Collections sold, aircraft grounded, some high-profile tragedies — the UK’s classic jet scene has experienced a difficult few years. How do those on the inside view it? Aeroplane canvassed the views of several British ex-military jet operators to find out


Jonathon Whaley’s exceptionally colourful Hunter F58A Miss Demeanour, currently grounded along with all other UK civilregistered Hunters, remains up for sale.
The Venoms previously operated by the Classic Air Force were the last of their type airworthy not just in the UK, but also Europe.

When looking at the historic aircraft that are preserved as airworthy machines in the UK today, it is very clear that a large void has opened up over the last few years with regard to classic jets. Of course, it is quite normal for collections to come and go, but the owners and operators of historic military jets have diminished significantly in number. Very few new owners have entered this arena, and Britain has seen around 25 such aeroplanes either being withdrawn from display flying, sold, grounded or lost since 2010.

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