E.E. Lightning F2


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My dad was an RAF radio fitter based at Akrotiri in the early 60's, where Lightnings were flown. I was there but much too small to remember the aircraft. I was far more interested in chasing the landlady's chickens and then swearing at her in Greek when she tried to tell me off. ( Who put me up to this? Eh? )

He told me a story that one day an RAF pilot decided to beat up the town. He flew low into the middle of the town, stood the lightning on end, engaged reheat and broke the sound barrier going straight upwards. The squadron markings were red and white squares ( 56sqn ). Linked with the loud bangs, it caused some civilians to panic thinking that they were being attacked by the Turks. My dad was told that as part of clearing up the political mess, the offending pilot was posted back to the UK to fly a "mahogany bomber" ( a desk ). It also served to help focus the thought processes of others who might want to emulate him.

IIRC the Lightning was not originally a fighter but an interceptor, hence the massive rate of climb. It was designed to get upstairs as fast as possible to intercept Russian nuclear bombers, rather than to dogfight with other aircraft. As the air combat situation changed, it was modified to perform more general fighter roles.

Those are lovely models.
Superb models. As an ATC cadet I went to an annual camp at RAF Coltishall, probably about 1968. There were Lightnings based there at the time. It has always been my favourite aircraft and to get to crawl all over one was a wonderful experience. One of the maintenance crew plonked me in the cockpit and towed me to another location. I’ll never forget it and mourn it’s passing.