The cool photos in this post were taken on Mar. 18, 20023 by our friend Andrew Timmerman from Finn Aviation Photography at the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at the Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, UK and feature the Panavia Tornado GR1T, ZA319, Hawk XX154 and a rare English Electric P.1.
‘On the 18th of March, Threshold.aero organized a sunset/night shoot at the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at the Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, UK. After loads of rain showers in the morning it cleared up and the sun was out, giving us good opportunities for some great photos of the main attraction of the photo shoot, the Panavia Tornado GR1T, ZA319, the day after having been unveiled in its original colour scheme. Also standing outside for us there was the first prototype of the Hawk T1, XX154. There was also a very rare English Electric P.1 (WG763 the second of only two P.1s built) that was the prototype of the amazing English Electric Lightning that became the backbone of the RAF fighter force.’
The Panavia Tornado GR1T ZA319 is the first production GR1T (dual-control). It was used briefly at Boscombe Down to produce the final release to service before moving to the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment (TTTE) at RAF Cottesmore. ZA319 was officially unveiled in its original colour scheme on Mar. 17.
The Hawk T1 XX154 was the first prototype of the iconic Royal Air Force trainer aircraft.
On Aug. 21, 2019 – the date that marked the 45th Anniversary of its first flight – the Hawk XX154 aircraft was airlifted from MOD Boscombe Down, where until December 2018 it was in active service with the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS), to its new home in the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection at Old Sarum Airfield.
As told above English Electric P.1 WG763 was the second of only two P.1s built. The P.1 was experimental and was the basis for the RAF’s front-line fighter, the English Electric (later BAC) Lightning.
WG760, the first of the two prototypes, exceeded the speed of sound in level flight, achieving Mach 1.22. The second prototype P1A WG763 reached a maximum of Mach 1.53.
Further developments of the fuselage and the fitting of more powerful engines meant that later aircraft exceeded Mach 2.0. The Lightning stayed in service for nearly three decades.
The Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, also known as the Old Sarum Airfield Museum, is a popular place to visit for aviation enthusiasts. It is home to a large collection of military aircraft from the Cold War era and the cockpits of many of the aircraft are open and visitors are able to climb inside and play with the controls.
The museum was previously located at the Boscombe Down airfield but it relocated to Old Sarum in July 2012. Although the Old Sarum airfield closed at the end of October 2019, the aviation collection is still in business.
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