Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor XS903

F.6 XS903 - Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire

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Lightning F.6 XS903 at Yorkshire Air Museum, 23rd September 2023; Jake Wallace

First flown 17th August 1966, XS903 entered service with 5 Squadron and went on to serve with 11 Squadron and the LTF, finishing her career with 11 Squadron.

She was flown into Elvington in 1988. With the paint scheme looking rather tired after a few years there, she was repainted in the late 1990s. The paint job (an 11 Squadron scheme) was never completed, hence the missing roundel on the nose and lack of any stencils on the airframe. For the majourity of XS903 time at Elvington, she has been sat outside receiving very little TLC, and her visual appearance really does show this. Her paintwork has faded and flaked, the canopy has clouded due to many, many hours of direct sunlight during the summer months, and her nose leg oleo is in desperate need of a charge! It was beginning to look as if no one at Elvington was interested in Lightnings anymore.

However, in early 2022, XS903 finally received some TLC, which was very pleasing to see by many! A small number of volunteers have opened up the cockpit for the first time in a long time, and even put power back on the airframe, with the main undercarriage lights coming back to life. It's only hoped that this TLC will continue in the future, although seems to have slowed down in previous months.

Information on this page current as of 25/09/2023, last updated by Jake

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