Royal Saudi Air Force Lightnings at War: an armourer’s story

Phil Isaac talked to Hugh Trevor for the March 2015 issue of FlyPast about his time arming English Electric Lightnings in Saudi Arabia

Magic Palm was the codename for the provision of personnel, hardware and infrastructure to support the Saudi Arabian defence system 40 years ago. Former RAF armourer Phil Isaac, had lest served on the line at Wattisham, looking after the Lightnings of 111 Squadron in 1964. The superlative English Electric fighter was still to be his bread and butter, but this time he would be working on examples bearing the markings of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF).

No.2 Squadron at Tabuk was the last RSAF unit to operate the Lightning. F.53 53-699 was carrying the 2 Squadron serial 227 but also still wearing the 13 Squadron badge of its previous unit.
No.2 Squadron at Tabuk was the last RSAF unit to operate the Lightning. F.53 53-699 was carrying the 2 Squadron serial 227 but also still wearing the 13 Squadron badge of its previous unit. HEDLEY MOLLAND

Phil was recruited by Airwork to help the company and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) in maintaining the jets and to keep the Lightnings in the air. 

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