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WARPAINT SERIES No.14 our Lihning Ff of Mo 1 Sadron night imation No.1 ‘ont ine fighter dies The nearest aircrafts ‘S920, and the plture taxon In 1967. (MoD) Drawings by David Howley BRITISH AIRCRAFT. CORPORATION LIGHTNING F.6 (R760:G, No. 5 Squadron, RAF Bin! By Alan W.Hall RARELY has there been a peace time fighter aircraft that has Such iterest and the British Aicerafl Corporation's Lightning. An unconventional aircraft its eternal place onlookers as in British aviation history was that it became the first British designed traly supersonic in level flight fighter that the Royal Air Force had used Twas als the few RAF fighters that did not fire its guns in anger during the whole ofits in service life The Lightning was unconventional in that its win Avon engines wer it had swept back, mid mounted thin wings which gave it super’ manoeuvrability and the Avons were power ful enough in reheat to allow the Lightning 10 7 climb to 80,000 fet in just over two top of the other: ‘minutes. In other words it was streets ahead of ils predecessors, the Hunter and Javelin nd in fact the airframe was too advanced for ‘what inthe late 1940s and 1950s, when it was conceived, 10 do justice 10 its abilities when ‘computed to later American and Soviet Bloc Because o the advanced technology proposed in the P1, Short ros of Belfast wore contracted 12 Disld an sorodyrore west alcrat. now 25 the SE. "Thi. pieture showre fe with a high set falplane- matter on which Engheh Electric and the RAE had sifferent opinions (WAP) wvrscenomae LIGHTNING which were 10 come after it. Th range and endurance could be compared to a British fighter of the Battle of Britain whilst its armament initially of just ‘oo fuselage-mounted.Firestreak. air-to-air missiles and two 30-mm cannon was inade {quate in the extreme. Later when these were removed on the F. Mk. 3 the inbalance was cunced. Fortunately. these even more pro Were replaced when the ultimate F. 6 was pro Juced, Even then, when compared to an F-4 Phantom, for example, its hitting power was smal In spite of this, the aircraft's ability 1 out ‘manoeuvre any contemporary Nato ‘vas well known as as freque y's Warton photographer but rarely seen In Colour IR shows Lightning F.1 XM145-Q of Na.7A ‘Squadron carving out engine runo early in 1962 Str had been damaged’ by fr Tate im the pe ious year mioek air-to-air combat bewween rival friend forces ‘Yet asa crowdpullr at air shows at home ind abroad the Ligh wg was supreme. One of reavens only to can never for Sand the thunder of the engines 28 it 10 nd disappeared into the feturn omens later ina dive that seemed to ‘gtin momentum as it got closer to the runway. Rarely has there been such « powerful aircraft used for public display eAntinetani eeaienar me