Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor XV328

T.5 XV328 - Lightning Preservation Group, Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire

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Lightning T.5 XV328 at Bruntingthorpe, 23rd October 2021; Jake Wallace

First flown on 22nd December 1966, XV328 was delivered to 60 MU in January 1967 and then issued to 29 Squadron. By 1973 she was with 5 Squadron and at some point after 1983 moved over to 11 Squadron, flying with them until retirement in 1987.

In 1988 she was sold to Arnold Glass and flown into Cranfield along with several other Lightnings that Arnold had bought intending to restore them all to flight. Sadly this plan came to nothing and XV328 moldered away at Cranfield until finally, the scrap man came calling in 1994.

Happily her nose at least was saved, and ended up with Phoenix Aviation at Bruntingthorpe. The cockpit was usually to be found in the line-up of nose sections among the Cold War Jets museum at Bruntingthorpe, and at the occasional open days you could pay to sit in her and make 'dacka dacka dacka' noises to your heart's content. She was in generally good condition, and bar a few missing bits and pieces in the cockpit, is just about complete.

Around 2013, the cockpit was purchased by the Lightning Preservation Group which were based on-site. XV328 was then moved into their QRA shed after years of being outside. The LPG often opened up the cockpit for visitors to sit in just as Phoenix Aviation did.

With Bruntingthorpe being leased to Cox Automotive and the airfield being shut to visitors, the LPG thought this would be a great time to start on a deep restoration project of XV328! The cockpit has been stripped and is being cleaned out along with a repaint into bare metal with 5 Sqn on the one side and 29 Sqn on the other. After the restoration, it is planned for the cockpit to be 100% complete!

She is seen here with seats removed and the metalwork starting to be polished up ready for markings to be applied.

Information on this page current as of 24/10/2021, last updated by Jake

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