Is it a bird? It is a plane?
Well, yes, it is a plane – a Jaguar, on the M55 near Weeton. Tomorrow marks 40 years since a Jaguar, from British Aerospace, became the first high-powered vehicle to grace the surface of the newly-constructed motorway, which links Blackpool with Preston and the M6. It was intended to demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to land and take off on makeshift runways – a must during times of war.
The M55 was nearing completion at the time the stunt took place, on April 26, 1975 and the aircraft was registration number XX109, piloted by test pilot, Tim Ferguson. The M55 opened in July that year. To find out more and see more photographs, see Memory Lane in Tuesday’s Gazette.