Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor XG329

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F.1 XG329 - Ian Hancock, Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Norfolk

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Lightning F.1 XG329 at Flixton, 7th October 2007; Richard E Flagg

XG329 was one of the development batch of F.1s and first flown on 30th April 1959. Her primary trials use was on cannon firing trials but she also trialled the flat-topped F.3 fin from August 1964. Transferred to the A&AEE at Boscombe Down, she became a chase plane on the TSR.2 project, and then went on to be used by de Havilland from April to December of 1966 before returning to Boscombe. Retired to ground instructional duties at RAF Cranwell in 1970, but by 1986 more modern airframes had become available and she carried out one last flight - slung underneath a Chinook! She was flown to RAF Swinderby for display duties. With "Options for Change" earmarking Swinderby for closure in 1994, she was put up for disposal and was purchased by a more than averagely determined buyer, Ian Hancock. Instead of cutting the wings off as is often the case, he dismantled the aircraft correctly (a huge task) and transported it carefully to the museum at Flixton. Now reassembled and on display, she's in excellent condition and is a credit to the efforts made to keep her intact. Since my visit in 1997 I'm delighted to see from Richard's photo that she is now hangared, even if it does means she's surrounded by other things and tricky to get a clear view of.

Information on this page current as of 18/10/2008

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