BAC Lightning


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BAC Lightning

W. E. W. Petter, of the English Electric Company, who had been responsible for design of the Canberra bomber, was to achieve another milestone for the RAF in designing its first single-seat fighter able to exceed the speed of sound in level flight. So advanced was the design - and so complex the aerodynamic problems which this design posed - that Britain's first transonic wind tunnel was built to facilitate testing. Short Brothers at Belfast were instructed by the Ministry of Supply (MoS) to build a research aircraft able to investigate aspects of Petter's design which the MoS considered more revolutionary than functional. Thus Short's S.B.5 had a wing which could investigate sweepback at 50, 60 and 69, landing gear which could be adjusted to cater for the CG changes in these different configurations and, at a later stage, a low-set tailplane. When both wind tunnel testing and S.B.5 confirmed that Petter's design had been right from the outset, the MoS let English Electric get on with construction of two prototypes and a static test airframe.

The first P.1A prototype flew on 4 August 1954, showing very clearly that the company had a significant aeroplane on their hands, but one which needed some further development. The three resulting P.1B prototypes had more powerful engines mounted one above the other in the rear fuselage, with the lower engine well forward of the upper; a changed nose air intake to the engines, with a centrally mounted shock cone; modified airbrakes; plain trailing-edge flaps; and an improved cockpit canopy. The first of these flew on 4 April 1957 and the production F.1 Lightning began to enter service with the Central Fighter Establishment at RAF Coltishall in December 1959.

By the spring of 1966 the fully developed F.6 was beginning to enter RAF service, proving that the RAF had indeed acquired an important aircraft. Speed was in excess of Mach 2 in level flight and the aircraft's operational ceiling was 18,290m. As far as the RAF was concerned this represented a quantum jump in performance, but it was not only the performance which was revolutionary. It was also the first RAF fighter designed as an integrated weapons system, which meant that detection of the target and positioning of the Lightning for an interception were carried out by electronic systems. Once the Ferranti fire-control radar had locked on to a target, an airborne computer ensured that steering and interception data were fed to an automatic control system which positioned the Lightning so that its missiles were locked on to the target before instructing the pilot to fire them.

F.3 (which entered RAF service in January 1964) were the major production variant. A total of 338 Lightnings were built by English Electric and the British Aircraft Corporation. These included T.4 and T.5 two-seat trainers, equivalent to the F.1A and F.3 respectively and retaining full operational capability. In addition to those which have seen RAF service, Lightnings have also been supplied to the air forces of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

BAC LightningA three-view drawing (1660 x 1190)

 ENGINE2 x RR "Avon 302C", 58.8kN
  Take-off weight19000 kg41888 lb
  Wingspan10.6 m35 ft 9 in
  Length16.8 m55 ft 1 in
  Height6.4 m21 ft 0 in
  Wing area35.3 m2379.97 sq ft
  Max. speedM2.3 M2.3
  Ceiling18300 m60050 ft
 ARMAMENT2-4 x 30mm machine-guns, 2 guided or 48 unguided missiles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Paul Scott, e-mail, 12.11.2016 20:21

Britain's lead diminished after this, sadly, letting the French and strangely, but deservedly, the Swedes even produced better. Two countries we Brits gave the jet engine to, and like cricket, football and tennis, screwed it up /left other people to better us. 'Unfortunately, the Lightning Aircraft is too far head to cancel', said Duncan Sands, UK defence Minister, who produced the ghastly 'White Paper' of 1957 that instigated the fall of the British Aero industry. Shameful.


Johnson Mack, e-mail, 26.09.2014 02:16

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Мы помогаем клиентам изменить и улучшить свою жизнь более 47 лет, и мы по-настоящему независимой, мы находимся в уникальном положении, чтобы предложить полный спектр кредитов для всех типов предl ...


mr james owen, e-mail, 20.07.2014 01:34

Я г-н Джеймс Оуэн, я работаю с независимым консорциумом финансирования
Эксперт займа Кредиторы (упал) на Международной финансовой корпорации
и мы связаны более 12 сертифицированных кредитования кредит компаний здесь
в Африке и Европе, и Азии. Мы рекомендуем
Вам одной из этих компаний и соответствующей кредит будет одобрен для
Вы. Почему вокруг магазина? С нашей технологией мы можем посмотреть на получение кредита
Рынок минут, с 100s кредитов мы можем выбрать право только
для вас Независимо от ваших обстоятельств, индивидуальной трудовой деятельностью, пенсии, иметь копию
или плохой кредитный рейтинг, мы могли бы помочь занять от $ 5000 до $ 200 млн.
Гибкая погашения более 5 до 25 лет, Быстрые кредиты для решений
любая цель, обеспеченные кредиты, кредиты домовладельцев, кредиты для плохих кредитов
Кредиты, ипотека. Все, что вам нуж ...


