‘Demobbed’ Hawker Hunter XL586 – March 2014

Once military aircraft come to the ends of their service lives most will be unceremoniously scrapped, a precious few will continue to fly in one form or another, some will go on display in museums, whilst others will find themselves used for a variety of ground-based purposes very far removed from anything for which they were designed. Hawker Hunter T.7 XL586 is a great example of the latter, now to be found at Action Park in Wickford, Essex.

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Built and first flown in 1958 it served with 1 TWU, 2 TWU and 229 OCU RAF at bases such as Brawdy and Lossiemouth, until being retired and entering storage at Shawbury in 1991. It passed through Witham Special Vehicles and Everett Aero before arriving at Delta Jets at Kemble in April 1998 – latterly as a gate guard – before being roaded to Riverside MOT Centre in Melksham, Wiltshire, in August 2009. Whilst at Kemble it gained the rear fuselage and wings from XL578 – hence that being the serial visible. The move south to Essex was in May 2011 and the aircraft may be mounted on a pole at some point in the future.

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Action Park is a centre for various activities including paint-balling, off-roading, rally driving, motorcross, archery and clay pigeon shooting. See http://www.actionpark.co.uk/ for further details.

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