One year after arriving at RAF Cosford and following its successful and popular appearance at the RAF100 celebration at the 2018 Cosford Airshow, Black Mike is moving on again
The British Phantom Aviation Group (BPAG) in partnership with GJD Services recently announced the latest development in the life of Phantom FG.1 XV582 ‘Black Mike’.
The destination this time being St Athan, South Wales.
XV582 was purchased from the MoD by Gary Spoors, owner of GJD Services, during 2016 and has since been managed by the BPAG, who performed the complex task of removing the aircraft from RAF Leuchars and restoring it for temporary display. However, with the tenure at RAF Cosford now at an end, the aircraft must relocate for the restoration work to be able to continue.
Paul Wright, Chairman of the BPAG commented “The facilities that GJD have at St Athan are the ideal environment for this to take place and we are looking forward to starting work at the earliest possible opportunity. At an appropriate point during the restoration we would love people to come and see what we’ve been up to. This will, however, be subject to the health & safety situation onsite and be at the owner’s discretion. So, watch this space.”
Dismantling of the aircraft began at RAF Cosford over the weekend 6/7th October and the move is due to be complete before the end of the month.
On Feb. 24, 1988 Black Mike set a world record for the fastest time between John O’Groats and Land’s End of 46 minutes and 44 seconds at an average speed of 772.19mph.
XV582 is a K model variant (designated FG.1 in UK service) of the F-4 Phantom that was delivered to the RAF in May 1969 and served with 43(F), 111(F) Squadrons and finally 228 OCU. As well as setting the speed record for John O’Groats – Land’s End, the aircraft was also the first Phantom to reach 5000 flying hours and was used for display by 228 OCU until retirement.
Photo credit: Mark Lamont / British Phantom Aviation Group