View Full Version : Lightning Climb-to-height records

Vulcan News
15th Nov 2005, 16:52
I'm not aware that Mike Beachy Head has posted anything on this forum, but he's asked me (and probably others) if there are any unofficial climb-to-height records for the Lightning. There are no official records as these would have to be world records and the current turbojet records are held by a Sukhoi P.24.

Most of you will know that he is attempting to break the 20,000 ft and 30,000 ft records using a stripped-down T.5 but could do with knowing what the unofficial UK records are. I think that the late Brian Carroll may well have held unofficial records but I have drawn a blank on discovering times.

Anyone help?

15th Nov 2005, 20:40
He could try the height record for a lightning which I understand stands at 87,900 feet.:eek:

15th Nov 2005, 20:46

Really, and whom is claiming that then?


PPRuNe Pop
15th Nov 2005, 22:51
I am waiting patiently for the next post! ;)

15th Nov 2005, 23:19
Can't help on this one but in the meantime:

Did you know that an RAF Chinook unofficially beat a Tornado from brakes off to 10,000 feet altitude, by a large margin? It was verified by flying a crew member from each of the opposing camps to operate the stopwatch.

15th Nov 2005, 23:27
That old chestnut again....

Wasn't it a Wessex and a Phantom, first time around.

Something to do with leaving the parking brake on to 9999 ft in the Wesex - oh so rib-ticklingly funny...:rolleyes:

PPRuNer Airbedane holds a few time to height records with a modified Harrier, I understand?

15th Nov 2005, 23:57
Beagle, you get crustier every day. :rolleyes:

16th Nov 2005, 07:03

If you believe reference.com (http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/English_Electric_Lightning), Mike Hale. Also claims to have overtaken Concorde as it was doing M.2.2, See here (http://www.lightning.org.uk/archive/0410.php). Not sure if it was him, but I certainly watched someone do it, though Concorde´s speed was fluctuating a bit to maintain a constant height.

I was also a controller at Boulmer as they were leaving service and everyone was trying to outdo each other. Certainly controlled a few high speed runs which got past M2.0 and a few zoom climbs that exceeded 80K on the height finder. One in particular where the pilot went over the top over the agressor area because he claimed he couldn´t turn because he was ballistic, turning end over end, and with both engines flamed out........

ps, Also, going a long way back, remember a memorable intercept out of the Wattisham lightning wing. The FAF used to provide Mirage IV targets during exercises. We´d get the nod from LATCC as a FAF KC135 with chicks headed up the North Sea and would plug an F3 into a tanker waiting for a high speed target to enter cover, break the F3 off the tanker and do a frontal with a Red Top. Tick VG, off home.

One exercise there was a screw-up and the F3 only had Firestreak. The Mirage duly broke cover at M2.1+ and the WO controller broke the F3 from the tanker and did a U26A intercept (180x26 converting to a 90x10ish). He rolled him out long at 6nm. The F3 closed the gap, claimed a Fox 2 just north of the B1 at over 50K- and then diverted to Coltishall because he didn´t have the fuel to make Wattisham. Straight in approach and stopped on the runway. I don´t think they could find any measurable fuel in the tanks. Could name the pilot, but won´t.....

17th Nov 2005, 15:01

I read that (then Flt Lt) Dave Roome got that high whilst out in the far east having topped up from a tanker and then zoom climbed to that height whilst on his way home to Tengah(sp?)
Could see the whole of the malay peninsular from there.
It also happened in the middle east at one time pretty close to that height and by all accounts the troposhphere was good to try.


I thinks I got that right. I'll go dig out the book.
Lightning- From the cockpit (Peter Cayhill, Pen and Sword)

(Later same day).......
Have checked the book and the numbers are right.
He was in an F6 of 74 sqdn based at Tengah doing practice intercepts on an USAF RB 57F on the 23rd Oct 1968

Also, on 7th August 1979, Wng Cmdr Brian Carroll who was at that time the CFI of the RSAF got to 87,3000 over the empty quarter of in Saudi

18th Nov 2005, 13:16
ORAC & jimgriff,

I hear what these folk claim; nevertheless, such absolute heights and speeds are pretty dramatic. The fast moving Lightnings I pointed upwards, or allowed to run, or both, never showed any potential for attaining such parameters.

My recall of the OR946 Height Display specification is a little dim, so I cannot remember what, or if there was any upper limit on the height it could display. My English Electric T5 Prototype Pilots Notes do not go into such detail! However, I doubt that the air data system was calibrated for such low ambient pressures.

