Tim McLelland English Electric Lightning

ISBN 13: 9781906537036

English Electric Lightning

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9781906537036: English Electric Lightning
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Reseña del editor:

The English Electric Lightning was a triumph of post-war aviation technology. Developed and manufactured during years of national austerity, the Lightning was Britain's answer to a growing threat from beyond the Iron Curtain where the Soviets were busy creating a sizeable force of supersonic bombers, all of which had the capacity to reach and destroy targets in the United Kingdom. Having emerged from the hard lessons of World War 2, the Royal Air Force was faced with a completely new threat and a drastically different era of capability and technology. The days of lumbering piston-engine bombers and fighters were over and the jet age had truly arrived. However, jet technology was in its infancy, as was the aerodynamic knowledge which was badly needed in order to take advantage of projected increases in power and speed, therefore it is all the more remarkable, that while the RAF was consolidating its defensive capability around the almost pedestrian types such as the Meteor and Vampire, attention was being shifted to a new jet interceptor which would be capable of achieving supersonic speeds in level flight. The result was an aircraft which could more than comfortably meet this aim and the RAF was ultimately blessed with what was undoubtedly one of the finest fighter aircraft ever built. Capable of staggering altitude performance and with a top speed in excess of twice the speed of sound, the Lightning was an outstanding aircraft.

Reseña del editor:

With an unmistakable design and classic natural metal finish, the English Electric Lightning is a powerful example of the enormous capabilities of post-war British aeronautical design. First developed in response to a requirement in 1947, English Electric's design was so radical that it was initially opposed by the RAE at Farnborough. Despite this, it was later to become the only all-British supersonic aircraft to enter production and the last all-British single-seat fighter. Although the type suffered from chronic underdevelopment throughout much of its career, which adversely affected its export potential, it remained a success at home and skilfully defended UK air space for more than 25 years. The first prototype took to the air on 4 August 1954, and on its third flight it became the first British aircraft to exceed Mach 1 in level flight. In late 1956 an order for 20 aircraft was placed so that testing of every aspect of the new fighter could be accelerated. In October 1958 the RAF officially named its new aircraft as the 'Lightning' and the first production Lightings were delivered to Number 74 Squadron at Coltishall on 29 June 1960. Capable of a performance to match even today's fighters with speeds of Mach 2 and an unsurpassed rate of climb and ceiling, the Lightning served in the front line of the RAF through many of the hottest years of the Cold War until the late 1980s. However, it was eventually hampered by its short range, increasingly outmoded avionics and modern-day weapons-load capability. Today, the last examples can be seen flying in South Africa. This well researched book is the very first detailed history of the Lightning type for many years. With an exciting range of new material from EE company photographic archives, the author delves into the history of the Lightning, including details about its design and development, operational history, his own flying experiences in the Lightning, export and overseas operators, and personal accounts.

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