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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

Old 2nd Nov 2015, 16:01
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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Can someone describe a typical scenario for the Lightning? In particular I'd like to know where the target is when the Lightning takes off, and how does it climb to get into position. Is it a head on or chase? I realize I'm asking for a simplification.

I wish to create a scenario for Flight Sim, so spout hatred if it makes you feel better and make references to my armchair
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 16:14
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Always thought it was specc'd by guys who were caught climbing to attack the Luftwaffe the Battle of Britain and swore that when they became SO's they'd have a fighter that got to altitude QUICKLY

No reason to have any range or endurance - it was all going to be fought over Kent amd Essex......................
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 16:47
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FakePilot View Post
Can someone describe a typical scenario for the Lightning? In particular I'd like to know where the target is when the Lightning takes off, and how does it climb to get into position. Is it a head on or chase? I realize I'm asking for a simplification.

I wish to create a scenario for Flight Sim, so spout hatred if it makes you feel better and make references to my armchair
Look here.....

Controlling The Lightning - Association of RAF Fighter Control Officers
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 17:43
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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An ex ATC Prestwick told me this a while ago.


We had two TU 95s orbiting Machrihanish killing themselves laughing as the lightning from binbrook needed a tanker from Marham just to reach them in less than 45 minutes. Before all that could be laid on they had been intercepted by a comet flown by a captain who'd been a Mosquito night fighter pilot in 1945. Needless to say the whole thing was hushed up.


Not sure as to the vérité. He likes a good story but he likes his facts too.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 19:26
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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I was always told by the Boulmer chaps that the Binbrook Lightnings used to call Bingo abeam Cleethorpes.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 19:48
  #226 (permalink)  
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Scramble, shut down one engine top of climb, cruise to op area, restart, do intercept, repeat on recovery.

How do you think the Lightning managed to do QRA north of Saxa Vord out of LU?
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 20:10
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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Is that not when the relight fires up a pool of fuel in the bottom of the fuselage and burns through the elevator push/pull rod?
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 20:13
  #228 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC ... you omitted, from an ATCO's POV, recovering using a slightly high-pitched R/T voice with a faint hint of panic, whilst trying to sound ever so butch at the same time
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 20:14
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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Is that not when the relight fires up a pool of fuel in the bottom of the fuselage and burns through the elevator push/pull rod?
Or even without relight, as Pete T******* sadly discovered in the circuit at Tengah.

I understand that the material on those control rods were changed subsequently, but too late for him.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 20:59
  #230 (permalink)  
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What was it again, 400lb a side at the top of the dive?
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 21:45
  #231 (permalink)  
 
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ISTR during my tour at Akrotiri 1973-75 a certain F/L Ploszek having a reheat zone hydraulic union leak, that ignited and became a welding torch that attached the tail plane to the fuselage. How I heard it, the fire was brought under control but the tailplanr remained immobilised. By a feat of superb airmanship, the whiskered one used differential throttle to control pitch, and safely landed the jet back on base. I believe that the SEM to wrap all hydraulic unions in the reheat and jet pipe zones was introduced as a direct result of that incident. Whatever, he could have opted for a direct heading to sea and a Martin Baker let down. Anyone have any knowledge of the incident, I'm sure I'm not imagining it.

Smudge
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 22:35
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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I believe there was an STI to wrap all engine bay hydraulic unions in Viton tape. This followed an in-flight fire with a torching flame from a spraying high pressure hydraulic oil leak. The welded tailplane aspect of the story sounds slightly implausible as a fire was sufficient to 'freeze' the pitch controls in many cases. I'm happy to be proved wrong though.

EAP
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 22:36
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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Smuj,
In actual fact it was the boss, Martin Bee who had this, a major titanium fire. Also as a point of order, Ploz was one of the two Flt Cdrs and a Sqn Ldr not a Flt Lt.
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Old 2nd Nov 2015, 23:38
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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There is some irony that an iconic fighter like the Lightning is attributed with BOMBING as its "in anger" mission.
Courtney, I entirely agree.

