On 25 November 2023, members of the RAFA came to FAST led and organised by Mike Trevelyan. He brought down ninety-one year old Nick Male to see XS420. Nick spent his career working for de Havilland and Roll-Royce and was involved with the Lynx and the Gem engine. During his visit he climbed into 420's cockpit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I think Nick must be the oldest person that has been in the T.5s office, especially in my time with her.
On 17 September 2023, it was a pleasure today to welcome Clive Hammond for a visit to XS420. Clive was a Liney with 2T at Coltishall towards the end of 226 OCU's time at the airfield.
Nice to have a visit from Dave Tylee on 27 August 2023. Dave has been involved in Lightning preservation for many years, and volunteers at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, as well as owning F.53 cockpit 53-700. He is also actively assisting the T.5 XS422 project in the States. Great to see you Dave.
Steve Gyles paid a visit to FAST and XS420 on 24 April 2022. Steve flew Lightnings with 226 OCU, 11 and 19 Squadrons. In a long RAF career, he also piloted the Chipmunk, Jet Provost, Gnat, Phantom (43 Squadron), Hunter (63 Squadron) and Tornado (27 Squadron).
22 July 2017 - Tony Dowland local aviation historian and a very good friend.
10 June 2017 - Brian Clifford who flew XS420 on eight occasions in 1967
February 2017 - Richard Flagg a good friend, aviation photographer, historian and supporter of XS420
8 October 2016 - Tony Hulls - who was in from the start in the world of Lightning Preservation
18 July 2016 - Bjorn Fehrm - fomer Saab Draken pilot
13 March 2016 - Neil Porter organiser of Abingdon Air and Country Show
On 27 February 2016 Brain Eaton visited XS420. On the 28 Febraury 1966 Brian flew in a Lightning T.5 from RAF Coltishall at 1000 mph which gained him entry into the Ten Ton Club. So almost 50 years to the day Brian was back in the cockpit of a T.5.
Brian with his 10 Ton Club Certificate
Ian Black - George Black and Vic Lockwood - 23 February 2016
Aviation Enthusiasts Book Club Meet & Greet - 25 June 2015
Social media in recent years has become a powerful tool for making new friends and bringing like minded people together. The Aviation Enthusiasts Book Club was recently formed on Facebook by Simon Jakubowski to enable all aspects of aviation literature and writing to be discussed. In recent months the Group has gone from strength to strength and has gained a large ever expanding following. With many members in regular contact it was decided that a meet and greet be arranged, so that faces could be put to names. The venue chosen for the event was Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) with arrangements and co-ordination undertaken by Simon and FAST museum volunteer Jo Ayres. A number of Group members made it to the event and among the attendees were well know authors Ian Black (firestreakbooks.com) and Dave Gledhill (www.amazon.co.uk).
The day dawned sunny and warm and the Group gathered in the Museum's Trenchard Room where trustee Graham Rood gave a talk about FAST's formation and history. This was followed by a visit to the Cody Pavilion with a talk from trustee David Wilson about the life and times of Samuel Cody and a demonstration of the Cody Flyer replica
A return to the Trenchard Room saw a a presentation by Dave Gledhill entitled Situation Awareness Development in Air Defence Fighters.
There was also a sale of second hand books which helped relieve the attendees of some of the weight within their wallets. The Group then went onto to explore the museum and its aircraft where the opportunity was taken to try out some of the cockpits for size. As with any gathering a Group photo is on the cards and this meeting was no exception.
The visit also gave Ian Black the chance to reacquaint himself with Lightning T.5 XS420 in which he undertook his first flight in the type in 1979. Ian took the chance to sit in the cockpit of 420, which is part way through restoration.
The day was a great success and many thanks go to Jo and Simon for making it happen. Here's looking forwards to the next one.
Bob Grimstead (with Jo Ayres) April 2015
Kev Rumens - Vulcan Display Pilot July 2014