Thunder & Lightnings

McDonnell-Douglas/BAC F-4K/M Phantom II - Survivor XV406

FGR.2 XV406 - Solway Aviation Museum, Carlise Airport, Cumbria

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Phantom FGR.2 XV406 at Solway Aviation Museum, 29th August 2021; Damien Burke

XV406 started life with the MoD(PE) for recce pod trials, and then moved to the A&AEE for more trials work. Finally entering RAF service, she served with 23, 29, 43, 54 and 111 Squadrons. Retired to gate guard duty at RAF Carlisle, it was somewhat of a surprise when she was moved next to the Solway Aviation Museum site in the early 2000s, and there appeared to be some sort of bureaucratic wrangle that kept it outside the museum's area at the airport for some time though there did appear to be some unofficial efforts to at least clean her occasionally.

At some point in the 2010s it appears that sense prevailed, she became an official museum exhibit and could finally be looked after properly. In 2018 a restoration effort began to put a stop to the corrosion now rearing its head and repaint her in 111 Squadron camouflage colours. She's on display next to her drop tanks, which have yet to be re-attached. Sadly the pandemic has resulted in limited ability to work on any aircraft at the museum and a couple of years in the weather have already begun to take the shine off the new paint - and the local bird population haven't helped!

Information on this page current as of 14/11/2021, last updated by Jake

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