Thunder & Lightnings

English Electric Lightning

Survivor ZF596 (ex 55-715)

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T.55 ZF596 - North Weald, Essex

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Lightning T.55 ZF596 at North Weald, 14th June 2021; Richard E Flagg

55-715 was first flown on 28th February 1968 and delivered to Saudi Arabia on 11th March 1969. She was the first T.55 delivered to the LCU and served with the LCU and later 6 and 2 Squadrons. She was one of several ex-Saudi aircraft bought back by BAe and flown back to Warton (as ZF596) 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. Acquired by the Anglo American Lightning Organisation along with various other Lightning spares, she is being used for spares in their restoration to fly of Lightning XS422 in the USA. In June 2019, the Lightning 422 group put her up for sale along with cockpit section ZF595 (Stored in the USA) and soon enough they were sold. ZF595 was then transported from the USA to the UK and moved by road to Bruntingthorpe as the plans were to reassemble her to the fuselage of ZF596 to make a complete airframe. However these plans changed when Cox Automotive had leased the airfield and so both ZF595 and ZF596 were moved by road from Bruntingthorpe to North Weald where she will eventually be reassembled.

Information on this page current as of 17/07/2021, last updated by Jake

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