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Question for the Lightning guys

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Question for the Lightning guys

Old 28th Feb 2014, 19:40
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Question for the Lightning guys

In the later 5/11 Sqdn days, when using a mix of F.3 and F.6, did pilots tend to specialise in one variant over the other or were general flying and operating traits so similar as to be literally interchangeable day to day?

Thanks for any insights . . . .
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Old 28th Feb 2014, 20:24
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Wasn't a jockey but was on Lightnings at the end. They used to jump into whatever they had as far as I remember. I'm pretty sure that the F3 was the one preferred for the display pilot.

OC11 had a Harvard in the hangar that he used to wheel out as well.
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Old 28th Feb 2014, 20:44
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Main difference was fuel from memory ie F6 had ventral tanks and the F3 didn't! F3 would be the perfect display jet!
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Old 28th Feb 2014, 21:04
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Both had ventrals, but that on F6 was bigger
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Old 28th Feb 2014, 21:53
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F3 took off in cold power with flap up, F6 in reheat with flap down. No guns on the F3. F6 had a cranked wing versus straight on the F3, but never noticed any difference from that. Other than that, the only difference was the F3 came home first (usually!). You basically grabbed what you could.
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Old 1st Mar 2014, 01:04
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Final Lightning Display - RIAT 1987

Flown by the then Flt Lt Jon Fynes [later Gp Capt & Commandant CFS]:

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Old 1st Mar 2014, 07:17
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On Tremblers we had a mix of F6 and F3. We flew both after a very short difference presentation. Handling etc the same on both! Just reheat and flap different for takeoff.
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Old 1st Mar 2014, 07:28
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And the T5 of course. Otherwise I'd never have got my rides.
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Old 3rd Mar 2014, 23:23
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Thanks for the insight guys. I always wondered, where better to ask?
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:20
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Cool F3/F6

There are few more facts about the F3/F6 variants that may interest followers of this thread. The 2 F3 variants on the last 2 squadrons to operate the Lightning were important as they were not constrained by airfame fatigue conservation limits. These fatigue constraints were so severe on the F6 that we could do 1 v 1 combat training for only a few days each year. The in-service life of the F6 had to be preserved until the Tornado F3 was ready to enter service. A side benefit of having an F3 available was that we could continue to satisfy the public demand for Lightning aerobatic shows. In war, these F3 would be replaced by F6 from the huge reserve held at Binbrook. That was important because the range limitations of the F3(and T5)made it incompatible with many of the Air Patrol and intercept procedures - even with AAR.
The F6 was the only variant to enter Service with the Over Wing Tank capability. This unusual configuration gave rise to significant problems if jettison was needed. Upward ejection was by cartridge but the tanks had to be empty or the downward reaction in the jettison gun would damage the wing. Rapid emptying was achieved by another explosive device that blew off the back of the tank! With full OWT, the all up weight was close to the maximum and would be exceeded with 2x Red top, full ammo and the refuelling probe. Tyre wear at that weight even at 300+ psi was another concern and x-wind take off and landing limits were severe. Maximum IAS and 'G' were also limited. The odd configuration was dictated by the long undercarriage retracting outwards into the wing thus precluding the usual underwing attachments. The OWT were designed for long range ferry and they did their job allowing safe ferry to Singapore and the USA for example. What a great machine!
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 11:45
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Then there was the AFS (Airfix Special) on the LTF. So called because it looked liked it was built by someone from a kit with all the bits for the different marks who'd just stuck them together at random...

Stayed up a long time though (for a Lightning).
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 13:08
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Now that's interesting, ORAC. Any more information on that particular aircraft?
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 17:02
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I know XR726/DF had an additional belly tank in place of the gun pack whilst it was on the strength of the LTF...

-RP
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 17:18
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I know XR726/DF had an additional belly tank in place of the gun pack whilst it was on the strength of the LTF...
It was an optional fit on F6's, you could either have the ventral tank full of fuel or with the gun pack on the front.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 17:41
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I think I'm right in saying the large belly tank was 610 gallons, how much of that was lost when the Aden pack was fitted?
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 18:27
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Footlight is correct with reference to x wind landing. In my time, have known us to get only one landing out of a main wheel in a strong cross wind !!
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 18:28
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It had the extra ventral fuel pack, plus the fitted they over wing tanks, and they replaced the radar with a fresnel lens to improve the radar signature for the students. It would routinely stay on station whilst 2-3 students flew successive sorties against it.

though one Irishman had to declare a Mayday and divert. One of the student sorties delayed and delayed and delayed whilst he held admiring the sky until after one routine Pigeons check he asked for a repeat and diverted to the nearest suitable runway (Linton on Ouse?, long time ago....)
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 20:42
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I think I'm right in saying the large belly tank was 610 gallons, how much of that was lost when the Aden pack was fitted?
Can't remember now. Although the guns took up the front half of the tank the tank was fatter at the back so it's hard to make a guess.
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Old 7th Mar 2014, 19:10
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The figure quoted for the F.6 ventral of 610 gallons is correct and 170 gallons was lost when the Aden gun installation was fitted. Each of the overwing ferry tanks held 260 gallons.
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