Thunder & Lightnings

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Survivor WG763

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P.1A WG763 - Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

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P.1A WG763 at Manchester, 18th August 2018; Richard E Flagg

WG763 was the second P.1 built, and first flew on 18th July 1955. She bore the first indications of the type being destined to be a serious fighter - a pair of Aden cannon mounted in the nose, and fittings on the belly to allow the attachment of a bulbous fuel tank (though on display now, she has neither guns nor belly tank!). She was fitted with Sapphire engines but no reheat (despite this, she could use her entire fuel load in less than 55 minutes, hence the need for a belly tank). WG763 enjoyed a fairly short flying career, with highlights including supersonic cannon firing trials in 1957 and low speed handling trials with the RAE. By 1964 she had been retired to ground instructional duties at RAF Henlow. Both WG763 and WG760 ended up on display on the parade ground at RAF Henlow, but as they gradually deteriorated, thankfully somebody realised their historical significance and both were moved on to safer homes. WG763 was one of the first exhibits to be acquired in the early 1980s by the then-new museum in Manchester and has been on display there ever since.

Information on this page current as of 17/06/2021, last updated by Jake

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