New Tanks for XS903
YORKSHIRE AIR MUSEUM
29 May 2012
Yorkshire Air Museum's Lightning Fitted with Over-Wing Fuel Tanks!
The F6 English Electric Lightning - XS903 at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, has had its over-wing fuel tanks fitted.
The rare over-wing fuel tanks were an unusual fitment to counter the very short flight duration, which was a constant problem with high performance jet fighters of the late 50's and early 60's. The tanks at Elvington have been in store at the Museum for about 20 years.
Museum Director Ian Reed said, "We have often been asked about these rare tanks and whilst it does make this otherwise attractive aircraft look a bit ugly, there are many other F6's in Museum across the Country, and we thought it would be interesting for people to see this example with its original fitments".
XS 903 was built at Salmesbury, making its first flight on 17th August 1966 and then joined 5 Squadron at RAF Binbrook. It made a nose-wheel up landing at Coningsby on 14th September 1979. Various spells with 11 Squadron, or in store followed, and it returned to 5 Squadron for service at Akrotiri, Cyprus. In July 1987, it was back with 11 Squadron and, after losing part of its rudder in flight, made an emergency landing on 4th August that year. The aircraft was finally flown into retirement at Elvington on 18th May, 1988, by Wing Commander ‘Jake’ Jarron, then Officer Commanding 11 Squadron.
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