Time for Tarnished to offer a view?


18th Nov 2005, 14:39
The book does state that the tropspheric conditions were "just right" for such a feat to be achieved but it's all a bit beyond me that quantum athmospherics stuff.

If anyone is interested I will scan and post the descriptions of the narrowing of the performance envelope at such heights. All seems a bit knife edge for my liking:confused:

18th Nov 2005, 14:52
The only times I went 'up high' (65+) I lost both reheats and had to throttle the donks back to keep them alight - and I was almost ballistic...........and nowhere near 87k.

Orac - scratching at the 21 year old disappearing memory now, but I have to question that intercept you describe, as to close from 6 miles to firing range - about 1.5 miles IIRC - would require an overtake of around .2M to get there before the tanks were empty, ie about M2.3, which seems a touch high. Plus, of course, a F3 would be out of fuel after a 180x26:D :D

Personally I would have fired the controller :D - wasn't the same one who used to roll me out ahead of the tanker, was it?:p

18th Nov 2005, 15:21

Please go ahead and post the descriptions.


18th Nov 2005, 18:03
It was always by guess and by God. 15 second update on the radar, if you turned on the sweep you rolled out in front, if you waited till the next you rolled out 6-8 miles behind. Give it a squint, wait for a few seconds and use urinology to order the turn - and hope he rolled straight in and didn't say, "say again". If it worked it was superior pilot skill, if it didn't it was the controller's fault...

But, as I told Porkie when he complained after I rolled him out ahead of the last pair in a low level 6-ship, "You f*cked up - you trusted me.." :E

18th Nov 2005, 19:11
Only joking - honestly! A great job with some challenging kit.

20th Nov 2005, 20:15
Here they are then:

Written by Wng Cmdr Brian Carroll, who at the time was the CFI with the Royal Saudi Air Force:

7 August 1979 dawned fine and clear, but then I was operating out of an air base in Saudi Arabia, so these conditions were the norm, unlike flying in the UK, where poor visibility, extensive cloud and precipitation had significant effects on many flights. One of our Lightning F.53s needed a flight test, nothing too demanding, more of a jolly than anything else. Following a normal cold power climb to 36,000 ft I headed south towards the 'Empty Quarter', planning to carry out a high-speed run and then return to base.
The tropopause was pretty high on that particular day and the aircraft performed extremely well, rapidly achieving a high Mach number. About now the thought entered my head as to what altitude I could achieve, so with nothing else to do I set about finding out. By then I was about 140 run south of base, having just completed a turn for home and still moving at around Mach 1.6 at 45,000 ft. Easing both throttles to full reheat, I lowered the nose gently and soon achieved Mach 2.1; a climb was then commenced, the speed holding remarkably well and the altimeter winding up in a most impressive way. I soon passed 70,000 ft, the aircraft showing no inclination to stop climbing. By now the sky was getting quite dark, a purplish colour, and earth curvature was beginning to be more and more apparent.
Speed was still close to Mach 2.0 and both engines were running smoothly with no sign of surge, something that can occur when the air starts to get thin, so any movement of the throttles needed to be very gentle. 85,000 ft was now showing and yet the aircraft was still easing upwards. Mach number was still high but, more significantly, the IAS was approaching the minimum below which the aircraft would stall. Very slowly the climb rate fell away and finally stopped with the altimeter reading 87,300 ft.
I had now cancelled both reheats (both engines were still running smoothly) and very gently the nose was lowered. As I carefully reduced power and started back down the slope, IAS started to increase, Mach number staying close to Mach 2.0. The situation was hardly normal in that I was close to the limiting Mach number and at the same time also close to the indicated air speed at which the aircraft would stall, so going down hill was not necessarily as simple as one might assume. A call to Air Traffic requesting a recovery was acknowledged, clearing me to 36,000 ft along with the question, 'Say your height'. My response was, 'Descending through FL 700'. There was rather a long pause, followed by the same question, to which I responded, 'Descending through FL 600'. Recovery continued normally for a visual rejoin, once around the circuit and a normal touchdown.
I related this flight to a few of the other pilots at the time and made an entry in my logbook to that effect. At such an extreme altitude the aircraft was on a knife-edge; either or indeed both engines could easily have surged and possibly flamed out and that would have been, shall we say, 'bad news'. A loss of cabin pressure could have proved fatal. Additionally there was always the possibility of losing aerodynamic control. In such circum¬stances the aircraft could have tumbled, with every chance of a total airframe break-up (the tumble should really be described as roll/yaw coupling, allowing the aircraft to diverge from its true flight path - the result could have been wing drop, and with virtu¬ally no aerodynamic control it would most likely have fallen out of control and broken up). Extremely delicate handling was a priority to ensure that this did not occur.
You may well ask then, why did I risk this by going so high? A difficult question to answer, but if I must do so, then I would simply say,'Why not?' Rather like people who try to break records doing free dives to extreme depths, or climbing ridiculously diffi¬cult mountains. Not that my 'high flight' could be compared with such achievements, after all I only had to sit there, enjoy the ride, wonder at the incredible view, and let the aircraft do the hard work. U-2 pilots fly higher on routine sorties, but for the Lightning it was something of a record and says everything about this great aircraft and the Rolls-Royce engines that powered it.

