Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor XS417

T.5 XS417 - Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire

Click for previous survivorSurvivor imageClick for next survivor

Lightning T.5 XS417 at Newark Air Museum, 31st March 2021; Damien Burke

XS417 first flew from Salmesbury on 17th July 1964 and was delivered to 226 OCU at RAF Coltishall in May of the next year, coded 417 on the nose in their gorgeous bare metal, red and white paint scheme. She spent some time with 23 Squadron at RAF Leuchars, coded Z, spent some time grounded with engine issues and after a period of storage at Leconfield rejoined 23 Squadron. In 1975 she moved to RAF Wattisham, joining 56 Squadron, retaining her Z code and mostly bare metal finish. By 1980 she was with 11 Squadron at RAF Binbrook, coded T (later BT), in the green/grey topside camo with bare metal undersides. She spent her last years bouncing around between 11 Squadron and the Lightning Training Flight before being retired in May 1987. After spares recovery and some time in external storage at Binbrook she was acquired by the Newark Air Museum.

Sadly her wings were cut outboard of the landing gear to ease transport (as with so many Lightnings - dismantling them correctly is a huge task), but in 1988 she was put back together at Newark with the join hidden very nicely - there are strengthening patches above the wing but these aren't that noticeable. She was initially given some 11 Sqn bars on the nose but soon returned to her final LTF markings, coded DZ.

She's had a couple of repaints since arriving at the museum, most recently in 2011/2012 and is currently being repainted again - an effort interrupted by the pandemic of course.

Information on this page current as of 13/04/2021, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of XS417 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - - - - - -