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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

Old 10th May 2024, 22:25
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Old 10th May 2024, 22:27
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Old 10th May 2024, 23:59
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Talking

Originally Posted by Ninthace
A Group Captain I worked with at Brampton reckoned he had broken 3. I never asked him what he thought of them.
The only people who worked at Brampton were in JARIC!
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Old 11th May 2024, 11:11
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Well I always felt I put in a full day!
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Old 11th May 2024, 12:41
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1971 and I was straight from my apprenticeship at Halton onto the new F6 majors line at Leconfield. I was there until 1976 and then posted to Binbrook onto the Mods Team. So over 6 years working on Lightnings and never heard one pilot bitch about the plane, not so the maintenance staff. It was built like the proverbial brick outhouse and every component was just squeezed in. The designers thought access was not a priority.
Back to pilots, at Leconfield we had test pilots, who, after a major took the plane up and put it through its paces and made sure it was fit to pass back to the squadrons. Most test pilots took the cautious approach and took it easy, after all a major took at least 60days, all flying controls removed and every major hydraulic component removed for servicing was just part of the check. We had one pilot, a born again christian, who threw caution to the wind. From the start, he went vertical until he disappeared from sight, the next you saw of him he would either be beating up the tower or make the ground crew scatter. He loved flying and thought he was nearer to god when he was up there. He ended up being grounded, we had a Court Airlines 1-11 make an unscheduled over night stop. Next morning with the plane fixed it was ready for take off, our test pilot decided to escort it off the premises. He flew in very tight formation as the 1-11 took off, he must of been very close to stalling speed. Apparently the passengers loved it, not so the civilian crew on the Court Lines plane and they reported him, I don't if the grounding was permanent.

People may find this site interesting, I recommend the appendix. Home of the Lightning Association and XR724, XR725
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Old 11th May 2024, 19:18
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Humble Cog

Originally Posted by Rebus
1971 and I was straight from my apprenticeship at Halton onto the new F6 majors line at Leconfield. I was there until 1976 and then posted to Binbrook onto the Mods Team. So over 6 years working on Lightnings and never heard one pilot bitch about the plane, not so the maintenance staff. It was built like the proverbial brick outhouse and every component was just squeezed in. The designers thought access was not a priority.
Back to pilots, at Leconfield we had test pilots, who, after a major took the plane up and put it through its paces and made sure it was fit to pass back to the squadrons. Most test pilots took the cautious approach and took it easy, after all a major took at least 60days, all flying controls removed and every major hydraulic component removed for servicing was just part of the check. We had one pilot, a born again christian, who threw caution to the wind. From the start, he went vertical until he disappeared from sight, the next you saw of him he would either be beating up the tower or make the ground crew scatter. He loved flying and thought he was nearer to god when he was up there. He ended up being grounded, we had a Court Airlines 1-11 make an unscheduled over night stop. Next morning with the plane fixed it was ready for take off, our test pilot decided to escort it off the premises. He flew in very tight formation as the 1-11 took off, he must of been very close to stalling speed. Apparently the passengers loved it, not so the civilian crew on the Court Lines plane and they reported him, I don't if the grounding was permanent.

People may find this site interesting, I recommend the appendix. Home of the Lightning Association and XR724, XR725
As a humble cog working at the mighty Rolls Royce Flight Test Establishment at Hucknall I saw at first hand my colleagues despair at never ever being able to fully overcome the top engine drip feeding fuel onto the bottom engine thus causing numerous fires. Even our deputy chief test pilot had to bang out near Grantham when delivering an aircraft back to the MU
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Old 11th May 2024, 20:03
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Think yourself lucky the Shorts Sperrin never entered service….two Lightnings in formation….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Sperrin




