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Thunder Citys Lightnings

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posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 04:40 AM
Has anybody caught the show on discovery wings hosted by the ex RAF tornado pilot John Nicols?

The show the other night was absolutley awesome....he went out to cape town S. Africa to a place called Thunder City where they still have a couple of flying and restored British Electric Lightnings!

The lucky bugger got a couple of flights in one as a co pilot and boy O boy was he chuffed!

The show gave an all round great impression of what these cold war birds flew like from a pilots point of view...considering this aircraft is 50 years old its performance still shocked the pants of mr Nicols....and dont forget he has spent his lifetime flying military fighters!

The best part of the show for me was some of the interviews with ex of them told the story of his first ever flight in a lightning and said that his instructor made the comment on going vertical from take off......

"you see young man we only have wings on the lightning to keep the nav lights apart"

The awesome sight of seeing both those Rolls Royce Afterburners kick in after take off with the lightning climbing at some ridculous rate still gives me goose bumps....if you get the chance try and catch the re-run of the show....i promise you wont be dissapointed!


posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 04:43 AM
There's a guy in South Africa that actually has the only privately owned Bucaneer bomber. He's the only person in the world to own a nuclear capable bomber, even though the weapons systems are deactivated obviously. South Africa is the only place that you can legally own one.

posted on Jun, 19 2005 @ 05:06 AM
I think the guy with the Buccaneer is the same guy with the Lightnings, I think he also has a Hawker Hunter, maybe more than one actually.

I've seen that show with John Nicholls (he's certainly made a career since getting shot down by Saddam in '91:up
and its great to see Lightnings still flying, if sad that they're not here in the UK. I remeber seeing Lightning displays at several Finningley displays in the '70's and '80's and they were always most impressive. the full burner vertical climb straight off the end of the runway is still unmatched for sheer spectacle IMHO, as the sheer acceleration of the Lightning is something I have no witnessed in any other aircraft. Probably because of a combination of the very low frontal area and highly swept wings. I know other fighters can go straight up (F-15 is one) but the Lighning just seemed to have extra oomph compared to todays much bigger fighters.

Its incredible to think that although it is half a century old it is still the fastest aircraft the RAF has ever operated and one of the top 5 or so fastest military planes ever built.

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