The English Electric Lightning entered RAF squadron service in 1960 and continued flying in the interceptor role until 1988. It had a stunning world-beating performance with a top speed in excess of Mach 2 and a climb rate that would take it to 40,000 feet in a little over 3 minutes. The aircraft’s safety record, however, left much to be desired. During a period in the early 1970s the attrition rate was the loss of a Lightning every month. There was a six per cent chance of a pilot experiencing an engine fire and a one in four chance that he would not survive.
This book looks at Lightning accidents and incidents in chronological order using the official accident reports, Board of Inquiry findings and firsthand accounts from pilots. It puts the reader very much ‘in the cockpit’.
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Peter Caygill has had a lifelong interest in aviation history. His previous books The Darlington Spitfire (1840370769) and Spitfire Mark V in Action (1840372486) were both published by Airlife. He obtained a private pilot's license in 1979 and is a member of Cleveland Flying School.Review:
Many RAF fighter pilots in the RAF were keen to fly the Mach 2 Lightning, but it was quite a complex aircraft and was to prove to have a questionable safety record. The book deals with a large number of the accidents, a sober story but which deserves to be told. Aeroplane
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