Paul Scott, e-mail, 05.05.2014 18:08

Amazing aircraft, fast climb, but hampered due to poor duration (like its 'slight' looklike the MiG-21).


Paul Scott, e-mail, 05.05.2014 18:06

Why's all the messages in Cyrillic? Excellent 'plane for its day, though high maintenance per flying hour was a drawback, but its rate of climb for then, exceptional - 60,000 in ne minute!!


Bill Beardsley, e-mail, 11.02.2013 17:52

Had a golden opportunity to do two years on the Weapons Test Squadron from '65-67 as a USAF Exchange pilot, then over to 5 Squadron for a year. Logged over 500 hours, many at Mach 2. Did an 8 hour proving trial with a tanker and qualified behind a KC-135 tanker. On that trip the Sqdn Commander had a problem plugging in and the tanker Captain told him to just hold his position and he would back down on him. Needless to say, he plugged in on the next try. All in all it was the highlight of my 28 career.


Madam, e-mail, 18.01.2013 14:30

Dear Sir / Madam,
Вам нужна финансовая помощь? Вам нужен кредит, чтобы расширить свой
организация? Вам нужен кредит, чтобы начать больших масштабов бизнеса? Вам нужно
кредита, который может изменить вашу жизнь и ваше нынешнее финансовое положение? Вам
нужна срочно или чрезвычайного кредита положить вещи в нужное место? Тогда вы
находятся в правильном домом для всех ваших качества кредитного предназначены для удовлетворения ваших потребностей.

кредита мирового класса, компания обязалась всего кредита. Мы выдаем бизнеса
запуск и расширение бизнеса кредиты перспективных деловых людей и женщин
при низкой и доступной процентной ставки на 2% и длинный срок погашения
Продолжительность ваш выбор. Заинтересованные кандидаты должны предоставить
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Мы рассчитываем на более сильные деловые отношения с вами, как мы
ждем ваши ...


mrs aisha ahmed, e-mail, 21.05.2012 12:59

Я госпожа Аиша Ахмед из Ливии, я никогда не знал, Аллах пошлет помощник меня, я мать троих детей, и мой муж был одним из лояльных gaddhafi в последние Ливии война, и я был в золотой бизнес покупку золота из Ливии в Италию . Его, как сон в моих глазах, когда силы НАТО вошли в наш дом и взял мой муж и сожгли все belongings.All наши деньги я использую для ведения бизнеса, и некоторые из золота в доме был сделан силами НАТО и жизнь стала несчастной для моей семьи и у меня было не с кем работать to.And никто не хочет помочь мне, потому что они сказали моему мужу было gaddhafi лояльный, я думал о своих деловых партнеров в Италии после войны, и сказал ей все, что был со мной и что у меня нет никакой надежды возродить мою business.And она познакомила меня с богобоязненным и честным кредита кредитор имя г-н Майкл Энтони там, в Греции, и он дал его адрес электронной почты me.At Сначала я никогда не верил ей , но я решl ...


Dr Daniel Eric, e-mail, 23.04.2012 10:17


Мы кредитная организация создана, чтобы помочь людям в потребности помогает, таких как финансовые help.So, если вы собираетесь через финансовые трудности, или вы в любой финансовой неразберихи, в Библии говорится, "" Лука 11:10 всякий просящий получает, и он ищущий находит,. и тому, кто стучит, дверь будет открыта "Так что не позволяйте это возможность передать Вам, потому что Иисус тот же вчера, ПОЛЬЗУ ИНВЕСТИЦИЙ предлагает плавающую схему кредита Вы можете подать заявку на любую сумму кредита, которую вы может быть нужно. Мы предлагаем кредиты от 5,000.00 GBP Мин. до 5,000,000.00 фунтов стерлингов и долларах США Макс. Мы предоставляем долгосрочный кредит для пяти до двадцати
лет максимум.

Нужна ли вам эта помощь и не знают, как пойти об этом? Есть ли у вас плохой кредит, но необходимость финансирования и действительно нужно это плохо, не обращаются за пом ...


BLUE DIAMOND LOAN COMPANY, e-mail, 26.10.2011 20:10

Голубой бриллиант займа компании
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60 БЛОК, 61 И 64 RASMOND STREET, Берлин, Германия

Голубой бриллиант займа компании
Это проверенный и надежной компании кредит, который дает Лицензированные ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОГО ПРАВИТЕЛЬСТВА.

МЫ не имеют себе равных в бизнесе КРЕДИТ Предоставление. Мы хорошо известны во всем мире хорошо для наших клиентов, чтобы они получать удовлетворение ДОСТАВКА MAXIMUM, с условиями лучших когда-либо.

ЕС ПОМОЩЬ КТО Thos Thos выполнения какой-либо проблемы или финансовые затруднения. ЭТО ШАНС ПОЛУЧИТЬ ваши финансовые проблемы решены. ЕС БУДЕТ ПРЕДЛОЖЕНИЕ ОТ кредитов начиная EUR 5,000.00 EUR 10,000,000.00 К по очень низкой ставки по кредитам. Процентная ставка как низко как 3% процентов в течение ...


