Engineering Marvels: The English Electric Lightning


[image title=”lightning_f1_f3″ size=”full” id=”379″ align=”right” linkto=”” ]In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the interception of Soviet long-range nuclear bombers was a very worrying topic for Western Military leaders. Models such as the Tupolev Tu-22 were already in development, and could reach Mach 1.5 at 40,000 feet – more than a match for the existing sub-sonic fighters of the age. It was predicted that they could deliver a nuclear payload to British or American cities and be totally unreachable by existing fighter aircraft or surface-to-air missile systems.

The British needed something to stop them, and they favoured speed, accuracy and power to do that. Their response was the development of the English Electric Lightning. The Lightning (not to be confused with the P-38 Lightning of WWII fame), is a second-generation Jet Interceptor. They were designed to climb rapidly to ceiling height and engage a bomber with high-speed missiles, and they did it astonishingly well.

So, what makes the Lightning an Engineering Marvel? There are a few reasons. Click Read More to find out.

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