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Lightnings & Phantoms

Old 17th Sep 2021, 14:29
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Lightnings & Phantoms

I took these photos some time early 70s I think possibly at RAF Coltishall.

I'd love to know anything more about them.


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Old 18th Sep 2021, 04:20
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Coltishall was Jaguars by '74.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 11:36
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Leuchars had both mid 70s.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 13:52
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The camouflaged 11 Squadron Lightning in flight would have been based at Binbrook.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 19:15
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The marking indicate late 70's as well, not early 70's, as does the fact that the Lightnings are in camo which from dim memory would indicate post 1976/7...?
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 19:53
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Possibility of Wattisham rather than Coltishall?
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 20:25
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The OCU/64 Sqn Phantoms put the letters on the fins in 1977.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 21:27
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Thanks for feedback so far. I’m begging to think this was more late seventies, perhaps in Lincolnshire where my then girlfriend’s, now wife, parents had a house. I also now remember seeing the BoB Hurricane parked at one of the RAF airfield which would have been around the same time.

Their house was in Helpringham, near Sleaford but I have no memory of going as far ad Binbrook. Although I did get to borrow their Capri 1.6L for a day.(Sadly they’d got rid of the Capri 2.8 Ghia the previous year.
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Old 18th Sep 2021, 21:30
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
The camouflaged 11 Squadron Lightning in flight would have been based at Binbrook.
I must be the unluckiest man alive.
Flew into Binbrook in July 82, spent 4 hours on the tarmac and didn't see a single Lightning!
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 10:19
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Where are they !!

Originally Posted by rolling20 View Post
I must be the unluckiest man alive.
Flew into Binbrook in July 82, spent 4 hours on the tarmac and didn't see a single Lightning!

The Camo was vey good I believe !!! Out of my comfort zone here, but I did help Wattisham Air Traffic find a brake chute that had been let go after a go around. Had sneaked into the Tower on an ATC camp rather than visit the radar bay. Said Lightning went around with chute attached and turned left for a low level circuit, but before he turned downwind the chute fell away. As this was the highlight of my Cadet day so to speak I took good notice of the line from the tower of the drop (prob my Scouting past). Some time later a Chipmunk was to be seen circling near the overshoot area, and I was informed they were looking for the chute. As this was not where I thought it was I mentioned to someone that it 'could' be somewhere else. The Chipmunk was told to move until he approached my sight line, and BINGO spotted it right away. Cadet was presented with tea and buns and was not missed from the Radar bay visit.
Very quiet Battle of Britain time down west other than some Hawks 'playing' in the overhead, and even they will be 'posted' soon.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 14:34
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
The marking indicate late 70's as well, not early 70's, as does the fact that the Lightnings are in camo which from dim memory would indicate post 1976/7...?
And the single-letter codes would suggest no later than about 1980, probably earlier.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 19:46
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Spot on, GeeRam and DaveReidUK. I think all 3 were taken from the crash gate alongside the north-east taxiway at Binbrook. Behind the Phantom in the distance you can see what looks like one of Binbrook's old Lightning F1 decoys. And the low cloud murk and the horizon look familiar.

A small crowd gathered at that crash gate every day. They always got a wave as we taxied past because we never forgot they were paying for our trip!

So I bet you were as far as Binbrook. If I was lucky enough in my day to be lent a Ford Capri for a day out with a pretty girl, I wouldn't be able to remember where I had been either.
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Old 5th Oct 2021, 22:34
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Hi. While on 29 Sqn, I diverted into RAF Binbrook following an engine failure (big bang) over the North Sea. The date (my logbook says) was July 16 1980 and my pilot and I were flying Phantom XV 461. We often flew OCU aircraft. We eventually camped in with 11 Sqn who wondered whether I had left my "handbag" in the intake - a very weak joke. However, I cannot see the airframe letters so I can't tell whether it was us or not.

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Old 6th Oct 2021, 07:14
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Originally Posted by BSweeper View Post
Hi. While on 29 Sqn, I diverted into RAF Binbrook following an engine failure (big bang) over the North Sea. The date (my logbook says) was July 16 1980 and my pilot and I were flying Phantom XV 461. We often flew OCU aircraft. We eventually camped in with 11 Sqn who wondered whether I had left my "handbag" in the intake - a very weak joke. However, I cannot see the airframe letters so I can't tell whether it was us or not.
Photo of your aircraft taken a month before the above event


It doesn't look like the one in the OP's photo.
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Old 6th Oct 2021, 19:48
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Thread drift: what's the open door above the engine bay for?
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Old 6th Oct 2021, 22:10
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Photo of your aircraft taken a month before the above event

here

It doesn't look like the one in the OP's photo.
Hi Dave. Very many thanks for that. XV461 as you have photographed is in very much 29 Sqn colours and so clearly not the one in OPs photo.

Do you have the exact date? The ac is in D fit which was slightly unusual unless it had just come off (or going on) QRA. It appears to be taxiing to RW26 near the pub which I can't remember the name of.

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Last edited by BSweeper; 6th Oct 2021 at 22:26.
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Old 6th Oct 2021, 22:14
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DH106. The door is in fact an auxiliary air inlet into the engine bay. The USAF Phantoms did not have the upper ones (but did have the lower ones). The door was open until airborne to keep the engine bay cool because of the larger Spey unit.

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