The layout of the Lightning was unusual: two engines above each other, a sharp-edged nose intake, and 60 degrees wing sweep. The Mach 2+ Lightning was the first supersonic British fighter. It was a good dogfighter, with a speed, acceleration and climb that were difficult to match. Armament and fuel capacity were limited, however, and the Lightning found few export orders. Retired in 1988.
|BAC Lightning F.6|
The English Electric Lightning was the first operational British aircraft capable of achieving twice the speed of sound. It was an unusual design with two turbojets mounted one above the other in the fuselage and the cockpit placed on top of the nose intake. Although it was designed primarily as a Mach 2 interceptor to meet incoming Soviet bombers at heights up to 60,000ft, it was later developed for ground attack. The Royal Air Force used this variation in Germany and ground-attack versions were sold to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.