I joined (or at least was inspired to join) to fly F4s in the FGR role - specifically, II(AC) Sqn in Germany - which looked to 17-year old me to be the ultimate job. Sadly, by the time I got there someone had made the ludicrous decision to replace them with Jaguars. So, being fortunate in having the choice of which (single) role to pursue, I chose AD in the Lightning - as good a grounding in all things aviation as you could get, if time-limited in every sense.

I then tried to swap roles when Binbrook was closing for a) variety and b) to stay single-seat, but was "earmarked" as one of the few to transition to Tornado since all my mates had decided that they were off to Cathay or BA to avoid it. Not until 3 (very professionally fulfilling, I might add) years after that did I get to my dream posting - F/A-18s with the USMC.

Notwithstanding the single role expertise that a specialist outfit can bring to the party - as you would expect, I have the utmost respect for the Eagle dudes - I have never understood the RAF's obsession with it and the complete operational inflexibility that inevitably results. Indeed, I later spent my entire time in MOD trying to overturn the planning assumptions for single-role sqns, albeit that I was not naive enough not to understand that the arguments had been made largely to underpin desired front-line aircraft establishments and thus workshare numbers.

In my view, any tactical FJ aircraft that can't both drop bombs/PGMs and launch missiles is a complete waste of time and money. It follows that the crews should themselves be capable of (at least) multi-role operations. And, having done it in said spangly electric jets, it is perfectly manageable from both a skillset and currency/recency perspective. No doubt someone who's got closer ties to what's going on on the front line can confirm that they are now (all) finally doing so.

After all, and as the banter has always had it: if A-G was hard, A-A guys would do it!
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:04
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Scramble, shut down one engine top of climb, cruise to op area, restart, do intercept, repeat on recovery.

How do you think the Lightning managed to do QRA north of Saxa Vord out of LU?
Well, almost. We never shut down an engine outbound as a failure to relight would compromise the intercept. Anyhow, shutting down an engine only succeeded in increasing range below 15000ft. Best range was at the tropopause on two so there was rarely a case for recovering on one. As to how we intercepted north of Saxa Vord as well as north of the Faeroes and Iceland - we cheated and used tankers.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:37
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nipva
As to how we intercepted north of Saxa Vord as well as north of the Faeroes and Iceland - we cheated and used tankers.
Wasn't it rather a long wait to get the tanker airborne, let alone all the way up to the northern end of the ADR? Maybe Northern Q Phantoms could fill in until everything was ready?
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:59
  #237 (permalink)  
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Tankers at RS 2H at Marham, 1H transit to abeam LU, another to north of Saxa. So, 4 hours - minus however early they managed to get airborne (and to be honest they usually managed under 60 mins).

To manage to meet P-time the norm was to scramble Q1 to honour the threat, then Q2 in sequence etc. If you were lucky you could steal a tanker from a TTL as Tansor Mobile, and if activity was forecast preposition tankers at LU.

I can remember one exercise where the Bears kept coming and, after exhausting all the available F4s, the BK then WT jets were generated. IIRC they landed at LU to refuel before heading north. F4s, Ltgs, Victors and VC-10s ended up scattered all of the sky and the tankers were OTRing wherever they could find the fuel.....
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 16:00
  #238 (permalink)  
 
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Smuj

You might be confusing two separate incidents at Akrotiri. The one involving Martin Bee occurred on 23/5/74 (XS928) and indeed was a titanium fire which led to the No.1 engine winding down rapidly. There was no fire warning as the fire detection system had been put out of action.

Another incident took place on 18/2/74 with a 56 Sqn F.6 (XR759) flown by John Ward from the OCU who was on a standardisation check. He had a control restriction where the stick could not be moved aft of neutral. He got the aircraft down by putting the No.1 engine into reheat to provide pitch control and was given an AFC for saving the aircraft.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 17:17
  #239 (permalink)  
 
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Dear Henry, SLOPS when I was at Binbrook and saw him at the Towers reunion weekend in July - chirpy as ever
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 18:24
  #240 (permalink)  
 
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Did have to request a fuel priority to cross the runway and taxi back after diverting off a Q scramble and landing on one engine.
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