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Thread: American Lightning T5 is taxying under her own power

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    American Lightning T5 is taxying under her own power

    Found it on the modelling site I frequent... film on link at bottom

    A milestone achievement in the continuing restoration of XS422 saw this aircraft Taxi under its own power at 12:39 (USA Central) on Friday 12th May. The significance of this event cannot be understated as the culmination of a 17 year rebuilt and refurbishment program to return this aircraft to the skies. The success of the taxi run stands as a testament to all of all AALO Team members and Supporters who over the years, have all played their part in keeping this project moving forward.
    The taxi-run was dedicated to the late Andrew Brodie, our Project Champion and founder, sadly missed by the whole team on this trip.

    We believe (and very happy to be corrected otherwise) that this is the first time an English electric Lightning Mk T5 has ever taxied in North America which adds another dimension to this achievement.

    The taxi run had not actually been planned as part of the program of work for this trip. Which was centred around Anti-Deterioration ground runs to validate systems integrity followed by a series of engine performance runs to fine tune their operation in the dry power range (0 – 102,5 %). However, Simon Johnson, one of our principal electricians, resolved a long standing bug in the DC Power Control and Protection system which meant that ‘422 could move on internal DC Power rather than the external power kart.

    This opportunity arose and we decided to go for the taxi test to validate operation of the Wheelbrakes system and its differential control. Planning to taxi in the morning a huge storm front arrived earlier than forecast and as some of the footage you have seen online shows the heavy rain, thunder and yes, lightning that moved right over Stennis and ‘422. Sitting in the cockpit waiting for the storm to pass over was quite spooky, feeling more like good omen regarding what was about to be attempted.
    Stennis Tower informed us that there was a 20 min break in the weather so I took the decision to just go for it. We had selected a quiet pan with plenty of room to manoeuvre; short run was purely a confidence check as we gain confidence in the directional control of the aircraft. More comprehensive and faster runs will be carried out in due course.

    Our thanks go out to the Gatwick Aviation Group, specifically; Dave Tylee & Milton Roach for their outstanding support and dedication to AALO and on this trip.

    Please enjoy the footage and ‘share’ to fellow lightning enthusiasts, friends and family on Facebook.

    Kindest regards to all
    Phil Wallis – Eng Team Lead.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    That's good news.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Fantastic news: I used to see this T.5 stand on its tail and streak heavenward at Boscombe Down! It'll be great to see her finally airborne again. Great work by the team.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Hawera (NZHA)
    Excellent news. The Lightning episode of Test Pilot starring XS422 was always my favourite!
    "those who know keep quiet, and those who don't are frowned upon for asking." - snafu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Are there any modifications to tackle the fuel leak issues with the aircraft?
    This lead to losses in service and the loss of one private example.

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