Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor ZF588 (ex 53-693)

F.53 ZF588 - East Midlands Aeropark, Castle Donnington, Derbyshire

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Lightning F.53 ZF588 at East Midlands Aeropark, 24th February 2022; Jake Wallace

F.53 53-693 first flew on 9th October 1968 and was delivered to Jeddah in May 1969. She began her career with 2 Squadron at Khamis Mushayt in December 1969 and bounced between the LCU and 2 Squadron until retirement in 1985. In January 1986 she was one of several ex-Saudi examples returned to Warton (as ZF588) when BAe bought them back as part of the Tornado deal. In common with many others, she spent some years in external storage at Warton before being disposed of, going to the East Midlands Aeropark in Leicestershire.

Since moving to the Aeropark, like many F.53s, she was repainted into 74 Sqns worn by the F.6, however, the scheme does keep her F.53 serial under the tail. ZF588 has been subject to quite a lot of restoration work over the years, and looks fabulous as a result still to this day, with only a bent arrestor hook and a removed pitot tube detracting from the airframes appearance. It seems to be that ZF588 is currently receiving another repaint.

Information on this page current as of 25/02/2022, last updated by Jake

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