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|Extra Details : Cold War Intercept by Keith Aspinall.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lightning||English Electric (later BAC) Lightning. Originally designed by W F Petter (the designer of the Canberra) The first Lighting Prototype was first flown on the 4th August 1954 by Wing Commander R P Beamont at Boscombe Down. The second prototype P1A, The name of Lightning was not used until 1958) (WG763) was shown at the Farnborough show in September 1955. The Third prototype was flown in April 1957 and was the first British aircraft ever to fly at Mach 2 on the 25th November 1958 The first production aircraft made its first flight on 3rd November 1959 and entered operational service with the RAF on the 29th June 1960with |NO. 74 squadron based at Coltishall. The F1 was followed shortly after by the F1A which had been modified to carry a in-flight refueling probe. The Lightning F2 entered service in December 1962 with no 19 and 92 squadrons. a total of 44 aircraft F2 were built. The F3 came into service between 1964 and 1966 with Fighter Command squadrons, re engined with the Roll's Royce Avon 301 turbojets. The Lightning T Mk 5 was a training version Lightning a total of 22 were built between August 1964 and December 1966. The BAC Lighting F MK 6 was the last variant of the lightning, base don the F3, this was the last single seat fighter and served the |Royal Air Force for 20 years. First Flown on 17th April 1964, and a total of 55 F6 saw service with the Royal Air Force, and the last Lightning F6 was produced in August 1967. A Total of 278 lightning's of all marks were delivered. In 1974 the Phantom aircraft began replacing the aging Lightning's, but 2 F6 remained in service up to 1988 with Strike Command until finally being replaced with Tornado's. Specifications for MK1 to 4: Made by English Electrc Aviation Ltd at Preston and Samlesbury Lancashire, designated P1B, All Weather single seat Fighter. Max Speed: Mach 2.1 (1390 mph) at 36,000 feet Ceiling 55,000 feet Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and Two Firestreak infra red AAM's. Specificaitons for MK 6: Made by English Electrc Aviation Ltd at Preston Lancashire, designated P1B, All Weather single seat Fighter. Max Speed: Mach 2.27 (1500 mph) at 40,000 feet Ceiling 55,000 feet Range: 800 miles. Armament: Two 30mm Aden guns and Two Firestreak infra red AAM's. or Two Red Top. or two retractable contain 24 spin-stabilized rockets each.|
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