Built for the Royal Saudi Air Force with serial number 53-675 and first flown by Roland Beamont on 19th December 1967 from Salmsbury, the aircraft was delivered to Jeddah on 16th September 1968 by Flt Lt Anders. From Jeddah, 53-675 transferred to 2 Sqn at Riyadh for two years whilst the Saudis worked up on the type. After serving at other bases such as Dhahran, Camis and Al Salem, still with 2 Sqn, 675 was retired by the Saudis on the 1st January 1986. Purchased back by British Aerospace for a possible deal with the Austrian Air Force and given the new serial number of ZF581, she was flown back to Warton on 14th January 1986 having made over 2100 flights with just over 2000 hours. With the Austrian deal a non-starter, ZF581, along with a number of other ex-Saudi Lightnings, were sold to Wensley Haydon-Bailey and shipped to Southampton docks for container storage. The batch of Lightnings was sold again in 1997 and moved to Marine Salvage in Portsmouth. ZF581 was the last Lightning to be sold by Marine Salvage, being purchased (again) by British Aerospace in early 2001. ZF581 was restored by the company and placed on display outside its Rochester factory in 2004.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: English Electric
Purpose: Single-seat fighter
Crew: One
Wingspan: 34 ft 10″ / 10.6 metres
Length: 55 ft 3 ” / 16.8 metres
Height: 19 ft 7 ” / 5.97 metres
Weight (Empty): 31,068 lb / 14,092 kg
Service ceiling: 54,000 ft / 16,000 metres / zoom ceiling >70,000 ft
Engines: 2 × Rolls-Royce Avon 301R
Performance: Mach 2.0 /1,300 mph / 2,100 km/h at 36,000 ft

WEAPONS
2× 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannons,
2× under-fuselage for mounting air-to-air missiles,
2x overwing pylon stations for 260 gal ferry tanks  and provisions to carry combinations of either 2 De Havilland Firestreak or 2× Hawker Siddeley Red Top missiles

ZF581 HISTORY
Construction no. – 95280
Place of manufacture – Warton
Date of Manufacture -19th December 1967
Type – F53 53-675
Date of delivery to RSAF – 16th September 1968

ASSIGNMENTS
16th September 1968 Royal Saudi Air Force
14th January 1986 BAe Warton

Total flying hours –  2304
Date received by the museum – May 2011