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English Electric Lightning

Lightning Artwork

Introduced to service with the RAF in 1960, the English Electric Lightning was noted for its great speed. The Lightning is the only all British Mach 2 fighter aircraft and was the first aircraft in the world capable of supercruise - the ability to maintain supersonic flight without the use of afterburner.
The Lightning was renowned for its capabilities as an interceptor. pilots commonly described the maximum performance takeoff like “being saddled to a skyrocket”.

The images in this gallery are part on an on-going project which started in late 2012, where I hope to create images representing every RAF squadron that flew the Lightning.

If you would like to buy any of these images, please get in touch via the Contact page. I also have a very limited number of these prints signed by former Lightning pilots.

Click the thumbnail image to view larger.

  • 'Cold War Warriors', 5sqn F6 Lightning from RAF Binbrook flying a training sortie over the North Sea.
  • 'Binbrook Scramble', 11sqn F6 Lightning climbing out of RAF Binbrook on a QRA sortie.
  • 'The Bear Hunt', a pair of 11 sqn F6 Lightnings rush to intercept a Russian TU95 Bear on a QRA sortie from RAF Binbrook.
  • 'Faster Than Sound' an 11 Squadron F6 Lightning flying at transonic speed it creates a halo of cloud as it accelerates to supersonic speed.
  • 'Gutersloh Guardians', 19sqn F2A Lightnings flying in the late afternoon sun, RAF Gutersloh
  • 'Pushing North' 23 sqn F6 Lightnings and k2 victor on a QRA 'shout' to intercept a possible threat to UK air space.
  • 'Heading Home' 29sqn F3 Lightnings flying back to RAF Wattisham after a QRA sortie over the North Sea.
  • 'The Firebirds' 56 sqn F.1 Lightnings flying in the clouds over their Suffolk base; RAF Wattisham.
  • 'Aggressive Defence', 74sqn F1 Lightning climbing out of RAF Coltishall into a storm cloud.
  • 'King Cobra', Wg Cdr Ed Durham leads a pair of 92sqn F2A Lightnings as they climb out of RAF Gutersloh.
  • 'The Tremblers' 111 squadron F3 lightnings from RAF Wattisham flying through thick cloud.
  • 'Bolt of Lightning', LTF  flagship lightning of Gp Cpt John Spencer taking off from RAF Binbrook during a heavy rain storm.
  • 'Boss Birds of Binbrook', flagship F6 Lightnings of the LTF, 5 & 11sqn stationed at RAF Binbrook.
  • 'Night Shift', LTF  flagship F.6 lightning of Gp Cpt John Spencer from RAF Binbrook flying with the setting sun.
  • 'T5 Territory', LTF T5  lightning being flown by LTF 'Boss' Dennis Brooks flying back to RAF Binbrook.
  • 'Lightning Strike', Royal Saudi Air Force F.53 firing rockets at ground targets.
  • 5 Squadron F.6 Lightning zoom climb
  • 11 Squadron F.6 Lightning zoom climb
  • 19 Squadron F.2A Lightning zoom climb
  • 23 Squadron F.6 Lightning zoom climb
  • 29 Squadron F.3 Lightning zoom climb
  • 56 Squadron F.1A Lightning zoom climb
  • 74 Squadron F.1 Lightning zoom climb
  • 92 Squadron F.2A Lightning zoom climb
  • 111 Squadron F.3 Lightning zoom climb
  • 'Hide and Seek' 5 Squadron F.6 Lightning on QRA searching for a Russian TU-95 Bear flying amongst the clouds.
  • 'Rocket' 29 Squadron F.3 Lightning soaring high.
  • 'Wild Ride' 92 Squadron Flt Lt Jim Wild flying his F.2A 'personal aircraft' at ultra low level over the pine forests of northern West Germany during the 'Cold War'.
  • 'Flash of Lightning' 19 Squadron F.2A Lightning XN726 while on Combat Air Patrol over Germany during the 'Cold War'.
  • 'Boss Kat' 19 Squadron CO Peter Vangucci flying his 'personal aircraft' at very low level over Germany during the early 1970s.
  • 'Flagship 92'  C.O. of 92 Squadron John Mitchell flying the 'Boss Bird' low over Germany.
  • 'Guardians of Gutersloh' The flagship aircraft of the bosses of both resident Squadrons of F.2A Lightnings at RAF Gutersloh.
  • 'Leuchars Launch' 23 Squadron F.6 Lightning lifting off from RAF Leuchars on a QRA sortie.
  • 'Phoenix Rising' F.6 Lightning of 56 Squadron soaring high over RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus.