrap merchant in Charlwood, after which the Gatwick Aviation Museum acquired her and put her on display, though she could only be charitably described as a total wreck by that point.

In 2013, XX734 was put up for disposal, with the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection bravely taking her on as a restoration project. The volunteers of the museum carried out some truly Herculean efforts to make her look like a Jaguar once more. Reskinning most of the aircraft and even fabricating a fin for it. Looking more closely, more hidden areas such as the U/C bays still look quite crispy. A TV screen located next to XX734 shows the journey of the restoration project that BDAC took on - a fascinating watch!

As a result, XX734 looks stunning, to say the least.

Information on this page current as of 05/06/2023, last updated by Damien

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