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.
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 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.
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.