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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

Old 5th Sep 2014, 18:49
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Depends on if there were any soldiers in the bar! Obviously none of the above if so. But if not, then the one that listened to her most. Quite a test for FJ geezers, so I hear.
And that is the point where the nurse in the bar trumps the squaddie and collection of growbags.

Listening is in the job spec and (far more important when the chips are down so-to-speak) so to is extensive anatomical knowledge.

Whilst Mr Squaddie may be able to hammer his peg into any old dirt and growbags Masters at polling their own sticks, nurses have to routinely hit the spot with ladies.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 19:52
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Thud (#32), I recall similar comparisons, but consider the difference in time scales 1936 1940, not much, but a vital period of the war; and the P51 had RR.
Lightning vs F4 1954 1958, and as with the Mustang, the F4 was optimised for different roles.
A like-for-like evaluation of the Lightning vs the initial UK F4 indicated that the kill success rate, even with a greater number of missiles, more capable radar, and two crew, the new buy had an inferior kill success rate in the air defence role, although there were advantages of range/endurance and at low level. Note the subsequent missile developments.
The RAF made a promotional film which included a F4 shooting down a Meteor (shame, sacrilege), and on seeking advice on the shot, the recommendation was to fire two AIM 7; IIRC the film indicated that only the second one hit the target.

Lightnings - 'Just the one shot.'

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Old 5th Sep 2014, 20:02
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

NO!!


It was better. End of....
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 20:25
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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A question for those who know...

How did the accident/attrition rate of the Lightning in service compare with that of the F-104?
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 20:46
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Another myth!
My point is? This forum is full of winkers!
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 21:39
  #46 (permalink)  

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Where to start...

Only two missiles; ran out of fuel in about ten minutes; no Nav (whom you could eat if you came down in the desert); thousands of wasted man-hours spent polishing it; my bro-in-law had to jump out of one - this one, in fact :





and it will never, ever, look as good as these do:

[/URL]

I rest my case.

Last edited by fantom; 5th Sep 2014 at 22:00.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 22:03
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Both of them are pig-ugly.

The Hawk and Hunter are lovely looking aircraft, but not in a particularly aggressive way. For malevolence, you need something like a Vulcan, B-52 or Bear.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 22:16
  #48 (permalink)  

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Both of them are pig-ugly.
You, Sir, are a cad.

I challenge you to a duel.

Shall we say, Primrose Hill tomorrow at seven am?

Your choice of weapon, of course.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 23:03
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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End of....

BEagle! REALLY!!!!



MJ
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 23:15
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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So there I was, sat on the clifftop on a dank spring afternoon with lowering cloud reading some academic tome pre-exams, and a couple of Lightnings came over probably at the behest of Staxton, decided they'd had enough sneebling, sat on their tails and disappeared upwards. Sod academia thought me, I want some of that.
Unfortunately, WIWOL was never my destiny .... bugger.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 23:16
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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You, Sir, are a cad.

I challenge you to a duel.
Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. I just don't think jet fighters are pretty beasts. Of course fighters are always at the forefront of technology, and so are somewhat novel n appearance of necessity. The long snout, fat flanks and angular arse of a Phantom just don't do it for me. I will say the Lightning looks like it means business, two enormous engines, a pair of stub wings and that's yer lot.

Now the Spitfires (early marks before they docked about with the wings, canopy etc) are beautiful. But piston machines aren't in scope on this thread.

It must have been a hell of a learning curve going from a piston fighter to a jet fighter, especially one that was 2 or 3 times as fast as say a Spit.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 23:46
  #52 (permalink)  

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Old 6th Sep 2014, 00:07
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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It must have been a hell of a learning curve going from a piston fighter to a jet fighter, especially one that was 2 or 3 times as fast as say a Spit.
Wasn't it in '63 that trials were performed - mock dogfights if you will - between a Lightning and a Spitfire (PR19 IIRC) to see how to shoot a piston-engined warbird down, as the Indonesians were using Mustangs against us?

As for the Phantom, I'm going to cop a lot of flak for this.. It was never a dogfighter; it didn't get slats until the F-4E (and never on the RAF Spey-engined F4-K or the J79'd F-4S) and no gun (yes I know the later Lightnings dispensed with them too). It just seemed to do a lot of things moderately well; the F-8 was a better 'pure' fighter, the A-7 a better bomber with CCIP etc.

Now the Lightning F-53 with gun pods...
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 03:46
  #54 (permalink)  
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As the fearless, make that foolish OP I have been reading all responses with great interest, thank you all - especially the pilots and techs. As an aside I find it very strange to think of Lightning pilots being old and gray, that has more to do with the "modern" capabilities of the aircraft as it has to do with me being in denial about my own mileage.

As with most harvests one has to separate the wheat from the chaff, some of which belonged to moi as it turned out - I stand humbled and embarrassed on the engine removal issue, but feel somewhat vindicated on the feasibility of an F2A being theoretically capable of packing 6 ADEN, even if the 4 gun forward fit blew out the instruments during testing......

Only a fool would wish for war, and I would die a happy man if not one more aviator ever had to perish in combat - even knowing that pilots are in combat as I type this. But if I could have that one terrible unforgivable wish, it would be for the Lightning to have experienced its test by fire - you see, I simply have to know.

Thanks all.
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 07:39
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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For those who have never seen I offer you a short video made by the engineers at Gatwick Aviation Museum when they fitted the Avons to ZF579 recently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upjs3kWpoi4

By the way the jet pipes are very different, no.1 is very long and no.2 is a short little runt, the reheat units are the same though!

Last edited by pmills575; 6th Sep 2014 at 07:40. Reason: Spelling
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 12:30
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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*pedant mode: on*

The different length pipes are actually called the 'inter pipes', not 'jet pipes'...

*pedant mode: off*

-RP
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 16:42
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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A slightly different angle question here, given the well established short legs of the Lightning, why would it not have been more efficacious to base them at Lossiemouth or Kinloss rather than Leuchars during the 1960s and 70s? As the Typhoons are moving there now, one can only imagine that this location suits Northern Quick reaction requirements better!?

FB
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 17:15
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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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.
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 17:33
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Utterly awesome.
It was late afternoon on our Canberra dispersal, Akrotiri '64. Two sqdns of Lightnings were leaving next day after their detachment. Suddenly we could see and hear them all burst in to life and very quickly taxi out for take-off.
Both sqdns did a stream take-off and in the clear blue sky there hung a silver column of them as they went vertically up from rotate. Needless to say the noise was deafening. Some things you never forget!
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Old 6th Sep 2014, 17:44
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Wasn't the Station Commander at Valley upset by something similar ?
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