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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

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Was the Lightning really THAT good ?

Old 26th Mar 2015, 01:46
  #141 (permalink)  
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Low observable,

I'm amazed it even had missiles, in true British style the early prototype Lightning would have had a dozen .303 Brownings instead.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:45
  #142 (permalink)  
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Nobody has mentioned how the poor things were predisposed to pee fuel all over the hanger floor. An American exchange pilot, who also owned an MG, wondered why the Brit's couldn't make a machine that doesn't leak.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 06:21
  #143 (permalink)  
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I'm amazed it even had missiles...

Frankly, with the capability and reliability of Firestreak and Red Top, it may have been better leaving them against the HAS wall to cut down the drag!

No-one would dispute Lightning's time to height ability, but its weapons and range let it down. I had always assumed it had been moved forward to Guttersloh because the Clutch bases were too distant from the action.

Surely equipped with the AIM-9 (even a -G x 4 ?) would have been an upping of capability.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:43
  #144 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BBadanov
Surely equipped with the AIM-9 (even a -G x 4 ?) would have been an upping of capability.
Re-equipping the Lightning with the AIM-9 was studied but, unsurprisingly, abandoned on (amongst other things) cost grounds...

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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:48
  #145 (permalink)  
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Beware making such comments - you will incur the wrath of Newt!
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 15:25
  #146 (permalink)  
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I don't care how good or bad the Lightning was operationally - it was damn good to watch at airshows!

I am just green with envy at all you lucky b'stards who were good enough to fly it

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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:13
  #147 (permalink)  
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And here we go Jindy! The AIM 9 was not available when the Lightning was designed and certainly not made available by the U.S. until much later! The aircraft as designed was fantastic. A well balanced machine and a delight to fly! Radar limited but upgraded throughout its life.

As for the comment " I'm amazed it even had missiles......" What a load of tosh!

It was way ahead of everything else in its day! What's more it was BRITISH!

Did Bbad even ever see it fly?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 00:51
  #148 (permalink)  
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Here we go Jindy!

Newt, whether it could fly is not the point, but never did have one in my six.
When 74 were at Tengah, the "Tiger rag" - beat up and standing on its tail - was always worth seeing. So yes, a good airshow machine old chap, better than your Jaguar.

Jindy, announced yesterday, and Mel didn't get the gig. However, he is still young enough for next time around!
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 03:43
  #149 (permalink)  
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It was way ahead of everything else in its day! What's more it was BRITISH!
Sadly I never had the opportunity to fly either in it or against, so I'm certainly not going to argue with you. But aside from the fact that it was Another British Worldbeater!, in what ways would you consider it to have been way ahead of contemporaries like the Mirage III, F-104, Mig-21 and F-4? Was there anything particular that made it a more advanced or useful weapon?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:02
  #150 (permalink)  
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I was fortunate and privileged enough to be given a flight in a Lightning in the mid-80's courtesy of LTF at Binbrook (OC LTF at the time, went on to become OC CFS was my pilot), not long before the aircraft was retired.

It leaked like a sieve (drip trays everywhere in the hangar). The smell in the cockpit of hydraulic oil and fuel was very similar to being in the back of a Chinook.

But a 20 Min flight, seemed like 20 seconds at the time. The awesome feeling of the thrust pushing you back into your seat. I had control for a short time, so sensitive on the controls, very slight movements required. Got the Tie for supersonic flight. An experience I am unlikely to forget for the rest of my life.

There was a brilliant mural on the LTF crewroom wall of a Lightening depicted in cartoon form in antiquated/ Heath Robinson format, did that ever survive? Does anyone have a photo of it?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:29
  #151 (permalink)  
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Think I've posted this story before but years ago.

Guy on the same entry as me (99) at Cranners didn't seem to us to be a star but the QFIs obviously thought differently - he graduated from BFTS went to AFTS on the Folland Gnat. Then posted onto Lightnings - he was a good pilot.

Years later I bumped into him one evening in the bar at Leuchars when he was flying F4s. I asked him what he thought about having a Navigator in the back seat.

He replied "pound for pound - I'd rather have the fuel".

Best wishes SOS

P.S. Are you still out there Nige?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 15:02
  #152 (permalink)  
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Shame. Boat missed though?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:32
  #153 (permalink)  
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I think that you will find the mural at Bruntingthorpe in the LPG hangar
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 01:11
  #154 (permalink)  
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Not seen this prior, but thought it great. A missile with a cockpit.

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Old 13th Oct 2015, 16:38
  #155 (permalink)  
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I flew the Mk2 and 2A between 1964 and 1968 and I too initially felt that it was a truly wonderful machine - well ahead of anything else at the time. However, in Germany we began to meet USAFE F4's and, even though they were severely handicapped by inflexible operating doctrine, I quickly realised that my truly wonderful machine lacked a decent weapons system as well as enough fuel to do something really useful. Yes, it was great to fly but not to win a war with.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 18:23
  #156 (permalink)  
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Surely the only meaningful criterion to be applied in any assessment of the efficacy of the Lightning in all its variants is whether it had any significant impact on the will or ability of the enemy to kill people and break their stuff.

Not how it stacked up against Uncle Sam's hardware or that of the Luftwaffe in NATO.

So, go on. Ask the Russians or the Chinese (or the French) just whether the Lightning scared the willies off them and interfered with their dastardly plans for world domination.

Last edited by exuw; 13th Oct 2015 at 19:22.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 19:12
  #157 (permalink)  
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It gave Viktor Belenko ( Sept 6 '76 arrival in Japan "mit Foxbat")and his MiG 25 mates very serious concerns.......... allegedly.
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 19:21
  #158 (permalink)  
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soddim, you may have been flying the Lighting in Germany before me but I can not accept your view that you realised the weapons system was limited and you were always short of gas! My experience was very different so maybe the tactics improved or you were on the wrong Squadron?
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Old 13th Oct 2015, 20:44
  #159 (permalink)  
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Never flew it as I was busy making holes in the ground but always remember it gave us muddies the best "fur balls." In my later days when I was flying the mighty Fin in defence of the realm it used to p... me off that it could turn with me when I was in 25 wing and it was in 62!!! I agree that the Mk2A was the best although it's weapons weren't that good but it had legs and guns. The Mk3 was too short range and the Mk6 normally caught fire before it could get a shot off.

All of that said it was way ahead of its time and for once in the history of the RAF we had a fighter with enough power.

A lot of my mates flew it and loved it so much that they never stop telling you about it. God bless them all even KM- the best fighter pilot ever to live, I know because he told me.
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Old 14th Oct 2015, 09:08
  #160 (permalink)  
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I'm not qualified in any sense to comment on the Lightning's capabilities, suffice it to say that my screensaver is a lovely picture of a Lightning in company with with a Victor K1 over the Alps*, two of the most visually appealing aircraft ever built IMOH.

Lightnings were my "stock in trade" during my six years on tankers, and their renowned thirst meant frequent visits to the hose for replenishment, thus reducing the time till we got back down and off to the bar! A highlight of my time at Marham was when I got a ride in a T4 when the Lightning OCU was lodging with us while Coltishall's runway was renewed My experience was similar to WASALOADIE'S, although I was somewhat taken aback when the pilot slipped on a pair of specs as part of his pre takeoff checks. Steely-eyed fighter pilots indeed!

*Sent to me by Lightning Mate, who I haven't seen for a while - hello LM if you are still around!

Last edited by Tankertrashnav; 14th Oct 2015 at 09:21.
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