The Last Lightning Show

RAF Binbrook’s final public salute to the service’s most dramatic jet fighter proved a virtual wash-out, but who cared?

The sun shone on the diamond nine rehearsal… Gp Capt John Spencer, RAF Binbrook’s station commander, leads the way in Lightning F6 XR728, his personal mount with ‘JS’ tailcodes.

Ask any British aviation enthusiast to list their favourite aircraft types, and those of a certain age will surely include the English Electric Lightning. Even before entering operational service with No 74 Squadron in July 1960, the machine had a reputation for breathtaking air display performances. Few would have believed that it would prove to be the only all-British supersonic aircraft to see RAF service, or that it would still be on the front line almost 30 years later.

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