Brian Carroll was not the only pilot to attempt an altitude record in the Lightning. Flt Lt Dave Roome of 74 Squadron was determined to have a go in an F.6 while the Tigers were based at Tengah in Singapore in the late 1960s:

On 23 October 1968 I had the chance to intercept a USAF RB-57F, a highly modified version of the Canberra with a 122 ft wing span and 42,000 lb of thrust. This was in the Far East carrying out high altitude meteorological trials on turbulence prior to Concorde starting commercial services to Singapore. The abilities of this aircraft in the upper atmosphere were demonstrated graphically when its pilot climbed 15,000 ft, from 65,000 ft to 80,000 ft, while flying a 180-degree turn! He was surprised that the Lightning
which carried out the next intercept overtook him in a descent through his altitude and he advised us that his last run would take some time to set up. This time his altitude was into six figures and he was safe, but it left me with the thought that out in the tropics, where the tropopause is in the order of 55,000 ft, the Lightning could probably achieve above 85,000 ft. I was deter¬mined to try it when I got the chance, and some months later that chance arrived.
There was a Victor tanker returning from Hong Kong and offering about 17,000 lb of fuel to us: I went up the east coast of Malaysia almost to the Thai border and filled to full. I was now left with a straight run home and the east coast was the area in which we could fly supersonic. Initially I climbed to 50,000 ft, which was the subsonic service ceiling of the aircraft, and there I accelerated to 2.0 M and started a zoom climb, selecting about 16 degrees of pitch. I levelled off at 65,000 ft and let the aircraft have its head, reaching 2.2 M before once again flying the same zoom profile. This time I held the climb attitude, though to do so required an increasing amount of aft stick as the reduction in downwash over the tail increased. Eventually the stick reached the back stops and I gently topped out, 200 ft short of 88,000 ft. From there, Singapore looked tiny and I convinced myself that I could see from the very southern tip of Vietnam over my left shoulder, past the Borneo coast in my 11 o'clock, to the western coast of Sumatra on my right-hand side. The sky was pitch black above me and all of a sudden I realized that I did not belong here. With idle/idle set, I started a glide back down which would have carried me over 150 miles. A marvellous example of the Lightning's sheer performance, though the pressure jerkin, g-suit and normal oxygen mask would not have been sufficient had the pressurization failed.
Throughout this chapter a number of references have been made to the tropopause. In the following brief summary, Brian Carroll explains its significance:
Although the composition of the atmosphere remains unchanged up to great heights, certain conditions do change. Lower layers are identified in the first instance by the rate of change of temperature with height, the rate of fall continues regularly to a height of several kilometres which depends mainly on latitude - this layer is called the troposphere, its upper boundary is the tropopause. The height of the tropopause varies as stated with latitude, seasons and general weather conditions. Normally it is lower in arctic regions in winter and highest in tropical and equatorial regions. Since air is compressible, the troposphere contains much the greater part, around three-quarters, of the whole mass of the atmosphere. The fact that the tropopause was high on the day I managed to achieve such an altitude was assisted by these condi¬tions, thicker air was available to a higher level than usual, so the engines were able to function better than one would normally expect.

Taken from the excellent book:
LIGHTNING: From the cockpit (Flying the supersonic legend) by Peter Cayhill
Pub: Pen and Sword 2004
ISBN:1 84415 082 8
All conditions acknowledged as the right of the author and posted here for information only.

John Farley
21st Nov 2005, 11:36

21st Nov 2005, 11:48
Having seen how low it can go :( , I wonder how high a TypHoon could get...?

Still think that the guys who took the NF-104A up to 120000ft doggedly holding 16 AoA whilst coping with engine aand afterburner management and trying to stop it departing using reaction jets above about 100000ft take some beating...

