Hawker Hunter leaves Fort Paull on journey to its 'spiritual' home at the historic Hornby headquarters in Margate

An aircraft which has its own Airfix model has left East Yorkshire on the start of its journey to to its spiritual home at the historic Hornby headquarters in Margate.

The Hawker Hunter XF509 being loaded on Thursday at Fort Paull near Hull on the start of her journey to Margate Pic: Alex Wood
The Hawker Hunter XF509 being loaded on Thursday at Fort Paull near Hull on the start of her journey to Margate Pic: Alex Wood

Lyndon Davies, chief executive of Hornby, bought the Hawker Hunter XF509 for £14,000 at auction earlier this year and plans to use it as a tribute to employees who died in recent times.

The aircraft was once fixed on a pole outside the Humbrol factory on Hedon Road in Hull, which closed in 2006.

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It later moved to the military museum at Fort Paull to the east of Hull until that closed last year.

The plane which stood outside for decades is now in a hangar at Manston in Kent, where she will stay temporarily

Hornby owns brands including Hornby model railways, Scalextric, Humbrol and Airfix - which makes exactly the same kit version of the classic British jet aircraft.

The planes - which some believe were among the most beautiful ever made - entered RAF service in 1954 and still provided training support almost 40 years later.

Flight specialist for Hornby Hobbies Michael Clegg watched on as the plane was removed from its plinth and hoisted onto the back of a lorry for the start of the journey to Manston airfield in Kent, where it will be getting a bit of "TLC" before moving to Hornby's headquarters in Margate.

The plane arrived at Manston on Friday morning and is now standing on her own wheels and under cover in a hangar for the first time in decades.

Auctioneer Andrew Baitson (pictured) sold the plane to Lyndon Davies earlier this year

The former RAF airfield played part in history as Meteor jets - the first Allied jet in service - flew from there in WW2.

The XF509 - which started out with 54 Squadron in 1957 and ended its career with No. 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley - has its own 1:48 scale model.

Mr Clegg said: "She was a little reluctant to leave her plinth at first - she quite likes it here in Hull.

"She's going to get some TLC (at Manston) and by the time we get her to Margate we'll have a proper position for her.

The Hawker Hunter leaving Fort Paull on its journey to Manston, then Margate Pic: Michael Clegg

"Lyndon Davies has done this out of the goodness of his heart - it shows how great a boss he is and how he cares about his staff.

"The people we lost really knocked us for six. This is a nice way to physically remember them.

"At the moment the intention is to display it at our traditional home in Margate, the old Hornby Hobbies factory, which used to make the trains.

"We are all excited at the prospect of having her come home."