Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor XS904

F.6 XS904 - Lightning Preservation Group (runner), Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire

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Lightning F.6 XS904 at Bruntingthorpe , 14th November 2022; Damien Burke

XS904 first flew on 26th August 1966 and started her RAF life with 11 Squadron in April 1967. Apart from brief periods with 5 Squadron and in storage or on overhaul, she spent her entire career with 11 Squadron. With the type's retirement from service she continued to fly with BAe on Tornado F3 Radar Development trials. Finally retired in late 1992, she was acquired by the Lightning Preservation Group (LPG) based at Bruntingthorpe, which is where she touched down for the final time on 21st January 1993, this being the very last Lightning flight in UK skies. At Bruntingthorpe she joined XR728

The LPG kept XS904 in full taxiing condition alongside XR728 where they both performed fast taxi runs together for many years, wowing the crowds.

Unfortunately, the taxi runs came to an end when Cox Automotive leased the airfield site in early 2020. Thankfully, the QRA shed and apron were outside the leased area, and so the LPG could, and does, continue to keep XS904 and XR728 in runnable condition. After a lot of hard work on the grounds around their QRA sheds, the LPG held their first public event at the new museum site on the edge of the airfield in November 2022, running XS904's engines at dusk and lighting up the surroundings with reheat!

Information on this page current as of 14/11/2022, last updated by Damien

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