Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning - Survivor ZF582 (ex 53-676)

F.53 ZF582 - Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Hurn, Dorset

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Lightning F.53 ZF582 at Hurn, 6th June 2022; Damien Burke

First flown on 15th January 1968 as G27-46, 53-676 was delivered to Jeddah in September of that year and placed into storage with the Lightning Storage Unit whilst the Saudis got on with training enough pilots. She did not enter service until January 1971, initially with 6 and later with 2 Squadron, RSAF.

She was renumbered as 207 in the 1980s and retired in 1985. One of of several ex-Saudi aircraft bought back by BAe and flown back to Warton (as ZF582) in January 1986. Stored on the airfield for some years, when it became clear there were no real buyers on the horizon, BAe sold them off for nominal fees and this one along with several others was purchased by Wensley Haydon-Baillie. With his bankruptcy in the mid 1990s, the collection ended up at Marine Salvage near Portsmouth.

The nose was bought by a private owner in Reading and displayed at his home for some time before moving to the museum at Hurn in September 2004, where she was given some further attention and put on display. When I visited in 2022, the cockpit was covered over as some restoration work was underway.

Information on this page current as of 16/06/2022, last updated by Damien

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