The aircraft left RAF service in March 2005 when a routine inspection uncovered a major fuel leak from the mainplane tanks. Due to the imminent retirement of the entire Jaguar fleet it was deemed uneconomical to repair, so the jet was withdrawn after 36 years of service. The Jaguar was first sent to St Athan in Wales for spares recovery and subsequently to Suffolk’s Everett Aero. It was then purchased by the now defunct Bradwell Bay Military And Science Museum in Essex.
Solway Aviation Museum acquired the aircraft and some spares, including two Adour engine afterburner units, in mid-July this year. Hiring two specialist trailer units from Lawsons Haulage of Cockermouth, the dismantling and moving of the airframe was completed over four days by a three-man museum team. WITH THANKS TO STEPHEN CAWLEY