Apart from Yeager who wouldn't listen to the brief as he knew better, then cocked up in spades on his 'record attempt' and had to bail out when the aircraft went into a flat spin.

22nd Nov 2005, 19:52
There is no doubt that the Lightning air data system would be subject to significant errors in these flight regions, but I couldn't state whether they would be positive or negative.

Suffice it to say that when going for broke on one of these profiles you were pretty much in the lap of the gods. Temperature spectrum in the upper atmosphere, good donks, and a good canopy seal. Early models would have been better because they did not have all the fire integrity mods (scoops, venturi drains etc, drag) that the later fleet had. IIRC the service ceiling was 56k as the pressure suit had been withdrawn from service, which meant that depressurisation would result in death above that height.

My personal best was a foolhardy 1.8M at 68k ft. When I cut the burners at my bingo fuel the cockpit pressurisation warning came on, instictively I banged the burners back in to generate some more bleed air and the darn things lit!! But now I was still high and fast, couldn't point towards the coast for fear of the sonic boom complaint, was burning fuel that I didn't have spare, aircraft was at about 150 kts and felt like I was stirring wet porridge when I move the controls. I couldn't cancel the burners again for fear of depressurising myself to death. Ended up in as tight a descending spiral as I could manage to try and slow down. Vowed never to do that again.

Compare that to Typhoon to answer Beagles question then we fall into the trap the nanny state we now live in. The spec calls for a 55k ceiling with "excursions" up to 65k. These have nothing whatsoever to do with the performance of the aircraft, but instead fall out of the dreaded risk analysis which calculates to the nth degree what the chances are of depressurisation and the capabilities of the kit to protect the pilot.

On numerous trials we would zoom at the end of a high speed run and have to perform an aggressive roll inverted and pull to full back stick to avoid busting the relevant altitude limit.

DA2 is coming to the end of its trials life, have often thought what a jolly good idea it would be to strip it down to basics and have a go at some records. Unfortunately neither the funds nor the risk acceptance exists to make this a real prospect.

Sadly such tales of daring do from Messers Carroll/Hale/Roome will not be repeated in this day and age because the "spy in the cab" exceedance monitor will be tripped and the GASO exceed message sent to group before you have a chance to say "sorry chief, jets crook".

Ho hum


25th Nov 2005, 14:35
Interesting stories that need a little closer examination. With well over 2000 hrs on the jet, all Marks and in every theatre they ever operated, I do have a bit of "bin there, done that" to contribute.
By the way, somebody may like to check the RAF retired list; I think that Brian Caroll was a sqn ldr when he retired, and civilian instructors in Saudi were always referred to as 'mister', something the RSAF was very strict about.

Now, the RB57F story - the Canberra had a very strict Mcrit of .86M, so it seems reasonable that the RB57's, with that big wing, was somewhat less. But even assuming that it had a very slow stall speed, it's Vmin would have equalled Mcrit at somewhere around 70,000 ft. So to claim that he "climbed from 65,000 to 80,000 ft whilst flying a 180 turn" is extremely dubious; he would have been out of control well before he got up there. And as for his altitude on the last run being "into six figures", well, I suggest you simply read some of the many reports about U2 handling at altitude if you need any more convincing.

Anyway, about the high-speed/zoom-climb reports. The trial reports from AFDS, Pete Ginger and Dennis Witham were all consistent about the critical importance of gentle stick pull (back pressure) climb angle and engine handling - needed much trial and error and practice. In Dennis Witham's words, "with practice, and the right conditions, it was possible to consistently achieve between 72,000 and 75,000 ft." And that was in clean shiny trials aircraft, without any operational kit. Sqn jets, especially later, were dirtier, heavier and, with all the cooling and overboard drain mods, had more drag. After accelerating to M2 the F3 didn't have a lot of fuel to play with, so ORAC's tale of the Wtm jet may have had a Mirage doing less than the claimed M2.1+. The F6 had more fuel but was draggier and so burned more getting to and staying at M2. Even so, I doubt very much that Mike Hale's Concorde was doing M2.2 - just think what the Mach and IAS would have been to overtake it at that height! As I recall, that trial had the Concorde at M1.4, as much for acceleration, turn and slow-down (boom) reasons as the Blinder he was simulating. With you, BOAC!
As for the tales related by jimgriff, I'm curious that neither pilots made any mention of intake vibration, which occurs above M1.88, both seemed to have full reheat, despite being well beyond the reheat burning zones, and both of them would have been well into the moderate buffet boundary at that altitude, despite being at M2. But not mentioned. When I get a moment, I'll take my OR946 height module apart to see what max altitude it could display. Don't be misled by the high trop - it just means it was colder (a little more thrust), the flt controls, buffet, engine handling limits, etc, would be unchanged.
So I remain open-minded about the veracity of those particular climb reports. Perhaps somebody would like to look up the mach number/IAS relationship at 87,000 ft?

