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English Electric Lightning Supersonic Fighter

The English Electric Lightning as it name suggests is a supersonic fighter jet designed in the United Kingdom. This is one of the most famous supersonic interceptors of the Cold War period.

Several prototypes of the Electric Lightning were built. The jet is powered by the Rolls Royce Avon afterburning turbojet engines. You can read more about technical data of the aircraft from the Lightning Association website under

The English Electric Lightning is famous for its high speed vertical climb. The official ceiling was kept secret but some low-security air force documents display 60,000+ feet (18 000+ meters), although it is common knowledge that the aircraft was capable of higher altitudes. The jet is capable of mach 2.2 and an initial climb rate of 50,000 feet (over 16,000+ meters) per minute. However in terms of avionics, weapons load, radar and other military criteria the Lightning was outperformed by newer generations of fighters.

The Lightning was used by the Royal Air Force (retired in 1988) and the Royal Saudi Air Force (retired in 1986) and now it is largely retired to museums. Currently two servicable English Lightning jets are available in Thunder City, Cape Town, South Africa.
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