Ian, e-mail, 01.05.2011 10:27

I was working in Cornwall down in Saint Morgan Porth just north of Perranporth and these awesome flying machines would fly directly over our heads while we were putting a house together. The noise is unforgetable and had I been a little more interested at school I would liked to have made it into the RAF just to get near one of these planes. To all who flew them, you have my envy and admiration.


Kevin Morrow, e-mail, 16.04.2011 20:46

I've seen one on display in Cornwall near Liskard. The last time I saw the bird was the real thing on a massive stand above a car sale....

Couldn't tell if the aircraft was a prop but it sure was big. The location of this aircraft is located next to the A38 (road) and the place is called Liskeard Castle Motors. The Lightning is a F.6 XS936....


Mick Skinner, e-mail, 08.03.2011 10:56

Ken You are way off All the Mk1,1A,2&T4 models had the option of a fuselage mounted pack fwd of the ventral fuel tank that coul have either 2 Aden cannons or 2 firestreak missiles and later on Red top missiles.At 226 OCU Coltishall we had over 20 of these A /C in 1966 aswell as the Mk3,6&T5 variants. To my knowledge fuel tank mounted armaments are a big NO NO. Hope this info is usefull.


Ken Lewis, e-mail, 06.03.2011 07:24

The text of this BAC Lightning is incorrect when it mentions it was a fighter. This aircraft was designed as an interceptor, only a few (believed to be six) were fitted with guns, which is the hallmark of a fighter aircraft. In these few aircraft the only place the guns could be placed were in the fuel tank! Just imagine being involved in a dogfight with your guns in the fuel tank. The purpose that this aircraft was designed for was to stop any unidentified incoming aircraft arriving in British airspace.


Mick Skinner, e-mail, 26.01.2011 09:19

I was based at RAF Coltishall in 1965 /6 and worked on 226 OCU as an engine fitter on F1A /F2 /F4 line in 1966 we set a record for the highest no of Lightenings (F1A /F2 /F4 /F3 /F5) in the air at any one time I think it was more than 20. The A /C was a pig to work on and our American squadron leader said it was the greatest bird he had ever flown. I managed to get a ride in a T4 trainer FANTASTIC ride,1000 MPH at age 18. I thought my time on supersonic a /c was up when I left the RAF in 1969 but ended up as a maintenance manager looking after the BA Concorde fleet (CAA A&C licensed on Concorde in addition to many Boeings) in the 70's & 80's. For my 60th birthday I had an Extreme Aerobatic Flight in an Extra 300 and my pilot was an ex lightening pilot who had also been with the Red Arrows.


Keith Hallam, e-mail, 11.12.2010 02:54

I was based at Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, '82 to '84 at the civvy airport next door to the military airport. The Lightnings take off was over our facilities workshops and they would stand on their tail just as they came over. The Saudi pilots were real jockeys. Occasionally buzzing the tower. The noise went through your body and to earth through your boots.
Some good info here.... and some sour grapes! There's always someone around to tell you that their black cat is blacker than yours.


David Booth, e-mail, 30.11.2010 23:53

I never flew one nor did I ever have the opportunity to. I do however remember the SB5 from one of my earliest Farnborough Shows but did not immediately make the connection with the F1 et. al. The one thing which none of the above contributors have mentioned is the Flying Tigers - nine Lightenings doing, or rather outdoing any previous or subsequent Airshow performances. The nine of them taking off at Farnborough was and still is the greatest, most awe inspiring memory of all my experiences at Airshows even exceeding the thrill of seeing the first B2 to arrive over the UK at Fairford accompanied by two F15s. The ground shook and there was no escape from the ear shattering noise. All three of my children also retain that memory as being unique in the proper sense of the word. To make any comparison of the Lightening with the F104 is the ultimate proof of american one-eyed self delusion.


Trevor Barlow, e-mail, 14.11.2010 20:50

I served on 23 Squadron at RAF Leuchars from Apr 1968 to July 1972, when the squadron was equipped with Mk 6 versions of these a /c. The squadron used to intercept Russian reconnaissance on a regular daily basis(QRA) after being handed over by either the Norwegians or the Americans(out of Iceland) to Buchan Radar.
Endurance of the Mk6 could be stretched 1.5 hours, and one year two a /c flew to Canada(7hrs +) for a airshow using tankers.
Super a /c, pig to work on.


MG, e-mail, 25.09.2010 02:22

Thanks Geoff for many happy memories staring into the skies around Wattisham and district in those early 7o's... you have alot to answer for ;)


jimbo, e-mail, 30.01.2010 15:20

A Sqn of these flew from RAF Luqa (Malta) to O /H El Adem (Libya) in 14 mins av over 1000 mph. They were there before the departure signal arrived. Absolutely awesome


1-20 21-40 41-60

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