Vulcan News - sorry mate, forgot to comment that when we had an F3 to fly without ventral for a few days, biggest problem was getting the nose gear up on take-off before the limiting speed ! Presumably Mike B-H will plan accordingly.

25th Nov 2005, 16:09
when we had an F3 to fly without ventral for a few days,

Was that at Akrotiri, 1970-71ish? I remember 56 doing tankless F.3 sorties for a few days.

25th Nov 2005, 18:41
Gainesy - and Nicosia, Summer of '68 too.

26th Nov 2005, 06:31
You doubt my word sir! I'll have you know I used a highly calibrated overlay/widget thingy. You put that high-tech bit of plastic on the screen and aligned it over 5 two mile wide blobs and then eyeballed how many miles it covered. Well the middle of the 5th blobby thing looked past the 20 mile point. Not exactly calibrated for height, temperature or wind I know....... :O

(Still much more accurate and faster than the SLEWC computer though)

26th Nov 2005, 13:29
You put that high-tech bit of plastic on the screen and aligned it over 5 two mile wide blobs and then eyeballed how many miles it covered - amazing ORAC - that is EXACTLY the same way I used fly those intercepts on the 'unknowns'. Anyone else remember 'smash it to the edge and dribble it down.......'??:D

PS Being many years older now, I'm still doing that but in not quite the same way:D :D

On a more serious note, as I said before, the reheat/cold power handling always seemed like a big issue as rjj says.

26th Nov 2005, 15:13
Oh aye, "What do you do with a double engine failure?"...
"Smash it to the edge and follow it round"..

Or the alternate, "Call Midland passing 245".....

Brain Potter
27th Nov 2005, 12:57
Interesting to hear Far East Lightning stories. It leads me to wonder what would have happened if the UK had become involved in Vietnam?

Would Lightnings flying from Thai bases have had enough legs to be at all useful over North Vietnam? 300 nm-ish to Hanoi, so obviously AAR support would have been essential. How would they have fared against the MiGs? I would imagine that been mistaken for a MiG by the cousins would have been a fear. If the Lightning was a non-starter what would have been deployed. Carriers with Sea Vixens?

Just a thought for an idle Sunday.

28th Nov 2005, 10:07
I would imagine that being mistaken for a MiG by the cousins would have been a fear. ....quite posibly.

In the First Gulf Unpleasantness, the cousins trashed a couple of Lightning gate-guardians in Kuwait as "Goddam Eye-Racki Migs"..


2nd Dec 2005, 09:40
Using a development Typhoon for an attempt at some of the time-to-height records is an interesting thought but has one big problem - apart from finding somebody to front up the cash! Typhoon's engine control system would need MAJOR (and expensive) reworking to get around the problem of flame-out at high altitude. Remember the Spanish crash? No RAT or thermal battery, so -
"no donks - hello Martin Baker !!"

2nd Dec 2005, 12:53
rhajaramjet you are very much mistaken old chap

The Spanish event had nothing whatsoever to do with altitude and the issue has long since been resolved. Please be very clear about that.

I suggested DA2 as a possibility because id does have an EPS (Emergency Power System). The EPS is commisioned for the high risk trials where there might have been a risk of departure before the FCS was robustly tested. I might add that at no time did any engine anomally occur and furthermore the FCS also behaved perfectly. The EPS is a hydrazine powered thingy which is tripped into life but a number of independant signals - angle of attack, yaw rate, engine RPM and the spin chute being deployed. The latter much to my embarassment (oops!). The spin chute gantry too was only fitted for the early/initial high alpha test points.

So now all we need to do is get Mr Branson to buy the jet when it gets retired in the not too distant future. He can, paint the tail red, plaster the VS logo all over it, get himself checked out and he might get another record in the book.... hmmm note to self, must write a letter


2nd Dec 2005, 17:39

Best you start writing the Risk Assessment, Hazard Analysis etc etc ready for the CAA to think about for a few years.


Ian Corrigible
3rd Dec 2005, 19:44
Update from iol.co.za (http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=139&art_id=vn20051202065931433C944900):

Interceptor jet to reach for the stars
Cape Times 12/2

The phrase "reach for the stars" will take on new meaning when a plane attempts to break the national "time to climb" record at the South African Air Force Ysterplaat Air Show on Saturday.

