Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor ZF595 (ex 55-714)

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T.55 ZF595 - North Weald, Essex

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Lightning T.55 ZF595 at Bruntingthorpe, 22nd February 2020; Jake Wallace

55-714 was first flown on 1st February 1968 and delivered to Coltishall for Saudi pilo training initially, in March 1968. She was delivered to Saudi Arabia on 11th July 1969 and served with the LCU and later 6, 13 and 2 Squadrons. She was one of several ex-Saudi aircraft bought back by BAe and flown back to Warton (as ZF595) in January 1986. Stored on the airfield for some years, when it became clear there were no real buyers on the horizon, they 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 Anglo American Lightning Organisation acquired her for spares use in their XS422 restoration and transported her to Bruntingthorpe initially, thence onwards to their facility at Stennis in the USA. The original plan had been to use ZF595's nose instead of XS422's one as 422's cockpit was quite empty, but that plan has been shelved after finding significant corrosion in ZF595's nose wheel bay. They are currently using much of ZF595's cockpit interior to refurbish XS422's nose section. In June 2019, the Lightning 422 group decided to put the cockpit of XF595 and the fuselage of Lightning ZF596 (Stored at Bruntingthorpe for 20+ years) up for sale and soon enough they were sold! In December 2019, ZF595 was transported from the USA to the UK where she was then moved by road to Bruntingthorpe. The plans were she would be reassembled at Bruntingthorpe with ZF596, however, this plan was sadly put to rest when Cox Automotive leased the airfield at the start of 2020 and so in September, both ZF595 and ZF596 were transported down to North Weald by road to eventually be reassembled.

Information on this page current as of 03/12/2020, last updated by Jake

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