Boscombe Down Lightning Gate Guardian

#1
Saddened to see Boscombe Down's gate guardian (actually located inside the wire outside HQ type building), was gone the other day.

However, it did answer the question I had as to why there was a Lightning without a tailpalne or wings sitting outside a disused TNT distribution hub near Bristol, that I passed twice recently on my way to my parents'.

Anyone know why it was moved? A replacement inbound, or was the shiny looking Lightning rotting away?
 
#2
you may get more joy looking on the airfield information exchange website,most of the lads on here are too busy slanging the rockapes to notice anything else.
 
#4
If Tony Dyer is still on site I bet he knows...he used to run the graveyard - oops sorry museum - on site.

Shame to hear it has gone, was always a nice sight on the drive in everyday.

S_R
 
#5
Hang on a mo...

There's a photo of a Lightning at Tormarton that's done the rounds recently, but it's a single seater (in 56 Sqn markings, red & white nose checks and Phoenix badge on the fin). This one, in fact (photo dates back to mid-August).


482099_482033425140750_1104057746_n.jpg

Is that the one you saw?

If so, that ain't Boscombe's T4. Or have there been two Lightnings at Tormarton recently?
 
#6
That's the one I saw. Must confess to not getting a good look at the Boscombe one, as they tend to frown upon such things. Thought it weird that between 2 meetings at Boscombe, it was there, I saw the tormarton one twice and then the Boscombe one was gone - so I assumed it was the same.

That's the problem with assumptions...making an ass and all that...
 
#7
To be fair - Lightning? Check. Red leading edge on wings? Check... easy when going past at any speed to confuse the pair.


Boscombe has had a move about of stuff recently and the museum collection has all gone to Old Sarum (IIRC). It could be that the gate guard has moved inside - it's the only surviving Lightning T4 in the world, and I would guess that there'd be a desire to keep it if at all possible. It's been outside for what, 35 years (?), so it's probably in need of some TLC.

Hopefully it's not had the same fate as the Vulcan and Victor B1s at Cosford (IIRC: Nice, shiny white paint on both airframes, nice shiny black paint on undercarriage. Very pretty. Then someone finds a hint of corrosion on the Vulcan (think it was the undercarriage. Has a look under paint, which reveals that the Vulcan is in fact largely held together by said paint. Long faces as scrappers move in. Someone then thinks to have a look at the Victor.... More long faces as the Victor goes the same way as the Vulcan).
 
#8
But I'm supposed to be a trained observer with a passing interest in aviation...

My Dad's googled it (he wondered) and apparently the Tormarton one was at RAF Bentley (or Bently?) and restored, put back on gate and is now there.
 
#9
XM173 was at Bentley Priory, but went through defence disposals a few years back about the time that the closure of Bentley Priory was announced. It's been in private hands somewhere 'oop north for a while, and the duty rumour is that it's heading for the Dyson HQ at Malmesbury. Presumably some association between hoovers and the FOD- friendly intake? Or Sir James is a spotter...
 
#10
They're not too far removed (Dyson HQ and Tormarton). Maybe the legend that is Señor Dyson is building a really complicated plinth. Or about to launch a new vacuum called lightning...?
 
#11
Talking of lightnings springing up all over the place, spotted this tyred(sic) old girl near what used to be RAF Woodall Spa
parked near the entrance to a local museum now on what was the accommodation site for Woodall spa. SDC10495.jpg
 
#12
They're not too far removed (Dyson HQ and Tormarton). Maybe the legend that is Señor Dyson is building a really complicated plinth. Or about to launch a new vacuum called lightning...?
You mean it'll go 'Wheee! Wheee! Phutt.' on starting, have a tendency to catch fire and have just enough endurance to vacumn half a carpet?
 
#13
I was rather pleased when they rescued the Lightning from the old Ferranti site at South Gyle in Edinburgh - I'd heard it went off to a Dumfries museum, but it was looking rather sad before it went (against the backdrop of the demolition of the site that used to maintain parts of it).
 
#14
Dad (who did the research online yesterday into pirvate holding company/resto/Bentley etc) reckons the Boscombe T4 may have been the one they had at RAe (as it was) Farnborough when he worked there many moons ago.

Of course, now he knows there's a museum and it's local, his interest is piqued.

I must dig out the contact details...
 
#17
Dad (who did the research online yesterday into pirvate holding company/resto/Bentley etc) reckons the Boscombe T4 may have been the one they had at RAe (as it was) Farnborough when he worked there many moons ago.
They still have a Lightning at Farnborough - I thought it was a T4 and that you could see it from the main road (I drive past every couple of months and have stopped really noticing exactly what is there). A quick Google of their website suggests that they only have one, and it is actually a T5:

obj446geo419pg18p170.png

And judging by that picture, it isn't in the compound visible from the main road. I might have to drive over sometime this weekend just to check!
 
#18
I think he meant one they used to fly there.

I drove past a while back and they had some stuff near the hotel/reception building, opposite side to the BMW garage, but further down.
 
#19
Hopefully it's not had the same fate as the Vulcan and Victor B1s at Cosford (IIRC: Nice, shiny white paint on both airframes, nice shiny black paint on undercarriage. Very pretty. Then someone finds a hint of corrosion on the Vulcan (think it was the undercarriage. Has a look under paint, which reveals that the Vulcan is in fact largely held together by said paint. Long faces as scrappers move in. Someone then thinks to have a look at the Victor.... More long faces as the Victor goes the same way as the Vulcan).
Please god no. Tell me it aint true.

When did this happen?

That victor has to be one of the most beautiful aircraft ever.
 
#20
Cosford is, I think, on its third Victor. The B1 in the anti-flash white was scrapped in the mid-80s at about the same time as the Vulcan B1. Sources differ, but it was 85-86.

They then had a second one (think it was a K1), but that had all sorts of corrosion issues and was scrapped when a K2 became available with the retirement of the RAF Victor tankers. That one is in the Cold War hanger built a few years ago). There's another Victor at Duxford - looks very shabby but supposedly is is good structural condition.
 

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