Wednesday, 23 January 2013

English Electric Lightning

I think I first saw a Lightning take off at RAF Scampton in 1977. It was the home of the Vulcans, of course (I am so old!). I was first there on ATC summer camp with 1372 Squadron.

I subsequently saw a lot of Lightning take-offs over the next few years. It was a dinosaur, but a truly formidable one.

This is a lovely bit of footege, watch the take-off and see what happens 20 seconds in.... this is actually a restrained take-off, the Lightning could go vertical as soon as the Dunlops were up. Its why we admired her so much.

One oddity, the standard Air-Air missiles of the Cold war era were Sidewinder and Sparrow. US built, and NATO standard. But the Lightning had Red Top, and then Firestreak. These were bolted onto the front of the fuselage. It was a brutal looking aircraft, but it could really move. The name 'Lightning' was well chosen.

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