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English Electric Lightning 70 year old Mach 2 Interceptor

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by peanut, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. peanut

    peanut XS650 Guru Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    came across this video on youtube and lost another hour of my life today to watching videos and getting nothing done. Still it makes a change from endless Wimbledon :)

    What an awesome aircraft !... like being strapped to a rocket some said of it .
    I wish that England still produced such incredible innovative technology today .:(
  2. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Now that’s an interesting plane! I had no idea that they had built such a fast plane , so long ago!
    MaxPete, peanut and Jim like this.
  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin XS650 Addict

    Quite a few years ago I was probably 10/11 my dad took me to an air display at RAF Church Fenton, the one thing that stuck in my mind was the Lightening. It came along the runway right to left very very very low as it was going past there wasn’t any noise, then as the roar came the plane sat on its arse and went straight up until it disappeared. Left a lasting impression.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, MaxPete, peanut and 2 others like this.
  4. I live just outside Binbrook where the Lightnings were based ,most of Lincolnshire was on their flightpath ,you could here them coming miles away building up to a crescendo as they went over,always as it seemed as we had just got our first born to sleep 1982 to 83 .A chap in Binbrook has one in his front garden as a garden ornament.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Jim and peanut like this.
  5. peanut

    peanut XS650 Guru Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    no nor did I ... o_O:)
    You lucky wotsit to have a Dad that would take you to an air show. Mine would have taken me to the pub and sat me outside with a bag of crisps and lemonade . I'd have loved to have seen that .... it would leave a lasting impression on any young kid I should think.
    I think all kids should have incredible experiences when the are young so that it inspires them to dream of great things:)
    @ Yellowdog if you get the chance it would be good to see a picture of that especially if you can get it with your bike in front ;)
    TwoManyXS1Bs and Jim like this.
  6. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    The Lightning was powered by two large Rolls Royce Avon afterburning turboject engines arranged one above the other in the fuselage. As a result of,the huge power of these engines, the Lightning was, for quite some time, the fastest climbing fighter aircraft in the world by quite a large margin.

    I hope that you’ll forgive me if I introduce another large interceptor built in Canada in the late 1950’s: the AVRO Canada CF-105 Arrow.
    Five Arrow Mk-I prototypes were built and flown in the mid-late 50s and many experts felt that it was one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Mk-I prototypes were not armed but the Mk-II aircraft would have received the a similar radar and missile suite as the very advanced Convair F106 Delta Dart which entered service a short time after the Arrow would have become operational.

    The Arrow had the first operational fly-by-wire system (i.e.fully computerized) aerodynamic control system installed on an aircraft and the Mk-II would have been powered by two Orenda Canada Iroquois afterburning turboject engines which had a thrust/weight ratio of more than 5:1. The five Mk-I prototypes had a top speed of M1.8 and were powered by Pratt & Whitney J75s which were very powerful in the day but with the two Iroquois, the Mk-II airplane would have had a thrust/weight ratio of more than 1:1 giving it sparkling vertical performance similar to that of the English Electric Lightning.

    Unfortunately, the <incredibly stupid and irresponsible> government of the day ordered that the project be cancelled and all prototypes and materials be destroyed in 1958. Instead, we got the Boeing Bomarc guided missile system which never really work and eventually, the RCAF received some used McDonnell F-101 Voodoo interceptors which were only capable of M1.3-1.4 or so and only for a few minutes at a time because they ran out of fuel that quickly.

    However, the Iroquois flew on a test airplane crafted from a Boeing B47 Stratojet medium bomber (see the photo below - the Iroquois is mounted near the tail of the B47). The B47 was loaned to Orenda by the USAF for the project. The flight tests showed the Iroquois was a very reliable powerplant and fully confirmed the predicted performance of the engine. Apparently, the Iroquois could fly the B47 at nearly its top speed even when the six earlier generation J47 engines were entirely shut down.
    If the Arrow Mk-II had been completed and made operational, it would have significantly boosted the air defence of North America at a time when the Soviets were continuously operating in a very threatening posture (not like today, of course, when they’re just a nation of quaint and slightly backward drunkards who are totally harmless and always behave in a very friendly and cooperative manner toward all of their neighbours....:wtf:).

    Interestingly, after the Arrow was canned, a large number of the engineers who had worked on it and on the Iroquois project, were recruited by NASA and a number of US and UK aerospace companies. One of my closest friends went directly from Orenda in Toronto to Bristol Engines in the UK to work on the Bristol/RR Olympus 593 engine which powered the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner.

    The Concorde, at one time, was estimated to have accumulated more supersonic flight time than all of the military fighters of all the airforces in the world combined. This was as a result of the facts that most military aircraft can only fly supersonic for a few minutes at a time (due to the outrageous fuel consumption above M1.0 while the Concorde fleet operated at M2.0 for hours on end on a daily basis for more than 20 years. The only other aircraft that could boast that type of capability was the Lockheed SR71 reconnaissance aircraft operated by the USAF.


    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    GLJ, TwoManyXS1Bs, Mailman and 2 others like this.
  7. peanut

    peanut XS650 Guru Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Actually the engines were arranged one behind the other Pete vertically staggered, and the outputs were ducted to the tail. Very innovative solution and when you consider it was designed in the late 40s even more amazing
    Jim likes this.
  8. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Correct and the only problem was the difficulty of servicing the engines due to that arrangement. Apparently, an engine change was really problematic.
    Jim likes this.
  9. Rasputin

    Rasputin XS650 Addict

    There was another airoplane that made lasting impression, a few years ago I was at a warbirds event at Duxford, now you may think Spitfire, Hurricane, Mustang, but no, it was a Vought Corsair. The sound of the big radial was just magic.
    I love radials.
    Supposed to be a bike forum this, what happened?
    peanut, TwoManyXS1Bs, Jim and 2 others like this.
  10. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    The Lounge is the part of XS650.com that is set aside for non-motorcycle related topics.

    We’re just a bunch of buddies sitting around and chewing the fat.....
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Jim and Rasputin like this.
  11. Rasputin

    Rasputin XS650 Addict

    Oh, that’s OK. You mean like Jack Lemon and Walter Matheau.
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  12. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Yup - but we’re not grumpy old men....:D

    ....at least, not all of us.
    peanut and Jim like this.
  13. peanut

    peanut XS650 Guru Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    well ok I'm a grumpy old man .......its confirmed .:):(
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  14. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Yes. "The Lounge". Where we sit around a good fire (when it's not summer, and 100 freakin' degrees out), smoke a cigar, have some beers, and talk about whatever. Grumpy? That depends on what she was like today. Old? Maybe. Old just means we're not dead yet (naturally, or otherwise). Years ago, doctors came to the startling conclusion that living is the leading cause of death... :doh:
    Jim and MaxPete like this.

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