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Most Beautiful Aircraft

tiv

LE
Lightning had a pylon each side of the fuselage there for either Red Top or Firestreak missiles.
The Lightning had a removable section of fuselage or weapons pack if you prefer to which the pylons were attached, different pack for each missile. There was also one with two pop out doors containing launch tubes for Microcell? missiles and another for two Aden cannon though the latter could only be fitted to early aircraft.

You can see a pack sitting on a trolly beside the Lightning in the last photo RCT(V) posted above.
 
Lightning had SNEB rocket launchers fitted above the wings, per #7,240, in Middle Eastern (Saudi and Kuwaiti) service.

In UK service, the above-wing stations were used for fuel tanks, not weapons. Standard weapons fit was 2 x AAMs, and internal guns on some Marks.
They never really flew with the above wing weapons, you'll be hard pressed to find photies of any doing real sorties. Same as the overwing tanks in UK service, mostly for ferry I think. Had Lightnings coming in for OTRs all of the time on exercise, never saw any with tanks fitted.
 
IMHO, the Phantom was a far more adaptable aircraft, whilst the Lightning was designed for a single role - high speed interception. In that single role, Lightning was better, but for everything else Phantom was the dog's conkers.
Better "if" it got to the intercept target first attempt or there was a tanker available. A world of brown trousers if it couldn't find the tanker at night as well.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Better "if" it got to the intercept target first attempt or there was a tanker available. A world of brown trousers if it couldn't find the tanker at night as well.
So better then, thanks for agreeing.
 

tiv

LE
Weapons Packs:

Lightning Packs.jpg

That shows the later gun installation in the ventral tank BTW.
 

tiv

LE
Got this photo from here English Electric Lightning
The early Lightnings had two internal Aden cannon mounted behind the pilot and the upper opening is for one of those. The lower port is for an optional gun in the weapons pack. This is normally closed with a removable panel. Some one has been playing as it was not possible to have the lower guns and missiles at the same time.

Lightning-F2A-XN776+3.jpg
 
Got this photo from here English Electric Lightning
The early Lightnings had two internal Aden cannon mounted behind the pilot and the upper opening is for one of those. The lower port is for an optional gun in the weapons pack. This is normally closed with a removable panel. Some one has been playing as it was not possible to have the lower guns and missiles at the same time.

View attachment 513789
That IR green they were painted, just suit’s the Lightning, gives it a touch more meanness!!
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
One of the memories that I doubt will ever leave me was watching Lightnings take off at Greenham Common Airshow in 81(?) A wall of noise on take off, followed by the A/c turning their noses up whilst still travelling horizontally, then launching upwards like stabbed rats.

Followed shortly after by a Vulcan doing the same thing, only a bit slower.

The Lightning is NOT a beautiful thing, especially on the ground. But by God it was amazing to see hear and feel.
 

tiv

LE
One of the memories that I doubt will ever leave me was watching Lightnings take off at Greenham Common Airshow in 81(?) A wall of noise on take off, followed by the A/c turning their noses up whilst still travelling horizontally, then launching upwards like stabbed rats.

Followed shortly after by a Vulcan doing the same thing, only a bit slower.

The Lightning is NOT a beautiful thing, especially on the ground. But by God it was amazing to see hear and feel.
The year the prototype Concorde appeared at Farnborough the weather was not great, rain and a low cloud base. A Lighting came out to do it's turn but to do the home sick angel routine was pointless because of the cloud so the pilot simple did a verticle U-Turn and cam straight back down the runway upside down. That and the ensuing display were amazing to see, especially some of the turns he was pulling.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
That IR green they were painted, just suit’s the Lightning, gives it a touch more meanness!!
Forest Green, IIRC.

Standard tactic for the last Lightning pilots in BAOR was to stooge around down on the deck, using the radar to look up. Target seen, light the burners and go vertical. The pilots were pretty confident of being able to take on all-comers.
 
Lightning pilots had an unusual ability to be able to look at two different things at once.

This came from looking out of the aircraft whilst keeping one eye on the fuel gauge.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Bomb is on a pylon outboard of the landing gear. NOW I understand.
EELightning.jpg
 
IMHO, the Phantom was a far more adaptable aircraft, whilst the Lightning was designed for a single role - high speed interception. In that single role, Lightning was better, but for everything else Phantom was the dog's conkers.
ISTR the performance requirement of the Lightning flowed from the limited capability of the early warning radars of the era. It was designed to get to height and on target within the scarily small warning time then available. As radar improved, the design became obsolescent.

As for impact, sitting in the crash gate watching every serviceable a/c on 56 Sqn scramble in a rolling wave take off as a nipper is the reason I never got even remotely excited by bikes or cars. Power? Meh!
 

SUU23

LE
Well spotted that man....Akrotiri was always where you did stuff if you wanted to be naughty mind, with a v good chance of getting away with it "Because APC detachment"
Aircrew detachment japes on Tornado F3, downwind over the peri track, reef it round upwind centred on the runway shortest landing to stop wins the beers. Loud and bloody annoying disturbing a midday snooze, I remember yelling crash ya bastard! Then heard pop, bang-bang and parachutes descending.
Pilot pre armed the lift dump which activated once weight on wheels. Unfortunately he popped the lift dump and bounced the aircraft at which point it ceased flying and became a very expensive ballistic lump. Ended up carreering off into the Bondu so they decided to bang out.
The pilot spent the evening drinking with us on the Armourers detachment piss up until dark O'Clock. Then he had an interview without coffee with the Station Commander at 9:00 am with a hangover from hell.
 

exspy

LE
Pilot pre armed the lift dump which activated once weight on wheels. Unfortunately he popped the lift dump and bounced the aircraft at which point it ceased flying and became a very expensive ballistic lump. Ended up carreering off into the Bondu so they decided to bang out.
Could you translate this into non-aviatrix for the layman please?
 

SUU23

LE
Could you translate this into non-aviatrix for the layman please?
Lift (the ability to fly) is generated by smooth airflow over the upper face of a wing. Tornado had reverse thrust buckets as a landing breaking device and had the facility to hydraulically raise panels on the upper face of the wing to disrupt airflow and remove the lift element of the wing on the landing run. The switches to arm the lift dump can be preset and the final switch is the weight on wheels micro-switch on the mainwheel suspension units. Once the aircraft settles on it's wheels during landing all lift dump devices operate
 

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