(Image: John Stride, reproduced with permission)
On June 24, 1988, Hawk T1A, serial number XX304, crashed on take-off at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire while serving with the Red Arrows display team. The jet, call sign Red 4, crashed back onto the runway immediately after the pilot raised the undercarriage, allegedly due to wake turbulence from the leading aircraft during a formation take-off. The pilot ejected.
Damaged beyond economical repair, XX304 was stripped for spare parts and placed in storage at RAF Shawbury (above). According to Demobbed, the nose was later removed and used by Crawley College of Technology as a teaching aid, and may ultimately have been scrapped or passed to Gatwick Aviation Museum. After that the trail goes cold, with the whereabouts of the nose and rear fuselage uncertain.
But when one of XX304′s cockpit instrument panels appeared on eBay, Bryan from Vintage Avionics snapped it up and painstakingly restored it within a homemade Hawk T1A simulator. This impressive feat is a work in progress, documented on the Vintage Avionics website.
If anyone knows the current whereabouts of XX304, please leave a comment below or contact us directly!