Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor ZF588 (ex 53-693)

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F.53 ZF588 - East Midlands Aeropark, East Midlands Airport, Leicestershire

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Lightning F.53 ZF588 at East Midlands Aeropark, 30th May 2021; Adam Poultney

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 and was then disposed off, going to the East Midlands Aeropark.

The guys there have got around the problem of getting permission to paint her in the correct Saudi paint scheme by faking her up as an F.6 in 74 Squadron colours. ZF588 has been subject to quite a lot of restoration work over the over the years, and looks fabulous as a result still to this day, with only a bent arrestor hook and a removed pitot tube (which can be seen in the intake) detracting from the airframes appearance.

Information on this page current as of 01/06/2021, last updated by Jake

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