Keeping the troublesome Lightning flying – an engineer’s tale

Dave Branchett, in the March 2013 FlyPast, revealed what life was like keeping the troublesome English Electric Lightning jet serviceable

June 1974 found me, a Chief Technician propulsion engineer, at the sharp end of the ‘Cold War’. I’d been posted to Gütersloh in West Germany, a former Luftwaffe night-fighter base, just 80 miles (128km) from the East German border, south-west of Hanover. My unit was 19 Squadron, equipped with English Electric Lightning F.2As, powered by Rolls-Royce Avon 211R turbojets. That was a shame, as I had just completed a very expensive manufacturer’s course on the F.6, powered by Avon 301Rs, but it was the RAF way of doing things!


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