(Image courtesy of Gary Parsons, Air-Scene UK)
Several days ago our sibling site Storm Climb reported on the final demise of an English Electric Lightning fighter jet that had languished for decades in various stages of abandonment in a yard by the A1 road near Balderton in Nottinghamshire, UK. The Cold War-era aircraft, which had become a well known landmark to travellers on the A1, was finally torn apart for scrap on Friday, September 9, in what has been hailed the end of an era by aviation enthusiasts.
The Lightning, serial number XN728, was in reasonable condition upon its arrival at the yard in 1983, despite having served as a decoy aircraft at RAF Coningsby for several years. But the years took their toll and various spells of dereliction saw the aircraft abandoned to the mercy of thieves and vandals.
Despite a great deal of interest from various parties over the decades, the Lightning, which had once served as inspiration for a clothing range by Paul Smith, was seemingly never offered up for preservation. And after almost 30 years of neglect, its fate was all but sealed long ago. Read more about XN728 in our previous article Britain’s Most Famous Derelict Fighter Plane.