Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor WG768

SB.5 WG768 - RAF Museum Cosford, (stored), Shropshire

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SB.5 WG768 at RAF Cosford Museum, 14th March 2020; Francis Wallace

The Shorts SB.5 at Cosford is not a Lightning of any kind, but certainly deserves a place in the survivors list.

WG768 was used by the RAE to investigate different wing sweep angles and tailplane positions, which later ended up confirming that English Electric was right all along.

Once the tests were complete, she was taken on by the Empire Test Pilots School based at Boscombe Down, which flew the aircraft so students could gain some experience in flying test airframes.

The head-on shot shows the essentially similar final configuration and hides the many differences when compared with the P.1 - the fin shape and single engine, for instance.

In 2023, for some unapparent reason, the museum has decided to replace the large majority of its unique Research and Development collection with WW1 aircraft. Many of the airframes have been pushed outside to fight the elements, and others, such as WG768, making their way into storage, hidden out of view. A disappointment to say the least.

Information on this page current as of 12/06/2023, last updated by Jake

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