Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor XS904

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

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Lightning F.6 XS904 at Bruntingthorpe , 23rd October 2021; Jake Wallace

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 at Bruntingthorpe and flown there 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 aborted take-offs together for many years. This being Bruntingthorpes largest attraction, the crowd line would double in size, and the stalls would be abandoned when they saw a glance of them being towed from the QRA shed onto the runway.

With Bruntingthorpe being leased to Cox Automotive, all airframes were to be moved off-site. Thankfully the QRA shed was fairly safe from day one with it not being attached to the main airfield site. A lot of groundworks have been done around the QRA shed so all the smaller airframes can be moved off-site, thus creating a new museum area that is looking at opening to the public in Spring 2022.

Over the past year or so, XS904 has had its number 2 engine swapped with an ex-Saudi engine and is seen above after its first successful high-powered run. It was also the first time since November 2019 that the LPG went into reheat, a huge success and a big achievement for the Lightning Preservation Group!

Information on this page current as of 24/10/2021, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of XS904 on the following sites:

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