Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Restored nose section of a Lightning fighter aircraft makes rare appearance at Newark Air Museum Cockpit Fest




The restored nose section of a Lightning fighter aircraft ­— once a landmark for motorists passing Newark on the A1 ­— made a rare public appearance over the weekend.

It was exhibited at Newark Air Museum Cockpit Fest, the first time it has returned to Newark.

The once-proud aircraft was in a scrapyard by the side of the A1 until, ironically, it was scrapped after the yard closed.

Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Left to right: Darren Swinn, 47, Darren's son Karl, 13, and trustee of Newark Air Museum Colin Savill, 70.
Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Left to right: Darren Swinn, 47, Darren's son Karl, 13, and trustee of Newark Air Museum Colin Savill, 70.

It had been badly vandalised and covered in graffiti and had become a mecca for children to climb over and sit in the cockpit of a real fighter aircraft.

Darren Swinn bought the cockpit section in 2013 after a friend rescued the nose from Briggs Metals in 2011.

He undertook a long and expensive restoration of XN728, which travelled the world in her service life, including countries such as Malta, Cyprus, and Germany.

Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum.
Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum.

Cockpit Fest was a one-off opportunity to see XN728 as transport costs, covered by Mr Swinn, are prohibitive.

The service life of XN728 began in October 1962 and spanned a total of 21 years, before finally being sold-off in October 1983.

Among the other cockpits on show at the air museum ­— many of which were new to the event ­— were a Hawker Siddeley, Westland Scout, P-51D Mustang, Canberra T4, F-4 Phantom, Percival Piston Provost, de Havilland Dove, Cessna 140, Beagle Airedale and Harrier GR3.

Aircraft panel displays included the Sopwith Camel Cockpit; BAE Typhoon Cockpit Rig & Hawker Typhoon instruments, Spitfire, Vampire and Strikemaster, Buccaneer S2 cockpit rig, Bristol Brigand B1 replica cockpit rig.

Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Pictured are grandma and grandson Marian Jackson and James Elliott, 5, of North Muskham.
Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Pictured are grandma and grandson Marian Jackson and James Elliott, 5, of North Muskham.

Guest displays include Lancaster W4270, military models, Callsign Alpha — Cold War British military vehicles and weapons — a 2008 Vauxhall Astra RAF Police Car, RAF Balderton Research Group, post-war flying helmets and oxygen masks display and ejection seats.

An aeroboot and aerojumble aviation and avionics sale took place alongside Cockpit Fest on Saturday.

Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Left to right: Darren Swinn, 47, in the Lightning cockpit is Darren's son Karl, 13, and trustee of Newark Air Museum Colin Savill, 70.
Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Left to right: Darren Swinn, 47, in the Lightning cockpit is Darren's son Karl, 13, and trustee of Newark Air Museum Colin Savill, 70.
Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum.
Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More