McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 XT597 has been sold to Mark Abbott, a member of the British Phantom Aviation Group management team. It had previously been in the care of Everett Aero, based at Sproughton, Ipswich. Mark has entrusted BPAG to carry out the restoration of XT597 on his behalf and is funding it. The aircraft, which is painted in a distinctive ‘raspberry ripple’ scheme, will soon be transported to the group’s new workshop in the East Midlands where it will eventually be joined by BPAG’s own airframe – F-4J(UK), ZE360.
BPAG chairman Paul Wright said: “We are extremely grateful to Mark for committing to saving XT597. Spending its entire life as a trials and development aircraft, this jet represents an important and unique chapter in the Phantom story. We are looking forward to working with Mark to restore and preserve it for future generations.”