Thunder City, owner of the largest private collection of ex-military jet fighters in the world, will try to set a record for reaching a height of 9 000m.

A record of 6 000m was set in Bredasdorp last Wednesday - one minute and 10 seconds.

The chief executive of Thunder City, Mike Beachy Head, said spectators could expect to see the English Electric Lightning fighter "point its nose to the heavens and basically disappear". Test pilot Dave Stock will be at the controls.

Beachy Head said the Lightning, one of only four flying in the world, was an "interceptor which is very high-flying, very fast and develops about 60 000 horsepower".

All unnecessary equipment has been removed from the jet to decrease its weight for the record attempt.

"It's also been polished to a high finish to make it slippery and it's undergone about 200 hours of maintenance to make sure it works properly."

Spectators will also see displays by other jets, including a Lead-In Fighter Trainer Jet and what is believed to be the world's only flying Buccaneer, a nuclear strike attack bomber which Beachy Head will fly.

5th Dec 2005, 20:03
I wonder what the previous National record was? 70 secs is a bit on the sluggish side.

My Streak Eagle article shows a time of 39.33 secs to 6,000m set on 16 Jan 1975, by a Major WR Macfarlane, with the previous record being an F-4 in 48.79 secs. The Streak Eagle figures are all from brake release (shackle chop actually).

Other records were:
3000m 27.57 sec
9000m 48.86 sec
12000m 59.38 sec
15000m 77.04 sec
20000m 122.94 sec
25000m 161.02 sec
30000m 207.80sec


Ian Corrigible
5th Dec 2005, 20:39

'Course, the Russians took most of the F-15's records a few years later (1986-88) with the P-42 (Su-27):

3,000m 25 sec
6,000m 37 sec
9,000m 44 sec
12,000m 56 sec
15,000m 70 sec

(20,000m 122.94 sec - Still Streak Eagle)
(25,000m 154 sec - E-266 (MiG-25))
(30,000m 190 sec - E-266)
(35,000m 252 sec - E-266)

Wonder whether LockMart needs anyone to help polish an F/A-22...?



8th Dec 2005, 09:20
Our local paper had a short article on John Caudwell who was a passenger in a Lightning T5 piloted by Dave Stock that recently broke the record (British & South African) for the fasted climb to 9000 metres (29800ft) from a standing start. The time achieved was 1 minute and 45 seconds.

I quote " We took off at about 100 knots, flying to about 300 ft, giving the pilot a chance to raise the undercarriage. Then we went down to 100ft, skimming over the rooftops of Capetown at 500 knots, before the afterburners were switched on, and we went vertically up. It was just awesome. We were climbing at something like 50000 feet a minute"

During the flight they also had a problem with an afterburner and a faulty parachute.

8th Dec 2005, 19:08
Rotating a T-Bird to airborne at 100KIAS, that is a first!


8th Dec 2005, 22:40
Clearly indicates a healthy air data system, as required by official record attempts

9th Dec 2005, 09:01
Cripes! Gary and Geoff were a lot faster than that when they uprooted the barrier at Coltishall:D :D

Good old press, eh? To be fair that may have been the last speed the journo saw as he closed his eyes....................

14th Dec 2005, 06:46
Ahhhh Tarnished, you have stirred the old grey matter with Mac Macfarlane's name.

Long ago, before your time at Chiv, Mac was the exchange USAF pilot at the then 229 OCU and on one of his trips managed to make the national press. It was not unknown for the Hunters from Chiv and the Vixens from Yeovilton to get stuck into some pretty unforgiving doggers. Mac got involved in such a fight, 1v1, and no one would give way. As the fight descended, a farmer claimed that one of his cows was knocked off a cliff on the North Devon coast which duly made the press. Although as mere studes we were not shown the gunsight film, apparently the film of the Vixen dodging around the chimneys of Coombe Martin high street was quite entertaining!

All very long ago, maybe someone who was there at the time can add to the story.

Happy Days

14th Dec 2005, 14:11
Must be a special bond between the farmers of Devon and the USAF exchange pilots. During my time the exchange pilot got involved in some low level affil which got stagnated over clump of 3 seasonal red dots. These turned out to be mink farms and poor little critters started gnawing at each other when the were scared, cost HMG a pretty penny.

Same guy managed to open fire on one of the lead in markers on Holbeach range IIRC.