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Old 11th May 2024, 21:05
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With aging eyes, at first glance I thought that was a Short Sperm!
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Old 12th May 2024, 06:24
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Originally Posted by Prangster
As a humble cog working at the mighty Rolls Royce Flight Test Establishment at Hucknall I saw at first hand my colleagues despair at never ever being able to fully overcome the top engine drip feeding fuel onto the bottom engine thus causing numerous fires. Even our deputy chief test pilot had to bang out near Grantham when delivering an aircraft back to the MU
The sealant, 'Viton' , to seal the fire floor was pretty rubbish. The only thing it seemed to stick to was your hands and clothes. On a major you pretty much had to reseal the whole fire floor. You would find old sealant peeling away and some hard, brittle and breaking up. The sealant took for ever to cure. At Leconfield they built an aluminium shed affair to go over the engine bay and blew hot air up the tailpipe to try and help the cure. It was like a sauna to work in if you had to reseal any parts that were still leaking.
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Old 12th May 2024, 07:56
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I remember a pair of Lightnings giving Woodvale a beat up in '83 when I was there for AEF.Like nothing I've seen before or since.Utterly awesome.


I was on the staff at MASUAS at the time and I’m thinking that the late, great Ray Knowles was involved in the airfield beat up ?
. . the students ran a sweepstake as to how long it would take for the first phone call complaint to come in . . a mere matter of minutes !!

Last edited by Idle Reverse; 12th May 2024 at 08:02. Reason: to include quote
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Old 12th May 2024, 10:24
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"I was there until 1976 and then posted to Binbrook onto the Mods Team. So over 6 years working on Lightnings and never heard one pilot bitch about the plane, not so the maintenance staff. It was built like the proverbial brick outhouse and every component was just squeezed in. The designers thought access was not a priority.

I met a lot of people who were glad to be away from the Lightning for the very reasons you say.

As for the mods, spent many (un) happy hrs doing the fire integrity mod programme on the things, the only saving grace, if such it can be called, was the location, Gut, which had its attractions after work. The "delights " of setting up the fuel couplings and those little shell like things remain seared in my memory.

PS, sorry about the little fuel spill in ASF at Binbrook one day, but, the fountain it produced was quite impressive.
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Old 12th May 2024, 10:45
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Originally Posted by Idle Reverse
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I remember a pair of Lightnings giving Woodvale a beat up in '83 when I was there for AEF.Like nothing I've seen before or since.Utterly awesome.


I was on the staff at MASUAS at the time and Iím thinking that the late, great Ray Knowles was involved in the airfield beat up ?
. . the students ran a sweepstake as to how long it would take for the first phone call complaint to come in . . a mere matter of minutes !!
I was involved in a "spirited display of exuberance" over Woodvale, it was later than 83 i think, I was to give a talk there later in the day (week?) and arranged a pair to do a practice diversion (to a runway we couldn't land on?!?!). I judged my height by reference to the ATC tower, believing it to be NATO Standard. It was not until I pitched up to do the talk that I discovered that the tower was little more than a greenhouse sat atop a shed. Yes, spirited, defo spirited..... aka a bit stupid
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Old 12th May 2024, 12:59
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Originally Posted by Idle Reverse
phil9560

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I remember a pair of Lightnings giving Woodvale a beat up in '83 when I was there for AEF.Like nothing I've seen before or since.Utterly awesome.


I was on the staff at MASUAS at the time and Iím thinking that the late, great Ray Knowles was involved in the airfield beat up ?
. . the students ran a sweepstake as to how long it would take for the first phone call complaint to come in . . a mere matter of minutes !!
I was only there for the day for my 30 minutes in a Chippy so I don't know about Ray Knowles.But I've never forgotten that pair of Lightnings.They were magnificent.

Last edited by phil9560; 12th May 2024 at 22:41.
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Old 12th May 2024, 13:02
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Originally Posted by Tarnished
I was involved in a "spirited display of exuberance" over Woodvale, it was later than 83 i think, I was to give a talk there later in the day (week?) and arranged a pair to do a practice diversion (to a runway we couldn't land on?!?!). I judged my height by reference to the ATC tower, believing it to be NATO Standard. It was not until I pitched up to do the talk that I discovered that the tower was little more than a greenhouse sat atop a shed. Yes, spirited, defo spirited..... aka a bit stupid
It may've been '84 or '85.If you were involved then thank you for a lifelong memory .I remember one of the pair appearing to sort of twitch his nose up to clear the Hangar.Bloody fantastic.

Last edited by phil9560; 12th May 2024 at 22:42.
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Old 12th May 2024, 14:18
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The point surely is not "Was the Lightning really THAT good ?"

as it was all we had for a very long time..................
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