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English Electric Lightning, still setting records.

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English Electric Lightning, still setting records.

Old 30th Mar 2008, 23:26
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English Electric Lightning, still setting records.

Well, maybe not the aircraft itself this time but as the vehicle of choice for the first blind chap to break the sound barrier (courtesy of Thunder City).



Yahoo News

Miles Hilton-Barber piloted an English Electric Lightning, climbing to 50,000ft in under two minutes.

He and a sighted co-pilot flew upside down in the skies over Cape Town, South Africa, reaching speeds of up to 1,100mph.

The 59-year-old from Duffield, Derbyshire, said: "I am celebrating at the moment. I am one of the happiest and most fulfilled blind men in the world. The rush was incredible. It was just wonderful. Of course, I couldn't see anything but my co-pilot told me that when we flying upside down at 50,000ft you could see the curve of the Earth."
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Old 31st Mar 2008, 02:06
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First man to be blind and fly supersonic.

I Bet Stevie Wonder would argue that one

or any other blind person that has flown in Concorde.

I am also sure the Thunder City aircraft are South African Civil registered, so are NOT Military.

Try again
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Old 31st Mar 2008, 08:03
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Thumbs up

Still nice to read though

Come the day would love to do the same myself, sadly fat chance of that
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Old 31st Mar 2008, 09:30
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"I couldn't see anything but my co-pilot told me that when we flying upside down at 50,000ft you could see the curve of the Earth."
Co-pilot! Who's he kidding? I imagine he's refering to the commander/captain of the Lightning.
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Old 31st Mar 2008, 11:51
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Originally Posted by false capture
Co-pilot! Who's he kidding? I imagine he's refering to the commander/captain of the Lightning.
I imagine he got carried away with the excitement and just threw in a term without considering its actual meaning in aviation.
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Old 31st Mar 2008, 13:10
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What's the point of nit-picking in a story like this? What does it achieve?

Good luck to the bloke!
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Old 31st Mar 2008, 13:33
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Originally Posted by angels View Post
What's the point of nit-picking in a story like this? What does it achieve?

Actually, what does the story achieve?, how does the 'pilot' know he has flown at that height and speed?.

And finally, who actually cares?
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Old 1st Apr 2008, 15:47
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well, i care for one. the last great british supersonic fighter cannot fly in the uk but is still flown with its balls attached in south africa. how many did the springbocks buy again???
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Old 1st Apr 2008, 16:24
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Butting in here [not mil aircrew] but to put the record straight, the Springboks didn't actually buy them. They were bought by a very rich South African business man named Mike Beachyhead, who acquired four of them. I went down and filmed them flying two years ago [only two flying then] Well worth the trip, although it was a holiday, not just aircraft. Mr. Beachyhead recently sold a 51% share in his operating company[Thunder City} to a Mr. J. Cauldwell, who was the founder of Phones4U, I believe.Hope you didn't mind my posting. If you did, apologies.
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Old 1st Apr 2008, 20:50
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A 'feel good', pro-aviation story immediately stamped on by a few mean-minded pedants.

I hope he had a great time.
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Old 2nd Apr 2008, 12:18
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top man

Good luck to the chap, the rest of u miserable knockers s*d off
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Old 2nd Apr 2008, 22:31
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sluf goat

Couldn't agree more, but intrigued by members (like your good self) who joined this august forum in times past, don't post often and then someone pushes your button and you react (in this case correctly IMHO). Wots the secret - eternal patience?? B**sh*t filter?
Please carry on though
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 09:26
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Blind Flying

My only comment is to ask the question "How many of the "knockers" have ever been in a Lightning?" The "knockers" comments seem like a whole lot of petty jealousy.
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 15:07
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Apart from being a reasonable achievement by Miles H-B, it is one hell of a responsibility for the owners and the pilot. What if there had been an incident requiring a rapid egress or an ejection? These are things that sighted people could take in their stride but would be quite risky for a blind one.
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 15:12
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I would think that the majority of 'ejecties' shut their eyes and pulled the lever anyway so I doubt ejecting needed eyesight, landing might break a few bones though.

Getting out after a crash is a different issue though.
 
Old 3rd Apr 2008, 17:09
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I would imagine he signed some form of indemnity in respect of damages etc.,
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Old 3rd Apr 2008, 22:36
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I could but wonder how long it would take to make this wonderful acheivement into an "Elf and Safety issue!"

I think it is fantastic that somebody with a will to live and enjoy the finer things in life can actually acheive their ambition! Sighted or not, it is a wonderful experience to fly one of the finest aircraft ever built!

So all that knock go get st####ed! If you have not done it, then dont knock it!!!!
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 07:50
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Agreed newt. I was taken for a ride in a T5 at Coltishall when I was a spotty 19-year-old UAS cadet. It's an experience I remember vividly to this day.

The sad thing is that the flying Frightning, an RAF icon, is in SA and not the UK where it belongs.
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 08:44
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Heard an interview with the guy on BFBS here in Germany last weekend... had the excitement of a little boy in his voice. Who cares that he didnt use the 'correct' aviation terminology, we all know he's not a pilot, surely this has no relevance. Maybe the 'less educated' folk should google him. The guys an adventurer, motivational speaker he raises funds... damn good fellow by the sounds of him.

What a great experience for him.. but what I cant understand is why you guys critisise a story highlighting someones acheivement and personal goals, especially this guy who seems to have an unbelieveable drive to acheive things even us fully sighted folk will never acheive!

I admire the guy and am happy for him... whilst he's up there acheiving his goals and having a damn good time he's surely giving inspiration to other less able bodied folk!

Keep up the good work
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Old 4th Apr 2008, 13:08
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moth - fine post mate. Wish I was as articulate.
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