View Full Version : Why Didn't They Upgrade The Lightning

30th Sep 2008, 16:56
As a Lightning fan, I often thought why they decided to replace the lightning?:sad:

Or give it a new lease of life like the Nimrod R4.

I am asking this, As I have just been on MAC forum, And the recent Blackjack report flying over Hull, And us not having the speed to catch it.

Maybe they could have ran the Lightning alongside the Tornado, And kept the upgraded Lightnings for QRA launches.

Even a dozen would have been sufficient to operate in the UK.

After all it's loyal service I would have thought the Lightning was fixtures & fittings of the RAF.

Obviously the cost implications in today's climate, But not many Aircraft evaded an F6 Lightning out of Binbrook.

Remember Ian Black in his Lightning having a 'Duel' with a Tornado F3 I think? The Lightning won outright.

Ashame our 'good old' CAA will not certify it to fly on the airshow circuit.

Thunder City is loving it.

It is said to be too complexed an airframe, As oppose to the Vulc?

But good news is the Bucc is returning next year I hope.

Would it have been feasable to upgrade the Lightning?

30th Sep 2008, 18:44
As a fellow Frightning Fan...in a word no....
How could you?.......erm

Intall RB99s,
Folding IFR probe
Take the wing tip fairings off and install Sidewinder rails, using the nav lights wiring [this according to a Chiefy I met whilst on Summer Camp with the ATC at Binbrook]
Solid state AI
I could go on, and on...
The "Original" Mission Profile was NINE minutes:eek: Take off, climb at M0.9, to 200nm, turn in, [Supersonic] fire Firestreaks, RTB.....BUT when I read the Pilots' Notes, [I was an ADO at RAF Patrington] the Mk6 Lightning had a range of 2700nm:ok: [with overwing tanks]
Take off, cruise climb to tropopause, shut down one engine, cruise descent, start shut down engine, and Robert is your Mother's Brother :D

30th Sep 2008, 19:24
Was down at Thunder City for the two Air Shows in Nov/Dec. 2005. Had the wonderful experience of standing twenty feet away from one doing an afterburner check.
Two days after the first show, I was walking along a beach near Hermanus when I heard a noise behind me. Looked round to see a single-seat Lightning, single seat Hunter, raspberry ripple buccaneer in line abreast in a right hand turn at 500 feet not 2 hundred yards off shore. One of my top aviation memories, and worth going all that way to see!!!:):):)

30th Sep 2008, 19:52
Still I was privelidged [sp] to watch the disbandment "Fly Past" of the FCDU......I was at Patrington [North of Hull] and the did the hard thing... thet beat up the "Domestic Site" [it's on Googlyearth, now as a "Static" Caravan Site]. At the time, the "Chalets" in which we lived were [perhaps] a "tad" lower than a Caravan, and they were below rooftop level! :D
One thing I regret. I didn't have a camera :{ Bought one PDQ tho'

30th Sep 2008, 20:23
The reason 'they' never uprated the Lightning is 'cos we (RR) never did quite solve the engine fires problem. Oh we knew what the cause was and fiddled and faddled and faddled and fiddled. RAF Dogger Bank collected more Lightnings than remained in service at the end of its life. Even the Hucknall flying test bed ended up parting company with its pilot somewhere near Grantham due to yes you guessed an engine fire. Nuff said

30th Sep 2008, 20:29
Yeah, The North Sea of 'Skegvegas' was a regular Lightning graveyard.

Some even ran out of fuel.