Classic Airshow Performers

English Electric Lightning

The Lightning was an all time airshow favourite being famous for its powerful displays and breathtaking rate of climb. Here a 5 Squadron F3 makes a slow pass at the 1987 IAT during the Lightning's final display season.

During its early service years Lightning formations were regularly seen but became much rarer later. Here F6's of 5 and 11 Squadrons perform a Diamond 9 flypast at the 'Last Lightning Show' held at RAF Binbrook in August 1987.

The classic Lightning pose! An F6 performs a fast pass at just under the speed of sound.

The 'Airfix Lightning' F1A XM192 performing at the 1973 Battle of Britain airshow at Biggin Hill. This aircraft was then operated by the Wattisham Target Facilities Flight which disbanded soon after this photograph was taken. Years earlier this aircraft had been depicted in the Airfix scale model plastic kit carrying 111 Squadron markings.

A Lighting F3 of 5 Squadron starting its display at the 1975 Battle of Britain show at Biggin Hill.

Classic nostalgia. Two Lightning F6's of 56 squadron formate behind a Victor tanker at the 1975 Battle of Britain show at Biggin Hill. Tanker support was essential to the Lightning due to the fighter's limited range.

A purposeful line up of 11 Squadron F6's at Binbrook just months before retirement. Even at this time the type still looked 'up to the job' even if it had been let down by inadequate development of its weapon systems.

11 Squadron provided two Lightning's for the 1984 display season, here seen at the USAFE 'Open House' at RAF Lakenheath.