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The Bigfella
11-14-2009, 06:04 PM
Damn and double damn. One of only two flying Electric Lightnings has crashed in South Africa, killing its pilot.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/jet-crashes-during-south-african-air-show/story-fn3dxix6-1225797789972

http://www.thundercity.co.za/images/499409045/jets/lightning.jpg

Not since the era of the Spitfire, has any single aircraft captured the hearts and imaginations of fighter pilots like the English Electric Lightning. Undoubtedly Britain’s most charismatic and best-loved jet fighter, this supersonic cold war jet interceptor is powered by the Rolls Royce Avon 302 afterburning turbojet engine and is capable of supersonic performance in most flight conditions.

The Lightning is known for its vertical climb performance and it still holds a number of world climb-to-altitude records. It is capable of Mach 2.2 (1500 m.p.h.) and an initial climb rate of 50,000 feet per minute.

Thunder City operates the last two serviceable twin engined two-seater (side-by-side) supersonic cold war jet-interceptor Lightnings in the world, together with two single seater F6 that is primarily used for aerobatic displays at air shows.

This jet legend aircraft will change you forever – just as your perception of the earth will change when you see its curvature. Especially after climbing to 50,000 feet - in one minute!


http://www.thundercity.co.za/pages/499409045/our-jets/eel.asp

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-14-2009, 06:07 PM
Alas.

Hwyl
11-14-2009, 06:25 PM
I'm shocked there are only two, there must be some "mothballed". There's one on a plinth on the road to Clitheroe. I'll go there with my spanners one night.

Great aeroplane.

The Bigfella
11-14-2009, 06:39 PM
There's plenty around I believe, but the website for Thunder City says only two flying.

Jeremy Clarkson (Top Gear) installed one in his front yard.

rufustr
11-14-2009, 06:55 PM
Jeremy Clarkson buys an English Electric Lightning to put in his front garden as a monument to Speed.Circa 1999.XM172 spent a brief period in his garden for his TV show Speed,(thats where this clip comes from) but didnt stay there long.She also showed up in the static park at the 2000 SBAC display at Farnborough, but soon returned to Booker.A plan to display her on a roundabout in Farnborough came to nothing, and she was placed in imminent danger of being scrapped because British Airways ...

http://www.break.com/usercontent/2009/6/clarksons-lightning-770363.html

rufustr
11-14-2009, 07:02 PM
Flying display.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vjQe92-w_I&feature=player_embedded#

Paul Pless
11-14-2009, 07:06 PM
Not since the era of the Spitfire, has any single aircraft captured the hearts and imaginations of fighter pilots like the English Electric Lightning.whatever

rufustr
11-14-2009, 07:08 PM
Pucca video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-sDdVkGVDs&feature=related

The Bigfella
11-14-2009, 07:35 PM
whatever

and your alternative is?

Paul Pless
11-14-2009, 07:44 PM
does it have to be English?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
11-14-2009, 07:47 PM
....has any single aircraft captured the hearts and imaginations of fighter pilots like the English Electric Lightning.....

Breaking out my old Pedant hat - the Lightning has two engines - albeit in a somewhat unorthodox arrangement.

There was one sat on the apron at Cranfield in Beds - dunno if it's still there.

The Bigfella
11-14-2009, 08:01 PM
does it have to be English?

Not in the slightest... and yes, I should have put that in quotes... it was from the website. I'd have said the Hawker Hunter was the jet that captured my heart as a kid... I still have my Matchbox metal version

Paul Pless
11-14-2009, 08:05 PM
With proper tailfeathers for you even;)

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg239/PaulPless/RAAF_Mirage_III_1.jpg

Coolest early pure blowtorch of them all. http://woodenboat.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

The Bigfella
11-14-2009, 08:13 PM
Nah... nowhere near what the Lightning was.

Incidentally, the guy who flew me in the Dragonfly started on those Mirage IIIs (finished on F18's).

PeterSibley
11-14-2009, 08:36 PM
Not in the slightest... and yes, I should have put that in quotes... it was from the website. I'd have said the Hawker Hunter was the jet that captured my heart as a kid... I still have my Matchbox metal version

My boyhood vote was for the Vampire ...very cool !:D

BrianW
11-14-2009, 09:28 PM
That's certainly a cool jet. Love the A6 style side by side seating. The engine configuration looks a bit pregnant, but at least all the thrust is centerline.

Krunch
11-15-2009, 02:27 AM
This jet legend aircraft will change you forever

I never would have guessed that the Brits could make something with such impressive numbers...bravo!

Ya gotta admit, though: She's uglier than a mud fence.

TimH
11-15-2009, 02:43 AM
This stuff always makes me wonder what the Germans are up to. They keep a low profile, but in aerospace they have historically been far ahead.

The Bigfella
11-15-2009, 02:48 AM
By then all the smart Germans were working in the US or Russia.

My academic supervisor, back in the 80's, told me that he moved from the UK to the US because that's where all the key aeronautical engineering work was being done post WW2 (he finished his PhD in 55).

