Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor 55-713 (ZF598)

T.55 55-713 - Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Warwickshire

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Lightning T.55 55-713 at Midland Air Museum, 14th May 2022; Jake Wallace

Now a rather unusual beast - a T.55. This ex-Saudi machine is a much-improved T.5; with the large belly tank and kinked and cambered wings of the F.6 variant, it's basically a two-seat F.6 with ground attack capabilities. First flown on 16th November 1967, she began her flying career at RAF Coltishall for Saudi pilot training, and did not get delivered to the Saudis until August 1969. She then served with the LCU, 6, 13 and 2 Squadrons. In common with several other ex-Saudi airframes she was flown back to Warton in January 1986 (as ZF598) when BAe bought them back as part of the Tornado F.3 deal.

Bought by the Midland Air Museum for a nominal fee, she underwent a restoration sponsored by Glynwed (an aluminium company) to put her back into Saudi colours (one of only two Lightnings preserved in Saudi colours in the UK). 55-713 is in pretty good shape! Certainly much better than XR771 which is sat next to her.

Information on this page current as of 16/05/2022, last updated by Jake

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