English Electric Lightning

Few British aircraft have inspired such love and devotion as the English Electric Lightning. This famous fighter was designed in the 1950s, at a time of urgent need for faster interceptors. It was a long-lived servant of the RAF during the Cold War and was also operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force and Kuwait Air Force. Only 337 examples were built, but its legacy lives on in the relatively large number of survivors, a few of which are kept in ground running condition.

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5 Sqn Boss: My eventful career flying the English Electric Lightning

From having a missile blow up in front of him to being thrown into an inverted dive by a Vulcan tanker, Wing Commander Mike Streten (Ret’d), a former Officer Commanding 5 Sqn at RAF Binbrook, had an eventful career.  For the August 2016 issue of Aviation News, Dino Carrara interviewed Wg Cdr Streten about his time flying the legendary English Electric Lightning

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RAF Germany Lightning pilot – Confronting the Warsaw Pact

Flt Lt Ross Payne recalls the early years of supersonic flying over NATO’s frontline to Hugh Trevor

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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

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English Electric Lightning in RAF service: an overview

English Electric Lightnings fulfilled the interceptor role for the RAF for nearly three decades.  In the January 2016 issue of Aviation News Dr Kevin Wright recounted the type’s service

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Building the Lightning - tales from the factory floor

While fearless pilots such as Roland ‘Bee’ Beamont are quite rightly part of Lightning folklore, the role played by men such as Mike Hardman – building and testing the mighty Cold War machines – should not be forgotten

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Air-to-air cannon target practice in the English Electric Lightning

Ian Black explains why the Lightning was fitted with cannon and what it was like pressing the firing button

FlyPast Picture of the Week

This week's Picture of the Week was submitted by Craig Wise

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The story behind 56 Squadron's ‘Firebirds’

Equipped with nine ground-shaking English Electric Lightnings, ‘The Firebirds’ of 56 Squadron were one of the RAF’s most revered aerobatic teams of all time. Hugh Trevor recalls their halcyon days

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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?

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Stormbringer: The English Electric Lightning

Blessed with power in abundance, the English Electric Lightning was the only all-British Mach 2 fighter. The revered and famously noisy jet served the UK well for almost 30 years, as Bertie Simmonds reveals