Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor 53-671

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F.53 53-671 - Gatwick Aviation Museum (runner), Charlwood, Surrey

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Lightning F.53 53-671 at Gatwick Aviation Museum, 26th June 2021; Jake Wallace

The airframe first took to the skies on 2nd November 1967 and was delivered to RSAF as 53-671 and returned to Warton in 1986 as ZF573. In 1997 the aircraft was then sold to Marine Salvage and was stored at Stretton in Cheshire.

The airframe was the sold to Gatwick Aviation Museum in 2000, after it was delivered the aircraft was reassembled in no time. The plans for most of the aircraft to arrive at Gatwick is to get them restored to ground running condition, so volunteers slowly cracked on with getting back to that state.

After 16 years of on going restoration work and much effort by all the volunteers involved, the aircraft saw it's first ever engine runs by September 2016. This was an incredible achievement, the museum now not only has the worlds only live S.1 Buccaneer XN923 but the only live Lightning F.53 too!

With the new hangar erected in 2015/16 too house the collections smaller aircraft, the lightning finally went under cover with the end of the build being made a few feet higher so the tail would fit. After it went undercover, the metal work was polished up and its original Saudi markings were fitted once again, wearing the serial 53-671.

53-671 today can be seen on display inside the hangar as the photo above shows.

Information on this page current as of 03/07/2021, last updated by Jake

Find other photos of 53-671 on the following sites:

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