Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor XN726

F.2A XN726 - Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum Airfield, Wiltshire

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Lightning F.2A XN726 at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, 18th March 2023; Jake Wallace

XN726 entered service as an F.2 with the AFDS at Binbrook, was later converted to F.2A and went back into service with 19 Squadron at Gutersloh. Damaged by lightning (!), after repair she served with 92 Squadron until they disbanded in 1976, and XN726 was retired. She was part of the extremely short-lived and little-known Lightning display team - the Green Marrows (5 Lightnings that performed 92's final Lightning flypast) - and still bears a faded 'Fly Marrows' logo.

In 1977 she was flown to Farnborough (her last flight) and the next year she was delivered to PEE Shoeburyness to be used for weapons testing (i.e. getting shot at) and after a great deal of punishment what was left was to be scrapped in 1993, so the nose was saved by Nigel Towler. In the end, the rest wasn't scrapped until 1996. Hugh Trevor then acquired the nose and loaned it to the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, who were keen to have a Lightning exhibit with some sort of DERA history - PEE Shoeburyness now being part of DERA, it fits the bill!

Over the last few years, Hugh has worked on the various panels and repainted the port side, stripped the starboard side to bare metal, and added 19 Squadron markings so she can represent both of her users. He's also completed repopulating the cockpit interior and sprucing up the ladder and missiles.

Information on this page current as of 30/03/2023, last updated by Jake

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