Lightning Strikes Twice
The Story of the English Electric Lightning
- Martin W. Bowman
15th August 2009
Introduced into RAF service in December 1959, the English Electric Lightning was and still is one of the most iconic of British fighter aircraft. When it entered service it was literally streets ahead of the competition. With a rate of climb and top speed superior to its competition, and maneuverability that was still unmatched twenty years after it entered service, the Lightning was a potent weapon. Utilised by the RAF and Royal Saudi Air Force as well as the Kuwait Air Force, the Lightning was developed through various versions, culminating in the F6. Withdrawn from service in 1987, 277 single-seat Lightning fighters were constructed, with fifty-two two-seat trainers. Many have been preserved with a flight of Lightnings still flying today in South Africa, as well as numerous in museums in the UK and abroad. Martin Bowman tells the story of the iconic Cold War fighter from first prototype to the present day, with many previously-unpublished images as well as narrative from the men who flew Britain's finest post-war fighter.