Thunder & Lightnings

Supermarine Swift - Survivor XF114 (ex G-SWIF)

F.7 XF114 - Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire

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Swift F.7 XF114 at Solent Sky, 15th January 2022; Damien Burke

The last remaining Swift F.7, XF114 was constructed for Fireflash missile trials, and apparently after those had some limited use in a fast jet trainer for RN pilots. She was retired to ground trials, in particular braking trials at Cranfield before ending up as an instructional airframe at a college in Wales.

Exchanged for a Jet Provost in the 1980s, XF114 was dismantled and stripped by Jet Heritage at Hurn with the eventual intention of making her airworthy once more - possibly the most challenging restoration project they could possibly have taken on at that time!

However, in 1998 she departed Hurn to go into Jonathan Whaley's care and was put in storage at RAF Scampton. Jonathan put her up for sale and finally the Southampton Hall of Aviation (now Solent Sky) purchased the aircraft, which also marked the end of their attempts to try and get hold of WK275.

She was seen in public for the first time in many years at RIAT 2003, partially re-assembled in the static display, and was then put into storage, awaiting a time when funds would allow for an expansion of the museum buildings. By 2022, however, despite that expansion still being in the future, the fuselage at least had turned up at Solent Sky and is in the workshop, slowly being worked upon by a couple of volunteers. They've made some significant progress in replacing missing nose panels so far so let's hope that the restoration continues and that finally Solent Sky will have a complete example of Supermarine's last fighter on display.

Information on this page current as of 15/01/2022, last updated by Damien

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