Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor XS459

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T.5 XS459 - Ian Black, Binbrook, Lincolnshire

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Lightning T.5 XS459 at Binbrook, 1st May 2021; Ian Black

XS459 first flew in December 1965 and served with 226 OCU, 29 Squadron, 56 Squadron, the LTF and latterly 5 Squadron. Disposed of in July 1988 to Tandora Holdings in Narborough, she was sold on again in 1994 to the nascent Fenland and West Norfolk Aviation Museum and was on display there for many years, moving on from being surrounded by garden furniture at a garden centre to being tucked away in a dedicated museum plot.

She had at least one repaint since arrival but by 2020 was beginning to look a bit faded again. More concerningly, the museum was hit with a huge increase in rent from the land owners and as part of their efforts to raise enough funds to stay, XS459 was reluctantly put up for sale. A sale to a prospective owner in France fell through, and in March 2021, XS459 was acquired by Ian Black (yes, the Ian Black for those at all familiar with the Lightning!).

On 1st May he had her transported back to her spiritual home - the former RAF Binbrook. Her wings were cut many years ago, which simplified moving her this time from the confined space she was in at Fenland. In due course she'll be reassembled and Ian has big plans for a new paint scheme and displaying her to the public. Work has already begun on cleaning her up prior to reassembly.

Information on this page current as of 03/05/2021

Find other photos of XS459 on the following sites:

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