Lightning F6 XR773 to go on static display at Stellenbosch Airfield!
Text by Mr Duncan Gillespie, Fly Africa, thank you.
The Stellenbosch Airshow of March 2003 saw Thundercity thrill the crowd with the display of it’s English Electric Lightning F6 XR773, locally registered as ZU-BEW.
Following the unexpected passing of legendary Mike Beachy-Head a few years ago, Thundercity ceased operating and most of it’s aircraft were sold off. Two Hawker Hunters have recently taken up residence in a private residence alongside the R44, near Stellenbosch Flying Club, and the Lightnings have been sold and will be exported.
All that is except one, being ZU-BEW, which the incredible committee managing Stellenbosch Flying Club have just announced, will be taking up residence at Stellies, as an addition to the wonderful collection of historically significant aircraft, following their acceptance of Thundercity’s very kind offer of the aircraft.
The Lightning had been offered to the South African Air Force Museum, however they turned it down as it had not seen service in South Africa.
The aircraft will be reassembled and refurbished for static display.
Next time you’re at Stellies the Club encourages you to feel free to have a closer look at the Lightning work party, once reassembly and refurbishment commences.
While Stellenbosch Flying Club is certainly primarily about flying, under the very capable leadership of their chairman, Stuart Burgess, they have grasped an incredible opportunity and if I may say, a responsibility, to preserve these unique aircraft which have come their way for posterity and to save them from the unfortunate fate of so many which end up in the scrappers yard.
Please follow SFC on Facebook for updates on this project.