Project Vanguard

Max Waldron details the installation of a restored English Electric Lightning at a company facility in Bristol

In January 2018’s FlyPast we charted the continuing restoration of English Electric Lightning XP745 for the specialist storage and removals firm Vanguard.

The company acquired the F.3 airframe in 1993, with a view to putting it on display. The original idea was to mount the jet in a ‘diving’ attitude on a stand next to the A40 in London, but this changed to a ‘climbing’ pose. However, the project was postponed by Vanguard due to its high workload at the time, and XP745 was placed in storage. Halfway through 2016, the firm built a new self-storage facility in Bristol (22 Church Road, Redfield) which sported a large glass-topped atrium – the perfect home for the Lightning. Everyone passing by will now have a great view of this iconic aircraft in its classic 56 Squadron ‘Firebirds’ livery.

The mannequin in the cockpit wears an authentically decorated 56 Squadron ‘Firebirds’ helmet

The Light Fantastic

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