Model features include detailed crew ladder, blanking plates for intakes and jet pipes, accurate missiles, optional undercarriage up or down and optional open canopy.
Aircraft now preserved by the Lightning Preservation Group, Bruntingthorpe Airfield Leicestershire.
If the Supermarine Spitfire is considered to be Britain's most famous
piston engined fighter, then its direct jet powered counterpart was
certainly the superlative English Electric Lightning. Representing a
huge leap in aviation technology the Lightning introduced the concept of
an integrated weapons system, whereby its Ferranti radar acquired
hostile targets and fed this information to the pilot to launch its air
to air missiles with the optimum profile. It possessed incredible
performance, becoming the most capable interceptor fighter in the world
when first introduced in 1960 and Britain's primary interceptor for the
following two decades. Nine RAF squadrons were equipped with the type
and defended UK, Near and Far East and the former West German airspace.
With unique vertically stacked Rolls Royce Avon engines, the Lightning
could boast speed and climb performance statistics which would eclipse
most of today's fighter aircraft and was the World's first aircraft
capable of supercruise (supersonic flight without using reheat). It was
likened by pilots lucky enough to fly this aviation hot-rod as being, saddled to a skyrocket
As the only all-British built Mach 2 plus/1500mph capable fighter
aircraft, this Cold War warrior occupies a unique place in aviation
history and remains as one of the finest achievements of the British
aviation industry. It was exported to both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. At
the time, the Saudi contract represented the UK's largest ever export
order. The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) bestowed the
Lightning with its coveted Engineering Heritage Award which recognises
innovation and excellence in engineering.
The Lightning Preservation Group is an organisation dedicated to
preserving the Cold War legacy of the magnificent English Electric
Lightning at their Bruntingthorpe Airfield site. The custodians of
Lightning F.6 XR728/JS for over 29 years, the LPG team managed to keep
the aircraft in ground running condition, which stands as testament to
their professionalism and steadfast dedication. This aviation icon of
Britain's air defence capability during the most volatile period since
the end of the Second World War was stored for many years in the open
air, which is never ideal for a historic aircraft. In 1994, the group
secured a genuine Cold War Quick Reaction Alert Q shed, which was
formerly stationed at RAF Wattisham, where it housed a pair of
Lightnings. Following a successful fund raising campaign, the newly
erected Q shed was opened in 2010 and now protects Lightning XR728 and
her stablemate XS904 from the elements, as well as being the focal point
for many of the popular LPG enthusiast events arranged each year.
In 2017 XR728 celebrates her 50th anniversary of entering RAF service in 1967 with 23 Squadron at RAF Leuchars.