BAE Systems scraps iconic Samlesbury gateway jet

The gateway jet

The gateway jet

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

A FIGHTER jet used as a ‘guardian’ at the gates of defence giant BAE Systems has been taken down.

The Lightning I jet, which has stood outside the company’s Samlesbury site for more than 20 years, had to be removed because of the weather damage.

It is hoped a scale model will be created and placed at the site’s main entrance alongside a model of the Lightning II jet, also known as the F35, to represent the past, present and future of the company.

Paul Earnshaw, a spokesman for BAE Systems, said: “It was not really designed to be but on a pole and subjected to the Lancashire weather. It got into such a state that it was not reflecting our pride in it, so we are taking it down and looking to replace it with a full-scale model specifically designed to be a gate guardian outside the main entrance.”

Parts of the Lightning II jet are made at the Samlesbury and are mostly used by the military in the USA. The programme is worth over £1bn to UK industry.

The Lightning I was a supersonic jet fighter from the Cold War era.

It was known for its great speed and being the first aircraft in the world capable of supercruise — flying for a sustained amount of time faster than the speed of sound. It is hoped that the new models will be in place by the middle of 2014.

Mr Earnshaw said: “It is a lengthy process and and it is subect to planning permission. The Lightning II is key to the site’s bright future so it seems fitting to look at the possibility of having an old and new combination.”

Comments (6)

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3:47pm Thu 28 Feb 13

burner says...

Glad to see it will be replaced. It did look a bit tatty.
Glad to see it will be replaced. It did look a bit tatty. burner
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Thu 28 Feb 13

happycyclist says...

Get WEC to make the replacement. They did a fantastic job with the Spitfire in Darwen.
Get WEC to make the replacement. They did a fantastic job with the Spitfire in Darwen. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Izanears says...

It was a fantastic plane. I am surprised that it was allowed to deteriorate.
It was a fantastic plane. I am surprised that it was allowed to deteriorate. Izanears
  • Score: 1

4:59pm Thu 28 Feb 13

rudis_dad says...

Bit ironic that the US military have grounded all their F35s this week...
Bit ironic that the US military have grounded all their F35s this week... rudis_dad
  • Score: 0

11:32pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Major Tom says...

Such a shame to see such a fantastic piece of Great British manufacturing and engineering disappearing from those gates. I do hope somebody can restore this iconic plane and display it alongside the M6 at Tickle Trout.
Such a shame to see such a fantastic piece of Great British manufacturing and engineering disappearing from those gates. I do hope somebody can restore this iconic plane and display it alongside the M6 at Tickle Trout. Major Tom
  • Score: 1

10:23am Fri 1 Mar 13

Harrold Monk says...

I'll be sorry to see it go, i firmly believe that it acts as a deterrent to potential would-be attackers.
I'll be sorry to see it go, i firmly believe that it acts as a deterrent to potential would-be attackers. Harrold Monk
  • Score: 1

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