On October 6, the Anglo-Arabian Lightning Organisation Ltd (AArLO) announced the acquisition of XS452 / ZU BBD “Big Bad Dog” and the entire Lightning spares package from Hangar 51 Ltd in South Africa. The aircraft is currently being dismantled onsite in Cape Town by the engineering team to be readied for export. The Anglo-Arabian Lightning Organisation Ltd was created on September 2023, with the registered office located in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. and is a completely new company from AALO.
As reported on Thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk, XS452 first flew on June 30, 1965, and began her service career with the OCU at Coltishall in September of that year. She ended her career with the LTF at Binbrook, and on disposal in 1988 was bought by Arnold Glass as part of his plan to operate several Lightnings. Flown to Cranfield, she moldered away there while Arnold’s plan came to nothing and ended up being sold to Tony Hulls of T5 Projects for restoration to taxiable condition.
Mike Beachy Head, the owner of Thunder City, then made Tony an offer he couldn’t refuse, transported her to Cape Town, and with Barry Pover’s Classic Jets completed the restoration to full airworthy condition and in 2001 she flew again, gaining her new serial, ZU-BBD. Following an accident in 2009 in which an English Electric Lightning crashed at an airshow, the company ceased flying operations. Hangar 51 Aviation, which operates some aircraft in South Africa at Port Elizabeth, purchased a handful of the ex-Thunder City airframes in late 2021, including., ZU-BBD.