The Lightning was good when it came out, but look at where the next generation shone.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-15-2009, 03:05 AM
In the late Fifties, the British government decided that it could no longer afford to play with the big boys in aeronautics. There were two planes that survived tha Sandys cuts - the Lightning because it was about to enter service and the Hawker P1127 prototype because it seemed to promise savings and the programme was not expensive - it became the Harrier. Remaining resources were pooled to build the TSR2 which was cancelled in '66 - its technology was eventually used, twenty years later in the Tornado.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

rufustr
11-15-2009, 03:40 AM
"Sic transit gloria mundi."

Translates as

Gloria Mundi got sick on the bus.

I don't know what that has to do with Fighter aircraft.

:o:o:o:o

Paul Pless
11-15-2009, 07:29 AM
This stuff always makes me wonder what the Germans are up to. They keep a low profile, but in aerospace they have historically been far ahead.


By then all the smart Germans were working in the US or Russia.

My academic supervisor, back in the 80's, told me that he moved from the UK to the US because that's where all the key aeronautical engineering work was being done post WW2 (he finished his PhD in 55).

The Lightning was good when it came out, but look at where the next generation shone.


With proper tailfeathers for you even;)

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg239/PaulPless/RAAF_Mirage_III_1.jpg

Coolest early pure blowtorch of them all. http://woodenboat.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gifThis plane, had some WWII German ancestry. The French developed its engine from the BMW turbofan that the Germans used in WWII.

Hwyl
11-15-2009, 07:37 AM
Ya gotta admit, though: She's uglier than a mud fence.

I don''t admit anything of the sort.

what's more I come from a town whose name translates to "mud fence" or at least "wattle and daub fence", and it's not ugly either.

The Bigfella
11-15-2009, 07:42 AM
This plane, had some WWII German ancestry. The French developed its engine from the BMW turbofan that the Germans used in WWII.

I used to love seeing them go over, but the best demonstration I ever saw of generational change was at the Bicentennial Airshow, in 1988.... a Mirage III and an FA 18 started off in a circle above us, turning as tight as they could, with the FA 18 in front. Within a circle and a bit, the FA 18 was on the Mirage's tail.

JimJ
11-15-2009, 07:45 AM
English Electric Lightning to put in his front garden

I wonder how I can get my hands on a retired F-111. My front yard would be big enough. I would have to sacrifice a mango tree though.

Paul Pless
11-15-2009, 08:11 AM
I used to love seeing them go over, but the best demonstration I ever saw of generational change was at the Bicentennial Airshow, in 1988.... a Mirage III and an FA 18 started off in a circle above us, turning as tight as they could, with the FA 18 in front. Within a circle and a bit, the FA 18 was on the Mirage's tail.The full delta wing Mirages were never known for turning abilty being there strong suit. Straight line speed was there forte from the getgo. Hell... the original ones had a secondary rocket engine!!!

isla
11-15-2009, 08:20 AM
The plane that inspired me when I was a kid was the Fairy Delta 2 which Peter Twiss (http://www.wingweb.co.uk/biographies/Peter_Twiss.html) flew in 1956 to break the world speed record. At the time it looked very futuristic.

http://www.islawoodcraft.co.uk/FD2.jpg

huisjen
11-15-2009, 08:59 AM
I just want you all to know that I cruised with a 12v lawn tractor battery aboard.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9d601b3127ccec7bc904c183400000040O00AbtGrJkzbOW IPbz4C/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

Did that make her an Electric Lightning?

Dan

Michael s/v Sannyasin
11-15-2009, 01:26 PM
Doesn't that Mirage also hold the Land Speed Record?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
11-15-2009, 02:49 PM
Oddball Aircraft (http://freespace.virgin.net/pbratt.home/3D%20Aircraft%20Models%20Page%20One%203DS%20MAX%20 LWO%20C4D.htm)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-15-2009, 03:14 PM
Doesn't that Mirage also hold the Land Speed Record?

I don't think so...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThrustSSC

The Bigfella
11-15-2009, 05:00 PM
I haven't checked the claim, but the Thunder City site claims that the English Electric Lightning STILL holds some time to altitude records.

BrianW
11-15-2009, 05:02 PM
I just want you all to know that I cruised with a 12v lawn tractor battery aboard.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9d601b3127ccec7bc904c183400000040O00AbtGrJkzbOW IPbz4C/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

Did that make her an Electric Lightning?

Dan

And not one, but two heads. Fore and aft, or his and hers?

The Bigfella
11-15-2009, 05:37 PM
And not one, but two heads. Fore and aft, or his and hers?

There be three there Brian. Port for'ard is obviously "his" - Starboard for'ard is hers, and the aft one may be shared.

John B
11-15-2009, 05:56 PM
A regular at the pub I worked at in London was a Air force flight engineer and told me the story of another engineer running static engine tests in a Lightning .This guy pushed the wrong button and the thing broke out of its tethers and took off without a canopy, wires and hoses dangling and with someone who wasn't a pilot behind the stick.
He managed to fly it around and land it ok but there were comments about the brakes being rather ruined after.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
11-15-2009, 06:04 PM
I remember reading the accident report on a Lightning crash...
They were based in places with long runways, and a stylish stunt was to lift off as rapidly as possible, tuck the wheels up and keep it as low as possible while building speed al the way to the end of the runway.

