Four Lightnings at Bruntingthorpe

The unique four-Lightning line-up at Bruntingthorpe in mid-June. DENIS J. CALVERT

At a special event at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire on 16-17 June, four English Electric Lightnings were lined up to mark 30 years since the end of the type’s RAF service. The quartet comprised the three resident examples looked after by the Lightning Preservation Group — F3 XR713 and taxiable F6s XR728 and XS904 — augmented by ex-Royal Saudi Air Force F53 53-672/ZF580 from the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre at Newquay Airport. The latter was put into RAF markings as No 74 Squadron F6 XR768 for an appearance in the static park at the RAF Cosford Air Show on 10 June (see pages 90-91) with the aid of GJD Services. The Bruntingthorpe occasion is believed to have been the first time a quartet of Lightnings had been seen outside together at a British airfield since 1991, when British Aerospace was still operating four F6s — including XS904 — from its factory site at Warton, Lancashire.