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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

Old 3rd Nov 2015, 22:17
  #241 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: UK and where I'm sent!
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Originally Posted by ORAC
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.
That seems to be a lot of "maybes" for one of the UK's biggest peacetime ops. I'm interested in your maths there. Assuming the wait for the tanker to pitch up was the three to four hours you mention, how far behind Q1 would Q2 need to be?

I take your point about poaching tankers, but they weren't always there even in those days. Pre-positioning is always an option, but if activity could always be predicted we wouldn't have ended up having to do rush Q generations.

I suppose my question is, what happened when all those extra needs weren't available? Could the Southern Q Lightning base(s) really cover the northern area without all the extra lucky support?
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 22:57
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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I believe that in the early days just after 5 got the interim 6s ('66) they were scrambled from Binbrook to Bears and wee dragged further north than the 3s from Leuchars usually went - in fact so far that one ended up in Lossie. This was the last time that they went so far. In my time - up to '68 - I don't recall any Tanker support for Q although someone may know differently?
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 00:32
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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P Time

Penetration time to the UKADR (calculated with a little help from our Northern friends) was generally in the 2 hr 10 mins region so if you got cracking then it was absolutely possible to get the peices in play at the right time and place. As my learned friend ORAC has said, the tanker boys were always eager to get airborne well within their 2 hour limit. Depending on the situation, we could also reduce their RS - but my aging brain tells me that they were limited as to the time they could hold RS 10 (i.e. cockpit). Anyway, bottom line is that we didn't need the moon and stars to align to get the job done.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 17:25
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Rhino Power,
Sorry I did not get back. Yes, I believe the slatted tail did make a noticeable difference at lower speeds and certainly in the circuit.
M2N
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 23:30
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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As an ADO in the "Diversion Cell" at Patrington in 1965-1967, I remember the Binbrook F6s "going North" and returning to Binbrook. I also remember "Bear Week" at Buchan, when we had a succession of Bears transiting Russia-Cuba and Takers were supporting the Leuchars Javelins
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 23:45
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MACH2NUMBER View Post
Rhino Power,
Sorry I did not get back. Yes, I believe the slatted tail did make a noticeable difference at lower speeds and certainly in the circuit.
M2N
Thanks, M2N, much appreciated.

-RP
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Old 24th Jul 2016, 02:04
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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Nice pic

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Old 24th Jul 2016, 18:21
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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There I was, 3 years as a SAC AATC, 1st posting to Wattisham where, sadly, I witnessed the 23rd Canberra fatal practice asymmetric approach, then a course at North Luffenham and a posting to Northern Dairies, my favourite posting of all. ( I met the current Mrs. W there, 44 years ago last month)

One nightshift, I was manning the BBK CCA suite, and my controller, an Ulsterman like myself, was up on the bridge, having made up a four for Bridge.

All fine and well, until a call came from Patrington, requesting a handover for two pairs recovering. I took the details and gave the Patrington controller the usual caveat, "Wait for Controller" and shouted up to the bridge, " Sir, two pairs recovering" back came the reply, "you take them Mike, I'm playing 7 no trumps" No chance I thought, he'll never make 7 no trumps.

I took the first pair, descending them to 50 in the dive circle and then handed them to BBK approach just as Patrington called with the second and last pair of the night. Same again and when BBK called me back to say they had finished for the night, I closed the BBK CCA suite with the allocator.

I somehow feel that this wouldn't happen in this day and age. I mean 7 no trumps?, on the night shift?
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Old 25th Jul 2016, 20:46
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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It is a nice picture, Megan, thank you. We can see our married quarter!
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 08:49
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Was that the pic that became an Athena type poster?
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 12:23
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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I believe that pic was taken from a Harrier, but stand to be corrected.
I've also heard it said that Mike Thompson was piloting the Lightning, but heard others say that isn't correct...
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 12:51
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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NickB - that is where I was headed - it was certainly the lovely MT in the Athena poster
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 13:02
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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Wander00 - for the life of me, I cannot remember what the Athena Lightning poster looked like! Just done an eBay search which didn't help either!

Could you post the image if you have one (unlikely) or could find on t'internet (more likely)?
Thanks
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 14:59
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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Nick -


This link, 6th row down, w from left - I think its the same pic cropped slightly differently, but it is about 33 years ago!


W
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 16:01
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry Wander00 - I'm not seeing the link you refer to!

Could you try again pls?
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 16:31
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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It would of course help if I had included it - at the time I was being bombarded by gite guests who wanted me to find them a dive school - NOW!


https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=en...HdItBSoQ7AkIQA
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 17:45
  #257 (permalink)  
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Photo is by Richard Cooke

RICHARD COOKE | Aircraft Photographs
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 09:13
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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That will be the one
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 18:00
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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I have nothing but admiration for WIWOLs but remember a Lightning det to VL in the 80s, where we did a 2 SHAR v 2 Lightning bundle west of the Amber way until they ran out of gas, then waited for the next pair and fought them out of gas before doing a quick 1 v 1 and returning for some whacky VSTOL.

Next day I took one of them up in the T4 and demonstrated the low-weight ramp launch to immediate VL. I think he forgot to breath but at least he didn't need to change his flying suit!
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Old 29th Jul 2016, 19:23
  #260 (permalink)  
 
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NickB

I believe that pic was taken from a Harrier, but stand to be corrected.
I've also heard it said that Mike Thompson was piloting the Lightning, but heard others say that isn't correct...


It was indeed taken by a Harrier, and I was flying it. MoD wanted a shot of a Lightning from head on in a vertical climb over the middle of Binbrook for a recruiting poster.

R Cooke esq., rolled up at Wittering and we fitted his specially- modded camera–carrying CBLS to a T4. He sat in the back and pushed the bomb button to activate the camera on my call. Obviously he couldn’t see anything of what was going on behind us.

The Lightning pilot was Mike Thompson and he had to tuck in very close under my tail as we ran in at 400kt and pulled up over the airfield.

After viewing the shots from the first sortie, Richard said he needed the Lightning closer to the lens!

I had a quiet chat with Mike and we reflew the profile - I could feel the Lightning on the stick all the way through the manoeuvre.

Mike said he had been “pretty close” during the pull-up. I didn’t want to know how close exactly!

All the best,

ExMudmover
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