Then square the corner and go vertical.

The essence of the report was that an optimistic pilot had pulled seven G without sufficient speed to support the wing loading - big, BIG hole.

The rather dry account -
XN796; C/N 95149 ff D. de Villiers 12-7-63 Samlesbury. To 33 MU, 11-10-63; never allocated to RAF squadron. Bought by the BAC for Saudi Arabian contract; to Warton, 29-4-66; to Saudi as 52-657, 8-7-66. Crashed on take-off, 20-9-66, after excessive rotation at low airspeed. Pilot not injured, but aircraft written off.

JimJ
11-16-2009, 08:15 AM
Here is a classic photo from way back. I remember see the original photo on th rear cover of "Air BP" when I was learning to fly in the 60s.
http://www.hangout.no/foto/0112lightning_skydive.jpg

Here is a link to a forum discussion and back ground to the photo.


It's absolutely real, as far as can be ascertained.

Event was on 13 Sept 1962, photo in the Daily Mirror of 9 October (the photographer, instead of making a quick buck selling it to the tabloids, gave to the BOI first before the photos made it into the public domain). One assumes that the BOI didn't tinker with it, and while the Mirror may have attempted to enhance it within the limitations of the technology of the day, no-one has yet admitted any trickery (unlike the photo of the Victor with 35 bombs leaving the aircraft in a remarkably short release sequence that still appears in books today billed as being 100% genuine...)


(The details of the accident: The pilot, George Aird had just parted company with the aircraft after things went slightly pear-shaped on approach to Hatfield.

He went through the roof of one of the greenhouses in the background, and ended up with a broken leg.

To be terribly spotterish (thanks to Martin Bowman's book on the Lightning), the photographer was a Mr Jim Meads, and he was showing his sons (Paul and Barry if you're interested, which you weren't...) how his camera worked when a rather more interesting photo opportunity than the bloke on the tractor presented itself...)http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/301942-lightning-ejection.html?highlight=XAR+658

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-16-2009, 08:21 AM
Gosh, I remember that picture!

Quite a good advert for Martin-Baker.

Nice to see it again.

The Bigfella
11-16-2009, 08:41 AM
Amazing photo.

Interesting comment I saw the other day, I think at Wiki, was that the only kill the Lightning ever made was of a British Harrier.... which the pilot had ejected from, but it continued flying. The Lightning intercepted and shot it down.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-16-2009, 10:38 AM
IIRC, the Harrier pilot ejected by accident; no doubt "in a fit of absence of mind".

Aren't there three still flying - don't Thunder City have two trainers as well as the remaining single seater?

Tylerdurden
11-16-2009, 11:45 AM
I will concur with Paul the Mirage is just beautiful and the 3 shows it gets better with age.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK3bcL6tUJI

The MIG 25 blew all records away until the F-15 kicked it arse and Its the F-15 which unquestionably rules the roost as it has the combat kills to prove it. Besides no fighter can claim this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_EXtBEaBbs

John of Phoenix
11-16-2009, 12:04 PM
IIRC, the Harrier pilot ejected by accident...
Man, that's gotta be tough to live with.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-16-2009, 12:07 PM
I think I was wrong - the Harrier had an engine shut down after a bird strike and the ejection re-started the engine.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
11-16-2009, 01:20 PM
....was that the only kill the Lightning ever made was of a British Harrier.... ...


That - and a couple of complicated suicides...

Two Lightnings may have been said to have 'shot themselves down'. The first occurred on 6 February 1972 and involved 53-666, an RSAF F.53. A 30mm Aden cannon HE round exploded in the ventral gun bay, causing a fire and subsequent loss of the aircraft. Experts from the (then) Grantham-based arms manufacturer, British Manufacture and Research Company, were sent to investigate reports that the nose fuzes on this particular type of round were working loose. Instances of loose fuzes were indeed found, and this may, or may not, have been a contributary cause of the explosion in 53-666.

The second was F.6 XR763, 'AP' of 5 Sqn. The accident happened on 1 July 1987 whilst the Squadron was detached to Akrotiri in Cyprus for its annual APC. After the third pass at the towed target banner, the pilot, Charlie Chan, was performing his breakaway manoeuvre when the banner spreader bar wheel (which had been shot from its mounting during the third and final pass) was ingested into the air intake. Heading back to base on one engine, and with only about 2.5 miles to go to the Akrotiri runway, XR763 finally 'gave in' and the pilot was forced to abandon the aircraft.
Stewart Scott

http://www.lightning.org.uk/archive/0411.php

John of Phoenix
11-16-2009, 02:06 PM
the ejection re-started the engine.
I'd like to meet the engineer who came up with that design! :D

The Bigfella
11-16-2009, 03:49 PM
IIRC, the Harrier pilot ejected by accident; no doubt "in a fit of absence of mind".

Aren't there three still flying - don't Thunder City have two trainers as well as the remaining single seater?

That they do. I've seen it reported (pre crash) that they have two, three and four. Their website still makes no mention of the crash, but reports 2 and 2 - singles and trainers.