Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor ZF581 (ex 53-675)

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F.53 ZF581 - Bentwaters Cold War Museum, Bentwaters airfield, Suffolk

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Lightning F.53 ZF581 at Bentwaters, 9th December 2020; Damien Burke

ZF581 has a had a busy retirement! Originally sold by BAC to the Saudis, she was purchased back from them in the 1980s for possible sale to the Austrians but that deal fell through. Sold to a private owner, after some years she moved on to Marine Salvage in Portsmouth and then finally got bought back by BAE Systems (Avionics) in the Autumn of 2000! She underwent a complete restoration at the Rochester site of the company before being placed on the gate in early 2004. She was painted up in 56 Squadron markings, representing an RAF F.6, and she looked stunning.

In late 2011 she was dismantled and moved to Bentwaters to join the Bentwaters Cold War Museum. She's been put back together there and is currently undergoing an in-depth restoration to return to her to - at least - an electrically live state. This does mean she's in the restoration hangar and not available to normal public viewing at the museum though.

Information on this page current as of 09/12/2020

Find other photos of ZF581 on the following sites:

Air-Britain - Airliners.net - Airplane-Pictures.net - flickr.com - WorldAirPics.com - JetPhotos.net - PlanePictures.net